13 of the best kid-friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast
From aqua parks to wildlife experiences of the up-close-and-personal kind, the Sunshine Coast is a playground for family goodness. But the fun doesn’t stop there.
Soak up the Sunshine Coast’s atmosphere – and take the fam’s taste buds on an adventure too – with this go-to list of kid-friendly cafes and restaurants. Consider the hunt for new eating experiences with menus for everyone, caffeinated drinks for grown-ups and distraction zones for kids sorted.
The Velo Project, Mooloolaba
This back-street community café in Mooloolaba looks after hungry kids and adults alike with a menu that supports local farmers and producers.
Kids will love ‘The Little Harry’s Club’ unicorn chino, grilled toasties with avocado and cheese or Nutella and cream crepes. Mums and dads can avoid FOMO with buckwheat crepes filled with crunchy peanut butter or smoked salmon, or a toasted tortilla wrap filled with slow-braised ginger and soy pork belly.
Velo’s coffee game is strong (they even serve it up in bowls!), but for an alternate pick-me-up, try their healing organic teas. You’ll find a shaded kids’ area out the back with enough toys and cubbies to keep them busy while you sip.
Where: 19 Careela St, Mooloolaba.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily 7am-3pm.
Hot tip: Add the Fraser Island spanner crab side for a next-level breakfast.
Guru Life, Rosemount
Head west from Maroochydore and swap the beach for lush gardens, a 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 under the umbrellas with a wet coconut brekkie bowl (fruit salad with coconut yoghurt for kiddies) or if you’re visiting for lunch, follow the hypnotic smell of their vegan burger with eggplant parmi, cashew cheese, pickled veggies and relish; while the kids can make tracks for crispy calamari or battered fish with chips.
Where: 522 Petrie Creek Road, Rosemount.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily 6am-3pm.
Hot tip: This is a good 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.
CK Coffee Bar, Mooloolaba
It’ll be hard to get your kids to leave the cute indoor play area with books, toys and a play kitchen that entertains while the food and drinks are prepared.
The CK Coffee Bar team have also crafted a kid-friendly menu (based on learnings from their own fussy eaters) with short stack banana pancakes with coconut ice-cream for breakfast or mini Angus beef burger with sweet potato fries for lunch.
Parents, get ready to make the tough choice between a sweet or savoury breakfast with banana and cinnamon waffles with coconut yoghurt or truffle scrambled eggs with herb roasted mushrooms and marinated feta.
Where: 17 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily 7am-2pm.
Hot tip: Lactose-free milk is up for grabs for those with sensitive tums.
Cafe Doonan, Doonan
An adorable rustic café set amongst the trees on a country road outside of Noosa, you’ll spot toys and books indoors or you can head down to the big garden area complete with sandpit and toy boxes.
Breakfast options start with the classics: muesli and zesty smashed avocado. But you can also get adventurous with Café Doonan’s quinoa apple waffles, or halloumi stack loaded with grilled vegetables and topped with a poached free-range egg and housemade pesto.
From the drinks menu, kids can choose from the milkshake range or stick with a babyccino to go with their beans on toast or toasted wraps.
Where: 777 Eumundi-Noosa Road, Doonan.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Thursday 6:30am-4pm; breakfast, lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday 6:30am-8:30pm; and breakfast Sunday 6:30am-12pm.
Hot tip: Friday and Saturday dinners have 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 brekky wrap – and the Izba interpretation is top notch (bacon, egg, cheese and Spanish onion drizzled with homemade tomato relish on a wholemeal wrap). Go for the fig and walnut loaf 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 (two free-range boiled eggs with thick buttery toast) from the all-day brekky menu.
The lunch menu is crammed with burgers and wraps for adults and cheeseburgers and toasties for the little ones. Whatever meal you choose, enjoy some ‘me’ time while they make good use of the playground area suitable for kids aged four and up.
Where: Corner of Lake Kawana Blvd and Birtinya Blvd, Birtinya.
Open: Breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday 6:30am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 7am-5pm.
Hot tip: Check out the jaffle bar at one of Izba Espresso’s other Sunshine Coast branches at Bells Reach.
Boathouse at Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club, Mooloolaba
Surf Clubs are the go-to venue for many a family get-together and this one is no exception. Located in the hub of Mooloolaba, it’s the spot to refuel after a morning at the beach.
Boathouse’s all-day dining menu begins with breakfast staples like bacon and eggs and toasted muesli; while seafood a-plenty and a roast station is sure to fill bellies later on.
