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 - Goldilocks and the Three Bears | 27 November - 20 January |  Buy tickets here

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Theatre Royal Newcastle this Christmas
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.

Stack Newcastle - 2 minute walk

We've paid STACK a visit four times already (although only for drinks with the kids) and absolutely love it. The beauty of STACK is that there are lots of different options and communal seating so perfect if you all fancy something a little different. Child-friendly options include chicken & waffles, burgers, pizza and fish and chips and the more adventurous can try Sushi, Mexican or Asian Dumplings.

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.

Pizza Punks

I haven't tried it myself but lots of people have recommended Pizza Punks to me. Buy a pizza with unlimited toppings - what's not to love! Find out more here. 

Sunderland Empire - Peter Pan | 14 December - 6 January | Buy tickets here (affiliate)

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.

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 - Cinderella | 7 - 30 December | Buy tickets here 

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Tyne Theatre Newcastle this Christmas
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 - Peter Pan | 1 December - 5 January | Buy tickets here

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Playhouse Whitley Bay this Christmas
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 traditional fish and chips before the main event and want to keep it local, you'll love 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 £4.95, all homemade 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.

Trenchers, Spanish City Dome - 4 minute walk

Trenchers Fish & Chip restaurant is fab for families. Serving some of the best fish and chips in a wonderful setting, it's a place which really has the wow factor and will start off your evening in style. Check out our review here.

Customs House South Shields - Beauty and the Beast | 27 November - 5 January | Buy tickets here

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Customs House South Shields this Christmas
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 - A Christmas Carol | 1 December - 5 January | Buy tickets here

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Northern Stage Newcastle  this Christmas
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. 

Gateshead Stadium Panto - Aladdin | 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 option 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.

Gala Theatre Durham - Snow White | 22 November - 5 January | Buy tickets here

Child-friendly restaurants to visit before a trip to the Panto at Gala Theatre Durham this Christmas

Fat Hippo Durham - 3 minute walk

Fat Hippo Durham is our go-to restaurant in Durham. Their kids menu is perfect for fussy kids who can build their own burgers and if you can get there during happy hour, you'll bag yourself a bargain. Check out Steve's review here. 

Zapatista Durham - 6 minute walk 

Our favourite burrito bar has now opened up in Durham. With beer, burritos, wings, meal deals and children's meals on offer, it's a fab place to stop by for a quick pre-theatre bite to eat with no fuss. Find out more here. 

Bells Fish and Chips - 2 minute walk

This Durham restaurant is open until 8:30pm Monday-Saturday (and 3:30pm on a Sunday). There's sometimes a little bit of a queue but it's worth the wait. Kids will love the tropical fish tank and there are plenty of children's meals on the menu too. Find out more here. 

ASK Italian - 2 minute walk 

I haven't dined here myself but it's super close to the theatre and a chain which is always popular with families. Kids can enjoy a starter, main, dessert and babyccino for £6.95. Find out more here. 

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


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