Six of the Best Cafes near Playgrounds in Sydney
Mums & Bubs
By Zoe Crane, ellaslist explorer
As a mum there is nothing like sitting down and enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, or a carefree hour spent with friends chatting about how adorable your kids are. Unfortunately this is also a fantasy that exists only in the minds of ad execs selling instant coffee and people-that-don’t-have-kids. In reality it is possible to ignore the banging, wriggling, singing and shouting for attention for only so long. But there is a solution.
We bring you six of the best cafes near playgrounds. Now your need for caffeine doesn’t have to come at the expense of your kids desire to expend more energy than a nuclear explosion.
1. Centennial Homestead Pantry, Kitchen & Wisteria
The swanky restaurant and more casual cafe at Centennial Homestead pretty much overlooks the main playground. They have a kids menu, or you can grab a gourmet picnic hamper and have an al fresco lunch in perfect view of the swings. If the playground is a non-negotiable just head around the back of the restaurant to the pantry. With a new renovation and menu, they are now serving a bigger selection of hot food, all of which comes from the same kitchen as the café, and is much easier on the hip pocket. They also have gourmet sandwiches, fruit and yoghurt and are super child-friendly with staples like organic fruit pouches and kids’ juice boxes. All meals are served in take away boxes, so you can grab a table outside or head to the playground just a few metres away. Speaking of the playground, it’s a good one with plenty of shade, a large sand pit and lots of equipment to keep the kids amused. Officially part of Centennial Parklands, although it is a short drive away, is The Shed, with a few tables overlooking the huge Queen’s Park playground. There is equipment for both younger and older kids, and a safety fence around the lot. The food is delicious, there is a kids menu, and they are also open for dinner on Friday and Saturdays.
2. The Boathouse, Balmoral Beach
The Boathouse epitomises Balmoral Beach . With beachside-chic décor this stylish, you owe it to your Instagram account to come here, but there are plenty of families and it doesn’t come across as unwelcoming. The prices are more “let’s go somewhere nice” than “grab a bite to eat” and there is no kids menu, but the food is delicious and you deserve a treat now and then. Though it overlooks the beach, you can’t actually see the playground from the restaurant, but all food is available take-away.
3. Sydney Park Kiosk, St Peters
The menu here is described as gourmet snacks, salads and kids toasties. The Kiosk supplies blankets and sunscreen for those wanting to picnic by the playground just moments away, and Sydney Park Playground is no ordinary playground. There are slides and swings and bridges, sand pits and water play and a huge bike and scooter track complete with realistic road signs. Make sure you get a large coffee, you could be here for a while. The kiosk also caters for kids parties for between $10 and $16 per child, and can even arrange balloons, cupcakes in your theme and entertainers. It couldn’t be easier.
4. Livvi’s Place Café, Five Dock, Marsden Park, Willowdale & Ryde
The Livvi’s Place playgrounds are a place for children (and adults) of all ages and abilities to play side by side and caters to hearing, vision and mobility impairments and those with autism spectrum disorder. The playgrounds also encourage adults to play alongside their kids. The Livvi’s place cafes serve delicious Campos coffee and yummy bakery goods, with a portion of profits going back to the Livvi’s Place foundation, and the aim is to employ people in the community with a disability at the café making it a win-win-win situation. A good coffee for a good cause, what more could you want.
5. The Teahouse at Camellia Gardens, Caringbah
There are two playgrounds in Camellia Gardens, one for toddlers and one more suited to over threes. While the charming Teahouse Café is not next door either, they serve a regular menu as well as high tea or Devonshire tea overlooking the gardens. For kids they have a kids’ menu and colouring, or there is a take-away menu, which is also a little cheaper if you are ready to head straight for the playground. Don’t miss the kids high tea picnic box if you are picnicking, it is as pretty as it is tasty. While you’re at it, pick up some duck food which they sell at the café, and take the kids to the over to the pond to feed the ducks.
6. Armoury Wharf Café, Olympic Park
The Armoury Wharf Café is right next to Blaxland Riverside Park, touted as the biggest playground in Sydney. Choose views over the Parramatta River or outdoor tables overlooking the climbing ropes at this café that has kids at its heart. There is a kids’ menu for breakfast and lunch, plastic cups and plates and drawing books and pencils provided. Take-aways are available so you can head to playground proper, and on weekends they have opened the new Canteen to try and keep up with the number of families grabbing a quick coffee for a long play. Olympic Park is also host to the Café at Waterview, about 30 metres away (across the road) from another playground and the bike track.
A special mention has to go to The Tuckshop at Glenhaven, serving up delicious meals including one of Sydney’s Best Burgers which you can carry to the playground just across the carpark. You can even borrow a blanket and make a picnic of it.
Jan 10 2016
great list - few I had forgotten about - thanks!
Nov 06 2015
The Camellia Gardens in Caringbah is my absolute favourite place to take my three year old - and myself!! The playgrounds are both lovely, the cafe is good but it's the stunning gardens and fabulous winding pathways with gorgeous and lush trees, flowers and plants that enchant little ones. Little creeks, ponds, ducks with lots of ducklings, orchids blooming and sumptuous green grass - it really is heavenly! I thought it was my secret - but now you know!