• As the seasons change and we usher in the cooler weather, families are on the hunt for cosy spots with a little something for everyone. The anticipation for a season filled with family outings and delicious memories is palpable. In this special feature, we embark on a culinary journey to uncover the crème de la crème of family-friendly dining, ensuring parents and little ones alike can revel in the joy of good food and great company.

    These are our top picks of kid-friendly restaurants that set the stage for a season filled with the simple pleasure of breaking bread with loved ones.

    Try something new

    Nestled between Lone Hill and Kyalami, you’ll find the Prison Break Market, an eclectic collection of sheds catering to all tastes. Your family can explore seven delightful sheds boasting everything from a Clay Café and an interactive selfie studio to an artisanal food market and craft pourhouse.

    While you enjoy a bite and a crisp beer at The Pourhouse (shed seven), the little ones can paint ceramics (shed four), slurp bubble tea (shed one), or play to their heart’s content in the designated kiddies’ play area. Browse craft stalls, stock up on fresh bread and cheeses, and enjoy sweeping views of Johannesburg. All in all, this is an amazing day out and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg.


    Farm-style fun

    Noordhoek Farm Village is only a 25-minute drive from Cape Town. This laid-back hang-out has a quaint, country pub, live entertainment at Cafe Roux, an unmissable bakery, handcrafted ice cream, a raw juice bar, a boutique hotel (complete with an underground bar), and a range of shops.

    It’s here you’ll find The Foodbarn Café & Tapas, the brainchild of renowned chef Franck Dangereux, the founder of the award-winning restaurant, La Colombe. He describes this charming eatery as ‘the lovechild of the coffee shop that used to be housed in our Deli, and the restaurant where serious food and wine pairings were the norm.’ Think casual dining in a laid-back, refined atmosphere.

    What’s more, once a week, you can explore the open-air market and tuck into dinner at the shared-style tables on the lawn. The market is open every Wednesday evening from 4 pm to 8 pm.


    Take a break

    Netherwood Farm in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is a breath of fresh air. The farm has two eateries, veggie gardens, an Angus cow stud, a craft brewery, scenic walks, and an ever-present panoramic view of the rolling Drakensberg mountains.

    Blueberry Café is perfect for more casual get-togethers and is famous for its irresistible blueberry cheesecake, wholesome breakfasts, and a loo with a view (literally – and yes, the kids will love it). Fork ’n Cleaver is a farm-to-fork steakhouse that serves its own home-grown, hormone-free, and free-range Angus and Wagyu beef. This is the more formal of the options and is well worth a visit on special occasions.

    Happy Days Brewery crafts and serves six unique beers you can enjoy with great nibbles at the onsite pub. While the adults indulge, the kids can keep busy by getting to know the alpacas and horned cattle.


    Also worth a visit

    • Moyo at  Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Newlands, Cape Town

    • Casalinga Restaurant, Muldersdrift, Johannesburg

    • De Vette Mossel in Hartbeespoort, Grootbrak, Parys, or Hermanus

    • Pizzarella, Kenton-on-Sea

    • Pancakes at the Stables, Pilgrim’s Rest

    ALSO SEE: For the kids: Stamped cookies recipe to keep them busy during school holidays

    For the kids: Stamped cookies recipe to keep them busy during school holidays

    Written by Ashton Kirsten.

    Originally published in Food&Home’s Autumn issue.

    Feature image: Pexels