Treat the kids (and yourself) to a family-friendly meal when visiting Hamilton – sure to have the whole family asking for seconds.

Hutch’s On The Beach

280 Van Wagners Beach Road

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It’s all smiles at this iconic beachside diner, open since 1946. Think classic hamburgers and hotdogs, poutine made with thick-cut fries, fish n’ chips, and classic milkshakes. Kids will love the retro details (like a working jukebox!) not to mention the beachfront location (cue playing in the sand).

Must-try: Hutch’s famous fish n’ chips followed by an ice cream cone or milkshake.

Charred Chicken

244 James Street North

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If your kids love chicken – they’ll love Charred. The menu at this popular downtown Portuguese Churrasqueira (with a dash of Jewish deli) serves it up several ways – and they’re all delicious. Order the whole chicken to share, a sandwich, poutine, or chicken salad. Adults can kick it up a notch with Charred’s great hot sauce.

Must-try: Family platter style whole chicken with three sides to share. Choose from fresh cut fries, roasted potatoes, rice, or house salad.

Memphis Fire BBQ

1091 Highway #8, Winona

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Have some napkins handy: mouth-watering plates like pulled pork, beef brisket, and hand-crafted burgers are all served with a smile at this southern barbecue joint. The atmosphere is laid back and totally kid-friendly with a diner feel and picnic table seating.

Must-try: Get a taste of Memphis’ most wanted with the slider combo while kids will love to munch on hand-held chicken drums and share family sized fries.

The Village Restaurant

35 King Street East, Stoney Creek

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This family-run restaurant just feels like home. Breakfast crowds indicate it’s worth the wait on weekends (try the Real Hungry for a taste of everything) and lunch and dinner options are hearty and home-cooked. Kids 10 and under always eat free on Mondays and Tuesdays with an entree purchase.

Must-try: Comfort food specials like lasagna night on Mondays and stir fry night on Wednesdays are popular here. Patrons visit for the mouthwatering prime rib of beef dinner on weekends.

Black Forest Inn

255 King Street East

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Kids can’t say no to warm pretzels and Spaetzle mac and cheese, while mom and dad can choose from the hearty menu of Bavarian staples like beef goulash and cabbage rolls. The Hamilton landmark opened in 1967 after the original owners came to Hamilton from Austria. Kids will love the Bavarian-inspired decor and servers’ outfits.

Must-try: Their famous Schnitzel is prepared many ways and inspired by different European countries – each served with plenty of sides. There’s also a very affordable lunch menu.

Mustangs Big Ol’ Grill

301 Fruitland Road, Stoney Creek

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Nothing says family night like wings and fries. This Stoney Creek pub offers weekly features like 2 for 1 wings, all you can eat ribs, and fish n’ chip specials. Other favourites include sizzling fajitas and loaded nachos. Borrow a tablet and play trivia and card games.

Must-try: The chicken wings come highly recommended! They also offer complimentary peanuts (help yourself) and nachos and salsa brought to the table.

Earth to Table Bread Bar

258 Locke Street South

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Good ingredients matter at this Locke Street mainstay serving handcrafted food made with the finest ingredients. Find kid-friendly eats like loaded fries, mac and cheese gratin, and cheeseburgers, and much more for mature palettes.

Must-try: The creamy hummus topped with roasted chickpeas and served with pitas is one of the best around. Follow it with a stone-baked pizza for a divine meal.

Mesa

255 James Street North

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Everyone is welcome at “Mesa” (“table” in Spanish) where the philosophy is to “dine together like family”. The spacious and colourful Mexican restaurant is relaxed and inviting, with a kid-friendly menu loaded with nachos, tamales, burritos, and tacos.

Must-try: Mesa’s burrito is the furthest thing from a child-friendly portion but it will not disappoint. Choose from pulled chicken, ground beef, beef barbacoa, chorizo, and vegetarian.

Hamilton Farmers’ Market

35 York Boulevard

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The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is full of good eats spread over two floors so everyone can get what they’re craving. Choose a bowl of ramen (Slurp Ramen Bar), flavourful samosas (Sensational Samosas), tacos (Mexican Kitchen and Latin Food and Products), freshly made sandwiches (Nam Nom Banh Mi, Sam’s Cheese and Meats, Romano Cheese), or a plate of pasta (Vinnie’s Fresh Pasta Factory). (Bonus: the Market is attached to the beautifully renovated Hamilton Public Library – with lots of seating, play areas and activities).

Must-try: For something sweet, visit Cake and Loaf for creative pastries you won’t find anywhere else!

Democracy

202 Locke Street South

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The vegetarian/vegan menu here includes a section for kids, too, like the kid-sized portion of their famous cauliflower wings and vegan grilled cheese. Dessert options include made-to-order crepes, local craft ice cream, and a rotating selection of baked goods (how good do Oreo stuffed cookie bars sound?).

Must-try: The house-made crispy falafel on a warm pita is simply delicious.