14 of the best kid-friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast
As a parent, it’s easy to get nostalgic about pre-kid life. When you met up with your other half or had brunch with your mates (on a weekly or monthly basis, not annually), you cheers’d, chowed and chatted the hours away.
You soaked up the atmosphere of being out and about and took your time eating (with two hands and even cutlery) and drinking (while your coffee was still steaming or your vino was chilled).
Now, if you’ve got one or more kids in tow, the old dining-out experience may be dead. And that’s okay.
Hopefully, this go-to list of kid-friendly cafes and restaurants on the Sunshine Coast will make it easy to hunt out new eating experiences with menus for the whole family, caffeinated drinks and distraction zones for kids.
The Velo Project, Mooloolaba
You can’t help but feel the all-around good vibes at The Velo Project, a back-street community cafe in Mooloolaba, who look after hungry and thirsty kids, pooches and regular adults, too. The coffee, drinks and food menu for the whole family support local farmers and producers.
Kids will love the little trike club’s super duper babyccino with fruit pieces and melted dipping chocolate, Vegemite and cheese toastie or their sweet and savoury crepes. Mums and dads can avoid FOMO with a buckwheat crepe. They have plenty of light and hefty all-day menu options from a peach, mango, mint and macadamia smoothie bowl to their Arlington BBQ pulled pork.
Velo’s coffee game is strong (they even serve it up in bowls!), but for an alternate pick-me-up, try their immunity punch made with turmeric, ginger, carrot apple and orange. You’ll find a shaded kids’ area out the back with enough toys, cars and cubbies to keep them busy.
Where:19 Careela St, Mooloolaba.
Open: 7am til 2pm, 7 days.
Hot tip: Dogs are counted as part of the family too at Velo. The crew have created a Dogue Menu which local pooches have given two paws up for their dog nog and puppyccinos.
Guru Life, Rosemount
Head west from Maroochydore and swap the beach for lush gardens, pond and ducks at Guru Life. The setting is perfect for little explorers and the menu is full of colourful, healthy options.
Start your day with a fruity bircher muesli or if you’re hungry, go for the big breakfast with a Guru twist (spiced potato kofta, relish and woodland mushrooms). The wattleseed and orange waffles served with lemon curd, lavender cream, honeycomb, macadamia dukkah are also worth a mention.
If you’re visiting for lunch, follow the hypnotic smell of their burgers from the carpark. The beef and blue cheese burger and fish burger both come highly recommended.
Find a spot under the covered deck that looks out over the pond or head up the back to the open garden and grab a table under a tree or umbrella.
Where: 522 Petrie Creek Road, Rosemount.
Open: 7 days from 6am til 3pm.
Hot tip: This is the perfect spot for bird-chasing kids to play a feathery version of Where’s Wally so you can finish your coffee while it’s still hot.
Sunspace Cafe, Doonan
This organic cafe with locally-sourced produce is a great spot for healthy family fuel. Sunspace has created a menu specifically for little ones under 10 with chibi platters (mini-cheese toasties, hummus, veggie sticks and seasonal fruit), classics like fresh honey and butter on toast, French toast with all the trimmings and egg in a nest.
Parents will also love breakfasts like the super Acai bowl with matcha granola and lunch options ranging from toasties to fresh salads and veggie burgers, burger bowls, nachos and the surprise of the day (if you dare!).
If your kids need to burn some energy off after they eat (or while you do), Sunspace is the place to be. They have a huge garden and paddock to play in and loads of toys. BYO bike or scooter so the kids can hoon around the grassed areas, too. Keep an eye on their website to keep up to date with family-friendly events.
Where: 6 Beddington Road, Doonan.
Open: Breakfast and lunch from 8am ’til 2pm on Mondays and Wednesdays through to Sundays. Open for dinner on Fridays ’til 8pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Hot tip: Make the most of their outdoor green space and join a mum and bub and kids yoga class on Friday mornings.
CK Coffee Bar, Mooloolaba
It’ll be hard to get your kids to leave without a full-blown tantrum at CK Coffee Bar. They have a cute indoor play area with books, toys and a play kitchen to keep kids entertained while the food and drinks are prepared.
The CK Coffee Bar team have crafted a kid-friendly menu (based on their own learnings from three fussy eaters) with classics like eggs and bacon on toast and banana pancakes for breakfast, or grilled chicken strips served with oven-baked sweet potato fries for lunch.
Parents unable to make the tough choice between a sweet or savoury breakfast will love the variety of the CK breakfast board. It’s an epic rainbow meal including smashed avocado, a poached egg, dragonfruit chia pudding with house granola and a super green smoothie shot to wash it down.
Where: 17 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba.
Open: Coffee, breakfast and lunch 6am to 4pm 7 days a week. The kitchen is open from 7am ’til 2pm.
Hot tip: During school holidays, you can feed your child for $3 when you order a main meal. Ka-ching!
Cafe Doonan, Doonan
Cafe Doonan is an adorable rustic cafe set amongst the trees on a country road outside of Noosa. Indoors you’ll spot seating with toys and books or head down to the big garden area. Your kids will likely be huge fans of the outside play area with a sandpit and boxes of toys.
Breakfast options start with the classics: muesli and zesty smashed avocado. If you’re a little more adventurous, try out Cafe Doonan’s garlic mushrooms, quinoa pancakes topped with grated apple and maple, or halloumi stack loaded with grilled vegetables and topped with a poached free-range egg and housemade pesto.
From the drinks menu, keep an eye on their fresh veggie and fruit juices, smoothies and sweet, sweet caffeine! Kids can choose from the milkshake range or stick with a babyccino.
Where: 777 Eumundi-Noosa Road, Doonan.
Open: Mondays to Thursdays 6:30am ’til 4pm, Fridays from 6:30am ’til 9m and 6:30 ’til 12:30 on Sundays.
Hot tip: On Friday and Saturdays, Cafe Doonan puts on tasty dinners with an ever-changing blackboard menu. Go à la carte or put your trust in the chef’s three-course set menu, which is usually themed (and always delish).
Izba Espresso, Birtinya
Breakfast doesn’t come handier than a brekkie wrap and the Izba interpretation is top notch (bacon, egg, cheese, Spanish onion drizzled with homemade tomato relish on a wholemeal wrap). Go for the fig and walnut loaf or mini breakfast if you’re looking for something lighter or, if you’re up for a serious challenge, take the triple stack pancakes for a run.
Kids can also pick pancakes (just two, though), Humpty Dumpty eggs or the kids’ mini breakfast (eggs their way with bacon and toast) from the all-day kids’ brekkie menu.
The lunch menu is rammed with burgers and wraps for adults and cheeseburgers and toasties for the little ones.
Enjoy some ‘me’ time while they enjoy the playground area suitable for kids aged four and up.
Where: Corner of Lake Kawana Blvd and Birtinya Blvd, Birtinya.
Open: Mondays to Fridays from 6:30am ’til 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 7am til 5pm.
Hot tip: Check out Izba Espresso’s other Sunshine Coast locations at Newport and Baringa (Stockland Aura) and jaffle bar at Bells Reach.
Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club, Mooloolaba
Surf Clubs are the go-to venue for many a family get-together and the Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club is no exception. Located in the hub of Mooloolaba, it’s a great spot to refuel after a morning at the beach or meeting seals and handling starfish at Sea Life Sunshine Coast.
During the week, you can order from the à la carte breakfast menu filled with staples like bacon or sausages and eggs with toast, eggs benedict and raisin toast fingers. Weekend breakfasts are all about the buffet (don’t forget your stretchy pants, people!).
For lunch, parents will be chuffed with the range of burgers and steak sandwiches. As the sun goes down, the seafood baskets and char-grilled steaks take priority for the taste buds.
As you’d expect, there’s a ‘Nippers Menu’ for kids under 12. Kids can choose from either fish and chips, penne Napoli, cheeseburger and chips or the old faithful, chicken schnitzel. The best part is that you get an ice-cream cone included in the meal.
Once the ice-cream is demolished, the kids can escape to the Kids Corner with arcade games.
Where: The Esplanade, Mooloolaba.
Open: 7 days breakfast from 8am on Monday to Saturday, 7am on Sunday. Lunch and dinner 7 days a week from 11:30am.
Hot tip: On the first Sunday of each month, your kids can meet and pat pooches from 8:30am as part of the Surf Club’s support of Smart Pups, a local charity that provides Assistance Dogs for children with special needs.
Kelly’s of Peregian, Peregian
Just across the road from one of the locals’ fave beaches, you’ll find Kelly’s of Peregian, a great spot for a bite to eat after a morning of sandcastle constructing or an afternoon of salty splashing.
The Kelly’s chefs often get high fives for their halloumi and zucchini fritters, oven roasted field mushrooms and eggs benedict (ps. they do a baby bene for your little ones wanting a half-serve). The little guys will have their hunger pains satisfied after chowing down on bacon and eggs, pancakes, cheese toastie soldiers or eggs and soldiers.
For the all-day brekkie fans, some breakfast items have snuck onto the lunch menu, plus they have tasty burgers and wraps on offer. Kid-friendly lunch options include chips with steak, fish, chicken nuggets or chook breast. There’s also a range of kids smoothies and fresh juices.
Kids can run amok outside on the village green, perfect their sandcastle skills in the sandpit or make the most of the fully enclosed indoor play area with toys and cubby.
Where: 2/6 Kingfisher Drive, Peregian Beach.
Open: Sundays to Thursdays from 7am ’til 5pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 7am ’til 9pm.
Hot tip: If you’re looking for a hearty iron injection to round out the week, head to Kelly’s on Friday or Saturday night for their 200g rib fillet cooked over a charcoal pit BBQ.
Shore Sundowner Lounge and Nouveau Restaurant, Novotel Twin Waters, Twin Waters
If your crew likes to chow down on different types of food, try the family-friendly buffet at Nouveau Restaurant for breakfast and dinner seven days, or lunches on weekends.
Sit outside and watch some resort-style Marco Polo unfold or stay close to the foodie action inside. Kids will be back for seconds to get amongst the bacon and eggs, pancakes and golden hash browns.
For children who love to eat their dinner and then dance it out, check out the Novotel’s Shore Sundowner Lounge. On Saturdays and Sundays from 4pm until 8pm, order wood-fired pizzas or burgers and set-up a kid and grown-up-friendly picnic by the lagoon. It will be just like your old weekends spent out and about. Well, kind of.
Where: 270 Ocean Drive, Twin Waters.
Open: The buffet is open daily at Nouveau Restaurant from 6:30am ’til 10:30am and dinner from 6pm til 9pm. Lunch Saturdays and Sundays from 12 ’til 2:30pm. Shore Sundowner Lounge open Saturdays and Sundays from 4pm ’til 8pm (please check their website for opening days and times as this changes during the year).
Hot tip: Kids under 15 eat breakfast free at Nouveau Restaurant.
View Restaurant, Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas, Noosa
View Restaurant is the foodie heart of Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas but is open to anyone (not just the lucky resort guests).
If holidays are all about someone else doing the hard work in the kitchen (and the clean-up afterwards), head to View Restaurant for buffet breakfast to get your family’s fill of smoothies, cereals, pancakes, fresh bread and pastries, hash browns and bacon and eggs.
You won’t need to bribe the kids to get through their dinner as they’ve got eight kids’ meal options, all served with a drink, dessert and a Peppers kids pack.
Where: Little Hastings Street, Noosa Heads.
Open: Breakfast from 7am ’til 11am, lunch from 11am ’til 5pm, dinner 5:30pm ’til late.
Hot tip: Breakfast is free for kids under 5. Dinner is also free for children under 12.
Noosa Boathouse, Noosaville
You’ll feel like you’ve escaped your regular land-life as you wander along the jetty from Noosaville’s main drag towards the floating oasis that is Noosa Boathouse. Sitting pretty on the Noosa River, the Boathouse is three-levels of foodie fun.
On Sunday afternoons, head up to the Sunset Bar on the top deck for live music, drinks and snacks to take in sun and moon shift change on the river.
As you’d imagine, the Boathouse’s seafood game is strong. Parents can toss-up between baked Hervey Bay scallops, BBQ local cuttlefish or Mooloolaba chilled king prawns. Or go all in with the seafood experience for two which has everything a seafood lover needs from calamari to bugs to oysters, prawns and fish.
Little foodies can pick from the kids’ menu includes fish or calamari and chips or bangers and mash or pasta. On Friday’s, mini-Rex Hunt’s can get involved in the Fish Frenzy where you get to feed local fish from the jetty. Yibbida yibbida!
Where:194 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
Open: From 6am ’til late 7 days a week for light breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hot tip: For the perfect picnic, grab a family pack from the fish and chips takeaway hole and find a spot on the sandy bank of the Noosa River.
Coffee Cat on Kings, Caloundra
Place your order inside and snag a table outside with views of Kings Beach at Caloundra.
The breakfast menu starts with healthy options like the Cocowhip breakfast bowl or smoked salmon quinoa fritters. Or dial up the heftiness with a beached jaffle (old school savoury mince and cheese), brisket breakfast wrap or waffles or pancakes.
Kids under 12 can choose between a bunch of toast-related options, pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon or Cocowhip with seasonal fruit.
Lunches are all about burgers, wraps, salads and seafood with a quinoa nasi goreng in the mix for good measure. Coffee Cat has a few kids meal lunch combos to excite the little people’s taste buds with calamari or fish and chips, burgers, pizza and sandwiches.
Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday nights with tapas, pizzas, seafood and burgers on the menu. All kids meals come with ice-cream, too.
There’s no dedicated kids area inside, but there’s a playground across the other side of the carpark. If you’re up for a wander, head right out of the cafe and walk along the coastal path towards Happy Valley for more playground (and beach) action. Oh, and did we mention the beach?
Where: Shop 4, 8 Levuka Avenue, Kings Beach, Caloundra.
Open: Monday to Thursday from 5:30am ’til 3:30pm, Friday and Saturdays from 5:30am ’til 9pm, Sundays from 5:30am til 6pm.
Hot tip: Stick around for the live music and fun vibes on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
The Ginger Cafe, Ginger Factory, Yandina
Celebrate all things ginger with your taste buds at the Ginger Cafe at the Ginger Factory. The Cafe and Ice Creamery serve up treats like ginger scones, ginger ice-creams and kids can even decorate their own gingerbread men (before they gobble them up). When you’ve had your fill of gingery goodness, let the kids lose in the fenced playground.
If you’ve got time, make a day of it and explore the rest of the Ginger Factory. Jump on Moreton the 115-year-old train, catch the Superbee live bee show or do the full factory tour.
Where: 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina.
Open: 9am ’til 4:30pm 7 days a week (the main menu is available until 2:30pm).
Hot tip: Make a day of it and check out the tours and fun at the Ginger Factory.
The Pub at Aussie World, Palmview
Don’t be disturbed by the screams as you chomp through your chow at this family-friendly spot. It’s not your kids refusing to eat their veggies, it’s just people having a blast on the rides at Aussie World right behind you!
The Pub puts on classic Aussie grub like chicken parmis, steak sandwiches and burgers through to slow-roasted lamb shanks, char-grilled steaks and pork chops.
Kids under 12 can take their pick of the battered fish, steak, cheeseburger or crumbed chicken tenderloins – all served with chips and salad or vegetables and ice-cream.
While you’re in the area, work off the food with a few rides next door at Aussie World. Your littlest ones can slide and shake on safe ride options for shorties under 100cm and older adventurers can test out their adrenal glands on the Redback or the Wasp.
Where: 73 Frizzo Road, Palmview.
Open: Lunch from 11:30am and dinner from 5:30pm.
Hot tip: On Fridays, kids eat for free from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
Want more kid-friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast? Here’s a few extras to test out:
- Catalina Noosa, 172 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
- PK’s Cafe and Bar, Ivory Palms Resort, 173 Hilton Terrace, Noosaville
- Noosa Leisure Centre, 9 Wallace Dr, Noosaville
- Marcoola Night Markets, 10 Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola (on every Friday night)
- Maroochydore RSL, Memorial Avenue, Maroochydore
- Coco Loco Club, 3 Roderick Street, Moffat Beach
- One Block Back, 106 Nothling St, Moffat Beach
- Sandbar Cafe, 26 Esplanade Bulcock Beach, Caloundra
- Caloundra RSL, 19 West Terrace, Caloundra
- Gelato Rumba, 26/31 The Esplanade, Caloundra: Unofficially the BEST ice-cream spot on the Sunshine Coast, right opposite Bulcock Beach
- Buderim Tavern, 81 Burnett St, Buderim
- Maleny Dairies, 70 McCarthy Road, Maleny: Do the farm tour and meet Millie the cow, jump on a tractor ride before ordering something full of dairy goodness from the Milk Bar
- Eumundi Markets, 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi: Food and craft markets on each Wednesday and Saturday
- Kidsworld Central, 113 Marara Street, Cooroy
Before we wrap up, here’s a helpful little map to show you where to find these kid-friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast: