Family Restaurants in Cheltenham

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Let’s face it, eating out with children is often better in theory... imagining the peaceful serenity of refined family chit-chat while the children tuck their napkins into their collars and baby snoozes quietly alongside.

The reality is usually quite different — refereeing a literal bun fight while trying to keep as much of the condiments, cutlery, napkins and other accoutrements from ending up on the floor (or neighbouring tables). Eventually leaving, feeling more stressed, £50 lighter and toppling three chairs and a hat stand with the pushchair wheels on the way out.

Fear not, many restaurants in Cheltenham have a family offering and we all know about the big chains, but here we’ve searched out those that stand apart from the rest that perhaps you may not have considered for a family meal. These places go above and beyond, whether with the kids’ entertainment, accessibility, or great food choices.

Family Restaurants in Cheltenham – The Cheltenham Rocks Guide

Cosy Club, The Brewery Quarter, GL50 3FF

Why it’s great: Quirky, eccentric and playful, Cosy Club offers informal casual dining, drinking and lounging in a family-friendly environment. Located in The Brewery Quarter, the restaurant is ideal for lunch-time dining after shopping in town or early dinners. They cater for mini Cosy Clubbers with a dedicated children’s menu which doubles as an activity pad. There’s also a selection of board games and toys to keep little ones entertained.
What’s on the children’s menu?: The breakfast menu is available from 9am to 5pm and includes the likes of a mini full English, pancakes and cheesy beans on toast. The main courses are served from midday, with choices such as macaroni cheese, beef burger and fries and a mezze picnic with hummus, tzatziki and falafel. And of course there are desserts to finish off. All mains include a juice drink, and there’s also the option to swap fries for salad.
Pushchair access: Yes, via lift
Changing area: Yes, unisex
For more information: cosyclub.co.uk

Brasserie Blanc, Promenade, GL50 1NN

Why it’s great: 'Fine dining' and 'pre-schoolers' aren't usually things you find in the same sentence but Cheltenham's Brasserie Blanc welcomes young families with open arms. Younger kids can choose from dishes on the dedicated children’s menu while older children have the option of the Junior Blanc menu which is half-size half-the-price dishes from the à la carte menu.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Choose from a set menu of two or three courses, £7.25 and £9.50 respectively. There’s a mini mezze to start, with mains including pasta with homemade tomato sauce or pesto, grilled cod, jackfruit nuggets, or oven-baked chicken goujons, while desserts feature sticky toffee pudding, fruit and marshmallows with a chocolate dipping sauce, or ice cream. On Sundays there’s also the option to have a roast with all the trimmings.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes, unisex
For more information: brasserieblanc.com

Smokey Joe's, Bennington Street, GL50 4ED

Why it’s great: Kids of all ages will love the retro American-style diner theme at Smokey Joe’s. This place is full of curiosities and vintage arcade games, some of which are free to play. In addition to the children’s menu, you can expect delicious milkshakes and indulgent waffles, while the amazing unicorn hot chocolate will definitely be a hit with older kids.
What’s on the children’s menu?: The under eights menu features American favourites such as burgers, chicken goujons, a classic hot dog or mac and cheese, served with fries and a glass of milk or juice.
Pushchair access: Yes. There are two steps which are pretty easy to negotiate
Changing area: Yes, in the ladies’ toilets
For more information: smokeyjoescheltenham.co.uk

Mr Mulligan's Lost World Golf, The Brewery Quarter, GL50 4FA

Why it’s great: We probably don't need to tell you how much the kids will enjoy the activities on site at Mr Mulligan's (36 holes of crazy golf, UV area) but what you might not know is that they have a huge restaurant area which sells good value meals, ranging from burgers and sharers, to sandwiches and salads.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Little diners can choose from chicken or fish goujons with chips, beans or peas, or a mini pizza. The menu is £5.25 and includes a drink. Plus there’s a wide selection of ice cream flavours to choose if they fancy dessert, which is usually a definite!
Pushchair access: Yes, via lift
Changing area: Yes, unisex
For more information: mrmulligan.com

The House in the Tree, Withybridge Lane, GL51 0TQ

Why it’s great: Free parking, fantastic food, and a very warm welcome from landlords Donna and Jason. For kids there are indoor activities such as wooden puzzles and colouring, while outside there’s a play area with slide and petting zoo with lots of furry friends, including Gin the goat, and pigs Stevie and Jason, waiting to meet your little ones.
What’s on the children’s menu?: The choices include sausages, chicken nuggets, mini battered fish and a beef burger with chips, mash or garlic bread, and peas, beans or sweetcorn, while other options including spaghetti bolognese or mac and cheese, for £5.50 or £5.95 with a drink. Kids will love the desserts of ice cream, mini fudge cake with ice cream, mini doughnuts or strawberry jelly.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes, unisex
For more information: houseinthetree.co.uk

