You may have swapped pub crawls for pediatricians, but that doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to a life of Peppa Pig re-runs. With these kid-friendly cafes in Sydney you can have your (banana & walnut) cake and eat it too!
If you want to convince the rug rats that your constant recollections about “the time you could fill a paper bag with chocolate bullets and lolly teeth for 50c” are real then make your way to this inner west milk bar. You may never be able to persuade the kids that NKOTB were the superior boyband to 1D, but let them loose at the help-yourself cordial stand and then give them a taste of your childhood classics like caramel banana split, toasted jaffles or pre-Paleo mac and cheese. You’ll definitely prove how great “the good old days” really were.
The Grounds of Alexandria
The founders of this industrial warehouse turned family-friendly eco-complex must have been inspired by the old proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Maybe that’s why they’ve enlisted the help of a myriad of kid-friendly distractions to keep the brood behaving. These include a picket-fenced playground with a chalk-graffitied playhouse and kids swing, free-roaming chickens, a weekend petting zoo and occasional gardening classes. It is however also completely possible that they had a sneaking suspicion that even grown adults would find it hard to resist the charm of a cute onsite pig called Kevin Bacon while devouring a freshly baked bacon and egg brioche.
Small by name, even tinier by nature… This teensy Sydney café tucked behind Balmain’s bustling Darling Street caters to the little people. As well as a welcome chalk container to encourage your mini Monet to get creative on their footpath, this café offers a basket of blankets for you to borrow, and will deliver your order to the Gladstone Reserve which it is situated opposite. Yes, according to Little Marionette, it appears entirely possible that a day out with your clan can indeed be “a picnic in the park”
Not only being super popular with local inner city dwellers and the businesses in the area, Three Williams is also perfect for the family who want one of Sydney’s best brunches, but don’t want to struggle when they bring the kids along. As well as offering a convenient ramp for those with prams, pram space and a dedicated kids compartment (Willy’s Corner) full of toys, the mini-mes will love the menu which includes mac n cheese with green slime, chip pies and babycinos.
Travelling with kids can be a real beach… But that’s not necessarily a bad thing for those who dream of a day trip and decide to swap the sticks for the shoreline at this sand-side café. With several under-8s approved eating areas (The outside wharf deck, front entrance or the the lawn in front of Station Beach) and a shabby chic décor that alleviates your “they’ll break something!” anxiety, we bet all (okay, most) road trip complaints of “are we there yet” will be swiftly forgotten with one family photo against this amazing backdrop.
Pool, playground and poached eggs with sage burnt butter and crispy paprika crumbs. The peeps behind Meadow cafe in Surry Hills, built into the hill next to Prince Alfred Park Pool, have established the trifecta to keeping tiny tots entertained. With endless fields and a healthy kid-friendly menu (including a bonus free babycino), we’re guessing it’s really the parents who will find themselves in paradise…
This café is home to all the cool kids – and we don’t just mean the handlebar moustache and plaid bowtie type either. If you’re literally the parents of an offspring in the 12 month to 12 year age bracket, we suggest you head west and mingle with the other mums at this no-longer-unknown neighborhood nook. It’s raucous, it’s rowdy and it does ridiculously good chocolate-chip cookies.
Tell the kids you’re taking them to grandma’s, but re-route from the retirement village and head here instead. While the iPad offered menu might give it a modern taste, the focus is definitely on old-school flavours. The recipes are delicious, traditional and fresh – exactly the kind their grandma used to make.
Gather On the Green
The grass may look greener for parents who watch their baby-free buddies effortlessly enjoy their breakfast, but this café opposite Camperdown Oval, proves that food really can be a family affair. The colouring pencils and snuggly complimentary rugs are sure to impress the pre-school pack. Fido, Rover and Spot can get their H2O fix from the outside water bowl and a menu of local, sustainable and consciously-sourced foods made on site (such as raspberry upside cake, Moroccan lamb, roast capsicum, harissa and rocket sandwich and pressed pork, apple, mint and iceberg salad) will help with anyone else who just wants to get their ethical eat on.
Image: The Grounds of Alexandria