If constant trips to the Spur are starting to take their toll (although it’s hard to beat their R30 breakfasts, two-for-one Monday burgers and free kids’ meals on Wednesdays), here’s a list of child-friendly restaurants in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, where grown-ups can relax and enjoy themselves while the kids do too.
This article was originally published in September 2015. It has since been updated with new prices and contact details.
Child-friendly restaurants in Cape Town
1. Café Paradiso, Cape Town
This popular café on Kloof Street is one of Cape Town’s most kid-friendly restaurants, with plenty of activities to keep the little ones occupied (for a small fee). These include pizza-making, cupcake-decorating and other fun activities.
Contact: Tel 0214220403, www.cafeparadiso.co.za
2. Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Point
The southern-most tip of Africa is a great spot to spend the day with the family. You can take a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular for beautiful views over the ocean and there’s plenty of short trails and walks. The Two Ocean’s Restaurant has a fantastic sushi bar and there’s a kid-friendly menu that includes fruit kebabs, calamari and even Purity baby foods.
Contact: Tel 0217809010, www.capepoint.co.za
3. Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
Cape Point Vineyards is a popular spot with breathtaking views. Enjoy a picnic on the lawns around the dam (blankets and pillows supplied), while the kids clamber on the jungle gyms dotted along its banks, or run and play on the lawns. In summer, the Thursday evening markets are also a huge hit with families.
Contact: Tel 0217127471, www.cpv.co.za
4. Company’s Garden Restaurant, Cape Town
The latest offering from Madame Zingara doesn’t disappoint, with plenty of seating either indoors or outside under the trees. The weaver’s nest chairs are an absolute delight for kids (and adults) and there’s also a jungle gym and myriad of wooden animals to play on, plus an outdoor chess set. There’s a wide menu for all tastes and budgets and after breakfast or lunch you can take a stroll through the gardens and feed the squirrels.
Contact: Tel 0214232919, www.thecompanysgarden.com
5. Da Vinci’s, Harfield Village
I am a big fan of the pizzas at Da Vinci’s on Second Avenue! Kids eat for free here every Thursday – for every adult main meal ordered you get a free kids’ pizza with two toppings. Note: This deal is for children under 12 years and does not include take-aways.
Contact: Tel 0216835453, http://davincison2nd.co.za
6. Deer Park Café
This much-loved Cape Town café borders on The Rocklands Road Park, a well-maintained, fenced public park with swings, jungle gyms and plenty of grass. Grown-ups can enjoy coffee and cake while the kids enjoy the mini jungle gym, slides and swings in the playground. There’s also a kiddie menu and beverages (including baby cappuccino – frothed milk with sprinkles on top). The view over the city is great too!
Contact: Tel 0214626311, www.deerparkcafe.co.za
7. Dunes Restaurant, Hout Bay
Dunes is a popular Hout Bay restaurant with magnificent sea and mountain views. Perfect for a lazy breakfast or sundowners by the sea, while the kids enjoy a play area that will keep them occupied for hours – swings, a jungle gym and lots of sand!
Contact: Tel 0217901876, www.dunesrestaurant.co.za email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
8. Eden on the Bay Mall, Blouberg
According to one of my mommy-friends, this is a great tried-and-tested kid-friendly spot that’s suitable for all ages. There are child-friendly restaurants, a sheltered jungle gym and a grassed play area, along with a picnic area on the lawn. They often have special events just for kids too.
Contact: Tel 0215549601, www.edenonthebaymall.co.za
9. Franky’s Diner, Sea Point
Franky’s Diner is a family-friendly 50’s-style diner that has a play area, a baby changing station and a kids’ menu, with items such as corn dogs and potato smileys. Kids eat free on Mondays to Thursdays, from 12:00 to 20:00. Note: This special applies to children under 12 years and consists of one free meal with every adult regular meal.
Contact: Tel 0214330445, www.frankysdiner.co.za
10. Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie
Welcome to Imhoff Farm, open seven days a week – not just a playground for kids, but for adults as well! Grown-ups can visit the art galleries, shops and restaurants, while the kids can visit the Higgledy Piggeldy petting zoo and the snake park, or ride a camel. There are also horse-cart rides, horse rides on the beach, face painting and paintball.
