Family Life With Tweens | Days Out | Holiday Ideas

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto in North East England this Christmas

Panto season is almost upon us and we can't wait! We usually try and make a night/afternoon of it and combine our trip to the theatre with a nice meal out somewhere. I am asked on numerous occasions for ideas of where to dine with kids near our theatres so thought I'd put together a guide. Some of these are my own personal recommendations and some have been recommended to me by other readers. If you're visiting Newcastle you may also like to read my guide to surviving a trip to Newcastle with kids during the festive season.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle - Peter Pan | 28 November - 21 January |  Buy tickets here

Fat Hippo Underground

Fat Hippo Underground - 30 second walk

The Fat Hippo Underground serve some of the best burgers in Newcastle and their kid's menu is perfect for fussy eaters who can create a burger to their exact specification. Their children's menu is £6 for a main, side and drink. Don't forget to add a Hippo brownie for dessert. Check out our review of the Fat Hippo's new kids menu here.

Botanist - 2 minute walk

The Botanist is one of our favourite places to dine with kids. The setting in magical and super Christmassy and the kid's menu is fun and quirky. Their children's menu is priced at £6.95 for a main and dessert. Check out our review here.

George's Great British Kitchen - 3 minute walk

George's Great British Kitchen in Eldon Square is lots of fun, especially if you manage to grab a beach hut booth. There are selfie sticks, photo props and lots to keep little ones entertained. Children's meals are served in a bucket and spade which can be taken away. Their children's menu is priced at £5.95 for a main and £2.95 for a dessert. Check out our review here.

Jamie's Italian - 2 minute walk

Jamie's Italian's children's menu is award-winning children's menu is priced at £6.50 for small kids and £6.95 for older kids. This includes a shake-me salad, main and drink. Happy chicken lollipops are a favourite with my three.

Las Iguanas - 30 second walk

Las Iguanas is a real favourite of ours (especially during their 2 for 1 happy hour) and there's a real party atmosphere. It's fab for kids too and their children's menu is a bargain at £5.90 including a main, dessert and bottomless squash. Check out our review here. 

Cote Brasserie - 2 minute walk

I dined at Cote Brasserie earlier this week and have to say I was super impressed. They offer a fantastic value lunch and early evening menu (2 courses for £11.50) in elegant surroundings and have a fantastic children's menu priced from £4.95 too.

Sunderland Empire - Jack and the Beanstalk | 15 December - 7 January | Buy tickets here (affiliate)

City Bistro - Credit | Canny Food

Garden Place Bistro - on site

Sunderland Empire is home to their very own Bistro which serves a simple children's menu at 2 courses for £7. You'll find a fantastic pre-theatre menu for grown-ups too.

City Bistro, Sunderland College - 8 minute walk

City Bistro offers a fantastic value pre-theatre dining menu for just £9.99 for two courses and children eat half price! A fab way to support the chefs of tomorrow. Check out Canny Food's review here. 

Luciano's Ristorante - 3 minute walk

Luciano's is a popular Italian restaurant that's super close to the theatre. Specialising in pre-theatre dining, they are normally always fairly busy so it's best to book a table in advance. Find out more here. 

Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle - Snow White & The Seven Drawfs | 8 - 31 December | Buy tickets here 

Zapatista, Grainger Street

Marco Pierre White - 3 minute walk

We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-theatre meal at Marco Pierre White and love how close this restaurant is to the Tyne Theatre. You can take a peek at their children's menu here and read Steve's review of the restaurant here.

Pinocchio  - 3 minute walk

Pinocchio is a traditional Italian restaurant on Westgate road offering pizzas, pastas and more at reasonable prices. Check out their menus here and check out New Girl in Toon's review here.

Zapatista - 4 minute walk

If you're looking for a speedy bite to eat, you can't go wrong with Zapatista. Their Grainger Street restaurant is a favourite of ours and their children's menu is a massive bargain at just £2.90 for a wrap/taco, rice, cheese, tortilla chips and a carton of juice. Check out Nomipalony's review here. 

Central Oven & Shaker - 5 minute walk

If you're looking for pizza before a trip to the Tyne Theatre, Central Oven is probably your best bet. Their pizzas are big enough to share and there are plenty of toppings to choose from too. Check out Katie Jane Online's Review of Central Oven & Shaker here. 

Meet & Treat - 2 minute walk

Meet & Treat is a BYO Taiwanese restaurant and noodle house. There's no specific children's menu but if your family enjoys noodle and rice dishes, they'll love it here. Milkshakes are also a speciality and there are board games to play too. Check out my review here.

Stowell Street - 3 minute walk

I'm not really a fan of Stowell Street it has to be said ( I would always recommend heading to La Yuan instead) but if your family are fans of Chinese food, there's no denying the proximity of China Town to the Tyne Theatre and all you can eat buffets can be fab for fussy eaters.

Playhouse Whitley Bay - Cinderella | 2 December - 7 January | Buy tickets here

Evan's Bistro, Whitley Bay

Crab & Waltzer - 2 minute walk 

The Crab & Waltzer is just across the road from the Playhouse and their beach huts, waltzer carts and fun children's menu are ideally located for a pre-panto treat.

Pantrinis - 1 minute walk

If you fancy fish and chips before the main event, it has to be Pantrinis. You can sit in or take away if you fancy eating them by the sea after the show. Check out our review here.

