Enjoy a relaxing lunch al fresco style and let your kiddies soak up the sun at these restaurants boasting outdoor sandpits, seaside swings, jungle gyms and rolling green lawns. Our round-up of the best family-friendly eateries in, and around the city, are both kid-friendly and appealing to grown-ups!
Blue Water Café
68 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof - Tel. 021 422 0909
Set on Imhoff Farm, Blue Water Café’s laid-back farm atmosphere and new Cape country fare makes it a win for adults and children alike. Parents can enjoy a tasty meal (although there’s usually a wait, as it can get very busy), while the kids excitedly run around on the safe, enclosed lawn. Situated in the original 1743 Cape Dutch farmstead, the café overlooks a dam and petting farm. You can sit inside the cool, old-fashioned dining room or outside on the child-friendly porch. There’s a fun jungle gym and rope swing outside on the lawn, where children relish the free reign they have here, playing before the food arrives. Also, next door’s Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard is stocked with everything from adorable baby bunnies to curious emus. The drive out to Kommetjie is well worth it - or stop off enroute to Cape Point!
Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek – Tel: 021 870 4200
Perhaps it’s the beautiful grounds (complete with a magical rose garden, reminiscent of The Secret Garden), the heritage Cape Dutch buildings, or the two lovely restaurants? Or maybe it’s the authenticity of the experience and the largesse of
the offering that typifies a Cape wine farm in every way. The Werf – Boschendal’s innovative, country-style restaurant – has a lovely play area inside the main area to keep kiddies entertained. And, of course, Boschendal’s wonderful organic garden, complete with a graded water feature and a pig’s pen across the way, is nirvana for the young (at heart). During season, kids can enjoy either a Rose Garden or Werf Farm kiddies’ picnic.
110 Kloof Street, Gardens – Tel. 021 422 0403
One of Madame Zingara's flagship restaurants, this magical bistro is a family must-do! Another perennial favourite of City- living parents this restaurant states that ‘Children are not only welcome, they’re invited’! The restaurant has gone out of its way to design an eating experience that allows adults to enjoy their meal while the kids are entertained and occupied. They even offer organised kids activities (a small fee per child applies) that allow the little ones to get their hands dirty. In winter, there is a special storytelling session right in front of the cosy fireplace in this charming rustic venue. So, if you think the kids need some fresh air, this delightful restaurant is a touch of country in the middle of the city.
270 Chapmans Peak Drive, The Farm Village, Noordhoek – Tel. 021 789 2538
This restaurant is part of the Noordhoek Farm Village complex, and the emphasis is whole-heartedly on family fun. The grow- ups can sit under the oaks and watch the kids play at close range in the playground, while they enjoy unpretentious country-style fare. All dishes come with delicious homemade relishes, dressings, chutneys and toppings – and the consistent, hearty portions of comfort food are a winning formula at this ever-popular crowd-pleaser, at the foot of Chapman’s Peak. A great choice for family-friendly, casual al fresco dining in a sun-splashed courtyard.
Cape Point Vineyards
Silvermine Road, Noordhoek – Tel. 021 789 0900
Cape Point Vineyards is a popular spot with breathtaking views. Chef Jonathan Galgan rules the roost at this Southern Peninsula venue, loved by locals and visitors alike. Relaxed fine dining in a smart glass house interior or there's also the elevated deck set in the vineyards, with dreamy views of sea and mountains – the best on a balmy summer’s day. The picnics on the lawns around the dam (blankets and pillows supplied) are a popular choice with families, 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.
Main Road, Hout Bay – Tel. 021 790 3318
It’s not often that you come across a venue so perfectly suited to keeping both kiddies and adults entertained for hours on end. Nestled on a lush, 2.5-acre farm in the heart of the Hout Bay valley, it boasts an enormous trampoline enclosure, not unlike something you’d see at the circus. It’s a kiddies’ paradise, which makes it great for relieving mums and dads too. You can elect to take part in the painting and with over 200 clay creations available, the possibilities are endless – suitable to both small busybodies and older, more practical tastes. In addition to the clay painting, Clay Café has you covered with breakfast, lunch and an array of treats on mouth-watering display.
The Company's Garden Restaurant
Company's Gardens, 19 Queen Victoria Street - Tel. 021 423 2919
In the heart of the city, within the richly historical Company's Gardens, lies a restaurant made for families. 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. The vibe is casual and family orientated, but the neutral colour scheme and use of natural materials like wood and stone gives the restaurant an air of understated elegance.