Contact: Tel 021 783 4545, www.imhofffarm.co.za
11. The Italian Club, Milnerton/Rugby
This one is for moms and dads who would love to go out and dance on a Saturday night! The Italian Club has a relaxed and informal atmosphere and a cover band on Saturday nights that plays all the well-known and popular tunes. There is also a dedicated children’s room with games and activities, but they are welcome on the dance floor too. The food is good and very reasonably priced. Get your dancing shoes on!
Contact: Tel 0215115757, www.icct.co.za
12. Noordhoek Farm Village
The perfect child-friendly destination with free kiddies activities, huge lawns, jungle gyms and age-specific playgrounds (the high activity zones for bigger children are physically separated from the low activity zones for younger children). All the restaurants are child-friendly too, with Café Roux being a favourite as it borders the play area.
Contact: Tel 0217891390, www.noordhoekvillage.co.za
13. PRIMI, Cape Town
PRIMI has a section just for kids, called PRIMI PODS, with childminders, pizza and biscuit-making activities, along with various play structures. They are also very aware of the importance of nutrition, with all kiddies meals incorporating at least two of the major food groups and many of the items on the menu are grilled or baked, rather than fried. Gluten-intolerant grown-ups will be pleased to know that they also have wheat and gluten-free pasta available.
Contact: Tel 0215341550, www.primi-world.co.za
14. Red Herring, Noordhoek
If it’s alfresco dining you’re after then the deck or garden areas at the Red Herring is the place to be. Relax and enjoy the view that stretches from Chapman’s Peak across to Kommetjie or, if you prefer, the restaurant offers a more intimate and cosy environment with a large fireplace. There’s also a pub upstairs. Tuck into tapas or pizza, or join them for a roast on Sundays. It’s a relaxed family-friendly environment and there is a kids’ play area with a rustic jungle gym and rope swing. They also have kids’ pizza-making activities during the school holidays.
Contact: Tel 0217891783, www.theredherring.co.za
15. Spiros, Hout Bay
There’s something for everyone at Spiros – and the prices are very reasonable. The kids area is huge and if it’s raining, there’s a sound-proofed TV room to keep them occupied. Kids also have their own menu. Naturally this place is popular, so book ahead.
Contact: Tel 0217913897 email: Spirosragavelas@gmail.com
Child-friendly restaurants in the Cape Winelands
16. Allée Bleue, Franschhoek
A walled grassy garden, gingham tablecloths, views of the vineyards and the majestic Drakenstein Mountains in the background all combine to make the perfect picnic spot for families. A jungle gym, jumping castle and trampoline will keep children amused for hours while you enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch under the trees. What’s more, they wrap the kiddies picnic up in a checked cloth and sling it onto the end of a stick, Huckleberry Finn style. Kids will love it!
Contact: Tel 0218741021, www.alleebleue.co.za
17. Dunstone Winery, Wellington
Dunstone Winery’s Stone Kitchen restaurant is a popular family spot that is also open on Sunday for wine-tasting. After a hearty lunch or breakfast you can relax and lie on blankets and continental pillows laid out on the lawn. While you do that, the children can play in the sandpit and on the farm’s rather unique jungle gym.
Contact: Tel 0218736770, www.dunstone.co.za
18. Hazendal Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
The scenic grounds at Hazendal, one of the Cape’s oldest wine estates, are ideal for a picnic and some fresh air while the kids play in the playground or run around on the large lawns. The restaurant, Hermitage, serves affordable Mediterranean and South African dishes, with a kids’ menu and kids’ breakfast available.
Contact: Tel 0219035034, www.hazendal.co.za (website is temporarily under construction but should be up and running by next year. Follow their social media accounts for updates)
19. Joostenberg Bistro, Stellenbosch
The atmosphere at the Joostenberg Bistro is relaxed and family-friendly, with a cosy fireplace for cold winter days and a vine-shaded stoep overlooking the gardens for summer. While enjoying your meal and a glass of wine, the little ones can play on the lawns and jungle gyms. They’re also a family-friendly space, in a laid back farm setting.
Contact: Tel 0218844208, www.joostenberg.co.za
20. Laborie Wine Estate, Paarl
The Harvest Restaurant at Laborie Wine Estate has a kids’ menu, a huge lawn in full view of the tables, and a jungle gym. Older children will enjoy the boule pit. They also host the Laborie Lazy Days Market when you can sample Laborie wines, fresh produce, arts, crafts, picnics on the lawn, music and more.
Contact: Tel 0218073390, www.laboriewines.co.za
21. Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West
The menu at The Millhouse Kitchen on this wine estate is inspired by the French and Italians who are famous for their rustic dishes. That means fresh pasta, bread and wood-fired pizzas daily. Children are always welcome and there’s a lovely playground right in front of the restaurant so parents can keep an eye out. There’s also a kid-friendly menu available.
Contact: Tel 0218472333, www.lourensford.co.za
22. Middelvlei Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
There’s nothing like a good old South African braai, especially if it’s all done for you! Join in the Boerebraai fun where a resident braai expert will prepare your chops, boerewors and chicken sosaties to perfection. Included in the feast are potbrood, braaibroodjies, pumpkin fritters, salads, pâtés, malva pudding and moerkoffie. Kids can roam the spacious outdoors, have a donkey ride, feed the farm animals or go on a tractor ride (by prior arrangement). They can also join in the food fun with a kiddies’ snack box and braai their own marshmallows. By special arrangement, older children can be introduced to the exciting world of wine with an alcohol-free tasting.
Contact: Tel 0218832565, www.middelvlei.co.za
23. Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Paarl
A very child-friendly wine estate, with trampolines, jumping castles, jungle gym, bikes, toys and free pony rides over weekends. They also do picnics while their child-friendly Sunday buffets (from 12:00 to 15:00) are popular with families. Be sure to book in advance.
Contact: Tel 0218698386, www.rhebokskloof.co.za
24. Simonsvlei, Paarl
Relaxed country fare in the Paarl Winelands. If the sun’s shining you can sit under the vines, or move indoors if the weather turns miserable. The kids have a safe play area and can feast on hot dogs and burgers from the kids’ menu, while grown-ups enjoy a glass of wine.
Contact: Tel 0218633040, www.simonsvlei.com
25. Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch
Spier offers wine-tasting for kids! Well, grape juice tasting, with three different types of grape juice. There’s also ‘Eagle Encounters’ and plenty of wide open spaces to picnic and play, while older children can go on a Segway tour. Hotel guests can also make use of child-minding facilities.
Contact: Tel 0218091100, www.spier.co.za
26. Vergelegen Wine Estate, Somerset West
This historical wine farm boasts 17 formal gardens, including two rose gardens, one of which has over 1200 rose bushes. There are also two restaurants as well as a picnic option to choose from. Children can take part in a treasure hunt between November and April where they can search for sweets hidden among the many trees.
Contact: Tel 0218472100, www.vergelegen.co.za
27. Vrede en Lust Wine Estate, Franschhoek
This winery offers kids a set of crayons, paper and a sticker book to busy themselves with while you busy yourself with their wine. A nanny service is also available for kids older than 18 months. The Sunday buffet at the LUST Bistro & Bakery are popular, with a variety of dishes from the kitchen and wood-fired oven.
Contact: Tel 0218741611, www.vnl.co.za
28. Warwick Estate, Stellenbosch
Warwick Estate’s eight picnic pods provide a combination of sophistication and rural country ambiance and are the perfect escape for your small group or family party, with tables seating up to 12 people in shaded comfort. Then there’s the lush picnic lawn – a child-friendly area with a jungle gym. There’s also a dam which doubles up as a paddling pool, along with lots of games you can borrow to keep everyone entertained. Kids’ picnic baskets are also available.
Contact: Tel 0218844410, www.warwickwine.com
29. Wild Clover Farm, Stellenbosch
A family-owned estate with self-catering cottages, a restaurant, a pub, a craft-beer brewery and a winery. They also have a wildlife sanctuary, fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting and archery. There’s also a jungle gym, swings and monkey bars for the kids to play on, plus a safe and scenic Pops ‘n Tots cycle track around the farm that the whole family can enjoy.
Contact: Tel 0218652248, www.wildclover.co.za
30. Mont Marie, Stellenbosch
An authentic family experience, full of South African flavours is where you can rest assured that both adults and children will have a good time. While the adults enjoy some wine, the children can spend time in the play area. The kids menu consists of mini crumpets and a mini English breakfast, with hamburgers and delicious hake and chips for lunch and more.
Contact: Tel 0218800777; www.montmarie.co.za (Restaurant is currently on a break but will be open from 26 July 2017)
Content compiled by Rachel Robinson.
Also read: 45 things to do with your kids in Cape Town for the school holidays
If you have any great child-friendly spots that you’d like to recommend, please let us know in the comments below.