17 Best Child Friendly Cafes & Restaurants with Outdoor Play

When the sun comes out we like to head out to head outdoors to eat and play. And while there are plenty of child-friendly cafes in Melbourne with outdoor play, many of them serve so-so food.

So here’s my list of the top family-friendly cafes (in no particular order) with great food and an outdoor play space or adjacent playground within sight from the cafe. Click here for the best family-friendly cafes with indoor play. 

Bookmark it, save it, print it and tick off the list with your kids. Bon appetit!

1. Serotonin Burnley

Cafe focusing on healthy, raw and organic food where the cafe seats are SWINGS. Plus a great train-spotting playground across the road.

Serotonin, 25 Madden St, Burnley

serotonin burnley

2. The Farm Cafe Abbotsford

On site cafe at Collingwood Children’s Farm with a seasonal, produce-driven menu.

A particularly popular spot when the monthly farmers markets are on (every 2nd Saturday of the month).

The Farm Cafe, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

The Farm Cafe, Collingwood Children’s Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

3. Leroys Newport

Sunny courtyard with a cubby house, undercover sand pit and great food.

Leroys, 5 Mason St, Newport

Leroys Newport

4. The Boathouse Maribyrnong

Lovely spot situated on the banks of the Maribyrnong River at Maribyrnong Park. Our kids love the expansive nautical-themed playground next door.

The Boathouse, 7 The Boulevard, Maribyrnong Park, Moonee Ponds

boathouse maribyrnong

5. Fig and Walnut Seddon

Cosy cafe with courtyard and a sophisticated menu. 

Fig and Walnut, 11-13 Bellairs St, Seddon

Fig and Walnut Seddon 5

6. Stables of Como South Yarra

The restaurant group behind Eastern suburb favourites Porgie + Mrs Jones, Snow Pony and Friends of Mine are the people behind the cafe, so you know the food and coffee will be top notch.

Run around the grand gardens of Como House or there’s a playground just outside the gates.

Stables of Como, Como House and Gardens, cnr Williams Rd and Lechlade Ave, South Yarra 

The Stables of Como South Yarra

Find Hotels and Airbnbs near South Yarra, Melbourne

7. Saluministi Docklands

Fantastic Italian paninis looking out onto the playground at Buluk Park and just a few steps from Library at the Dock.

Saluministi, 892 Bourke St, Docklands

saluministi docklands

8. Cafe Heide Bulleen

Our go-to lunch stop after every Heide Art Bubs session.  Purchase a picnic box and enjoy the sculpture garden.

 Cafe Heide, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen

9. Cowderoy’s Dairy St Kilda West

Retro milk bar turned cafe with visibility of the playground next door from the deck.

Cowderoy’s Dairy, 14 Cowderoy St, St Kilda West

Cowderoys Dairy St Kilda West 5 9

10. Duchess of Spotswood Spotswood

At the ‘Duchess’ you’ll find a British-inspired menu with a leafy courtyard and spacious cubby house filled with toys.

Duchess of Spotswood, 87 Hudsons Rd Spotswood

duchess of spotswood

11. Aintree Cafe Rockbank

At the hub of Woodlea Estate is Aintree Cafe, a social enterprise cafe with an amazing adventure playground on its doorstep. Worth a special drive!

Aintree Cafe, 27 Woodlea Blvd, Rockbank

Go West, Woodlea, 27 Woodlea Boulevard, Rockbank

12. Park Street Carlton North

At Park Street you’ll find sophisticated all-day dining with a playground on its doorstep.

Park Street, 815 Nicholson St, Carlton North

park street north carlton

13. Mister Fox Ringwood

Mister Fox in a cafe inside a golf clubhouse with great food at suburban prices, plus a spot of putt-putt golf for the kids.

Mister Fox, Ringwood Golf Club, 352 Canterbury Road, Ringwood

Mister Fox cafe

14. Sunshine Social Sunshine West

An old servo is converted into fancy chicken shop with a decked out cubby and ride on toy.

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Rd, Sunshine West

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

15. Two Brothers Mitcham

At Two Brothers you’ll find an inventive brunch menu in the burbs with a kid-friendly outdoor courtyard at the back.

Two Brothers, 558 Mitcham Road, Mitcham

Two brothers mitcham

16. Brother Hen Moonee Ponds

Two chefs, some chooks and an undercover courtyard with toys makes a for a fantastic family-friendly space. 

Brother Hen, 154 Pascoe Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds

brother hen

 16. Station Hotel Footscray

The Station Hotel is a Footscray gastropub serving some of the best steaks in Melbourne with the added bonus of an outdoor beer garden with cubby house and play kitchen!

The Station Hotel, 59 Napier St, Footscray

Station Hotel Footscray 3

Notable out-of-town mentions:

Hungry Peacock
TOT cafes outdoor play

Click here for the best child-friendly cafes with an indoor play area.

Click here for the best family-friendly cafes in Melbourne

Click here for the best cafe + playground combos

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About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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