Six of the Best Kid-Friendly Cafes in Melbourne

By: Katie Oliveira da Silveira, ellaslist

There are no two ways about it: mums need their coffee. And they need their coffee in a place where the very sight of their kids won’t send the café staff into a panic-induced spin! So here you have it, folks: six of the best kid-friendly cafes in Australia’s coffee capital, Melbourne. Each of these not only serve a serious latte, but have an open arms policy when it comes to the little tackers.

1. Cowderoy’s Dairy

This place is something on an institution for many an inner-Melbourne parent – and not just because it sells lolly bags. It started many moons ago as a dairy shop and has blossomed over the years into a cozy, vintage-style, milk-bar and café that is a total magnet for young families and coffee seekers who love a pretty latte. Now, while Cowderoy’s Dairy delivers a fabulous home-inspired menu, the true beauty of this place lies in its location. Literally right across the street from Jacoby Reserve and a hop, skip and a jump from the foreshore, the kids can happily run off their milkshakes while mum sips her chai. Heaven.
Where: 14 Cowderoy St, St Kilda West

Cowderoy's Dairy Melbourne

2.Happy River Café

With some unmistakable eastern influence, this favourite among locals combines Balinese batiks with some killer modern Western cuisine. The Happy River Café boasts a gorgeous view and prides itself on making everyone welcome – especially the kiddies, with an outdoor area perfect for little legs to run and play. Cozy, and with a distinctly inviting vibe, this is a must-visit if you find yourself in the area with your kids.
Where: 45 Moreland St, Footscray

Happy River Cafe Melbourne

3.The Farm Café

If you’re after an activity as well as a café, The Farm Café is an absolute gem. Situated adjacent to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and only a few kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, this family-friendly café is just made for unwinding. This café is a very popular venue for kids parties, with excellent catering options, tonnes of grassy space to play, and of course, adorable animals lolling about. With earthy décor and a great menu for kids as well as adults, this will undoubtedly be one the kids beg you to return to.
Where: 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

The Farm Cafe Melbourne

4.Brighton Schoolhouse

In beautiful Bayside Melbourne, Brighton Schoolhouse never fails to disappoint for coffee or lunch with the kids in tow. Upon arriving at the stoic nineteenth-century building, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were going to lunch with Queen Victoria. But, once you enter the Brighton Schoolhouse, the atmosphere is warm and inviting – a gorgeous place to get cozy with the kids on a wintery day. There is plenty of space for kids, with kid-purpose areas designed to keep them entertained. And the food? Well, you’ll find there is something at Brighton Schoolhouse for everyone – with a particular emphasis on organic produce and healthy eating.
Where: 19 St Andrews Street Brighton

Brighton Schoolhouse

5.Iron Henry

Well, actually we mean Iron Henry and his junior, Little Henry’s, which is the name given to the dedicated kids cafe area upstairs. Much like a kindergarten, the Little Henry area is packed with toys and entertainment for young kids, and serves up some mini shakes in vintage bottles that are too cute for words. Iron Henry, and Little Henry’s is especially suited to parents with preschoolers and kinder-aged children. This is a brilliant place to base yourself for a nice, long coffee – or three!
Where: 480 Neerim Rd, Murrumbeena

Iron Henry Melbourne

6.Cubbyhouse Canteen

With tonnes of space, an adjacent playground and a café so friendly that kids can order their own drinks and snacks, this place is a winner among many-a-Melbourne-mum. Renowned for putting together a ripper sandwich and catering to vegetarian needs, this a great casual place where you could easily while away a few hours with the kids. At the Cubbyhouse Canteen you have the option of outdoor seating or you can simply cruise about the park, coffee in-hand, while the kids burn some energy – or perhaps while bub naps in the pram!
Where: 43A Union Street, Armadale