Sure, Otto offers a wide selection of Alberta-brewed beer, but it’s become a hub for families in the Norwood and Alberta Avenue areas. A decal on the front door announces that the restaurant is a child-friendly establishment and, every Sunday, there are meal specials for kids. And, there’s a selection of mocktails named for the kids who invented them. I went with my family on a Sunday, shared a plate of tasty sausages and maybe the best French fries in the city, and the place was packed with moms and dads with their kids, without feeling like a daycare. Yes, you can have mom and dad enjoying adult beverages while the kids enjoy their mocktails. Plus, the quality of the sausages has not declined since Otto was named one of our five Best New restaurants in 2018. – S.S.
For the adults, there are Bellinis for brunch and one of the best Negronis any bar in the city will make. For the kids, the Italian sodas — in peach, raspberry, kiwi or cherry flavours — make them feel special. Buco makes its second straight appearance on our Best Family Dining list, thanks to a kid’s menu that doesn’t feel elementary. The choices for kids are popular pleasers, but the wood-fired pizza or the decadent mac and cheese, with tomato sauce mixed in, don’t feel like afterthoughts. – S.S.
Ragazzi makes its way on to our Best Family Dining list for the second year in a row. This Bonnie Doon institution is a throwback to the traditional pizza parlours, where you get together at a large table. In the middle of the table sits a pizza on a raised serving tray. The Davide’s Inferno, with spicy sausage and casalingo salami, may be too hot for the kids to handle, but it’s a treat for mom and dad. But a large Godfather’s Choice, laden with capicollo and prosciutto, is a crowd pleaser. – S.S.