Kid-friendly restaurants near the TIFF Bell Lightbox

With plenty of cinematic delights to take in, you’ll need to make sure your hungry brood is properly fuelled during TIFF. Forget the typical movie-theatre popcorn and indulge in a meal at one of these family-friendly downtown dining destinations around the TIFF Bell Lightbox. [Image credit: iStock.com/Nastia11]

O&B Canteen

1
330 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X2

When it comes to dining options close to the film festival, it doesn’t get more convenient than this urban canteen located on the ground floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Oliver and Bonacini-owned restaurant and café serves plenty of kid-friendly fare — sandwiches, mac and cheese, pizza — in a relaxed environment. Grown ups will also find some more refined items on the menu, including pan roasted salmon and steak frites. If you’re pressed for time, pick up some sandwiches or baked goods from the grab-and-go counter to snack on before you head upstairs to the theatre.

Pizzeria Libretto

2
155 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 3B7

If you’re in the mood for thin-crust Neapolitan-style ‘za, you can’t go wrong with this popular pizzeria on University Ave. The downtown location is bright and busy with soaring ceilings, vinyl booth-style seating and the same classic menu of fire-roasted pies that have earned a citywide cult following. Picky pizza lovers will like the simple margherita and marinara, but we suggest ordering something a little more adventurous – the duck confit with Bosc pear is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. Be sure to make reservations online ahead of time if you plan on visiting with a group.

Milagro Cantina on Mercer

3
5 Mercer St, Toronto, ON M5V 1H2

There’s a fiesta happening every day of the week at this casual downtown cantina. The regionally inspired menu features authentic Mexican cuisine that’s sure to please foodies both young and old. Try sharing a selection of enchiladas, tacos and other finger foods and entrée dishes to sample a range of Latin flavours. Mom and Dad will also appreciate the zesty lime margaritas that are served frozen or on the rocks. Best if all, the Mercer Street location is just a two-minute walk from the TIFF Bell Lightbox building.

Il Fornello

4
214 King St W, Toronto, ON M5H 3S6

This well-liked Italian restaurant is located in a prime spot on King Street close to all the action of the Entertainment District. Kids and grownups alike will fall for the menu of classic pasta dishes that range from simple spaghetti and meatballs to sophisticated linguini pollo pesto. The customizable pizzas (available with multigrain or gluten-free crust) are fired on-site in a wood oven and are a big hit with picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

5
190 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3

Enjoy oodles of noodles at this multi-level downtown eatery from New York-based celebrity chef David Chang. The hotspot attracts a mixed crowd of office workers, tourists and local foodies who sit together at communal tables. If spicy bowls of ramen topped with pork belly and egg are too adventurous for your kids, try the sweet BBQ pork buns or the roasted rice cakes instead. Head upstairs after your meal to grab a dessert to go from Milk Bar, but be warned: the compost cookies and individually-wrapped slices of crack pie deliver a serious sugar rush.

Wayne Gretzky's Toronto

6
99 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 9G9

Parents can score some points with pint-sized puck enthusiasts at this hockey-themed sports bar and restaurant on Blue Jays Way. The dining room is decorated with an impressive array of hockey memorabilia paying homage to Wayne Gretzky’s greatest moments on and off the ice. When it comes to food, the special kids menu features a winning selection of classic pub fare —including burgers, wings, grilled cheese and chicken fingers — and all of the kids meals come with a glass of milk (regular or chocolate) or a refillable fountain pop.

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