Finding a family-friendly place to eat in Yellowknife can sometimes be challenging. Currently, the Northwest Territories does not allow minors in any licensed establishment, where food isn’t the primary product. This means that families are not able to dine together in any pub or bar in Yellowknife.
For this article, we are looking at establishments that are family-friendly and open for dinner service. We thought we would also exclude fast-food establishments, coffee shops and take-out only eateries as we have another article listing those places or want to focus on places that specialize in sit down dinner service.
So if you are looking for a local establishment that is family-friendly for dinner in Yellowknife, this article is for you.
Some might remember Diamante’s, located in the Range Lake Strip Mall. Stake Restaurant is the reincarnation of that restaurant. They have a focus on fine steaks and accompanying sauces, along with a sleuth of other food options.
Long-time owners of the building on Range Lake Road opened Copperhouse in 2018 and while one side does feature a licensed lounge, the family-friendly side provides a modern style restaurant for families dining that also includes a view of the giant pizza oven in operation. And now with a patio for those hot summer evenings.
Thorton’s has gone through a couple of iterations over the years, with it’s most recent featuring a new patio right on 51st street during the summer. Thorton’s has traditionally focused on modern and upper scale small dishes, but that doesn’t mean the whole family can’t enjoy those plates.
Coyote’s Bistro on Franklin
Coyote’s Bistro on Franklin is also the second iteration of the owner’s vision of a restaurant with the original location in what is now Copperhouse. Now located on Franklin Avenue it is very family forward. Catering to many longtime Yellowknifer, as well as those visiting from the northern community. Coyote’s is also centrally located between many hotels.
Trader’s Grill in Explore Hotel
Trader’s Grill in the Explorer Hotel is much is exactly like a what you would expect from a homey hotel restaurant but with the comforts and style of the North. A large window looking into the Boreal Forest and a giant fireplace to keep you warm in the winter. The menu also pays homage to the North with dishes such as elk, bison, local fish and Arctic Char.
Quarry Restaurant in the Chateau Nova
The hotel restaurant, which might seem like an option only for hotel guests, is open to the general public and is a family-friendly option. It is a large restaurant with a high ceiling and lots of room for big families if needed.
Elke’s Table on 47th
Elke’s is a small and quaint restaurant, almost like a bistro on the main floor of what looks to be a regular house (so don’t miss it when you stroll by). The chef/ owner focuses on German-Mediterranean cuisine but also local fish and chips, along with homemade desserts. The restaurant is small so either call ahead if your party is larger than 4 people. In the summer you could also enjoy the patio/picnic tables outside (with evening sun).
The famous restaurant for its delicious local fish and chips and salad dressings has grown up in recent years from it’s haphazard and chaotic beginning to be the memorabilia ridden walls and ceiling hotspot for visitors and residents. Commonly a treat for local, it is family-friendly but with only 36 seats total inside making a reservation is definitely adviced, especially during fall and winter.
YK Hot Pot
A shared dining experience isn’t all that YK Hot Pot provides, but it is the centrepiece. This restaurant allows visitors and residents the chance to try the Chinese delicacy of hot pot.
A cult favourite amongst many Yellowknifer, Zehabesha came only the Yellowknife food scene in 2012 and introduced Yellowknife to Ethiopian food. Family-friendly so much so that kids will love the idea of sharing their dishes and getting to eat with their hands. Found on the corner of 50th Street and 51st Avenue.
Korea House might be the only Korean inspired restaurant in town, but don’t let that stop you from trying a dish or seven. Styled like a cafeteria/take-out joint, meals do come out quick and eating in is encouraged. Also located on 51st Avenue, diners can try dishes such as bibimbap, bulgogi and stews like kimchi and tofu.
Also styled like a cafeteria/take-out joint, Sushi North was the first sushi restaurant in Yellowknife and still thriving to this day. Located above Sutherlands Drugs on Franklin Avenue, they also provide a local spin on their combos with an Aurora Set and YK Set.
Sushi Cafe also located on Franklin Avenue, but further south provides a dining room with table service that is dimly lit creating an ambiance that encourages guests to stay for a long time and thoroughly enjoy their time there. An added bonus to your meal is the accompaniment of sake, but only for mom and dad.
Savannah’s Family Restaurant
Family-friendly and family-run. It isn’t unusual for the whole family to be working the floor at Savannah’s to make sure everything is running smoothly. The restaurant is a Somali-inspired family eatery on Franklin Avenue that opened in 2019. Guests will recognize things like curry and injera but will be blown away from the spice diversity.
For a time being Boston Pizza might have been one of the only places in Yellowknife where families can dine. With the added bonus of a kids menu it was pretty easy, but maybe a little repetitive for parents who might want to try something new once and while.
One of two Chinese restaurants in Yellowknife that offers a Chinese buffet for dinner. Located on Franklin Avenue in the Discovery Inn building, Red Apple also offers an a la carte menu of both American-Chinese and western dishes.
An underground staple for many years, Mark’s also offers a dinner time Chinese buffet and a la carte menu of both American-Chinese and western dishes. The entrance can be found in the parking lot of the Scotia Centre building
Gold Range Bistro
A classic in Yellowknife squeezed in between the Gold Range Hotel and a now-empty building, the Gold Range Bistro lays claim to having the largest eggroll ever, along with many other western and American-Chinese menu items.
Taste of Saigon
Taste of Saigon is one of two Vietnamese Restaurants in Yellowknife, located on 50th Street towards Frame Lake. Known for their speedy service, you will find many vermicelli dishes along with a selection of Pho.
Vietnamese Noodle House
The other Vietnamese Noodle House located on Franklin Avenue just up from the Red Apple has been a staple in Yellowknife for well over 20 years with many locals having their favourite dish number memorized so they can order quickly upon return.
Wild Cat Cafe
While only seasonal, open from the end of May to September that Wild Cat Cafe is most certainly family-friendly, and even embraces the idea of communal dining. So even if you didn’t show up with a family, you might end up with one anyway. One big happy family, and potentially on the beautiful patio overlooking Back Bay of Great Slave Lake. Dishes are meant to hold to true to the originals of the historical restaurant by being northern inspired as well as economical.
Did we miss a restaurant? Has one closed? Contact us and let us know so we can keep this article as accurate as possible.