The Gold Coast’s best kid-friendly cafes the whole family will love
Families flock to the Gold Coast for theme park action, beach chills, hinterland mini-hikes and sunny good times. But between all those activities, you’ll need to feed the family.
From Main Beach to Surfers and down to Currumbin, we’ve found the best Gold Coast kid-friendly cafes and restaurants to refuel the whole family, complete with climbing spots, play areas for all ages, and frothy babyccinos and grown-up cappuccinos to keep everyone happy and well-fed.
Bskt Cafe, Mermaid Beach
You’ll find BSKT right in the heart of Mermaid Beach, less than 40 metres behind the sand. The dedicated kids area on the beach side of the restaurant (with bonus activity packs) isn’t the only drawcard for families – all kids meals come with a free juice and little ones eat free here every Friday night.
While they’re known for their locally-sourced, organic, paleo and gluten-free menu, BSKT is a hit with kids thanks to the berrylicious pancakes, tacka tacos, flatbread ham and cheese toastie, and kiddies ham and eggs. Little (and big) kids can top it all off with a CocoWhip, a healthy soft serve that’s vegan and dairy-free.
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Thursday 7am-4pm, Friday and Saturday 7am-10pm, Sunday 7am-5pm.
Paradox Coffee Roasters, Surfers Paradise
This modern coffee-lovers haven has created a great gated space for kids featuring a chalk wall, toys, teddies and games to keep them distracted while you enjoy a coffee hit, eat with two hands and maybe even have a grown-up conversation.
The all-day breakfast and all-day lunch menu is packed full of delicious items like a haloumi and avocado burger and housemade cranberry and chia fruit toast for parents; but the real treat comes in kiddie form with the Paradox Kids’ High Chocolate (a high tea-inspired menu for children up to 12 years).
Where: 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily from 6am-3pm.
Bumbles Café, Surfers Paradise
It might only be a five-minute walk from the heart of Surfers Paradise, but Bumbles Cafe on Budds Beach – facing the Nerang River – feels miles away from the high-energy centre of the GC.
Find a spot outside under a big shady umbrella at one of the best under-the-radar kid-friendly cafes on the Gold Coast and place an order for a prawn or lime chicken finger sandwich (for you) and bacon and egg slider or a ricotta hot cake and maple with ice-cream (for them).
Where: 19 River Drive, Budds Beach, Surfers Paradise.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Thursday 7am-4pm, Friday to Sunday 7am-4pm.
Hot tip: Go posh and book in for Bumbles’ high tea featuring housemade sausage rolls, quiche Lorraine and lemon curd tartlets.
Waterfront Restaurant at Southport Yacht Club, Main Beach
Want your kids to learn sailing skills while you sip your latte? Head to the Southport Yacht Club on weekends from 9am to 10:30am so your seven to 15 year-olds can take off on a FunSail adventure.
Once they’re back from a morning on the water, they’ll need something palatable from the “cadets” lunch menu, which includes all the staples like steak and chicken nuggets to pasta bolognese and fish and chips, along with a free juice popper. Seafood-loving parents, on the other hand, will be more than happy with the fresh black mussels or Moreton Bay bug linguine.
In between sailing and eating, the kids will be sorted for fun at the playground on the western lawn of the clubhouse.
Where: 1 Macarthur Parade, Main Beach.
Open: Breakfast Saturday and Sunday 7:30am-10am, lunch Monday to Saturday 12pm-2:30pm and Sunday 12pm-5:30pm, dinner Monday to Sunday 5:30pm-8:30pm.
Hot tip: Kids can eat dinner for a bargain $5 on Mondays and Tuesdays with any adult main meal purchase.
Bazaar, QT Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
A crowd-pleaser for all ages, this Sunday brunch buffet is found inside one of the coolest hotels on the Gold Coast, QT Gold Coast, smack bang in the middle of Surfers Paradise.
Their epic spread includes a live crepe station, gourmet brekky bowls, fondue station, breakfast pizzas and fried chicken with waffles – all of which can be enjoyed by the kids too. Buffet-style dining at its yummiest.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Open: Breakfast daily 6:30am-10:30am and dinner 5:30pm-9pm, Sunday brunch 11:30am-3pm.
Hot tip: Treat yourself to bottomless mimosas for an extra $25.
Miami Marketta, Miami
If you’ve got kids that can’t agree on cuisines, head to outdoor street-food market Miami Marketta for 25 vendor options that’ll suit all taste buds.
Despite the delicious savoury selections available – from teppanyaki noodles to gozleme and brisket – the kids may make a run straight for the Dessert Hall which holds an abundance of gelato, cakes and donuts.
Live music from local blues, jazz and roots artists (with a dancefloor) rounds off this fun family night out.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami.
Open: Dinner Wednesday 5pm-late, Friday 5pm-late, Saturday 4pm-late.
Hot tip: Got a large group? Book out the Cocktail Garden, which opens up the private bar to you and your guests.
Dune Café, Palm Beach
Those who love a sweet breakfast cuisine will dig the spelt banana and blueberry pancakes, while lunch options include cheeseburgers and battered flathead and chips. The big people menu doesn’t disappoint with rustic potato and quinoa hash for brekky, or barramundi in crispy gluten-free batter for later on.
Where: Palm Beach Parklands, 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily 6:30am-3pm.
Hot tip: Grab a table or BYO picnic blanket and take in the live music fortnightly from 9am on Saturdays.
Plantation House Café, West Burleigh
Right on Tallebudgera Creek and less than 10 minutes’ walk from David Fleay Wildlife Park, you’ll find Plantation House Cafe. With plenty of off-street parking, this easy-access cafe pulls in the locals with their all-day organic and free-range breakfast treats like Boston baked beans or corn and zucchini fritters, both served with spinach and poached eggs on sourdough.
