Where To Eat Out With Children In Southend

Guest Post: After five years living in Southend, we’ve tried and tested lots of local dining establishments. My daughters are not easy diners. They grow restless and impatient waiting for their food and waiting for others to finish. To make it more enjoyable for us all we always look out for fun places with entertainment for the children like play areas, toys and colouring as well as patient staff. So as these restaurants and cafes have been successful for us, they’re definitely a good bet for anyone looking for places to eat with children in Southend.

Where To Eat Out With Children In Southend

A family enjoying afternoon tea at Roslin Beach Hotel
Enjoying a family friendly afternoon tea at Roslin Beach Hotel

1. Roslin Beach Hotel

Thorpe Esplanade, Thorpe Bay, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 3BG

My favourite place to eat in Southend with or without children! The award-winning food is always superb as is the customer service and the seasonal decor. Children and families are welcomed. We have visited both in the fine dining restaurant and afternoon tea lounge with the children and they are always so accommodating with high chairs, children’s menus, amendments to the menu and colouring packs. What’s more it is beautifully located opposite the beach, which is perfect for burning off some energy after dining.

2. Ye Olde Chippy: Fish & Chips with soft play

48-49 Marine Parade, Southend-On-Sea,  SS1 2EN

You can’t come to Southend for a holiday and not enjoy the local speciality - fish & chips! What’s better for energetic children with exhausted parents than a fish and chip shop with a soft play? The soft play is quite small and suited better to younger children but completely spotless and the fish & chips are great too!

children eating a plate of fish and chips at Ye Olde Chippy in Southend
Fish and Chips at the seaside is a must

3. Grumpy’s Diner

759 Southchurch Road, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 2PP

Grumpy’s Diner is another truly family friendly restaurant in Southend. The 50s Americana decor is so fun for children, they have a great children’s menu and staff are so accommodating. They also hold character dining events during the school holidays! Be sure to try the topped hot dogs and the curly fries!

A daughter and Dad enjoying American style diner food in Southend
Enjoy the American Diner feeling at Grumpy's Diner

4. Rossi’s Ice Cream Parlour

14 Western Esplanade, Westcliff-On-Sea, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 1EE

Stepping into this historic ice cream parlour is like stepping back in time! The blue and white decor as well as the terraces make it feel like you’re on holiday on a hot sunny day but it’s also a fun spot in bad weather as they don’t only serve ice cream but also baked goods and a full menu of lunches and hearty breakfasts. 

We recommend trying the ice cream straight from the churn or the mouth-watering lemon ice. They also serve an excellent cup of tea.

A preschooler with a large ice cream in Rossi's Ice Cream Parlour
Enjoy delicious traditional ice cream at Rossi's Ice Cream Parlour, Southend

5. The Ironworks

90 High Street, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 1JN

For a casual coffee and a cake or bite for lunch, you can’t beat The Ironworks on Southend’s High Street which boasts a play area bursting with toys and often hosts local musicians and businesses with their unique items for sale. It’s a fun bustling family friendly spot for casual dining.

6. Kittea Cakes

57 Queens Road, Westcliff-On-Sea, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 1LT 

The girls love to visit Southend’s cat cafe and pet the cats! Located in central Southend, the cat cafe offers child friendly sessions to enjoy either the cafe menu or afternoon tea whilst playing with the café’s friendly cats! Make sure you book in to the children's sessions as young children can't be accommodated at other times. They offer a wide range of cat toys and usually hand you some treats to feed the cats.

Afternoon tea at Kittea Cakes child friendly booking
Cats and cakes at Kittea Cakes

7. Saxon King

160 Priory Crescent, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6QN

This is one of our favourite places to dine with the children thanks to its large outdoor play area. Part of the Marston’s Pubs chain, it’s very reasonably priced with a relaxed atmosphere and dedicated children’s menu. Their specialty is rotisserie chicken and it is so good!

8. Daley’s Coffee House

775 London Road, Westcliff-On-Sea, Southend SS0 9SU

A staple favourite with the Southend mums is Daley’s Coffee House thanks to its large play area complete with lots of toys, dressing up box and play kitchen. The play area is ideal for preschoolers so mums can catch up and enjoy their cakes, coffees and lunches while the children play.

A preschooler next to a sign saying soft play
Daley's Coffee House is great to visit with young children

9. Three Shells Cafe 

Western Esplanade, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 1EE

Owned by Adventure Island, this colourful beachside cafe is a lovely spot to sit and relax and take in the view. With seats both inside and outside, you can enjoy the lunch menu and watch (older or supervised) children playing on the beach and in the lagoon. You can also enjoy a cheeky Prosecco in the sunshine!

10. The Shoeburyness Hotel

1 High Street, Shoeburyness, Southend-On-Sea, SS3 9AJ

My favourite place for a roast! They are so good! This hotel has a beautiful restaurant with a more casual bar area, which is where I prefer to eat with the children as I feel more comfortable. They also serve a tapas menu in the bar which is perfect to share with children after spending time on the lovely stretch of beach at Shoeburyness.

A girl about to eat tapas food
Tapas in the bar area at The Shoeburyness Hotel 

Chain Restaurants

There are also a number of chain restaurants in the city which are easy when dining with children. They all have children’s menus, highchairs, baby changing and are frequented by a lot of families. Our favourite family friendly chain restaurants in Southend are:

  • Pizza Express 11 London Road, SS1 1PE
  • Wagamamas 5-6 The Broadway, SS1 1TJ
  • Nandos 24-26 London Road, SS1 1NT

About the author: Sarah has been living in Southend with her two young children for nearly five years. She is sharing her thoughts about the Southend experience including the best things to do in Southend with children in a series of guest posts on Counting To Ten. You can also find Sarah on Instagram as @The.Southend.Mummy where she has honest and relatable posts about fashion, toys and family life in London and Essex. 

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