When you've got kids and complex dietary requirements, life can get pretty tough. And, when a good weekend is spent eating good food and drinking good booze, finding places to eat and drink can be a little harder.
We said hard, but not impossible! For those in need of family friendly and tummy friendly restaurants and cafes, we've created this list of places to go this weekend.
And, trust us when we say that even if you don't, you'll wanna visit anyway!
Nestled in the heart of Auckland’s Northwest burb of Riverhead, Hallertau Brewery is the best reason to take a sunday drive out for lunch and drinks! Pull up a stool in the bar while you watch the brewers hard at work, brewing the very beer you’re sippin’ away on. Or, find a spot outside in the Biergarten, soaked in sunlight during the day and festoon lights at night and observe the chefs in the open kitchen create your delectable dishes with fresh produce grown on site! Craft beer lovers can enjoy an ever-changing list of hand-crafted beers, our favourite— the Copper Tart, an Irish red pale ale or if you’re into something a little different, give the tangy seasonal Jealous Plums sour beer a whirl! Hallertau’s sensational beer list isn’t the only thing worth the drive for. Their menu has something to tickle every tastebud. You’ll find sharing plates like beer brined pork belly with pickled fennel and apple fritters and wood fired pizza or hearty salads like the pulled chicken with roasted cauliflower, onion jam, feta and roasted pine nuts! Parents can relax with a brew in hand while the kiddo’s burn off some energy in the outdoor play area, equipped with a giant connect four board and rock climbing wall and even a chicken coup! If you’re after the perfect family day out, then Hallertau needs to be at the top of your list.
Allergy-ridden peeps rejoice! This super-styly spot has a delectably, flexible menu to suit every dietary requirement! We're talkin’ gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and free range. Think vibrant acai bowls, GF matcha waffles with bacon, caramelised bananas, mascarpone and maple syrup. Vegetarian, dairy free, free-range kimichi fried rice and gluten free, dairy free, wheat free poke bowls with sashimi grade salmon, seaweed, pickled ginger & sesame seeds on quinoa rice. Drooooooool. Situated in trendy Herne Bay, Dear Jervois nails the rustic chić look with its mismatched furniture, cool hanging lights and beautiful greenery. If you’re all abroad the health and well-being train, then this little spot is the place to visit for your next brunch date or function.
Need a coffee fix? Or after a bit of a carb load? Then Sandringham’s Petit Bocal is the place to satisfy your cravings! This cosy little French café makes one of the best coffees in town! Their super friendly staff will greet you with a smile as you walk through the door and their uber-talented “fantail barista” absolutely nails coffee art! Each cup is creatively decorated to make your hot beverage just that little bit extra and his fluffies are a hit with the kids! And, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, the freshly-baked counter top pastries are hard to say no to! Savoury muffins and chocolaty croissants are the perfect accompaniment to your perfect coffee, leaving you feel perfectly satisfied!
Woah! Studios | The Grounds
Let’s face it. Taking kids out to eateries can be hard work. And this is where The Grounds Steps in. Hidden away out West in Henderson, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how awesome Woah! Studios’ is! They’ve opened up a studio, restaurant and adventure playground all in one. This is one truly epic place, designed with kids in mind. The Grounds is the name of their super delectable family style restaurant— their menu consists of sharing plates that kids and adults can enjoy together. And, their sprawling playground was designed by movie set designers complete with a rainbow hand crocheted play net! And, after lunch you can pop into the studios to check out a pantomime. This place makes for a seriously fun day out for the whole family!
Boric Food Market
Heading back North West to Riverhead, Boric Food market sits right on the corner of the highway and is another fab family-friendly location for dining out! Boric is a whole foods-style supermarket and eatery all in one. There’s no menu as such, instead a mouth-watering selection of cabinet treats— sweet and savoury. They also cater to people with food intolerances, so there’s plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free options for those of us with sensitive tummies! Their coffees are top notch too! But the best part? Their farm-style playground. Fully equipped with a big old tractor and wooden grocery store, for the ultimate playtime.
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews