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10 child-friendly restaurants in Durban and surrounds

Want to keep the kids happy and entertained while you dine? Head to one of these fantastic restaurants around KZN with play areas, kiddies’ menus and changing facilities.

Bona Terra Café (Hillcrest)

This spot is a great place for foodies with children. Relax and enjoy cheese boards, elegant salads with salmon and mascarpone, or colourful quiches.
Play area: There’s a great outdoor area for the little ones to play, featuring sand pits, slides, activity tables and a wooden jungle gym. The play areas are divided into two areas for bigger kids and smaller tots.
Kids’ menu: Little ones can enjoy top-your-own pizzas, burgers, gourmet shakes and more.
Changing facilities: Nappy changing facilities are available in the ladies’ bathrooms only.
Child-minders: Friendly caretakers are on duty in the play areas to help watch over the kiddies while you enjoy your meal.

Circus Circus Beach Café (Snell Parade)

Head to this beach café for blissful sea views and some fun in the sun with the family.
Play area: A secure area on the sunny beach allows children to play in the sand. There’s also a jungle gym and a sand pit.
Kids’ menu: A menu is available for the little ones with light meals like toasted sarmies, pizza and milkshakes.
Changing facilities: Nappy-changing facilities are available in the ladies’ bathroom only.
Child-minders: No; however, the tables are situated around the play area so that parents can keep a close eye on their children.

Go Fresh Café (Assagay)

Friendly staff and exceptional food (those who’ve visited rave about the cheesecake and milkshakes especially) make this a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Play area: There’s a sheltered play area for kids that features various activities, from swings to a reading corner.
Kids’ menu: There are loads of fun options on the kiddies menu, but the highlight for most is the waffles (and those milkshakes).
Changing facilities: There’s a mommy’s corner dedicated to breastfeeding moms and nappy-changing parents.
Child-minders: No.
Other: Apart from all the games and toys, kids will also be enthralled by Billy the goat.

La Piazza (Ballito)

A good spot for all-day Italian food with the family.
Play area: This North Coast restaurant offers both an outdoor and indoor play area for the littlies. The large grassy lawn boasts a giant, bright-orange royal palace, where the kids can climb and slide to their hearts’ content. There’s also a pizza/playdough section and a PlayStation indoors.
Kids’ menu: The bambini menu features mini pizzas, burgers and ribs.
Changing facilities: A changing station is available in the ladies’ bathroom only.
Child-minders: There are full-time child-minders on site.

The colourful playground at La Piazza. Photo supplied.

Olive & Oil (Hillcrest, Pietermaritzburg and Umhlanga)

This is a Mediterranean favourite amongst Durban locals. Parents can tuck into their pizzas while the kids are happily entertained.
Play area: The children’s playroom is equipped with a television and DVDs, foosball tables and other fun games.
Kids’ menu: Kiddies under the age of 12 can munch on pizza, pasta, calamari and mac and cheese.
Changing facilities: No.
Child-minders: Olive & Oil staff are also tasked with watching over the little ones.

The festive playroom at Olive & Oil in Hillcrest. Photo supplied.

O&O Café (Westville)

This Westville eatery is a favourite spot for the family. Enjoy Mediterranean-style food while the little ones are looked after.
Play area: Keep the little tykes busy with a pizza-making class at their own mini-pizza stations or let them play in the indoor playroom or outdoor jungle gym, safely in view of the restaurant.
Kids’ menu: Kiddies under the age of 12 can munch on pizza, pasta or mac and cheese. All kiddies’ meals are served with a complimentary sugar cone.
Changing facilities: Yes, in the ladies’ bathroom only.
Child-minders: O&O staff are also tasked with watching over the little ones.
Other: They also host pizza-making birthday parties.

Fun at a pizza-making party at O&O Café. Photo supplied.

Piggly Wiggly (Midlands)

This Midlands destination is an ideal road trip pit stop for the whole family. The food and drinks options include a coffee shop, pizza place, wine store, juice café and a deli.
Play area: The littlies will love frolicking in the large outside play area with a jungle gym and swings, while the putt-putt course and candle-dipping activities will entertain everyone in the family.
Kids’ menu: A limited kiddies’ menu is available, but pizzas and burgers will also fill young tummies.
Changing facilities: Nappy-changing facilities are available in the ladies’ bathroom and in the family bathroom.
Child-minders: No.
Other: Look out for the weekly 5km park run, which is open to runners and walkers, children and pets.

Prep Room (Glenwood)

Situated at Glenwood Preparatory School, this welcoming café is built inside a shipping container and offers deck seating overlooking the sports field. It’s perfect for after-school treats for the kiddos.
Play area: The grassy play area features a secure spot for the littlies to play, a wooden jungle gym and a jumping castle.
Kid’s menu: Children can fill their hungry tums with dishes like dippy eggs, burgers and brownies.
Changing facilities: No.
Child-minders: No.
Other: The venue is only operating Monday – Friday until further notice.

The large play area at Prep Room. Photo supplied.

The large play area at Prep Room. Photo supplied.

Sage Café (Salt Rock)

This family-friendly spot offers everything from a café and deli with child-friendly entertainment to a hairdressing salon and boutique shop.
Play area: The venue has a fun outdoor and undercover play area, fantasy play houses and sand art to keep the young ones entertained.
Kids’ menu: Feed the little ones with kiddies’ meals like grilled calamari, gem squash filled with mince, and kiddies’ burgers.
Changing facilities: Nappy-changing facilities are available in the ladies’ bathrooms only.
Child-minders: No.
Other: Stop by the toy shop on your way out.

The jungle gym at Sage Café. Photo supplied.

The Shed (Salt Rock)

Located at the Litchi Orchard, this laid-back eatery is ideal for lazy weekend lunches with the family.
Play area: Let the kiddies frolic on the expansive lawns while you enjoy a pizza on the deck.
Kids’ menu: ‘The Menu for Tiny Humans’ features options like burgers, strips, toasties, wood-fried pizza and some extremely popular gourmet shakes.
Changing facilities: A baby-changing facility is available in the top ladies’ bathrooms.
Child-minders: No.
Other: High chairs are also available.

Pizza being served at The Shed. Photo supplied.

Have we missed your favourite child-friendly spot in Durban and surrounds? Let us know in the comments below.

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