Top child friendly restaurants in Johannesburg (jhb), South Africa, Papachinos, Midrand, Kids

Top child friendly restaurants in Johannesburg, South Africa, Papachinos and other great places

Having two small children can be tough at times, especially so when you add the prospect of having to get them to sit at the table for two hours, that's enough to make even the most well behaved child go loco!

I am finding that like myself, my friends are also building families, and like myself they also find the prospect of worrying after children while at a restaurant unappetizing. When a bunch of my friends and myself want to meet up, we can have around 10 children in tow, aging form 6 months up to 6 years old, I think we strike fear into the heart of many a restaurateur.

Don't get me wrong, My children are well behaved, sure they could be better, but they are kids and listening to a bunch of adults prattle on must be boring. That said on a recent visit to Australia I was astounded to not find one restaurant with any child friendly facilities. I am not sure if this is a South African thing, but to be child friendly a restaurant needs to have a kiddies menu, a separate play space, climbing frames, crayons ... stuff kids like. In reality where I live, children have an expectation to at least be able to order food that they are familiar with if they want to.

Ozzie Kids in training?


We struggled to find anywhere apart from the local McDonald's that even considered little children, and there is only so much McDonald's you can eat. I did notice however how well behaved the older Australian children were at the table, but there where a very few young children around, and those that I saw where just as rambunctious as mine. My wife and I joked that there must be an eight year training course for Australian children on table etiquette before they are allowed out.

I understand that the entertainment of your children is not the responsibility of the restaurant, but in reality I find that we all tend to favor the places that make our lives easier, and the clever restaurateur will leverage this to attract customers. I also understand that not all restaurants are child friendly, but make it known that you do not cater for children upfront so my children do not ruin your romantic dinner, and I will expect the same when I go to a place like that.

List of child friendly restaurants

So in order to make it onto my list of top child friendly restaurants an establishment needs to really understand that children and their parents can both have a pleasant experience at their establishment.

Necessities include:

  • Good food and a menu for all ages (even gran..)
  • A safe place for children to play.
  • Crayons, paper, coloring in, Jungle Jim's, climbing frames, slides and swings, some selection of stuff to keep little hands and minds occupied.


Extra marks for:

  • Child minders to keep a tab on the chaos.
  • Activities, like face painting, Pizza making
  • Dedicated play area for children of different ages to play, the three year olds tend to get knocked about by the seven year olds.


So here is my list so far, these are all places that I have been to and can personally add the child friendly stamp to.

Egoli Lodge

A marker19 Terrace Rd Lethabong 1609 -
19 Terrace Rd, Lethabong 1609, South Africa
[get directions]

6. Egoli Lodge

Egoli Lodge is a lodge situated in Edenvale, it is usually a quite, sedate place, but on the weekends they open their door to the kids.


Facilities include:

  • A large play area with toys and books for all ages
  • Child minders
  • A climbing wall with instructor
  • Mini go-carts

It can get a bit wild as the go-karts whizz down the paid area in front of the restaurant. The restaurant has outside seating as well as inside. The menu is plain, offering toasted sandwiches, burgers and light meals.

This is a good place if you just want to hook up with friends for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Find them at:

19 Terrace Rd, Eastleigh, Edenvale

Telephone: +27(0) 11 453 7722

Website: http://www.egolilodge.co.za/

Adega

A marker1 Park Street, Bedfordview, Gauteng -
1 Park St, Germiston 2007, South Africa
[get directions]

5. Adega (Northern and Eastern JHB)

The Adega chain is a Portuguese inspired chain of restaurants, and they embrace the concept of family. Their Bedfordview branches and some of the Northern suburb branches offer facilities for children. They have climbing frames and drawing for the children, and it is normal to see children roaming around the tables going back and forth.

The Bedfordview branch has both inside and outside seating. The menu is excellent and the food is good. This is a perfect place for a nice Sunday lunch with friends and family.

Find them at :

1 Park Street
Corner Hawley Road
Bedfordview
Website: http://www.adegas.co.za/index.php
Telephone: 011 450 4646/40 or 079 875 1582

Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill

A marker1 Hudson Street, Edenvale -
1 Hudson Ave, Lethabong 1609, South Africa
[get directions]

4. Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill

This 250 seat restaurant also located on Terrace Rd, has a wonderful out side garden area, making it perfect for summer dining. There is lots of shade outside and a nice ambiance inside. They have the best set of climbing frames, swings and children s toys of any place in the list so far.

There are no minders, so if you cannot get a seat close to the play area it is hard to relax as you cannot see that the kids are up to. This is not so bad for the older children, but the younger ones can tend to get knocked around a bit as it is all one area and the older children mix with the younger ones. The key to having a good time here with kids is to book early and ask for a seat with a view of the play area.

Find them at:

1 Hudson Street
Cnr Terrace & Hudson Roads
Eastleigh, Edenvale
Telephone: +27 (0)11 452 9704

A markermaggie's farm, near Lanseria, City of Johannesburg Rural -
Lanseria, City of Johannesburg Rural 1739, South Africa
[get directions]

3. Maggies Farm; Home Of The Chicken Pie

Situated a short drive from the Malibongwe off-ramp, it's a great place to go when the weather is good. The restaurant has inside and outside seating with a varied menu boasting fresh wholesome food. They are famous for their juicy chicken pies, I have been eating them for about 15 years now and still go back as often as I can.

There is a nice play area for the kids, and lots of grass and trees for those who prefer to picnic there. Just keep an eye on the smaller ones as there is a duck pond to fall into.

There are some curio shops and it is a popular stop for tourists so if you are planning a trip there on a public holiday, go early to ensure a good spot.

Papachinos

A marker40 Whisken Ave Midrand -
40 Whisken Ave, Midrand, South Africa
[get directions]

2. Papachinos Crowthorne

Papachinos offer a Mediterranean inspired menu with a focus in Greek and Italian themed foods. This place is a kids paradise! They have multiple playgrounds set up for children of different ages, a large Jungle-Jim with slides and bridges for the older kids, and a wacky elephant type of climbing frame come slide for the littler people. They also have a racing track with push bikes and cars. My children love the kids pizzaria where they get to create there own pizza and watch it getting cooked in the wood burning pizza oven.


They have multiple child minders to keep things under control while you dine. This is my favorite place to dine with children and it would be number one on my list if there was one in every neighborhood, it is a winning formula! But sadly there is only four, in Crowthorne, Pineslopes, Silverlakes and Clearwaters.
At peak times it is best to book.

Find them at:
40 Whisken Avenue
Crowthorne
Midrand
Telephone: +27 11 702 1234

Also check out their awesome web site, http://www.papachinos.co.za/, one of the best restaurant ones I have seen for a while.

A marker43 van Buuren Rd -
43 Van Buuren Rd, Germiston 2007, South Africa
[get directions]

1. Spur Steak Ranches

Topping the list is the Spur chain of resultants, sure, the food at other places is better, but Spur has stood the test of time. Their solid no frills, wholesome, kind of food your mom makes menu ensures that there is something for everyone.

They have a branch in just about every neighborhood , I have three in a short driving distance from my home!

Spur lives up to its tag line as the official restaurant of the South African family, they serve generous portions of food in a friendly and relaxing environment.

Most have a dedicated play area with a selection of toys, trampolines, climbing frames, video games, climbing walls, and face painting. They are usually dedicated minders and some have an enclosure for smaller children.

The relaxed environment and many locations make this the easiest place to go with the family.

Ones I frequent regularly are;

7 Eagles Spur

Shop No. L103
Greenstone Mall,
Cnr Modderfontein & Van Riebeeck
Edenvale
1609

Chicago Spur - Closed Down

Shop 91 - 93 Key West Centre
43 van Buuren Rd
Bedfordview
2008

Wichita Spur

Shop U63/66, Eastgate Shopping Centre
Bradford Rd
Bedfordview
2008

Visit their web site for more information

Please leave a comment if I left anywhere out

So that's it, if you feel I left anywhere out, please leave a comment and i will update the list.

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Comments 3 comments

Heather  5 years ago

I agree with your comment about Pappachinos. By far the best option... because the kids love it - AND - the food is really good! I have just discovered their newest branch (Clearwater) in Radio Kop - and the kids area looks more like a theme park. Even though it's a little bit of a drive for us, it's definitely our kid-friendly-restaurant of choice in Jozi. Another option that you haven't mentioned is Bambino's in Melville. They have a really huge - and very awesome - climbing gym... child minders... toys...sand-art... indoor and outdoor seating... activities... and even inside the restaurant, lots of mini tables & chairs (for kids) and blackboards for kids to draw on... and so on. Great place for the kids - and I love their coffee. However - their food - in general - isn't GREAT (especially in comparison to Pappachinos) and their waiter service is rather slow. Still - if you're not picky about food and just want an average run-of-the-mill meal - BUT - with awesome entertainment and fun for the kids - I would definitely recommend them.


MetalLemon profile image

MetalLemon 5 years ago from Brisbane, Australia Author

Thanks Heather, I will give Bambinos a try, thanks for the great comment!


Bela 5 years ago

I think heather means Bambanani? Super dooper place - a must try for people with small children :-)

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