Deer Park Café
2 Deer Park Drive, Vredehoek – Tel. 021 462 6311
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. Comfortable café-style food is the order of the day with a wide selection of grown-up food items and a kiddies’ menu catering to the little ones. Think spaghetti bolognese, toasted cheese, and chicken fillets. The mini jungle gym, slides and swings in the playground are within close proximity to the restaurant and the view over the city is great too! Deer Park Café has a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for a sunny day and it’s very popular with young families.
Dunes Beach Restaurant
1 Beach Road, Hout Bay – Tel. 021 790 1876
Situated almost on the beach, this restaurant overlooks a large sandy area with a jungle gym, swings, slides and more. Well- known as a family-friendly destination, it has a kiddies’ menu which offers treats like fish & chips, calamari & chips, and pizzas – so, plenty to keep the little guys happy. This is a great place for a casual lunch, but try to pick a wind free day to avoid stinging sand!
81 Main Road, Green Point - Tel. 021 433 2364
This trendy and lively first-floor Mexican restaurant is much acclaimed for its décor and service, as well as its great food. At street level there’s the popular Cabrito bar, serving bar meals, but the best (and quietest) place in the restaurant upstairs is on the deep balcony overlooking all the action on Somerset Road. The restaurant is always busy, so book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Whether or not it is authentic Mexican food, as the owners claim, is debatable, but fans consider it the healthiest Mexican food around – a long way from cheesier, greasier Tex-Mex options in town. The wonderful wait staff are consistently excellent, and, curiously, all female – they make for good babysitters!
Noordhoek Farm Village, Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road, Noordhoek – Tel. 021 789 1390
The Foodbarn Restaurant is famous for Franck Dangereux’s delicious and decadent fine-dining. Yet, this top Cape Town eatery also offers a relaxed, barn-style atmosphere, merging the best of both worlds. Its leafy location in Noordhoek Farm Village further enhances the relaxed vibe. The consistently good service, great food and wonderful atmosphere makes it a winner for fine dining experience – and while the adults tuck in to the beautifully plated food (which looks and smells as good as it tastes), children can tuck into their own delicious eats, from the well-thought out kiddies’ menu. The closed-in outdoor play section, which is shared with Café Roux (see above), has a sand-pit, jungle gym, swings and a see-saw, as well as an old tractor and a playhouse.
Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards
R45, Main Road, Franschhoek – Tel. 021 876 8002
With its rambling, view-drenched garden and relaxed, airy interiors, this friendly and inviting family-oriented destination is a wonderful day out. Here you’ll find a rotisserie-based buffet (with lots of options) and easy-drinking wines – and as you would expect from any Rupert-family project, the winery has exceptional tasting facilities set around an imposing bar where you can sit and sample the wide range of available wines, while the little ones have the time of their lives in the outdoor play area. The buffet-style eating, makes it a winner with toddlers – and the outside area, adds to its dreamy family appeal. The wide-open lawns, water features and two jungle gyms (in view of the restaurant seating) means the little ones can play, while you enjoy your meal.
30 Regent Road (between Church and Clarens Roads), Sea Point – visit the Mojo Market website for more info
Sea Point’s brand new 7-day- a-week market is lighting up the Atlantic Seaboard and is a welcome addition to the vibrant promenade area. Over 80 food, home, clothing and curio stalls call the Mojo Market home, and with 2000-square metres of space, there’s plenty to explore and to keep the family happy! A paradise for fussy-eaters and foodies alike, with a smorgasbord of drool-worthy stalls to tempt your taste buds – there’s anything from pizza, to burgers, poke bowls, tacos, dim sum, sushi and more! Once you’ve grabbed your eats and drinks, grab a seat in the bright communal seating area. Booth seats, benches and bar stools, both upstairs and downstairs, means that you can choose to sit in privacy or out in the open where you might mingle with other market goers. There is live music in the evenings and over weekends – and plenty of
eclectic stores to browse and shop! It’s a great all-weather option, especially for families with older children! End this off with freshly baked waffles, doughnuts, brownies and ice-cream and you can’t go wrong.
Brompton Court, 51 & 53 Victoria Road, Camps Bay – Tel. 021 438 0062
Ocean Basket is a popular South African restaurant chain offering hearty, fresh seafood at affordable prices. The extensive menu caters for all tastes, and even for the little ones. The fun, vibrant kids' meals are always a hit and this branch is particularly well-suited to families with a great playroom (and a childminder) guaranteed to keep the little ones occupied. There are also great seafood platters on offer and mouth-watering sushi, maki, sashimi and fashion sandwiches – and as it’s located right on the Camps Bay beachfront, there’s an awesome view too!
