Brisbane has long been a family-oriented city so it makes sense its restaurants readily accommodate children. In the Queensland capital with the clan? Here’s where to head.
George’s Paragon can feel old-fashioned but that’s exactly why it’s so well suited to children. The place is carpeted, the kids’ menu extensive and, if the sprogs are that little bit older, main meals are half price before 6.30pm. The accommodating service, fabulously fresh seafood and brilliant views of Brisbane River do the rest.
1/10 Eagle Street, Brisbane; (07) 3211 8111
Victoria Park Bistro
Recently relaunched, the Victoria Park Bistro has zeroed in on the young families who live in the area (and like to play a round on its 18-hole golf course) with a classy menu pushing wood-fired pizza and rotisserie chicken. You get to sit and enjoy the bucolic location and views of the city, while the kids mess around in one of Brisbane’s better playgrounds. There’s a dedicated kids menu and a fabulous late-night mini-golf course on-site if anyone has any energy left after dinner.
223 Herston Road, Bowen Hills; (07) 3252 0666
Eat Street Northshore
The major player in Brisbane’s night market scene, the bold and brassy Eat Street Northshore hums on weekends with families catching a river breeze while eating, drinking and watching live music. You can’t go wrong here, with food ranging from simple calamari and chips right through to Vietnamese and Chinese dumplings. If the kids deserve a treat, take them to twin outlets Double Good and The Doughnut Bar for outrageous soft serves and doughnuts.
221D MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton; 1300 328 787
The Pineapple Hotel Restaurant
Queensland’s nuanced liquor licensing laws have put extra pressure on the big multi-venues that used to dominate Brisbane. But it means only the good ones continue to thrive and the Pineapple Hotel is one of the very best, its restaurant boasting a menu of refined pub grub alongside a lengthy steak list. The inspired touch, though, is the playground right out the window; you focus on the food, the kids focus on the fun.
706 Main Street, Kangaroo Point; (07) 3393 1111
Sandstone Point Hotel
Sandstone Point Hotel (pictured top) is well worth the 50-minute drive north of the city. An enormous venue with two eateries, a bar and function rooms, the killer feature is an enormous grassy embankment with views out towards Bribie Island. It’s handy to wear out little legs — all you need do is decide where to dine in the meantime: at the bistro with its classy, seasonally driven menu; or the more casual Oyster Shed on the water with a spread of fish and chips.
1800 Bribie Island Road, Sandstone Point; (07) 3475 3001
Cowch Dessert Bar
Arrive early at this dessert cocktail bar on Grey Street, before the international students who live nearby close their books and go large on the pearl berry sundae bowls. Little travellers are probably best silenced with the kids’ menu — some baked churros, perhaps, or a dessert pizza. Afterwards, they can colour in the menu, or you can haul them a block over to South Bank to sprint off the buzz.
179 Grey Street, South Brisbane; (07) 3844 1559
With all the comings and goings on Brisbane’s restaurant scene, Mecca Bah remains a firm favourite for its casual approach to produce-driven Moroccan cuisine and its skill in looking after the whole family. If you want to go all out, book the kids in for a 90-minute pizza-making class — a pizza buffet, ice-cream and fairy floss are all included.
21/1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley; (07) 3252 5299