Our favourite child-friendly places to eat out in Melbourne
Here are our favourite child-friendly places to eat out in Melbourne
Our offices are in located in Melbourne and I have spent many weekends trying to find some nice places to hang out without being stared at when one of my children has a meltdown. Some of these places have also doubled as office space when this mamma needs to have a meeting with other business savvy mums and mum helpers, so I know they have what it takes to keep little explorers happy for at least 1 precious hour.
Although our city is bursting with cafes and restaurants that offer some of the country’s best meals, unless you find a place with friendly staff that is willing to spare a few marshmallows to keep a tiny costumer happy, most families prefer to stay at home or do takeaway—but it shouldn’t have to be like that.
Here are our favourite places. They are perfect for just a quick coffee, a business meeting with another fellow mum, or for long brunches with friends.
Birdie Numb Numbs Café
745 Nicholson St
This spot is ideal for Saturday or Sunday brunch with friends and family. Get a large table, order your coffee and enjoy five minutes of peace and quiet while the little rascals play in the sandpit and explore the café’s toy collection.
This place was named after the Peter Sellers film The Party—and when you walk into the back courtyard on a busy day you will feel that you’ve arrived at a kids party, so be prepared. Birdie offers good food, great coffee from Toby’s State, and a well-designed space for our tiny dictators.
If you don’t have kids or prefer to keep yours out of the sandpit, then stay at the front of the café and have a less hectic experience.
100 Gipps St
With its great beer and its giant 30 tap bar, people sometimes forget that this beer hall is perfect for families with kids.
Enjoy a wood fired pizza or an over-sized burger with chunky chips with your children and then let them explore the place and make new friends in the cubby house.
Arrive early and snatch a highchair. If your tiny human doesn’t like the idea of spending his afternoon playing with other kids, ask the friendly staff for some colours and paper.
Oh, before we forget, did we also mention that they have beer ice-cream? A must if you are an ice-cream connoisseur.
Mr & Mrs Anderson
398 Tooronga Rd
Here at The Mum Source we love a good park and café combo. Mr & Mrs Anderson, the brainchild of chef Lasse ‘GD’ Povslen, who was trained in Denmark and has worked in some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, is one of our favourite stops to explore on weekdays. After a good play at Anderson Park we like to sit in this cosy blue and white spot and order a poke bowl (one of the best we’ve tried), Vietnamese coffee, and one of the items from the kids menu (the eggs your way with toast and bacon is great value for your money). If you like Asian-inspired flavours this is the place for you and your tribe.
101 Bowen St
Another park and café combo sits in leafy Bowen St. This place ticks many boxes. The food is great, they have plenty of highchairs, they provide plastic cups, and they have lots of toys to keep your children happy for at least the time it gets for your coffee to get cold.
If you are just looking for a hot drink and cake, you should look no further. The magical creations of chef Vivian include an indulgent apple-shaped caked with white chocolate, watermelon cake and other concoctions that could make a pretty neat challenge for the MasterChef finale.
The only downside is that there is a TV in the toy area and it usually has Peppa Pig on. You can ask the staff to turn it off, or you just can enjoy 10 minutes of ‘me time’.
We recommend you share the cake with your child first and then head to the park to make sure the sugar rush doesn’t hit on the way back home.
132 Camberwell Rd
When we went inside with our two kiddies we thought it was going to be a long… long brunch, but we were so wrong. There is enough space for the prams, lots of highchairs, a fantastic kids menu (although ours were happy with the quinoa and broccoli balls) and super friendly staff. The pixelated avocado is a must for the Instragram-loving mamma and the matcha waffle is a cheeky breakfast for those with a sweet tooth. Many people are unaware that right behind the café is the Fritsch Holzer Park, perfect to explore after a delicious meal.
Toot Toot Toys
637 Centre Rd
Don’t be fooled by the shopfront. This toy shop has a café at the back with lots of trains and tracks for kids to explore while their exhausted parents drink a well-deserved coffee or tea. Don’t expect a full breakfast, just sit, relax and let your little ones play for a while. The only downside is that sometimes you will end up leaving the shop with a new train or car for your child’s collection.
230 Wellington Parade
Fitzroy Gardens Visitors Centre
Toasties, coffee, and cake, oh my! Although KereKere Green is more Alice in Wonderland than Wizard of Oz, it is the perfect spot for those exploring Fitzroy Gardens or the Melbourne Museum.
Lots of toys, generous babycinos served in plastic cups, and an open area with benches where the little ones can make a bit of noise and enjoy their lunch without upsetting other customers. The helpful staff will also come to your rescue with a free marshmallow if your little person is having a meltdown.
When you finish, explore Captain Cook’s Cottage, the sandpit or the playground. KereKere is one of our favourites for the weekend.
The Farm Café
18 St Heliers St
The next door neighbour to Abbotsford Convent and the Collingwood Children’s Farm is perfect to start your weekend adventure. Finish breakfast, pay your entry to the Children’s Farm and spend the rest of the day exploring and learning about life in the country; or, if it’s Saturday, go to the convent and explore the markets. With so many stalls, exhibitions, gardens and musicians, you’re sure to spend a great day while your Mini Me is kept entertained.
If you go to this café, try to steer away from the so-called kids lunch box. When we went it contained an old ham & cheese sandwich, grapes (not halved! Not peeled!), and a chocolate and popcorn dessert. A waste of money because my kids couldn’t try two of the three items—grapes and popcorn are a choking hazard for toddlers. We ended up ordering toast and scrambled eggs for them—and they loved it!