Like it or not, your dining habits change when you have kids. It can be exhausting for both little feet and frayed adult temperaments when pounding the city pavement, trying to find a decent place to eat in. But that doesn’t mean you need to forgo going out and hide at home. So to remove some of that parental anxiety we have we skipped and hopped our way around the Sydney CBD and compiled a list of our favourite family friendly dining options covering coffee spots, places to get a cool (insert alcoholic) drink or a cheap and delicious feed for your entire family.
You could almost spend a whole day wandering around The Rocks area of Sydney – that is if the little people who rule your life would let you!
When those little tyrants give you too much grief, a good sport for a quick refuel is at The Fine Food Store – it’s probably one of the best coffee’s in the Rocks too.
If you need something more substantial to eat then your best choices are Pancakes on the Rocks or the Munich Brauhaus (formerly known as the Lowenbrau Keller) where kidlets can munch on healthy and not so healthy items, whilst they are being entertained by an Oom-pah band!
Your best bet for kid friendly dining in the ultra-busy Circular Quay is City Extra. This place is open 24 hours, has a kids menu as well as colouring, and relatively clean bathrooms – including a baby change table.
I’m also a big fan of the cafe inside the Museum of Contemporary Art up on the terrace. They have lunch box options on the menu and on a sunny day, it has fantastic views of the harbour. And if that’s not enough, then you can also give the kids a dose of culture while you are at it!
Shopping with kids isn’t always that fun, so here are some ideas of places that you can chill out in before you tackle the shops again.
If you are looking for food around the Westfield on Pitt St, a good option for breakfast, lunch or dinner is Fratelli Fresh as it has a decent kids menu, good pram access and it is close to the loos and parents rooms (pictured above). As an added bonus their banoffee pie is to die for. One of my all time favourites.
In the Galleries on George Street you will find my favourite book shop Kinokuniya which has a fab kids section (and the best collection of fashion and art books if you are that way inclined), and they have rotating cafe pop ups that have previously included Black Star Pastry and instagrammer Baked by Andres.
And by far, the best baby change facilities in the city are in the MLC Centre. It’s a little out of the way up in Martin Place (unless you are shopping at Prada and Chanel. HA!) but worth the 2 minute walk. Quiet, loads of space and immaculately clean. The good news is that The QVB has also recently upgraded their baby change rooms if you are in an emergency.
Hyde Park is a great place for little people to chase the local bird life and also blow off some steam after being trampled upon by busy commuters in the city centre.
The very pretty Metro St James, is located at the front of the park on Elizabeth St, and is a delightful spot to recharge the batteries in – Think Paris meets New York subway where kids will be fascinated by the mega chess game that takes place in front of the café.
Across the other side of the park you will find the No. 1 William at the top of the Australian Museum (pictured at top). It is a great place to unwind with kids, as it has heaps of space, great views over the city and a yummy kid’s lunch box to fill little bellies. High chairs, baby change facilities are also available in here.
DARLING HARBOUR/KING STREET WHARF
There are so many places to eat in the Darling Harbour precinct. Our new favourite spot is Yots Café on the outside of the National Maritime Museum. This lovely laid back café has a great kids menu, space for prams, toilets with baby change facilities, and a big connect 4 game to keep boredom at bay.
And if the day has got all too much for you, we thoroughly recommend Bungalow 8 down on King St Wharf. This bar/pub is a place for the young and beautiful to hang out in by night, but on weekends you will find weary families in here relaxing over a cold vino or beer and they make yummy ice cream sodas for the little people. They have a decent kids menu that doubles as a colouring sheet, and also on Sundays there is entertainment for kidlets.
Last but by no means least on our list is Manjit’s on the Wharf . A delicious, slightly more upscale option for dinner on the Wharf that is extremely accomodating for families and the food is delicious! Ask the team for recommendations for some of the best indian food you will find in the city.