Today’s guest post is from Joyce of TOT: HOT OR NOT . Her blog is my go to place when looking for kid friendly anything in Melbourne and Regional Victoria. Joyce gives you honest reviews from the places she visits and activities she does with her two kids.
I have to say I don’t hit the cafes with kids as much as I used to as they are all at school, but I love knowing places to go when I am meeting friends who have little ones with them. Joyce very kindly agreed to put together her top 12 list of child friendly cafes in Melbourne to share with readers of Planning With Kids – thanks Joyce!
I like to eat out A LOT and having kids hasn’t really cramped my style – more changed it! Now eating out is less about funky bars and fine dining and more about ordering babycinos and seeking out high chairs.
Fortunately Melbourne has plenty of restaurants and cafes that offer great food in family friendly surroundings. Whittling down to a Top 12 list was hard – my main criteria was that the food had to be so good that I’d go even without kids!
Here it is – my tips for the VERY best child friendly cafes in Melbourne, in no particular order.
Go West brings an inner city vibe to the suburbs with a stunning light-filled cafe in a yet-to-be-completed housing estate in Rockbank. The menu is very on-trend and generously proportioned and there’s plenty to offer kids even though there’s no specific kids menu. Change facilities, high chairs and colouring-in are available. A big bonus is the huge adventure playground across the road – the kids won’t want to leave! Full review.
Go West, 27 Woodlea Boulevard Rockbank
2. District North
District North’s pandan pancakes are one of the most instagrammed brunch dishes in Melbourne – though there is also a specific kids menu. The cafe has lots of pram space, high chairs, change table, a big blackboard for drawing, colouring-in sheets and even a little ‘District Kids’ pencil case if you ask nicely Full review.
District North, 678-680 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
3. Din Tai Fung
You’ll find the best xiao long bao in Melbourne right here. The spacious dining area has loads of room for prams and high chairs and they’ll even provide plastic crockery and cutlery for the kids without asking. An army of dumpling masters ensures that your food comes super-fast and the open kitchen provides visual entertainment for the kids. If you need it the excellent parents room is on Level 3 of Emporium. Full review.
Din Tai Fung, Emporium Melbourne, Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
4. Truck Stop Deluxe
Where else can you eat burgers inside a truck? The burger masters behind Grand Trailer Park Taverna and Motorhome Majestic bring amazing burgers and shakes to Werribee in a space that’s filled with trucking paraphernalia. They also provide little activity packs for kids and a kids menu which is generous enough for adults! Full review.
Truck Stop Deluxe, 98 Watton Street, Werribee
Shhh don’t tell the kids the food is good for them. Dive into Serotonin’s menu of healthy, paleo, raw, sugar-free, dairy-free food and discover that healthy can be delicious. They have high chairs, a kids menu and books and colouring-in on request…but the main drawcard is that the cafe seats are SWINGS. Plus there’s a great train-spotting playground across the road. Full review.
Serotonin, 25 Madden St, Burnley
6. Green Park Dining
Excellent Spanish-inspired menu (including kids menu), amazing pastries and a shelf of picture books and toys for the kids. The bonus is the council playground adjoining the back entrance so you can sip your latte and watch the kids play. It’s bike and dog-friendly too! Full review.
Green Park, 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
7. Phat Milk
This cafe looks tiny from the outside but head around the back entrance and discover an outdoor, undercover play area with a sandpit, small plastic climbing fort, a coffee machine and even ride-on tricycles. The food is inspired by the owner’s Lebanese heritage and they serve some of the best falafels I’ve ever had. Full review.
Phat Milk, 208 Mt Alexander Rd, Travancore
8. The Farm Cafe
Gorgeous open-air and semi-sheltered cafe at Collingwood Children’s Farm. The menu is seasonal and produce-driven – I highly recommend the creamy milkshakes and their healthy salads. Explore the farm before or after and meet the chickens, pigs, sheep, horses and goat. Plus there are monthly farmers markets every 2nd Saturday of the month. Full review.
The Farm Cafe, Collingwood Children’s Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
9. Cafe Vue at Heide Museum of Modern Art
This Shannon Bennett cafe is our must-do after every Heide Art Bubs session. Inside and outside there’s room for prams and high chairs and while there’s no specific kids menu my kids love the cheese toasties. On a sunny day grab a take away lunch box and relax on the lawn of the expansive sculpture garden. Full review.
Cafe Vue at Heide, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen
10. Foxtrot Charlie
Head to the back of this funky Brunswick cafe for a light-filled room and a basket of toys to raid. There’s also pram access, high chairs and an inventive menu with a few kids options. Full review.
Foxtrot Charlie, 359 Sydney Road, Brunswick
11. Brighton Schoolhouse
Brighton Schoolhouse has one of the biggest cafe play areas I’ve seen, with toys, a slide, see-saw, double swing and sandpit – it’s even fenced! As for the food, check out their schoolyard pun-filled menu and St Ali coffee. Full review.
Brighton Schoolhouse, 15 St Andrews St, Brighton
12. Stables of Como
An excellent cafe within the grounds of Como House with food and coffee that’s top notch – the menu focuses on local, sustainable produce and try their baked sweets especially! They have high chairs and pram access plus there’s a fenced playground just outside the gates with views down to the Yarra. Full review.
The Stables of Como, Como House and Gardens, cnr Williams Rd and Lechlade Ave, South Yarra
Joyce Watts writes TOT: HOT OR NOT a family travel blog that helps families to explore the best of Melbourne, Regional Victoria and beyond. She lives in inner city Melbourne with her mini reviewers and food critics – 5 year old Lady AB and 3 year old Baby 2.0. You can follow their adventures and discover more places to go with kids on Facebook and Instagram.