Wagamama Cheltenham, Clarence Street, GL50 3JQ

Why it’s great: Apart from the legendary deliciousness that we know and love Wagamama for, the staff at the Cheltenham are simply wonderful with younger guests. It would seem there is no limit to the number of times they can pick up a wayward toy car with a smile on their face. There's colouring of course, a very healthy menu, and kids’ chopsticks. Plus there are plenty of high chairs for younger diners.
What’s on the children’s menu?: The Wagamama KO Club menu features a range of dishes that are a great way to introduce children to flavours and dishes inspired by Japan. Mains include mini ramen, mini grilled noodles with chicken or fish, mini chicken katsu curry and a choice of veggie dishes. Finish with vanilla ice cream with chocolate or passion fruit sauce or a pure fruit ice pop.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes, unisex
For more information: wagamama.com

The Exmouth Arms, Bath Road, GL53 7LX

Why it’s great: The Exmouth Arms on Bath Road is a great spot for lunch and early dinner with the kids. The spacious grassy garden is perfect for crawling babies and newly walking toddlers, while there are also plenty of table inside the buggy-friendly pub. In addition to offering a children’s menu, you can order half portions of many of the dishes, and there are also wood-fired pizzas served in the garden from 4pm on Fridays, and midday on Saturdays and Sundays.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Kids can choose from chicken and chips, a burger or fish goujons and chips, plus the kitchen can also make half portions of most of the dishes on the menu. In addition to the main dessert menu there are a selection of Winstone’s ice creams to choose from.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes, in the toilets on the ground floor
For more information: theexmouth.co.uk

Bill’s, Regent Street, GL50 1HA

Why it’s great: Located right in the centre of town, Bill’s is a great option if you need somewhere to grab a bite after a bit of shopping or a theatre excursion. The restaurant has plenty of space to welcome buggies, making it ideal for lunch meet ups with friends and kids.
What’s on the children’s menu?: The kids’ breakfast is served till 11.30am and includes a Little Bill’s Breakfast (a mini full English), mini granola, buttermilk pancakes, and eggs on toast. The two-course lunch and dinner menu, £5.95, features favourites such as fish fingers and chips, sausages with mash and gravy, and falafel, hummus and carrots. There are also a choice of sides and chocolate mousse or ice cream for dessert.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes
For more information: bills-website.co.uk

The Plough in Prestbury, Mill Street, GL52 3BG

Why it’s great: With an outside wooden play area for children, The Plough is certainly a top choice for dining with little ones in tow who will love playing while you can enjoy a drink or two in peace. The family-friendly pub is located in the heart of Prestbury and is a lovely spot for lunch or early evening dinners.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Kids’ meals are all £6 and include a drink, with choices including mac and cheese with garlic bread, sausage, chips or mash and peas, cheese and tomato pizza or fish and chips. And of course there are plenty of tempting dessert choices that kids will love, including chocolate brownie or a mixed ice cream bowl.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes, in the ladies’ toilets
For more information: theploughprestbury.co.uk

Simpson’s Fish & Chips, Priors Road, Cheltenham

Why it’s great: Voted the UK’s number one fish and chip shop in 2016, you’re sure to get a good feed when you go to Simpson’s. The family-friendly restaurant, which also offers takeaway, has a fun interior that kids and adults alike will love.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Young diners can choose from cod bites, chicken bites, scampi, sausage, beef burger or homemade fishcake, served with chips and a juice for £5.75. And there’s the option to enjoy a scoop of ice cream for dessert. The children’s menu features the character Fisherman Frank and has puzzles to keep kids entertained while they wait for their food.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes
For more information: simpsonsfishandchips.com

The Wheatsheaf, Old Bath Road, GL53 9AJ

Why it’s great: Family friendly and pubs don’t always go hand in hand but they do at The Wheatsheaf. The Leckhampton local has a brilliant beer garden that’s geared up for kids, including a play area and the fun Wheatsheaf Fairy Trail that will keep little ones busy hunting the garden.
What’s on the children’s menu?: Hungry kids will enjoy choosing from a margarita pizza, cheeseburger and chips, sausage and chips, or fish fingers and chips. The kids’ menu is £7.95 and includes a Mr Whippy ice cream for dessert.
Pushchair access: Yes
Changing area: Yes
For more information: wheatsheafcheltenham.co.uk

So there you have it for our round up of great, alternative family restaurants in Cheltenham. If you know a family-friendly dining spot with-a-twist in town that we've not featured — get in touch and we'll go and check it out!