This Carlton North spot is a culinary chameleon, shape-shifting as the crowds wax and wane. As evening falls, Green Park’s long wooden counter lights up as it morphs to an intimate Mediterranean-influenced den. In the day, it’s open for early coffees and kicking back with colorful brunches that stretch long into the afternoon. Despite grown-up interiors, awash with Hooker’s green and timber frames, it’s great for children. Ham and cheese toasties without crusts are the highlight of the kids’ menu. Parents can opt for more sophistication: scrambled tofu and kale, washed down with Small Batch coffee, while their brood explores the playground opposite.
Brunswick – a suburb known for on-trend haunts – makes family cool with Miss Marmalade. Step through the well-worn doors and you’ll find a small stripped back space with exposed bricks, recycled wood and oversized, low-hanging bulbs. Don’t think these hipster essentials mean it’s not a place to bring even a raucous mob of children though. Head past the tempting cakes and through to a back room to find toys, games and a chalkboard. If that’s not parent-chic enough, perch outside in the flower-bordered pavement courtyard. No dedicated children’s menu but a perfect excuse to get them eating grown-up grub.
Miss Marmalade, 126 Union St, Brunswick VIC, +61 (03) 9388 8202
If you’re looking for a beachside spot, somewhere to watch your kids play in the sand while you order, then NSHRY is the Albert Park essential. There’s a caveat though: expect a wait if you’re hoping for sought-after places on the deck. Pronounced ‘Noshery’, a large menu features many dishes with a contemporary Asian twist – a nod to the owner’s background. Most little ones will be happy with one of the breakfast dishes, or the seaside staple of fish and chips. Otherwise, burgers that are consistently ranked up with Melbourne’s best will keep a restless child, eager to get back to the ocean, satiated until dinner.