One of the most challenging parts of traveling around is... where to have lunch, or diner without making this experience a total fiasco. You know what I mean? Your crawling baby, crawling under the tables, your toddler painting her face with tomato sauce, you not eating anything at all... and so on.
When I lived in Seoul and Beijing, what I loved is how relaxed people are with children. They seem to never be bothered by a child's presence in a restaurant. Even on the contrary, if you are coming with a child, you are welcome anywhere! I found this really enjoyable.
So relaxing! There will always be a waitress who would be happy to carry your baby around, they will prepare any meal you want for your toddler and the chef will invite her to the kitchen to show her around.
Unfortunately it's not always like this in Europe. I have never been to the United States with my daughter but I'm guessing that not all the restaurants are child friendly either.
So that's why now we think twice before we go to a restaurant. Will our daughter be welcomed as well? I'm still shocked each time we enter a restaurant and the waiter or the waitress looks at us and then asks "Table for 2 people?" Obviously we are 3 people. Children are people too.
We need to make restaurants a bit more child-aware and child-friendly. That's why I like this initiative from Bébé Voyage and Nibble+squeak:
Between October 24 and November 27, families are encouraged to dine out in 6 cities and review quality, parent-friendly restaurants. The winners will receive the Golden Bib Award. The cities include Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London and Sydney. In conjunction with this restaurant rush, there will be one group lunch hosted in each city. The first lunch is happening at Chicago's Frontera Grill on October 27. More details available here
So if you are in Chicago, nominate your favorite kids friendly restaurant. As for us, it gives us another good reason to travel to Sydney, again ;) Oh, if only we could...