Evan's Bistro - 10 minute walk

If you're travelling to Whitley Bay by Metro, I'd highly recommend booking Evan's Bistro as a pre or post-panto treat. Their children's menu is priced from £4.55 all homemade (unlike a certain national chain on the seafront) and there's a fab games corner with a collection of Top Trumps, board games, books and toys to keep the kids entertained between courses. Check out our review here.

Hinnies - 8 minute walk

Hinnies is a lovely restaurant on the seafront offering early evening specials, weekend brunches and a nice children's menu too. Mains are priced from £3 and they have a few healthy options too such as pasta with hidden vegetable sauce. You can watch our YouTube video review here.

Custom's House South Shields - The Lambton Worm | 28 November - 6 January | Buy tickets here

Colman's Fish & Chips - Credit Katie Jane Online 

Colmans - 15 minute walk

Colman's are pretty legendary in the North East and are known for their fantastic fish and chips. Their original restaurant on Ocean Road may be a 15 minute walk away from the theatre but most would say it's worth it! Check out Life in Geordieland's review of Colman's here.

Green Room - on site

The Custom's House has it's very own bistro. I have not dined here myself but it comes highly recommended. The Green Room offers children's meals at £4.50 for a main course or £7 for 2 courses.

Bravi - 8 minute walk

So many people have recommended Bravi to me - they say it's a traditional Italian family restaurant and a real favourite amongst locals. Their children's menu is priced at £4.50, £6.50 or £8.50 depending on how many courses you'd like.

Turkusine - 11 minute walk

Turkusine is another favourite with locals - serving traditional Turkish cuisine with a fab early bird special, they offer fab value to families.

Aneesas - 12 minute walk

Aneesa's is a popular family-run restaurant serving a range of cuisines buffet style so perfect for those who like to fill their boots or fussy eaters. Children eat half price and can help themselves to curries, salads, stir-frys, pizzas, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, a huge selection of desserts and more.

Northern Stage - Alice in Wonderland | 25 November - 6 January | Buy tickets here

Frankie and Benny's

McKenna's at Northern Stage - on site

McKenna's is Northern Stage's very own restaurant. We've dined here a couple of times and always enjoyed our meals. Serving mains, tapas, sandwiches and salads, there is a children's menu too but this isn't on their website. Check out this review by Canny Food. 

Red Mezze - 7 minute walk

Red Mezze by St James' Park offers a 3 course early bird special for £9.95 and serves some of the best lamb dishes in Newcastle. You'll always receive a warm welcome and families are super welcome. Check out Gastjonomy's review of Red Mezze here. 

Zapatista Ridley Place - 6 minute walk

My kids honestly can't get enough of Zapatista and their children's menu is a real steal at under £3 for a main, side and drink. They really do serve the best burritos in town! Their Ridley Place branch is just a 6 minute walk from Northern Stage and perfect if you need a quick bite to eat after work but before panto. Check out this review by Here Come the Hoopers.

Frankie and Benny's - 7 minute walk

Frankie and Benny's would not be my first choice of places to eat out but my kids absolutely love it here! There is no denying that their children's menu does offer fantastic value for money at £4.45 for a main, 2 sides, dessert, refillable drink and kid's pack and their John Dobson restaurant is very conveniently located for Northern Stage. Check out our review of Frankie and Benny's here. 

Times Square - Jack and the Beanstalk | 11 - 30 December | Buy tickets here 

Lane 7

Coop Chicken House - 11 minute walk

The Coop Chicken House is a fab option for families. They have the philosophy of just order enough chicken for the grown-ups and ask for an extra plae to share with the kids which sounds good to me. A whole chicken will set you back £15 and there's a range of yummy sides and sauces on offer too. Check out Chow at Home's review of Coop Chicken House here. 

Sachins - 3 minute walk

We dined at Sachins last month and there were a few other families enjoying a meal together too. Food is cooked to order so you can ask for milder dishes for the kids. If you're a family who loves a good curry, you won't be disappointed. Check out our review here.

Lane 7 - 5 minute walk

Lane 7 may be known for being a bowling alley but they also have a cracking restaurant too. Kids do need to be off premises before 7pm but if you're dining before panto this shouldn't be a problem. Their children's menu has changed since our last visit but still looks like it offers good value at £5 for a pizza. Check out our review here.

Newcastle Panto at Gateshead International Stadium - Sleeping Beauty | 8 - 30 December | Buy tickets here

The Vault at River's Hotel - 13 minute walk

Gateshead isn't a place I am too familiar with but lots of people have recommended the Vault as a fab place to dine with kids. The American diner boasts fabulous riverside views and is a training facility for people with disabilities and autism - many whom of which work there. I've been unable to find a menu online so let me know if you've been and what you'd recommend.

JJ's Kitchen - 7 minute walk

JJ's Kitchen is only open until 3pm on a weekday and 12noon on a Saturday so is probably only an otption if you're visiting a matinee show during the school holidays or with pre-schoolers. Their hearty homemade dinners such as Mince and Dumplings seem to go down a treat.

The Schooner - 5 minute walk

The Schooner is an independent pub serving sharing boards, flatbreads, burritos, burgers, Sunday lunch and more and comes highly recommended by one of my readers. You can also pre-order afternoon tea for £12.95 per person if you really want to make an afternoon of it before the show.

That's quite a list. Let me know if you have any Panto tickets this year and if there are any spots for pre-panto dining that you'd recommend. 


1 comment

  1. Sam this guide is epic!! Well done for getting all the places together!! Katie x


I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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