18 Best Cafes with Playgrounds in Melbourne

The holy grail of parenting = a great cafe combined with a great playground or park (also a kid who sleeps through the night, isn’t a fussy eater etc etc but that’s all for another time).

Of course, it’s possible to BYO snacks to a playground or BYO toys to a cafe. But the perfect cafe and playground combo means there’s something for them and something for you, right?

Here’s a list of my Top 18 cafe and playground destinations, where (a) the cafe is within sight of the playground or no further than across the road and (b) the food or the playground is worth recommending.

Note this list excludes cafes that provide their own indoor or outdoor play areas – because otherwise, the list would be too long!

cowderoys dairy

1. Serotonin + Golden Square Bicentennial Park

Serotonin is a health-conscious cafe where everything on the menu is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Across the road is a park and small playground with train-spotting opportunities.

Bonus points – you can collect a picnic basket and rug from Serotonin, order from the takeaway window and they’ll bring your food out to you in the park!

Serotonin, 52 Madden Grove, Burnley

serotonin burnley

2. Curator’s Collective + Queens Park playground

Curator’s Collective is a sweet lake-side cafe within sight of a popular playground in Queens Park.

The playground could do with an update to be honest but it’ll still keep the kids amused while you sip your latte. Just beware of the pigeons – step away from your food and BAM it’ll be gone.

Curator’s Collective, 778 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds

Curators Collective Moonee Ponds

3. Cowderoy’s Dairy + Jacoby Reserve

Cowderoy’s Dairy is an old-style milk bar cafe within sight of a small playground. There’s even a cute Little Library there for book swapping opportunities.

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

Cowderoys Dairy St Kilda West 5 9

4. lux foundry + Bulleke-Bek Park playground

Serving Proud Mary coffee and a decent brunch selection, Lux Foundry is a busy warehouse café loved by locals and visitors alike.

It’s a perfect spot for families, as it’s conveniently located just around the corner from Bulleke-Bek Park Playground.

Lux Foundry, 21 Hope St, Brunswick

5. The Boathouse + Maribyrnong Park

Along the shores of the Maribyrnong River you’ll find a large marine-themed playground, a coffee kiosk and The Boathouse restaurant.

Depending on how busy the kitchen is sometimes you can order from The Boathouse menu and get it take away from the coffee kiosk.

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

boathouse maribyrnong

6. Farm Cafe + Collingwood Children’s Farm

The Farm Cafe is a brilliant little cafe focusing on local and seasonal produce (with one of Melbourne’s best milkshakes) on the site of Collingwood Children’s Farm.

Have brunch then go see the animals!

The Farm Cafe, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

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

7. Park Street + playground

Park Street offers sophisticated brunch fare in North Carlton with a back area that spills out into bike racks and a small playground.

Park Street, 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

park street north carlton

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8. Federation Square and riverside eateries + Artplay playground

Federation Square and Birrarung Marr offers many places where you can get a feed (including Chocolate Buddha, Pilgrim and Riverland). Then enjoy the sprawling Artplay playground at Birrarung Marr.

Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

Artplay playground melbourne

9. Saluministi + Buluk Park

Saluministi serves rustic Italian-style panini, coffee and sweets.

The unusual playground at Buluk Park and the beautiful Library at the Dock makes this playground + cafe combo one of our favourite stops in Docklands.

Saluministi, 892 Bourke St, Docklands

Saluministi Melbourne

10. Leroys Cafe + Paine Reserve

If you STILL need entertainment after the cubbyhouse and toys at Leroys then there’s a small playground in front of the Library and Newport Community Hub at Paine Reserve.

Another alternative café for the same playground is The Backyard.

Leroys, 5 Mason St, Newport

The Backyard, 19 Mason St, Newport

Leroys Newport

11. Hanhdorf Fine Chocolates + Montrose Community Playground

Possibly the only playground in Melbourne with an adjoining chocolate shop! Play shop at Montrose Community Playground then head around the corner for a sweet treat.

Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates, 960-962 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Montrose

montrose playground

12. The Foodrinkery + playground

The Foodrinkery is a small cafe that not only provides its own play area but opens its back gate into a large local reserve with playground.

The Foodrinkery, 22 Banksia St, Burwood

The Foodrinkery, 22 Banksia Street, Burwood

13. Cubbyhouse Canteen + playground

Cute child-friendly cafe next to a local park and playground. A more ‘grown up’ and upmarket option is nearby Gardiner and Field who also offer takeaway lunch packs (sandwich, salad and treat) that you can take to the playground.

Cubbyhouse Canteen, 43A Union St, Armadale

cubbyhouse canteen

14. Square and Compass + Fitzroy Gardens

Square and Compass boasts a light-filled interior with courtyard just a stone’s throw from the small dragon playground inside picturesque Fitzroy Gardens.

At the bottom end of Fitzroy Gardens (near Wellington Parade) there’s also child-friendly Kere Kere cafe.

Square and Compass, 222 Clarendon St, East Melbourne

square and compass cafe

15. Dumbo Cafe + Shorten Reserve

This now stylish former milk bar serves great coffee and tasty meals.

Grab your goods at the Dumbo express window and head straight over to the playground at Shorten Reserve.

Dumbo, 11 Argyle Street, West Footscray

Dumbo West Footscray

16. Wolf on Watton + Wyndham Park

A Werribee neighbourhood fave is Wolf On Watton; An all-day cafe/restaurant/bar that offers dine in or take away of specialty roasted coffee and seasonally inspired food. We recommend their popular picnic box curated from their ‘grazing cabinet’ of cured meats and boutique cheeses. 

Its proximity to Wyndham Park, which has two big playgrounds and lots of room to run around, makes it a winning combination to eat and play.

Wolf On Watton, 90A Watton Street, Werribee

Wolf on Watton Werribee

17. North Point Cafe + North Road Regional Playground

Admittedly this is more of a great playground/ok cafe combination (rather than great cafe/ok playground) but the North Point Cafe and handy kiosk make North Road Foreshore Playground an appealing stop for Bayside families.

The cafe does have a mesmerising fish tank inside!

North Point Cafe, 2b North Road Brighton

north road playground

18. Lenny + Plum Garland Memorial Playground

Grab a bite to eat at this laid back brunch café. With a lovely summer feel, Lenny is only a short walk from Plum Garland Memorial Playground on the beachfront. Here you can enjoy slides, swings and sand.

Lenny, 113 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

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I hope this post has helped or inspired you! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!

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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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