Eating with kids can be a tricky proposition. But for every bar or fine-diner that doesn't want you and your clan, there are plenty of cafes that do. These heroes won’t just tolerate you – they’ll deliver your breakfast and coffee with a genuine smile. Here are our favourites.
If your kids are bookish, try this popular West End store that comes with a cafe nook out back. Small and quiet, it’s the perfect hideout from the buzzy chaos often found on Boundary Street. Fetch a book and an Avid blend espresso, and maybe share a cupcake with the shortcake. You can even host your own story time, with an adjacent speciality bookstore for younger readers.
193 Boundary Street, West End
(07) 3846 3422
House of Hygge
Be like the Danes and let your children roam free. House of Hygge’s play area boasts a stove, giant chalkboard and circus tent, to keep minds and hands engaged while you sip on a single origin (Cleanskin Coffee Co) and try the smørrebrød (an open-faced rye bread sandwich). For morning tea, the kids’ pack is as well-rounded as the Scandinavian social system, with a toastie, fruit, yoghurt and orange juice for $10.90.
245 Boundary Street, West End
(07) 3844 8158
Sassafras Canteen is an old Paddington favourite. It’s long been a go-to for families in the inner west, in part thanks to the tiered backyard, which for kids comes off like a mini forest. There’s a tasty kids menu, which includes melted cheesy vegemite fingers; peanut butter and smashed banana; and eggs, bacon and toast – all for under $10. Dinner is served in the garden Thursday through Sunday, children catered for with mini bangers and mash and calamari and sweet potato fries.
88 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
(07) 3369 0600
Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters
With heritage charm, a pram-friendly backroom and a generous backyard, this former general store is a popular spot for young Bardon families. The cafe prides itself on herb garden and vegetable boxes, so kids have an opportunity to see firsthand where their food comes from. There’s also an assortment of toys for playtime, while parents can take it all in with an immaculate Store Keeper’s Blend coffee (produced at Neighbourhood’s roastery in Sumner Park). For eats, share a house-made strawberry milk with a smoked ham, glazed fig, cheese and rye bread toastie.
58 Rainworth Road, Bardon
(07) 3367 8501
Situated across from Yeronga State School, Evo Espresso is the perfect stop before or after school. It’s home to a generously sized AstroTurf courtyard (complete with shade sail), where kids can run amok with the family dog. The cafe deals in a custom Belaroma blend (espresso or V60 pour-over), backed up by quick, affordable eats. Apart from the usual suspects such as avocado on toast and bacon and eggs, there’s granola, slices, frittatas, pies and sausage rolls.
100 School Road, Yeronga
0434 933 689
The Soul Pantry
Like Evo, The Soul Pantry understands that AstroTurf is the perfect, no-fuss play surface for tiny humans. The outdoor cafe with adjoining botanical warehouse has plenty of it. The garden retreat boasts Two Seasons coffee, and sweet treats and sorbets from the local suppliers such as Jocelyn’s Provisions and NomNom Gelato. Umbrella-covered timber settings provide the shade, while beanbags, an oversized abacus, wooden toys and upturned dinghy provide the fun. There are even kids’ workshops on offer, where they can learn to build and care for their own terrariums. A big green thumbs up.
Unit 1A/19 Kelvin Street, Newmarket
07 3352 7777
Bring your kids and your pets to this laidback local. The northsider boasts the best babycino in Brisbane and a “Deer in Residence” called Cecil (prolific on the cafe’s Instagram feed). For lunch, kids have a simple choice between a ham and cheese toastie; toast with fried egg and bacon; or fresh fruit salads for a healthier alternative. Other drawcards include the malted milkshakes (vanilla, caramel and chocolate) and super smoothies (try the Queenslander with mango and banana).
159 Hamilton Road, Wavell Heights
(07) 3180 2389
Steam Train Espresso Bar
Health-conscious families, take note. There are plenty of vegan, gluten- and dairy-free offerings such as banana bread, chia pods and açaí bowls at this small spot on Arthur Terrace. There’s also a chalkboard, books and toy box for the kids. If you’re on the go, just text your Fonzie Abbott coffee order ahead, and take a pram stroll to nearby Woolcock Park. Easy.
94 Arthur Terrace, Red Hill
0434 914 972
Other kid-friendly cafes we recommend: