Where to eat with kids on the Gold Coast: Best kid-friendly cafes and restaurants
Families flock to the Gold Coast for theme park action, beach chills, hinterland mini-hikes and sunny good times.
You’ll need to step up your energy levels to extreme perkiness to keep up with the holiday to-do list (and your little people), so we’ve hunted out the best Gold Coast kid-friendly cafes to refuel the crew and recharge the tour guides (aka you).
From Main Beach to Surfers and down to Currumbin, we’ve found the best family-friendly cafes and restaurants with climbing spots, play areas for all ages, frothy babycinos and piping-hot flat whites laid out for you and the kids.
BSKT Cafe, Mermaid Beach
You’ll find BSKT right in the heart of Mermaid Beach, less than 40 meters back from the beach. While they’re known for their locally sourced, organic, paleo and gluten-free menu, BSKT is also popular with kids, with meals like berrylicious pancakes, tacka tacos, super fries and chicken, la salsa pasta and an old fave, ham and eggs.
All kids meals come with a free juice. Cocowhip (AKA healthy soft serve that’s vegan and dairy free) is also popular with big and little kids. If you’re heading to BSKT for dinner on Friday nights, the kids eat for free. They have a dedicated kids area on the beach side of the restaurant and kids activity packs, too.
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach.
Open: Breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. Mondays to Thursdays from 6am till 4pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 7am till 10pm and Sundays from 7am till 5pm.
Hot tip: Nom nom downstairs and then ommm upstairs at BSKT Yoga where they offer mums, bubs and prenatal classes.
Paradox Coffee Roasters, Surfers Paradise
You’ll find this modern coffee-lovers haven in the 4217 (yep, it’s the postcode for Surfers Paradise), which also houses Brooklyn Depot (top burger joint) and Salt Meats Cheese (deli fans, rejoice!) amongst other local foodie hotspots.
Paradox has created a great space for kids, otherwise known as the playpen, which is a gated area with a feature chalk wall, plus toys, teddies and games to keep the kids distracted while you enjoy some coffee, eat with two hands and maybe even have a conversation. The best part is, babycinos are on the house when you buy another drink. Kaching!
If you’re looking for a spot to celebrate a milestone, go all the way with their high coffee experience (just like a high tea, but for coffee freaks). Otherwise, these guys do all-day breakfast and all-day lunch so you can not only choose what you eat, but when.
Try the smashed avo with a twist of hummus, dukkah, peas and fetta on toasted sourdough or their fancy brioche French toast with salted peanut parfait, caramelised bananas, strawberries and sweet sweet maple syrup. Paradox Coffee Roasters is also dog-friendly so your pooch doesn’t have to miss out on the family fun.
Where: 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise.
Open: 7 days from 7am till 5pm.
Hot tip: Round out the weekend with a Sunday roast. Bookings are essential for this old-time fave.
Waterfront Restaurant at Southport Yacht Club, Main Beach
Want your kids to learn to set sail while you sip your flat white? Then head to the Southport Yacht Club on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9am until 10:30am or 11am until 12:30pm and your 7 to 15 year-olds can take off on a Funsail to learn some new skills.
Once they’re back from a morning on the water, they’ll need some spinach and probably something more palatable from the kid’s lunch and dinner menus, which include all the staples from steak, chicken or fish and fries to pasta Napoli.
Seafood-loving parents will be drooling over the seafood platters and king prawn and slipper lobster linguini (there’s loads of non-fishy options if seafood doesn’t rock your boat). In between sailing and eating, the kids will be sorted for fun at the children’s playground on the western lawn of the clubhouse.
Where: 1 Macarthur Parade, Main Beach.
Open: Weekend breakfast from 7:30am till 10am, lunch and dinner 7 days from 12noon and 5:30pm till 8:30pm.
Hot tip: Kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights from 5:30pm.
Bumbles Café, Surfers Paradise
It might only be five minutes 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 Gold Coast kid-friendly cafes.
Place an order for a Big Breakfast Burger and the Baby Brother version for little people in your group. There’s also a kid’s version of their epic vanilla pancakes, served with macadamia praline caramel sauce, banana and ice-cream.
Where:19 River Drive, Budds Beach, Surfers Paradise.
Open: Breakfast and lunch 7 days from 7am till 4pm. Thursdays till 10pm.
Hot tip: For something a bit posh for your mother’s group meet-up spot or holiday celebration, book in for a high tea featuring veal Wellington, mini chicken and leek pies, strawberry tarts and choux puffs with coffee cream. High tea is served 7 days a week at 2pm.
Bazaar, QT Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
One word: Buffet. Kids love them and parents will love the buffet at QT Gold Coast, one of the coolest hotels on the coast, smack bang in the middle of Surfers Paradise. The quirky hotel will totally change the way you feel about buffets with their epic spreads for breakfast and dinner.
Loads of options are made to order, but either way, you’ll have your pick of meals ready to go. At dinnertime, tuck into everything from slow-roasted meats, fresh seafood and dumplings and some sweet treats including a sundae station.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Open: Daily for breakfast from 6:30am till 10:30am and dinner from 5:30pm till late.
Hot tip: Don’t fill up too much on the savouries. You’ll need significant room (or wear stretchy pants) for the dessert bar. Epic is an understatement.
Miami Marketta, Miami
If you’ve got kids that are polar opposite on the food willingness scale, head to Miami Marketta for dinner options that will suit the whole family. Marketta is an outdoor street food market with covered seating for 600, filled with over 25 stalls. It’s kind of like Uber Eats, minus the app and the delivery dude.
Warning: despite the tasty savoury options available, the kids may make a run straight for the Dessert Hall which holds enough gelato, crepes and doughnuts filled with everything imaginable to suit the littlest Augustus Gloop in the making.
There’s also a face painter and balloon guy waiting to entertain in the Dessert Hall, too. If you’re working up your appetite, wander through the studio spaces where you can meet local makers and buy their wares or sweat out your indulgences on the dance floor with live music from local blues, jazz and roots artists.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami.
Open: Dinner on Wednesdays from 5pm till 9pm, Fridays from 5pm till 11pm, Saturdays from 4pm till 11pm.
Hot tip: You can book a table if you have a group of eight or more. Drinks service is included for these large group bookings so after you’ve grabbed your food, you can sit back and let the drinks come to you.
Paddock Bakery, Miami
This busy bakery and cafe pumps out its fair share of delicate doughnuts, crunchy cronuts, gooey tarts and treats every day of the week. You name it, they nail it. For kids (both the two and four-legged kind), it’s a great spot to enjoy breakfast, brunch or lunch (or an anytime treat) with the family inside the white picket fence, exploring around the veggie patch, citrus trees and lavender garden.
Order an iced milo and coffee or something more substantial inside and then find a table under a shady tree or head inside to the loft on a rainy day.
The dippy eggs (served with buttered sourdough soldiers, bacon bits and labna), cheeseburgers and Nutella bots are high on the order rotation for the kids, while mums and dads have tough decisions to make with the all-day brekkie and lunch options, not to mention the piping-hot sweets you’ll spot en route to the counter.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami.
Open: 7 days a week from 6:30am till 3pm.
Hot tip: Mini chefs will love Paddock Play Dates. You can drop off your budding little chefs to their own area with a qualified teacher and enjoy a breath (and coffee and drool-worthy treats) under the Paddock trees. The sessions cost $25 and are run during the school holidays.
Plantation House Cafe, 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 the fruity fans 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: 7 days a week from 6:30 till 2:30pm.
Hot tip: Grab some breakfast sustenance after an early morning swim in Tallebudgera Creek or play at Marin Sheils Park across the road.
Dune Café, Palm Beach
Dune Cafe is next level when it comes to Gold Coast kid-friendly cafes. Their location alone gives them a five-star family badge as they’re right in the middle of pumping Palm Beach, chilled out Currumbin Creek, Tarrabora Reserve, an off-leash beach and just a plank walk away from a pirate playground. And we haven’t even mentioned their kid-friendly menu!
Scallywags who love simple breakfast cuisine will dig their hotcakes, bacon and egg muffins, toast with the regular toppings or toasted muesli with yoghurt and berries. Lunch options for the kids include tasty nacho boats, cheeseburgers, Southern-style chicken tenders and chips or battered flathead and chips.
Parents won’t be disappointed with the big people menu with classic dishes like bacon and egg burgers right up to Sriracha marinated pork belly Benedict on an artisan croissant. Their lunch menu offers everything from BLAT and belly-up burgers through to sticky Asian pork ribs and beachside classics like hand-cut calamari and barramundi.
