Just because you have kids doesn't mean you have to sacrifice great food! Here's a list of our favourite family-friendly places to eat in The Ridge.
1. The Big Feast - 227th St. Maple Ridge
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that The Big Feast earns the top spot on this list. The restaurant's owner, Mike, puts his heart and soul into every last detail of this great little bistro. From locally sourced ingredients, to healthy kids meals and a children's play area, he has thought of it all.
"Little Feasts" are $7.50 and include the main course, fruit, a cookie and a juice box. The coolest part? The meals come in a cute little bus-shaped tray! On top of that, the main course options are drool-worthy, even for adults. Grilled peanut butter, banana & chocolate sauce sandwich, cheesy eggs & toast fingers, french toast, grilled cheese, tomato penne, mac & cheese, and a Hopcott's burger. Kids under two can order an "itty bitty feast" for $4 and indulge in apple puree, banana rings, grated carrots, and cheerios. Colouring sheets are provided if your kid's not feelin' the play area.
My daughter has always LOVED the feasts for little people - we've been bringing her since she started solids. It is SO awesome that you don't have to pack anything, even for your baby!
Worried that they forgot about the adults? Don't be!!! The menu is incredible, the ingredients are the freshest out there and the coffee is spot on. The Big Feast was even featured on Season 3 of You Gotta Eat Here!... and you really do. Go check it out.
2. Bruce's Country Market - 240th St. & Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge
Our second favourite place to eat is Bruce's. My daughter has actually done her chores for a bowl of their hearty salmon chowder! As a parent, my favourite thing about Bruce's is the speed. The food is always fresh, but since there is no sit down service you can be in and out in no time.
On top of that, there are enough options to please even the pickiest of eaters... made-to-order sandwiches, four daily soups/chillies, salads, breakfast options, bagels, croissants,... My personal favourite is the $7.99 lunch special, which ranges from lasagne with garlic toast and a caesar salad to a smoked salmon wrap with fried and fruit salad. The dinner specials (~$15) are equally as awesome - wild sockeye salmon on Thursdays and Saturdays, prime rib on Fridays, and free-range chicken on Sundays. All include side dishes, coffee or tea and dessert.
Every time we visit Bruce's we are reminded of how lucky we are to live in a community which has so many awesome local businesses. If you stop by for a meal be sure to pick up some fresh seafood for your next home-cooked meal. You won't be disappointed.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you to take the kids to see the boat out front! My daughter never lets me forget!
3. Runway Cafe - Pitt Meadows Airport
Two things that every kid loves - chocolate chip pancakes and airplanes. Enough said.
Ok, ok, maybe you want to hear a little bit more... The cafe is located inside the Pitt Meadows Airport terminal building. It's super neat because it has a patio which overlooks the airport's two runways. We have made some awesome memories plane watching and enjoying a snack or lunch. My favourite was watching a plane bring in a sign that read "Catherine, will you marry me?" So cool. I hope she said "yes".
The food is great too! If you are a lover of Lunch Doctor on Harris Road then you know exactly what I'm talking about. The sandwiches are made-to-order and are served on freshly baked bread. There are way too many options of toppings to list here. The homemade soups are just that - home made. None of the canned crap that you will be served at other restaurants around town. And my hubby's favourite part? Breakfast is served all day long. Lazy weekends - here we come.
The kids meal options aren't exactly at the top of the health food list but they aren't bad either... pancakes (with or without chocolate chips), grilled cheese, hot dog, Kraft Dinner, etc. Last time we were there they came served with a frozen yogurt pouch, which was pretty cool (no pun intended)!
4. Home Restaurant - 21667 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge
When you're in the mood for comfort food there's no better place than Home Restaurant. Their homemade pies, turkey dinner, and traditional bacon and eggs will make you feel right at home. And you aren't gonna believe this... anyone can order off the senior's menu. Yep. Anyone. My dream come true. Now there really isn't a reason to grow old... except for that whole "wiser with age" thing.
As for kids - their meal includes a drink and a wobbly jello dessert, which my daughter thinks is pretty cool. Meal options include: turkey dinner, wacky macky, little logger breakfast, and more! All are around $6. Kids under 2 can order a pancake, mashed potatoes or mac & cheese for free! Boosters and highchairs are available and colouring sheets are provided.
5. Kingfishers Pub & Grill - 23840 River Rd, Maple Ridge
Yearning for a dinner date but can't find anyone to watch the kids? Kingfishers is your best bet. They've definitely got the best view in The Ridge. It's riverfront location allows for much entertainment - fishing boats, tug boats, and even the occasional seal or sealion can be spotted while dining from the gorgeous patio.
And, I know it's hard to believe but it is possible to (responsibly!) enjoy local wines and craft beers with your meal, even with your mini me's in tow!
They don't offer a dedicated kid's meal but they have always been able to offer our daughter and our friend's kids something that will satisfy their little bellies. They have items like chicken fingers, yam fries, fish tacos, pasta, etc. that may be appealing. And, yes, they have a few highchairs.
From Monday to Thursday there is a $10 lunch special and brunch is served from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
So, that's our Top 5! We often find ourselves complaining that there aren't many options around town but if you look around there are MANY hidden gems.
A couple of great spots that deserve recognition, despite not making this list, are: The Billy Miner (kids are allowed in the cafe side and the pizzas are incredible), The Ranch Pub & Grill (check out the awesome daily specials and meet the horses while you wait for your food), and Delizie Italian Bistro & Bakery (amazing locally-sourced meals, scrumptious treats and friendly service).
Did we miss your family's favourite? Leave a comment below!