Acai bowls are ready for those seeking a healthy start to the day while kids can’t say no to Plantation House’s burgers, pancakes and shakes. There’s a kids’ play area with chalkboard, rocking horse and loads of toys, too.
Where: 1/43 Tallebudgera Creek Road, West Burleigh.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Saturday 6:30am-2:30pm, Sunday 7am-2pm.
Hot tip: Grab some breakfast sustenance after an early morning swim in Tallebudgera Creek or play at Marin Sheils Park across the road.
Paddock Bakery, Miami
For kids (both the two- and four-legged kind), this busy bakery and café inside an old Queenslander home is a great spot to enjoy a family-friendly breakfast, brunch or lunch (or an anytime treat).
Head beyond the picket fence to explore the veggie patch, citrus trees and lavender garden, armed with one of the crunchy cronuts, gooey tarts and other treats that are freshly baked every day.
Want something more substantial? The dippy eggs (served with buttered sourdough soldiers, bacon bits and labna) and iced Milo are high on the order rotation for the kids, while mums and dads have tough decisions to make with the all-day breakfast and lunch options.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily from 6am-3pm.
Passiontree Velvet, Robina
For a unique play date they’re not likely to forget anytime soon, book in for the Teddy Bear’s Picnic kids high tea at Passiontree Velvet.
With all the fanciness of a grown-up high tea, but with a kid price-point (and no tea in sight), this cake shop knows how to please little palettes with ham finger sandwiches, strawberries, macarons and a choice of babycino or juice. Mum or dad is sorted with classic English scones, finger sandwiches and loose leaf tea.
Where: Robina Town Centre (in front of David Jones), 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina.
Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am-5:30pm, Thursday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm.
Hot tip: Order a custom cake or macaron tower for a next-level addition to any birthday party.
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club, Currumbin
Whether your family is signed up for the local nippers or not, Surf Life Saving Clubs are a pretty sure bet for good-value kid-friendly food options. Currumbin Beach Vikings have breakfast, lunch and dinner by the beach sorted with loads of specials across the week.
The Nippers breakfast menu covers simple delights like sausage, egg and hash brown or pancakes with maple syrup and ice-cream. Family faves like chicken nuggets, cheeseburger and chips and old faithful, Hawaiian pizza, are on the Nippers lunch and dinner menu.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin.
Open: Breakfast Monday to Friday 7am-10:30am and Saturday and Sunday 7am-11am, lunch Monday to Friday 11:30am-2:30pm and Saturday and Sunday 12pm-3pm, dinner Sunday to Thursday 5pm-8pm and Friday and Saturday 5pm-8:30pm.
Hot tip: Leave your car at home, and call ahead to arrange the courtesy bus pick-up and drop-off.
Neighbourhood Espresso, Currumbin Waters
As the name suggests, there’s a strong community vibe at Neighbourhood Espresso with a casual backyard feel.
Let the kids loose in the vintage caravan cubby and grassed play area with tables and chairs and toys aplenty. Then, load up on the banana waffles with coconut yoghurt or chunky avocado topped with feta and pomegranate. When the kids are ready to take a break from playing, order them their own bacon and fried egg, waffles and ice cream, or avocado on sourdough.
Where: 9 Station Street, Currumbin Waters.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday 5:30am-2pm, Saturday and Sunday 5:30am-12:30pm.
Hot tip: Expect a good coffee from Neighbourhood Espresso. Their beans are from specialty coffee roasters Seven Miles.
The Bearded Dragon Hotel, Mount Tamborine
If your family needs a beach break, head to the hills of Mount Tamborine and dine on quality pub-fare at the Bearded Dragon Hotel. Set on 110 acres, this country pub paddock with a huge beer garden has a bit of everything for the fam from live music and crocodile shows to playgrounds and alpaca feeding.
The Bearded Dragon team are serious about their hefty steaks and burgers but also mix in a sticky plum and maple glazed pork belly and Big Boy brisket Yorkshire pudding for good measure. Kids can take their pick of cheesy bolognese, steak and vegetables or battered fish and chips.
Where: Corner Tamborine Mountain Road and Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road, Tamborine Village.
Open: Monday to Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-8pm.
Hot tip: Make a weekend of it and stay overnight in a family room onsite at Bearded Dragon Hotel.
Pasture & Co.
Nestled in amongst towering fig trees and looking out at the lush Currumbin Valley, Pasture & Co. has a relaxing vibe and plenty of room for the kids to stretch their legs. The menu heroes locally sourced fresh and organic ingredients, including an ever-changing selection of raw treats if you fancy something sweet with your coffee or golden latte.
There’s always a social activity to join in on here, be it a mum and baby yoga class, a story and craft session for the little ones, listening to live music, or the local markets that are held at the Green Marquee within the Ground At Currumbin eco village. As a bonus, you might spot the wild kangaroos who regularly frequent the area.
Where: Ground At Currumbin, 639 Currumbin Road, Currumbin Valley.
Open: Daily from 7am ‘til 3pm.
Need more family dining ideas? Here are some more Gold Coast kid-friendly cafés:
- The Yard Cafe, 17 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach
- Zest Coffee, 5/496 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
- Cafe Tahbella, 11/3 Cottonwood Place, Oxenford
- BMD Northcliffe Surf Club, 51 Garfield Tce, Surfers Paradise
- Elk Espresso, Oasis Mall, Broadbeach
- Mermaid Beach Surf Club, Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach
- Pancake Diner, The Strand, 72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Heading to Brisbane? These are the best kid-friendly cafes in Brisbane to check out.