Beware: you may not be able to ignore the waft of crispy cronuts or dense baked cheesecakes served fresh daily.
Where: Palm Beach Parklands, 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach.
Open: Daily from 6:30am till 3pm for breakfast and lunch.
Hot tip: Grab a table or BYO picnic blanket and take in the live music on the last Saturday of every month.
Passiontree Velvet, Robina
You’ll be guaranteed a sugar high when you visit this dessert cafe that’s taken a (sugary) leaf out of the inventor of the high tea’s recipe book. For old-time favourites try Passiontree Velvet’s Victoria Sponge, sink your fork into their magnificent Raspberry Meringue layered sponge, or scratch your noodle and make a tough decision from their hectic macaron range.
If your mini-me brings their mandatory plus-one (of the stuffed kind) to all occasions, suggest a teddy bear’s picnic at Passiontree Velvet. They’ll get all the fanciness of a high tea, with a kid price-point (and no tea in sight).
Where: Robina Town Centre, 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina (in front of David Jones).
Open: 7 days from 9am Monday to Saturday and Sunday from 10am.
Hot tip: You’ll smell the Passiontree Velvet goodness at Pacific Fair, too.
Neighbourhood Espresso, Currumbin Waters
As the name suggests, there’s a strong community vibe at Neighbourhood Espresso. It’s pet and kid-friendly and has loads to offer guests on the hunt for gluten-free breakfasts and lunches, too. If you’re taking the full crew, find a spot under a leafy tree in the fully-fenced garden area or under a cute umbrella on the back deck. Let the kids loose to explore the vintage caravan cubby and grassed play area with kid’s tables and chairs and toys aplenty.
Savoury fans flock towards the hash stack or brekkie tortilla and sweet tooths eyeball the ricotta pancakes or brioche French toast (with or without the bacon) being delivered to other guests. Popular kids’ meals include bacon and eggs, pancakes, ham and cheese toasties or avo on toast – best washed down with a babycinos, kids milkshake or smoothie. Chunky burgers, crispy salads and gourmet sandwiches are on offer at lunch. Tummy grumbling yet?
Where: 4/9 Station Street, Currumbin Waters.
Open: 7 days from 5:30am till 2pm.
Hot tip: Expect a good coffee from Neighbourhood Espresso. Their beans are brewed from Yatala’s own Supreme Roasters.
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club, Currumbin
Whether you’ve signed your crew up for the local nippers or not, Surf Life Saving Clubs are usually 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.
For breakfast, the Nippers menu covers bacon or sausage, egg and hash brown combinations or pancakes or fruit salad. Family faves like chicken nuggets, fish, steak or cheeseburgers and chips and the old faithful, Hawaiian pizza are on the Nippers lunch and dinner menu.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin.
Open: 7 days from 7am for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hot tip: If you’d like to leave your car and keys at home, call ahead and arrange the courtesy bus pick up and drop off.
The Bearded Dragon Hotel, Mount Tamborine
If your family is beached out, head to the hills of Mount Tamborine and eat out at the Bearded Dragon Hotel. Set on 110 acres, this country pub paddock with a huge beer garden has a bit of everything from quality pub-fare and live music to crocodile and dragons reptile shows and charity toad races, to playgrounds and alpaca feeding.
Each week they run Family Fiver Friday fun with cheap eats and movies on offer for the whole fam.
The Bearded Dragon team are serious about their hefty steaks and burgers but also mix in a Drunken Farmhouse duck confit and Big Boy Yorkshire pudding for good measure. Kids can take their pick of lasagna or ravioli, cheeseburgers, steak or fish or crumbed chicken tender and chippy goodness.
Where: Corner Tamborine Mountain Road and Beaudesert-Beenleigh Road, Tamborine Village.
Open: Monday to Friday from 10am till 10pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am till 11pm.
Hot tip: Make a weekend of it and stay overnight in a family room onsite at The Bearded Dragon.
Need more foodie inspiration for your little people? Here are some more Gold Coast kid-friendly cafes:
- 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
- Pancakes in Paradise, The Strand, 72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta and 3046 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise (all-you-can-eat pancakes every day of the week!)
Here’s a little round-up map to save to your phone: