When you’re on your own, it’s all about the coffee. With kids, it’s: “How can I keep these rascals – I mean, loves of my life – entertained while I enjoy a moment of peace?”
Thankfully a handful of café owners in the Blue Mountains understand this parental plight and cater for both children and adults, providing a place to escape for grown-ups and space to play for kids.
Here are my favourite family-friendly cafés in the Blue Mountains:
Have you ever been bedazzled by a babycino? Neither had I, until I visited 2773 Glenbrook.
This family-friendly café in Glenbrook decorates its milky tot-size treats with chocolate drizzles, mini marshmallows and sprinkles, making them an instant (sugar) hit with little ones.
But babycinos aren’t the only way the owners of 2773 Glenbrook woo kids (and their parents) back. There’s also a few animals on site – some chickens and miniature pigs – plus an undercover play area with cubby house and slide and a spacious Astroturf dining area – perfect for uncontainable little ones.
The kids’ menu here has lots of options, including hotcakes, wraps, burgers and chicken breast tenders, and it’s a good thing, too, because you most likely won’t want to share your brekky ‘hash brown mountain’ – served with fried eggs, green onions and hollandaise sauce ($17.50). Ditto your ‘Black Forest’ french toast with cream, chocolate soil and cherries ($18).
Prices are a little on the exxy side, but that’s because the meals are big – American-ish in both size and style. Lunch and dinner could be described as inspired pub food, featuring sharable snacks like buffalo wings ($12), mains such as pork belly with porcini dust and a beetroot and pear gel ($28) plus a range of big sandwiches, burgers and pizzas ($16.50–$24).
The menu’s emphasis is on local produce – the bread, meat, fresh and preserved goods, beer and wine are all sourced from around the region where possible.
The attention to family-friendly details here makes having a meal out with the kids not only doable but thoroughly enjoyable.
- Address: 19 Ross St, Glenbrook NSW 2773
- Phone: (02) 4739 5908
- Web: www.2773glenbrook.com.au
- Opening hours: Sun–Wed 7am–5pm, Thu–Sat 7am till late
Read about other family-friendly things to do in the Blue Mountains here.
The Gingerbread House, Katoomba
Run by the owner of Josophan’s Fine Chocolates and Café Madeleine in Leura, Jodie Van der Velden, The Gingerbread House in Katoomba is a sweet tooth’s heaven. Set inside a 100-year-old renovated church, its big drawcard for parents is – along with a Hansel-and-Gretel-style sweet shop – the spacious outdoor play area.
Open for breakfast and lunch, the café menu is simple – consisting of toasties, muffins, sandwiches, soup of the day and desserts. There’s a cheese toastie for kids ($5.50); milkshakes come in kid sizes ($3), and a few kids’ snacks available at the counter. What there is no shortage of is sweets – from old-school lollypops and candies in the shop to locally made gingerbread, Josophan’s chocolate products and Serendipity ice cream.
Luckily there’s space for kids to shake off the sugar jitters with a large Astroturf play area complete with cubby house, slide, climbing frame and other fun bits and bobs. It’s open-air, so if it’s raining you may have to retreat inside, but the space is big enough to enjoy coffees and snacks with the kids without feeling like you’re disrupting other people’s quiet time.
Curl up on a Chesterfield lounge or spread out on one of the big communal tables and give in to temptation.
- Address: 56 Waratah St (cnr Lurline and Waratah St), Katoomba NSW 2780
- Phone: (02) 4782 6958
- Web: www.gbhousekatoomba.com
- Opening hours: 7 days 9am–5pm
Rust and Timber Chocolate Bar, Lawson
This chocolate shop and café in Lawson has a small kids’ area with colouring-in table, chalkboards and boxes of toys. Tuck into a handcrafted truffle and sip a coffee made with locally roasted beans while your bub makes a work of art (or mess) on someone else’s turf.
- Address: Shop 2, 297 Great Western Highway, Lawson NSW 2783
- Phone: (02) 4759 2470
- Web: www.rustandtimberchocolatebar.com.au
- Opening hours: Mon–Fri 7am–4pm, Sat–Sun 8am–1pm
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Café, Katoomba
A favourite for local mothers’ groups, this café is adjacent to a beautiful community space with a large carpeted floor and cushioned stools – perfect for parents to relax while their kidlets explore nearby. Top-notch sandwiches, pies, quiches and sweets are a big plus. With the library, art gallery and outdoor courtyard all in the same building as the café, a visit here presents many more options than coffee alone.
- Address: 30 Parke St, Katoomba NSW 2780
- Phone: (02) 4780 5410
- Web: www.bluemountainsculturalcentre.com.au
- Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9.30am–5pm, Sat–Sun 9.30am–4pm (Note: community space opens at 10am)
Megalong Valley Tearooms, Megalong Valley
Where there is space there is sanity for the café-hopping parent, and these Tearooms have plenty of it. The winding drive down to the Megalong Valley is so very worth it for a morning or afternoon family outing. While there’s seating indoors, you’ll want to sit outside, especially if kids are in the equation. Watch them run around the garden, admire the animals in surrounding paddocks and climb a tree while you enjoy scones, pies or toasties and a traditional cup of tea.
- Address: 824 Megalong Rd, Megalong Valley NSW 2785
- Phone: (02) 4787 9181
- Web: www.megalongtearooms.com.au
- Opening hours: During NSW school holidays: Mon–Sun 8am–5pm; Outside school holidays: Mon–Fri 9am–4pm, Sat–Sun 8am–5pm; Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday, all other public holidays open 9.30am–3.30pm.
Thunderbird Blue Mountains, Katoomba
Thunderbird is more a casual Mexican restaurant than a café, but the coffee is certainly one of the highlights, as is – for parents – the small indoor play area for kids. All kinds of burritos, fajitas, tacos and salads are on offer, for breakfast and lunch, and the options for children (melted cheese quesadilla, anyone?) are guaranteed to to be gobbled up.
- Address: 189 Katoomba St, Katoomba, NSW 2780
- Phone: (02) 4782 9609
- Web: thunderbirdbmts.com
- Opening hours: Mon–Fri 7am–4pm, Sat 8am–4pm, Sun 8am–3pm
Where are your favourite family-friendly cafés in the Blue Mountains? Please share in the comments!