On the ‘Nippers Only’ menu you’ll find old faithfuls like fish and chips, penne Napoli, cheeseburger and chips or chicken schnitzel. The best part (for them) is the free ice-cream cone included. Once it’s demolished, they can escape to the kids corner for arcade games.
Where: The Esplanade, Mooloolaba.
Open: Breakfast daily 8am-10am, lunch and dinner daily from 11:30am-late.
Hot tip: On the first Sunday of each month, your kids can meet and pat pooches 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, where you can grab 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, which make an appearance on both the breakfast and lunch menus. They do a baby benedict for your little ones, or they can satisfy their hunger pains by chowing down on a kid-friendly portion of steak and chips.
They can then run amok outside on the village green, perfect their sand-building 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: Breakfast daily 7am-12pm, lunch Monday to Thursday 12pm-3pm, lunch Friday and Saturday 12pm-5pm.
Hot tip: If you’re looking for a hearty iron injection to round out the week, head to Kelly’s on Friday or Saturday for their $20 steak night special.
Nouveau Restaurant, Novotel Twin Waters, Twin Waters
If your crew likes to feast on an array of food, try the family-friendly themed dinner buffet at Nouveau Restaurant.
Sit outside and watch Marco Polo action unfold in the hotel pool or stay close to the foodie action inside where the whole fam will be going back for seconds of tasty Mexican, Asian delights, roast goodness or seafood delicacies depending on what day of the week you drop by.
Where: 270 Ocean Drive, Twin Waters.
Open: Dinner daily 6pm-9pm.
Hot tip: They also put on a delicious daily breakfast buffet with hot and cold options.
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).
Their lunch menu will get your mouth watering with dishes like slow-roasted lamb shoulder with grilled Mediterranean veggies, smoked olives and pesto or spaghettini with barramundi, tomato, capers, garlic and parsley. And you won’t need to bribe the kids to get through their dinner as they’ve got seven meal options that all come with a drink, dessert and Peppers kids pack.
Where: Little Hastings Street, Noosa Heads.
Open: Breakfast daily 7am-11am, lunch daily 12pm-2:30pm, dinner daily 5:30pm-late.
Hot tip: Kids eat dinner for free if you’re a Mantra+ member, which you can sign up for while dining.
Noosa Boathouse, Noosaville
Wander along the jetty from Noosaville’s main drag where sitting pretty on the Noosa River is Noosa Boathouse with three-levels of foodie fun.
Boathouse’s seafood is pretty special. Parents can share baked scallops, freshly shucked oysters and chilled Mooloolaba king prawns, or go all in with the seafood experience for two which has everything a seafood lover needs from calamari and bugs to crab and fish.
Little foodies can pick battered dory and chips, bangers and mash, or pasta from their own menu.
Where: 194 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville.
Open: Lunch daily from 11:30am, dinner daily from 5pm.
Hot tip: For the ultimate picnic, grab a family pack from the fish and chips takeaway window and find a spot on the sandy bank of the river.
Coffee Cat on Kings, Caloundra
Place your order inside and snag a table outside with views of Kings Beach at Caloundra.
Go for healthy AM options like the Cocowhip breakfast bowl and quinoa Nasi Goreng, or dial up the heftiness with the Beach Jaffle filled with savoury mince and cheese. Juniors can choose between a bunch of toast-related options with hash brown, salmon or halloumi extras.
Lunches are all about burgers, wraps and salads, with the usual suspects like mini grilled chicken burger and Hawaiian pizza for kids combo options.
Where: Shop 4, 8 Levuka Avenue, Kings Beach, Caloundra.
Open: Breakfast daily 6am-11:15am, lunch daily 11:30am-2:30pm.
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
Your taste buds can celebrate all things ginger at this café inside at thee Ginger Factory.
Sweet treats like ginger scones and ginger ice-cream are served up, while the savoury dishes are just as unique – think beef burger with ginger onion jam or Vietnamese ginger chicken salad.
When you’ve had your fill of gingery goodness, let the kids loose in the fenced playground.
Where: 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina.
Open: Breakfast and lunch daily 9am-2:30pm.
Hot tip: Make a day of it and check out the tours and fun at the rest of 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 dishes up classic grub like chicken schnitzel, steak sandwich and pizza through to crispy skinned barramundi and lemon myrtle calamari. Kids under 12 can take their pick of the battered fish, cheeseburger or crumbed chicken tenderloins – all served with chips or vegetables plus ice-cream.
While you’re in the area, work off the food with a few rides and slides next door.
Where: 73 Frizzo Road, Palmview.
Open: Lunch and dinner Sunday to Thursday 11:30am-7:30pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-8pm.
Hot tip: Adults score entry into Aussie World at kids prices.