Melbourne's best family-friendly eateries
You don't have to leave behind the kids when you jet off on a holiday. If you're heading to the Victorian capital and are wondering what to do in Melbourne with the tiny terrors in tow, you'll find plenty of obliging cafes and restaurants who are most happy to accommodate your whole family. Here are some of the best.
Mr Wolf is a restaurant, bar, function venue and takeaway pizza joint all rolled up into one beloved St Kilda package. The eatery turns 10 this year, and to celebrate it's hosting plenty of fun events of the next few months, so now is the time to get down to Mr Wolf and see what all the fuss is about. Best of all, you don't have to worry about a babysitter - kids are most welcome here. They've even got a very special time slot dedicated to their younger diners, with a kids pizza, ice cream sundae and colouring kit available for $12 between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each night. There are high chairs for the tiniest members for your family, and friendly staff to keep everyone happy.
As for the adults, you'll be spoilt for choice with a menu consisting of antipasti, pizza, "not pizza" and salads. The insalata maltagliata sounds particularly divine, consisting of chopped rump steak, ricotta, mixed leaves and basil.
Birdie Num Nums
With a child-friendly covered courtyard complete with sandpit, toys and plenty of room to move, Birdie Num Nums is a frazzled parent's dream come true. Located in Carlton North, the food here is delicious and the prices are reasonable, with changing facilities and kid-friendly menus making this a haven for young families.
Let your little one munch on a ham and cheese croissant while you relax with a coffee and a smoked salmon bagel, taking some much-deserved time out. If you are trying to encourage your youngster to eat a little more creatively, the kids menu here should do the trick. Choose the avocado and Vegemite soldier, yoghurt cup or get adventurous with the pasta, napoli and parmesan dish.
"Mr Wolf is a restaurant, bar, function venue and takeaway pizza joint all rolled up into one beloved St Kilda package."
This Brunswick cafe is a classic in the making, with fresh coffee made from Industry Beans, a varied, interesting menu and a real focus on making sure kids and parents alike are welcomed with open arms.
The staff are inviting and happy to accommodate small children, bringing pencils and paper to occupy them. The little ones' menu includes gnocchi and cheese, bacon and egg on toast and mini muesli, while the adults can enjoy generous dishes such as potato, parmesan and rocket pancakes with autumn mushroom fricasse, steamed lemon spinach and polenta popcorn. There are also slices, biscuits and other sweet treats to satisfy your cravings.
There are high chairs onsite, a change table in the bathrooms and plenty of space to push the pram around.
Where to stay
Melbourne's got plenty of superb holiday accommodation options for you and your brood. Try Mantra on the Park for an apartment-style hotel right in the heart of the city. Choose a spacious two or three bedroom option and enjoy the convenience of self-contained living, with room service available for those nights when you don't feel like going out. Take the kids to the indoor heated pool or pack them up for a day at the Melbourne Zoo.
Mantra on Little Bourke is great for small families who want two rooms to spread out and relax in. There's even a child minding service on request to help give you a break when you need it most.