Six of the Best Special Treat Cafes and Restaurants for Kids in Sydney
By Zoe Crane, ellaslist explorer
While most people don’t get out to nice restaurants quite as often as they did before they had children to look after, introducing those kids to culinary pleasures brings more joy than you could have imagined back in those heady “going out whenever you wanted to” days. If the daily routine is starting to wear you down, why not treat yourself to one of our favourite kiddie-date spots.
1. The Tea Salon, CBD
A day in the city can be a really special treat for kids, with so much excitement happening everywhere you look. Any time of year shopping in the huge Westfield or the new H&M can be fun then head to the top of Sydney Tower for 360 degree views before you are ready to collapse with a wine.
Luckily for you, right in the middle of all this is The Tea Salon, one of Sydney’s best high teas for kids. Located on level four of the huge Westfield Sydney complex, kids can order scrummy scones or sandwiches, or indulge in the kids high tea including a chicken and mayonnaise sandwich, choice of scone, mini rose pannacotta topped with fairy floss and a drink (try the children’s tea) for $19.95. You’ll also deserve a treat for yourself by this point, and the adults high tea for $39.95 is perfect, or choose the sparkling high tea with a flute of bubbly for $49. They also update their menu to fit the season, so if you’re battling winds on the streets, then relax and indulge in a menu suited to warm up these windy days!
The Tea Room at the QVB also does a delightful high tea, though there is no dedicated kids menu. If you end up closer to the rocks, The Langham offers kids half servings of their famous afternoon tea for half the price and the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay also does a kids high tea for $32.
2. The Junior Lunch at the Opera House, Circular Quay
Undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most famous icons the Opera House is sure to impress. There is an excellent program of shows for kids running year round, while during school holidays they host the interactive behind-the-scenes Junior Tour and a free creative play program. They also offer The Junior Lunch during school holidays. As part of the Junior Lunch promotion, special kids’ meals are offered at all of the family-friendly restaurants along the waterfront, so you’ll not only get a delicious meal but some of the best views in Sydney. See all the restaurants that offer this spectacular deal and their menus here!
3. Catalina, Rose Bay
If you are ready to introduce your children to fine dining, Catalina might be just the place. Describing themselves as “an iconic fine-dining family venue” they are more welcoming of kids than most restaurants of their calibre. They offer highchairs and a change table in the bathroom, added after owner Judy McMahon became a grandmother and welcomed families with open arms. While mains run at around $50 each, kids can eat for about half that. This is serious fine-dining so kids are asked to remain at their tables and there is no room for prams. But for a special birthday or other celebration, foodie kids will be blown away. Lunch or an early dinner is a good option to take advantage of the water views.
4. High Tea, Boronia House
Continue this delicious and elegant tradition in the grand colonial mansion on the lower North Shore- Boronia House. As you sip quality T2 tea, you can look over lush parklands as grand chandeliers dangle above you. Indulge in sweet or savoury, brought to you by Boronia’s executive chef Emmanuel Herrera. The Little Ladies menu for 3-12 year olds includes home made cookies, chocolate fondues, pancake stacks, fairy bread and more… straight from a little girl’s dream. Available 7 days a week.
5. Burnt Orange, Mosman
The beautiful old sandstone building and expansive lawn overlooking the harbour make a visit to Burnt Orange feel like a special treat, even if you are just here for a coffee. There is a fantastic lunch menu with delights like linguini with blue swimmer crab or house smoked ocean trout, and a kids’ meal which includes a main course, cookie and a drink for $15. They serve cakes and scones for afternoon tea and a high tea by reservation for $35 or $45 with a glass of sparkling. Stop by their shop on your way out, with plenty of pretty things for adults and kids alike.
Another special mention for afternoon tea in the same area is the Gunner’s Barracks which has a divine high tea for grown-ups and offers a kids menu during the week plus a kids cream tea which includes a scone with jam and cream and a drink for $8.
6. Bather’s Pavilion Café, Balmoral
The beautiful Bather’s Pavilion has long been a glamorous place to sip wine and indulge the tastebuds overlooking the white sands of Balmoral. But a few years ago they opened the Bathers Pavilion Café adjacent which meant patrons could now bring their kids to enjoy the experience too. The café is more casual and more reasonably priced than the restaurant, music to any parents ears, and the kids menu has both simple options like fish and chips, as well as smaller versions of their regular menu for more adventurous little eaters, like steamed mussels or seafood risotto. After a yummy meal, you’re sure to be enticed into the ocean, so bring along your bathers for a refreshing dip afterwards.
7. The Teahouse Camellia Gardens, Caringbah
Camellia Gardens is just as pretty as a picture, and The Teahouse café is no exception. Sit on the veranda and enjoy the brunch or lunch menu, or treat yourselves to high tea (bookings required). You can even bring your own wine or champagne with no corkage. For the kids there is an all-day menu plus a special Mad-Hatter’s tea party menu for $20. There is also a playground near the café where you can take one of their gorgeous kids’ picnic packs.
A few more options
While most fine-dining restaurants in Sydney would not exactly be classified as family-friendly, a few are very welcoming to kids and are perfect for a special treat for little and big people alike. Ormeggio at the Spit in Mosman truly appreciates the Italian tradition of a family meal and welcomes kids at all hours. But if you’re having dinner at “family hour” adults can take advantage of the specially-priced sunset tasting menu and also catch the gorgeous sunset views. Another special mention goes to Pilu at Freshwater with outside tables and plenty of space, awith the beach and a small playground nearby if it all gets too much.