Kids under Six are Welcome
The Cayman Islands isn’t on the opposite side of the world from North America, but it is on the opposite side of the debate about whether children should be allowed in restaurants.
While restaurants in Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and other locations are discouraging or banning children and heated debate has shown up on numerous blogs, Cayman takes a different attitude. As the owner of the The Wharf Restaurant, a water-front fine dining establishment, proclaims, “We love our children.”
As a destination, the Cayman Islands sees a large percentage of family groups. The heart of tourism here is water sports which is easy and appealing to family members of all ages. The local restaurant scene has adapted accordingly. Many restaurants offer children’s menus or portions. And kids are welcome everywhere.
Another child-friendly restaurant is Al Fresco. Manager/owner Philip Wilson says, “We try to work with the children.” The adult menu at this small waterfront establishment is elegant, and the staff have caught on that elegant isn’t necessarily what children want. So they have added chicken tenders and French fries to the menu especially for kids. That way, the whole family can enjoy an evening of dining without either side having to compromise.
At The Wharf, assistant manager Reno Mancini, says “We have an elaborate children’s menu – kid’s steak, breaded shrimp, pasta. They don’t eat the vegetables so we took that off the [kid’s] menu.” Mancini points out that children and families are a big part of their business. The restaurant sees families return several times during a week’s vacation because the children enjoy watching the nightly tarpon feeding, they can play with other kids on the outdoor decks, and the families even interact and become friends. If children are fussy, the restaurant has a quiet room inside where parents can take the children for calming them down or even feeding them.
Plain pasta with butter or a simple marinara sauce and chicken fingers with French fries are common on kid’s menus in Cayman. Chefs have learned that kids on vacation want familiar foods – fish and chips or spaghetti with meatballs let the child be an inclusive part of the eating out. Other restaurants offer their regular menu but with smaller portions for the smaller set. High chairs and booster seats are also widely available.
No matter what age your youngsters are, Cayman dining is a family friendly and child-friendly place. From fine dining to fast food and even gourmet ice cream shops with child portions and menus, children are welcome in the Cayman Islands.