- Food and Cooking
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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
Telephone: 011 450 4646/40 or 079 875 1582
Fahrenheit Seafood & Grill
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
Telephone: +27 (0)11 452 9704
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.
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
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.
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
Cnr Modderfontein & Van Riebeeck
Chicago Spur - Closed Down
Shop 91 - 93 Key West Centre
43 van Buuren Rd
Shop U63/66, Eastgate Shopping Centre
Visit their web site for more information
Holiday fun for kids
- Kids holiday fun at Montecasino Bird Park
If you are looking for a fun half day out with the kids over the school holidays, or for something to do on the weekend, have you considered the Montecasino Bird Park?
Nice resutrants in Johannesburg for adults
- Best Lunch Spots In Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
Melrose Arch is situated in the leafy suburb of Melrose, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is an Italian style Piazza built around a number of International Hotels, boutique shops and trendy restaurants.
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.