Albany Mews, Corner Albany and Main Roads, Sea Point – Tel. 021 439 4014
This low-key Italian-owned trattoria offers delicious food, friendly service and a warm, homey atmosphere. It’s modestly decked out, but ticks all the right boxes in terms of atmosphere. And the pizzas are tasty, too. While there are no special children’s facilities, the restaurant welcomes all visitors, young and old. And who can resist a thin-crust pizza? Posticino has an equally popular branch in Hout Bay.
Constantia Uitsig, Spaanschemat River Road – Tel. 021 794 3010
Open Door is situated on the historic Constantia Uitsig farm, which dates back to 1685 when Simon van der Stel was Commander of the Cape. The outside deck is child-friendly, and overlooks the adjacent fenced-in kiddies’ play area, where a wooden tractor, viewing deck with binoculars, swings, see-saws and a slide will keep them busy for hours. It’s stylishly decked out, and the food is rather good, too. In addition to the delightful play area, there’s a Bike Park across the way, which offers a fun escape for kids. Afterwards, explore more of the beautifully restored estate which includes an on- site ice-cream parlour, wine shop and more!
The Rumbullion at The Roundhouse
Round House Road, Camps Bay – Tel. 021 438 4347
While The Roundhouse is a well-known fine-dining establishment, The Rumbullion offers a more relaxed approach, with a killer setting, overlooking Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Enjoy an assortment of tapas-style fare at one of the umbrella-shaded picnic benches, while the kids romp around the rolling lawns. The garden is partitioned, which makes hide and seek particularly fun, plus they’ll also enjoy the tasty items of the picnic menu.
30 Main Road, Hout Bay – Tel, 021 791 3897
A great little Greek spot in Hout Bay this restaurant is decorated with the fresh, clean colours of the Greek flag, and offers an authentic, family friendly dining experience. There is a comfortable deck area where guests can relax on couches (under duvets if it’s cold) plus a kids’ playroom, swings & climbing frames outside and dress up corner inside along with a child minder.
Stables at Vergelegen
Vergelegen Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West – Tel. 021 847 2156
Situated on the historic, world-renowned Vergelegen Estate, this wonderfully relaxed and stylish restaurant is surprisingly child-friendly! And with magical gardens, a beautiful manor house and breath-taking views of the Hottentots Holland mountains, it offers an all-round pleasurable outing for parents and children. The relaxed, bistro-style Stables offers a varied menu and a warm, family-friendly atmosphere. Aside from the fairy-tale-like forests and gardens, there’s a charming outdoor play area, complete with swings, a slide and a water feature, as well as a carved-wood car and animals.
Corner of Beach and Sidmouth Roads, Muizenberg – Tel. 021 788 1869
A hip hang-out with the local surf crowd, Tiger's Milk is a welcoming hangout for families straight off the sandy beach. Located right next to the Cape's cool waters, every seat in the house comes with a view of the ocean. This is a great spot to watch the world go by whilst nibbling on prime steaks; thin-based, wood-fired pizzas liberally strewn with seasonal toppings; and juicy burgers made with three different cuts of free-range meat.
The Vineyard Hotel
Colinton Road, Newlands – Tel. 021 657 4500
Dating back more than two centuries, this grand old dame is loved for its timeless elegance, stylish and spacious rooms, top-drawer dining options, and its seven-acre garden that backs up onto the mountain. It’s hard not to be charmed by this hotel, and all it offers. There’s hardly a better setting to enjoy a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc, while the littlies do their thing. There’s plenty of space to run around in the garden and even some free-roaming mountain tortoises, of all sizes and ages. All hotel restaurants boast extensive kiddies’ menus, including favourites such as hake and chips, cheese burgers and hot dogs.
Warwick Wine Estate, R44, Stellenbosch – Tel. 021 884 4410
Warwick is one of those wine farms where children and adults instantly feel welcome and at ease. There are eight picnic pods, dotted throughout the beautiful gardens and lawns, where you can recline on oversized cushions and blankets beneath umbrellas. The unique private picnic experience (with partial service and full shade) offers a special kiddies’ menu. Or, eat at The Deck, with its amazing views over the sloping lawn and dam. Kids will love the fun playground, wide-open spaces and, above all, the fountain, perfect for splashing and swimming in. (If you visit on a hot day, pack a change of clothes or a swimming costume for the little ones.)