Chantelle | Lifestyle Blogger
I come from a family of food-lovers, and we really are the best type of people. Don't you agree? I love to be around people who are enthusiastic about a good bite to eat, and don't mind my relentless search for the best pancakes/dumplings/egg benedict.
So, I want you to imagine the enthusiasm I received from my sister when I asked her to join me on a pursuit for the best kid-friendly cafes on the Gold Coast. I think she may have screamed, maybe jumped, and then promptly packed the kids in the car and joined me. Now we didn't want the kid-friendly element to be the priority, because in my experience the food at kids playground cafes is satisfactory but not mind-blowing (wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce, I love you... but you're missing the mark). Our kids are our lives, but our taste-buds are important too.
We know we've only scratched the surface here, and we're pretty excited that this pursuit shall continue. Oh yes, it shall continue. So far we've only explored the southern end of the south east of the Gold Coast. So if you're staying or residing around the Coolangatta, Kirra, Palm Beach, or Tweed Coast area... these will be perfect for you.
Beaches on Kirra
Our first adventure took us to Kirra, the middle meeting point between my sister's house and mine. Friends had told me numerous time that Beaches was the place to go, with or without kids, and I had inconveniently forgotten until we started on this pursuit. The cafe is perfectly located so that if you wanted to park the car at Coolangatta and follow the path along for a walk and end up at Beaches, you'll have fitted in some exercise and a good bite to eat... but we weren't feeling so energetic and parked our car in the car park and made our way in. Nestled in the back of the cafe is a really awesome kids area where the kids can safely go wild or play quietly while you catch up with friends, or eat a meal with two hands (I know, what a novelty!). There is also a menu for kids, which includes bear-shaped pancakes. Depending on what day you go, they also have pretty awesome promotions (free wine on Fridays with two meals, woot!). Check them out here.
Griffith Street Larder, Coolangatta
Despite being full from our huge breakfast at Beaches, we had reserved room for sweet stuff as well. Doesn't everyone always have room for dessert? I'd noticed some pretty epic looking sweets at Griffith Street Larder as I've walked by a few times, and having actually eaten there before, I know they do really beautiful, modern, fresh food. We were interested in the sweets though, so we ordered the honeycomb cronut and the brownie, while the kids enjoyed a milk shake. Both were the perfect amount of sweet and cutting edge. This spot doesn't have a kids play area, but it's located outside the newly refurbished The Strand Mall, so it's perfect to pop into after doing a spot of grocery shopping to grab a bite to eat, and treat the kids to a milkshake. They also do cool things like sell flowers for $10 a posy (and I can tell you good flowers are hard to find on the coast, so these are worth snapping up).
Local friends of ours had told us about Caribou, and had captured my attention when they mentioned the words 'Ricotta Hotcakes'. I've been missing Bills since moving from Sydney to the Gold Coast, so this cafe had been on my radar for a while. We visited here a few days after our Griffith Street and Beaches adventures, so our tummies were ready for new foods. This is a smaller cafe, but don't be put off by the size... the food is insane. I would typically order the eggs benedict (yes, I may be addicted) so I instead opted for the egg and bacon salad. If anyone was to tell me that they were eating salad for breakfast, I'd most likely yawn and run in the other direction... but this salad. OH MY GOODNESS (capitals required). I don't know how they did it, but it was moreish and packed with flavour, so much so that I actually asked for a doggy bag to take some of my salad greens home with me for lunch (and that's something I never, ever do). We also ordered the hotcakes, and while they weren't as fluffy as Bills they were perfection in their own way, especially topped with lemon curd and berries.
A quick walk up the coast from Caribou is Zest, which is the perfect spot for kids. It's got an enclosed play area and a chalkboard for kids to draw on. Lulu did happen to munch on some chalk, but I did promise her that we were ordering food and that better things were coming her way. The menu here is good. So good that it took us far too long to decide on what we wanted because we kept going back and forth. We ended up over-ordering and choosing from both the breakfast and the lunch menus. I went for the eggs benedict, as I think it's a great way to judge a good cafe, and this was the winner of all the cafes. The hollandaise was perfect, the sourdough bread delicious and they do the eggs runny (it's a crime to eat them any other way in my eyes). We also ordered sliders, and meals for the kids. Definitely a cafe that I'll be going back to, not only for the eggs benedict but also because I can pop the kids in the play area and not have to stress.
The Beach Shack, Currumbin
Currumbin Beach has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the world, so I'll get there at any chance I can get. We arrived for breakfast on a perfect Saturday morning, so I expected it to be insanely busy... but we seemed to have a stroke of luck and get a park right out the front. The cafe is light and airy, and is two levels (I highly recommend heading upstairs so you can get a better view of the ocean). There are colouring-in bits and bobs for kids, which always makes my offspring happy, so we let them play while we ordered the house special, a breakfast burrito and surprise, surprise, an eggs benedict as well. The portions are generous, but the flavour isn't lost in the size. It's beautiful, fresh and scrumptious. It hits the cafe trifecta; views, good food and entertainment for the little people.