Here is my list of Best Cape Town restaurants for parents and kids – all have play areas within watching distance of the table so the adults can enjoy some conversation for a change while the kids are entertained. These venues serve amazing food to please the grown-ups as well as perfect play places for the kids to run around under the sunny skies and climb and play until they have worked off their extra energy and built up an appetite.
Here they are:
My Top 10 restaurants in Cape Town with outdoor play places for kids…
1. Massimos Pizza Club, Hout Bay has recently re-opened in the building where Scarecrows once was (next to the Spar). They are renowned as the best pizza place in Cape Town and I can attest to the most delicious thin-based pizza’s. The atmosphere is lovely and it is a very welcoming, homely environment. There is a separate kids menu and a jungle gym out the front for the kids to play on. And adults don’t forget to try Massimo’s delicious limoncello!
2. Cafe Roux and The Foodbarn in Noordhoek Farm Village both share a great outdoor play area for the kids to run riot it. My son’s favourite is the old tractor! Both these restaurants serve amazing food and are well loved Cape Town favourites… Cafe Roux is open for breakfast and lunch and many long, lazy afternoons have been spent on their sunny terrace. The Food Barn is the home of top chef, Franck Dangereux, so def worth a visit!
3. We recently stumbled across The Cape Farmhouse on a long Sunday afternoon through Scarborough. At first we weren’t sure if it was open but on investigating further we found that waiting for us behind the closed doors were wonderful roaring fires and tasty homemade puddings. The wind blew us in and we were grateful for the shelter and warm hot chocolate! The play area is up a steep grassy slope so probably only suitable for older kids but there is a lovely farm feeling to the surrounding fields and few horses to visit for the littlies. I believe there is often great live music on Sunday afternoons in Summer…
4. Dunes in Hout Bay is situated almost on the beach and thus has a massive sand pit for kids to romp in as well as a jungle gym and swings. Be careful that your 18 month old does not climb to the top of the VERY HIGH part as mine did once upon a time – enough to induce heart palpitations! This is a great place for a casual lunch, but try to pick a wind free day to avoid stinging sand!
5. Thorfynns at Monkey Valley Resort, Noordhoek is hidden away up a little avenue – you have to almost drive through the trees to get there. The view from the restaurant deck is amazing – you can see all the way across Noordhoek Beach to the Kommetjie lighthouse. On our recent visit we were lucky enough to spot a whale! The play area is down below the deck so again probably best for older kids and be warned there is an unfenced pool just off the deck so keep your eye on any toddlers with you.
6. The Hollow Tree at Oude Westhof in Belville is a spot I have not yet visited but by the looks of the website we should make a trip out across the “Boerewors Curtain” to enjoy it’s delights soon…
7. Westlake Business Park near Tokai has a few options all at the same venue – they all share the kids play area. Take your pick from firm family favourite – seafood restaurant, Ocean Basket, traditional Italian at Sorrento Trattoria or a healthy muffin, salad or organic coffee at Green Bean Cafe which is open for breakfast and lunch.
8. La Cabane in Hout Bay is a relatively new place with the MOST AMAZING kids jungle gym in Cape Town. This fort like structure really has to be experienced. They have certainly been to a lot of trouble and expense to make this a perfect spot for kids parties – but parents can enjoy it too. Just try to time your visit while no parties are on as that can be a hair-raising experience (my own 2 kids are enough to manage while dining out!!) My son, almost 5, loved the fort but it’s tricky for moms and dads to see what is happening inside so I wouldn’t let younger ones in on their own. There is a smaller structure for them to enjoy as well as a large sand pit.
9. Blue Water Cafe situated in Kommetjie has the most amazing views across to Noordhoek and the back of Table Mountain. The whole Imhoff Farm precinct is a great area for families to explore and the kids will love the Higgeldy Piggeldy Farm. A perfect spot for a long Sunday lunch.
10. Deer Park Cafe in Vredehoek is a firm favourite with City Bowl Parents – the park has loads of things to do – it is a fully-enclosed, “traditional” park similar to those we enjoyed as children. The huge slide, roundabout, swings and jungle gym keep kids entertained for ages. You’ll only see them when they pop up for another drink! Take the opportunity to catch up on the Saturday morning paper while enjoying a croissant and coffee.
And just because I’m feeling generous…. Here are a few located in the Winelands:
1. Joostenberg, Muldersvlei is a gem of a place which we recently discovered. The drive from our side of town was surprisingly quick on the N1 and we enjoyed 2 hours on this lovely farm – the kids had a ball on the horse and wagon ride and there is also a pony ride which my son loved. There are huge lawns for running and jungle gyms for climbing. The deli offers delicious cheese, bread and a well stocked butchery – specialising in pork – there is also a bistro where you can enjoy delicious country dishes. Bookings are recommended.
2. Eagle Vlei is located in Klein Joostenberg and is a spot I have yet to try but I am keen to – I love nothing better than discovering new places. I will keep you posted!
A few other places suitable for kids – these don’t necessarily have jungle gyms or swings etc, but they do provide some more entertainment than the usual restaurant in a shopping mall!
One of my favourites is the new Little Stream Restaurant which is hidden up the top of Klein Constantia road in Constantia. It serves the best cheesecake around in a lovely setting for kids to explore. I love to go and watch the seasons change as the leaves change on the trees. There are a few little paths which lead down to a stream and 2 swings at the bottom of the garden. It’s a real paradise for kids to run around and experience freedom and nature.
Bayside at Fish Hoek Beach is a good spot for a breakfast – enjoy the early morning sun over the sea while the kids play in the playground right next door.
The Gardeners Cottage, Newlands is situated in the Montebello Design Centre – a little tractor and a few stumps to climb on is located next the to outdoor seating but the real gem is exploring the rest of the Design Centre after your meal – the Iron Forge is fascinating and the Nursery Greenhouse is beautiful too.
Jonkershuis, Groot Constantia has ample lawns for the kids to run around on – you will find many families here enjoying weekend afternoons under the oaks and enjoying the view across the vineyards to the Hottentots Holland Mountains and False Bay.
Silvertree Restaurant and Fynbos Deli are both situated in Kirstenbosch Gardens and are perfect if you don’t feel up for packing a picnic. There is a small sand pit and a lawned area in front of the restaurant complex for kids to enjoy.
Two other places recommended to me while I was researching this article were Earthworx Nursery in Hout Bay and The Roundhouse in Camps Bay. I have yet to explore either of these options yet so can’t feedback about how child-friendly they are but let me know if you have been there and what they are like. Friends of mine have enjoyed these restaurants with kids.
If you know of any other places suitable for kids, both outdoor and indoor, please let me know. I am always looking for new destinations for our weekend wanderings around the Cape Peninsula.
images: Kathryn Rossiter