Becoming a parent or officially dining as one, is some what a different experience to the lavish, beautifully selected, wine driven dinners you were once acquainted with.
And no matter how well behaved your children are or how perfectly you timed your reservation is with their sleep routine; typically, your eating out habits now tend to start with that anxious niggling feeling in the bottom of your gut, and asking yourself “would it just be easier to stay in?”
But never fear my dear mama, the Out & About Baby team are here to let you into some of Melbourne’s best kept secrets when it comes to those Child friendly (and parent worthy) Restaurants & Cafes we know you’re in desperate need to find.
So, say cheerio to yet another family night in, as say hello to a foodie’s night out (of course with the additional babycino and kid friendly menu!)
Mums, Dads, I’m here to tell you there IS a dining life after children that exists outside your local fast food chain….
Melbourne CBD & Surrounding Areas
The official foodie central. With their renowned Yarra River, spectacular street art and a quirky café in every nook and cranny, there really is something for everyone. This district has to be my personal favourite due to the abundance of culture and eccentrics … Not a place to be missed!
LEROYS CAFÉ – 5 Mason St, Newport VIC 3015
Leroys really has gone above and beyond to ensure eating out with the kids is as stress free as possible. I’m completely obsessed (and you will be too), with their ‘Lil Superheroes Menu’ that includes ‘Little’ snacks, Little Leroys Lunch choices and Little Leroys Drinks!
Who doesn’t love a ‘Secret Garden’ Courtyard?! Step into a special dining world that provides a massive chalkboard, an abundance of toys and plenty playing equipment.
Leroys has your back, so you needn’t worry about pram access or highchair availability! And your menu choices are just as exciting with an array of local produce to keep your tummy’s beyond satisfied.
GAZI – 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Perhaps you’ll choose to dine in and take advantage of their highchairs and spacious booth seating? Or maybe you’ll prefer to utilise their takeaway options and enjoy a meal in the Treasury Gardens? Either way Gazi is a must!
Explore their sharing dishes, get messy with the kids and dare to indulge in their irresistible Honeyed Doughnuts. This is one place that really does pride themselves on both an unforgettable menu, service and location.
+39 PIZZERIA – 362 Little Bourke St Melbourne 3000
“Started by six friends who have their stomachs in Melbourne but their hearts in Naples” … With a statement like that, it’s save to say this welcoming restaurant will cater for all your Italian food needs! A lively venue with a bustling kid friendly atmosphere.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any dedicated baby changing facilities but there are ample amounts of highchairs available. Prepare to walk out with a fuller than full tummy! You have been warned.
TRUNK DINER – 275 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This American Style diner is your official venue for all year round! They have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner, inside, outside all day every day…
Sit back, relax and feast on a juicy burger while the children burn some energy running wild in the garden.
Classic Melbourne weather? No worries! Trunk Diner has thought of it all with hours of indoor colouring in fun. So be it a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, rest assured you can expect a kid’s menu, pram access and high chairs galore.
MR BURTON – 199 High St, Ashburton VIC 3147
Visualise those days when your desperate to socialise with the outside world to prevent imploding before 10am. This relaxed venue is your official sanctuary! So, throw your hair up, vacate the house and get your serious caffeine fix girl!
With a relaxed restaurant that prides itself on ingredients sourced from local businesses and farmers, who can say no to breakfast, lunch or dinner?
And of course, this wouldn’t be your official sanctuary without a designated kids area on the premise! I’m talking black board with chalk, pencils and paper, as well as numerous toys to enjoy in the courtyard. So sit back, sip up and don’t forget to take advantage of their famous babycinos for the little ones!
Highchairs available, easy access for prams and an extensive kid’s menu to complete your family friendly sanctuary.
COLLINGWOOD FARM – THE FARM CAFÉ – 18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Just 5k outside of Melbourne’s CBD you’ll find this huge secret escape of gardens, animals, rivers and more.
What better way to build up an appetite than to wander the gardens, visit the sheep & mingle with the horses and ducks. Let’s be honest; what’s more appealing to a child than running free and tiring those little legs out….
This is the perfect excuse for a family day out! The Farm Café has tonnes of entertainment with engaging activities and if sitting inside the café is just too ‘bland’ then how about opting for the catered picnic.
