A guide to child-friendly restaurants in SA

Bambanani. Picture: Bambanani Facebook

Bambanani. Picture: Bambanani Facebook

Published May 17, 2024


Dining out with children can be overwhelming, especially when you are travelling and are not familiar with the area’s restaurants. You will be relieved to know that South Africa offers a wide variety of family-friendly places.

Each of the restaurants mentioned offers either a dedicated kids menu or dishes that kids generally enjoy (think along the lines of pancakes and pizza), as well as comfortable seating and a kid-friendly atmosphere.

You are sure to find several places picky eaters and adventurous diners will enjoy.


A milkshake from The Empire Steak. Picture: The Empire Steak Facebook

The Empire Steak

Born of fire and confirmed by loyal guests each day, The Empire Steak in Florida Road has grown to become the home for great steak done right.

Founded in 2018, the steakhouse began with a passion for creating perfect steaks, an inspiration drawn from New York City.

Today, it specialises in prime-cut steaks and ribs and extends the taste sensation to an array of light meals, seafood, salads, chicken and popular New York-themed items.

The outside seating area is drawn from the Central Park theme of plants and greenery in a spacious outdoor environment.

The restaurant itself is inspired by the towering and majestic skyscraper, The Empire State Building, which is carried out in the theme. There is a covered play area inside, and kids also get crayons and colouring-in activities at the tables.

There are full-time child-minders on site. On the kid’s menu, you will find options like burgers, pizzas, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, waffles and milkshakes.

The Bambini Kids Entertainment area. Picture: Jean Gerber

La Piazza Continental Café & Restaurant

La Piazza Continental Café & Restaurant is known for revolutionising the way families eat and enjoy food. It offers something special for everyone, from delectable dishes to their incredible Bambini Kids Entertainment area.

The indoor and outdoor play areas are filled with loads of entertainment options that will put a bright smile on every young guest's (and their parents!) face.

Situated in Ballito, the restaurant loves to share the recipes, heritage and rituals that constitute the heart and soul of Italian cuisine.


Pizza from Picolinos. Picture: Picolinos Facebook


Picolinos is a friendly, rustic, outdoor restaurant enjoyed by adults and kids.

The restaurant is in Fourways and is a piece of paradise. It has welcomed many regulars and has served more than a million addictive pizzas.

It’s known for its delicious design-it-yourself pizzas and has a garden with a play area, including a jungle gyms, slides, swings, see-saws and paid go-carts on weekends.

Bambanani. Picture: Bambanani Facebook


Bambanani is a restaurant concept that acknowledges the needs of parents and children alike. It is driven by the belief that happier families create a happier world and that finding balance while raising a family is challenging, yet necessary.

It offers conscious, upmarket dining and provides a deep-breathing space where adults can connect in an engaging, relaxed environment, while children are safely entertained with an array of exciting activities.

The one-of-a-kind concept seamlessly incorporates the sophistication of a boutique eatery with the freedom of family fun time and allows the full spectrum of generations to eat, play, learn and have fun together in a beautiful, designer space.

Located in Melville, the restaurant’s menu offers an array of delicious healthy meals, from small snacks and starters to hearty meals and delicious desserts.

A large fusion menu offers a multitude of meals catering to kids’ nutritional needs as well as parents’ tastes.

Cape Town

A pasta dish from Blanko. Picture: The Kove Collection


Blanko, on the edge of the Constantia green belt, offers an intimate dining experience in the heritage building of The Alphen – a national monument and lauded example of Cape Dutch architecture.

Its high ceilings, white tablecloths, historical artefacts and a stellar collection of South African art create a sense of prestige and refinement.

The menu offers classic, Italian dishes tailored to the seasons and made with fresh, local ingredients. Diners can sit in the gallery-like inside space or on the outdoor terrace that overlooks a central water feature and the gardens.

With a secure play area, supervised by a qualified child-minder, the kids are kept busy with face painting, interactive games and other fun activities.

Clay Café merges art, food and good company to create one-of-a-kind creative moments that keep everyone talking. Picture: Pexels/Clay Café Facebook

Clay Café

Clay Café is a ceramic painting venue and restaurant. From humble beginnings at an old dairy farm, it has expanded into eight franchised stores across the country.

Clay Café merges art, food and good company to create one-of-a-kind creative moments that keep everyone talking and coming back for more.

The Hout Bay café has an enclosed outdoor play area with a jungle gym and a trampoline, as well as a massive lawn.

While the adult menu is pretty kid-friendly, with burgers and toasted sandwiches, the kiddies’ menu also has a small breakfast and pizza offering.