Kids’ meals should be more than just chicken nuggets and chips. These restaurants, cafés and pubs are making nourishing, interesting food that little people like.
Post, COMO The Treasury, Perth
It’s rare to see a kids’ menu that isn’t covered in deep-fried options. This casual yet polished all-day osteria serves up pasta with a choice of tomato and basil, cream and parmesan or bolognese sauces. Otherwise it’s a Wagyu beef cheeseburger or simple grilled fish, roast chicken or seared beef fillet.
Corner St Georges Terrace and Barrack Street, Perth; (08) 6168 7822
The Henson Hotel, Sydney
The separate, subterranean kids’ play area goes a bit Lord of the Flies sometimes but at least parents get a bit of peace. When you can extract them from the play space, little ones can munch on veggie spring rolls, rainbow salad and nachos with baked corn chips and sugo sauce. The Henson also does great milkshakes including berry and white chocolate and salted caramel, and all kids’ meals come with grapes on the side.
91 Illawarra Road, Marrickville; (02) 9569 5858
Patch Kitchen and Garden, Adelaide
Kids are well taken care of at this friendly, locally focused cafe. Little ones can snack on tzatziki with carrot sticks or hand-cut sweet potato crisps with sesame salt and yogurt or pop in for apple, almond and vanilla bircher muesli for brekkie. Between bites there’s plenty to play with including chickens, a cubby and a sandpit.
143 Mt Barker Road, Stirling; (08) 8339 8087
Butcher and the Farmer, Sydney
This friendly eatery at The Tramsheds might be best known on social media for its decadent maple-bacon croissant but kids are well catered for at all meals. Highlights include house-made pork sausage, mini steaks and chicken tenderloins and, for an extra $4 they’ll finish the meal with a few scoops of vanilla ice-cream.
Shop 7, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge; (02) 8629 8800
Daniel San, Sydney
Beachside eats in a cool, colourful setting. The Karate Kids menu for little ones includes tuna and crab inari sushi; avocado, tuna or cucumber mini maki rolls ; and Japanese sausage with chips or veggies. But there are few kids who wouldn’t want a look-in at the adults menu, too, which is packed with kid-friendly favourites such as fried rice, tempura and Korean fried chicken.
55 North Steyne, Manly; (02) 9977 6963
Fratelli Fresh, NSW
Fratelli Fresh outlets are ubiquitous in Sydney so residents are sure to have one nearby that either is a family favourite, or set to become one soon. Menus vary at each restaurant but there’s always a solid selection of kid-friendly – and kid-sized – options such as simple margarita pizza or penne lamb ragu.
Cowderoy’s Dairy, St. Kilda
This café/milkbar mashup in the backstreets of St. Kilda serves up cute kids’ lunchboxes packed with they can pick at as they play – a cheese toastie, popper juice, choc freckle, sultanas and fruit. Great value at $9.50.
14 Cowderoy Street, St Kilda West; (03) 9537 2601
Mrs Browns Bar and Kitchen, Brisbane
The kids’ menu might be short but it’s a cracker: the kitchen will whip up a warming chicken dinner with chips and veggies or deliver a simple margarita pizza from neighbouring Gianni’s Kitchen. Adults can tuck into stuffed portobello mushrooms, sweet and sour lamb ribs or crisp skin braised pork belly.
32 Commercial Road, Newstead
Metz Cafe, Launceston
Trust Tassie to do a kids’ menu with the same devotion to fresh, local produce applied the rest of the menu. The meals at this central Launceston café include is filled with wholesome foods that will still interest little stomachs, including Tasmanian eye fillet with greens and crisp potatoes and fresh-caught fish with house-made tartare.
119 St John Street, Launceston; (03) 6331 7277