Open 7 days a week from 9am on weekends and 9.30am weekdays. So, pop those gum boots on and prepare to have fun!
Fresh produce, hot coffee and a chance to get up close and personal with nature’s wonders.
FEDERATION WHARF, FEDERATION SQUARE
Federation Square is home to several beautiful restaurants, Bars & Cafes that surround some major cultural attractions to keep the whole family entertained. An area not to be underestimated.
PILGRIM BAR – Federation Wharf, 15-19 Federation Drive, Melbourne VIC
Pilgrim Bar has a relaxed waterside vibe and is the ultimate place to laze and graze all year round while letting your little darlings watch the boats and cyclists ride along the river side.
The venue also specialises in boutique Australian wines and a seasonally-inspired menu to keep the adults happy too. And don’t forget to ask about cheese toasties or Napoli Pasta that’s just perfect for the kids.
With high chairs, paper for drawing and a disabled toilet with change facilities, this place is a family must.
ACMI CAFÉ & BAR – Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The ACMI is Australia’s national museum for film, television, video games, digital culture and art. They offer an exhibition which is the perfect activity for a family day out. And once you’ve soaked in all the culture, you can head on over to their Café which is right next door.
This venue is the perfect indoor all-rounder, offering high chairs, easy pram access, changing facilities and an extensive menu for the little ones at $12 a dish!
Desperate for a coffee and cake fix before you enter into the craziness? No worries, the café opens at 8.30am!
RIVERLAND – Federation Wharf, 1-9, Melbourne VIC 3000
Riverland Bar is a stress-free waterside pub that’s perfect for a low-key Sunday afternoon.
Maybe your craving a family day out to enjoy some fun in the sun or perhaps it’s time for dad to collect some brownie points and take advantage of their ‘Loaded dog & pint for $20”. Surely that’s incentive enough to start on daddy day care?
Nevertheless, with a yummy serving of kid’s Fish & Chips, children will be demanding a day out!
And of course, with easy accessibility to high chairs and plenty of changing facilities who could say no? Safe to say this venue will suit the whole family and everyone’s needs…
ST KILDA & ST KILDA EAST
St Kilda is just 6k from Melbourne’s CBD, offering some wonderful, (and often family run) restaurants. There’s also beautiful parks and playgrounds and don’t forget their one-off boutique shops. Spend hours just absorbing the culture and venturing down to the beach to build some epic sand castles.
ILONA STALLER – 282 Carlisle St, Balaclava VIC 3183
Ilona Staller restaurant is your absolute go-to family spot! Who can say no to an impressive menu that doubles up as a puzzle page for the kiddies. And if that wasn’t enough to get you through the door, then the incomparable $12 popcorn chicken and chips (with ice cream for dessert) sure will!
And with a yummy cocktail list and irresistible slow-braised lamb shoulder, I think you just found the perfect dining out choice for mum, dad and co!
REPUBLICA -10/18 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda VIC 3182
A bustling beach front venue with a crisp industrial interior. With a range of live music featured in the courtyard, it’s the perfect go too for that summertime fix!
With an activity complete menu and plenty toys for all; it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back and enjoy a well-deserved cocktail! And with easy pram access they really do have all your needs covered.
MR WOLF – 9-15 Inkerman St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Mr Wolf is the ideal Friday night treat! With its bustling vibe and larger than large tables, you can relax when it comes to the dreaded noise levels! Rest assured your family’s madness can blend right in…
This restaurant is your absolute go-to for a fun filled family night out. With the doors opening at 5pm, feeding the little ones has never been easier.
In addition, their cuter than cute “Wolf Cub” menu has all the bambinos covered.
And if you’re lucky, you might even get a bite of their COMPLIMENTARY sundae if ordered by 6.30! That is of course, if you don’t treat yourself to your own…
And being your number one spot, you better believe they have all your needs catered for when it comes to pram access and high chair availability.
So what are you waiting for?
Have we proved yet that it IS possible to have some fun out with your family around a dinner table? So, what are you waiting for? Take a chance on your children! You never know… they might surprise you, or they won’t! But at least you would have selected the best restaurant for it!
Care to share your fun filled experiences?