The best places to eat in Auckland with kids

There’s no shortage of places to eat in Auckland with kids, and generally speaking there are a lot of places are pretty welcoming to kids and families.

If you’re visiting the city you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly cafes with children’s menus, colouring in sheets, highchairs and change tables. A lot of places also have a dedicated play spaces with toys and books to keep the little ones happy.

Here’s our picks of tried and tested top places to eat in Auckland with kids – that parents will also love!

The best places to eat in Auckland with kids

Archies Pizzeria

Pizza is always hands down a family favourite and Archie’s in Newmarket is a great place to take the kids. The friendly staff at Archie’s let the kids get hands on and roll out their own pizza dough which is always a hit, and keeps them occupied while you’re waiting for your meal.

Rolling dough at Archie's Pizzeria Newmarket Auckland

Rolling dough at Archie’s Pizzeria in Newmarket, Auckland

The wood fired pizza oven dishes up fantastic pizzas with a variety of toppings, there’s also a variety of pasta dishes to try also. They do get busy in the evenings, so it pays to book.

Archie’s Pizzeria,
63 Davis Crescent, Newmarket

Little and Friday

For the best cream donuts, cakes and to die for pastries in Auckland, head to Little and Friday, one of Auckland’s best cafes. While there isn’t much there specifically for kids in the way of play equipment, my little ones love getting their chompers around Little and Friday’s delicious fare. The cabinet food is fantastic but they also have a menu if you’d prefer to have something cooked for you.

Coffee and rhubarb raspberry sponge at Little and Friday, Newmarket Auckland.

Coffee and rhubarb raspberry sponge deliciousness at Little and Friday, Newmarket Auckland.

For parents they serve excellent coffee, and the table markers – spray painted dinosaur figurines – always get the kids excited.

Little and Friday
Four locations – Newmarket, Ponsonby, Belmont and Auckland CBD

The Grounds restaurant at Whoa! Studios

Whoa! Studios out in West Auckland is a massive hit with families thanks to its entertainment with good food combo. It’s a combination of a film studio that shows kid-friendly shows, a massive playground and family friendly restaurant.

The brainchild of one of Auckland’s top executive chefs, The Grounds restaurant bills itself as a ‘modern family eatery’ and is certainly not your average theme park canteen. Delights such as hand-crafted pasta and wagyu burgers are on the menu for adults and there’s also a great kids menu that’s a big step up from greasy chicken nuggets and chips. Perfect for a fun family day out.

Whoa! Studios
8 Henderson Valley Road, Henderson

Barilla Dumpling

A quarter of Auckland’s population is now of Asian descent and one of the many benefits of this is the AMAZING array of Asian food we now have to choose from. For the best dumplings in Auckland head to Barilla Dumpling in Dominion Road, right in the heart of Auckland’s little un-official Chinatown. Our kids love chowing down on these cheap and cheerful dumplings, pork and chive is our favourite. You can easily feed the family here for under $50.

The decor is pretty simple – think plastic chairs and tables – which makes it perfect for kids to get messy with dipping the dumplings into soy sauce and dripping it everywhere! Another place that gets busy so arrive early if you don’t want to wait.

Mastering chopsticks at Barilla Dumpling, Balmoral Auckland.

Mastering chopsticks at Barilla Dumpling, Balmoral Auckland.

Barilla Dumpling
571 Dominion Road, Balmoral

Brothers Brewery and Juke Joint

Take a massive old leatherworking factory on the city fringe, turn it into a brewery, throw in some old retro furniture and you have Brothers Brewery and Juke Joint.  This place is great for families due to the size and acoustics of the place, and gets packed out on the weekends with parents looking for somewhere to catch up with friends in a cool setting.

There’s plenty of space for everyone, and the retro furniture means kids can sprawl all over it without worrying about them messing it up. Parked in one corner is an old Morris Minor van that is like a moth to a flame for kids, they love playing in it. There’s also a nice courtyard for further play space on a sunny day. The food is Southern Style BBQ and they have a good kids menu.

Brothers Brewery and Juke Joint
5 Akiraho Street, Mt Eden

Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe – Otahuhu

For adventurous little gourmets and parents craving a Vietnamese fix, we highly recommend Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe in Otahuhu. Glamorous it ain’t – in fact the restaurant is an ex-used car showroom – but the food is cheap and fabulous. They have the best bun cha this side of Hanoi in our humble opinion!

Sam Woo Bun Cha

Sam Woo Bun Cha

Sophie has been coming here since she was 6 months old and declares their spring rolls the best in the world. Nowhere we went during 3 weeks in Vietnam could compare with Sam Woo’s spring rolls. High praise indeed. There isn’t a lot specifically for kids to do there but they have highchairs and a huge mirrored ceiling that the kids love to pull faces at….and the staff don’t mind a bit of a mess from all those noodles sliding off chopsticks.

Chowing down at Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe, Otahuhu Auckland.

Chowing down at Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe, Otahuhu Auckland.

Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe
15 Princes Street, Otahuhu

Gusto Italiano

This is our favourite all-round family restaurant where we love to go and imagine we’re in Italy! Jack asks at least three times a week if we can go there for dinner 🙂 Gusto is a traditional style Italian trattoria that has a fabulous wood fired pizza oven with a massive choice of pizza toppings on the menu. You can also get a range of delicious pasta dishes or more robust meaty mains. There are lots of great Italian wines and beers to choose from on the menu.

The kids menu is full of favourites like pasta bolognaise, pizza and yummy gelato ice-cream. The waiting staff are really kind and have colouring sheets and pencils available as well. Belissimo!

Gusto Italiano
263 Ponsonby Road (Three Lamps end), Ponsonby

 

Miss Moonshine’s

Miss Moonshine’s is another BBQ joint with the most amazing selection of slow-cooked, succulent meat you could wish for We live quite close to Miss Moonshine’s, so on the daily after school run we get hit with the delicious waft of slow cooking meat as we wait at the traffic lights. The kids have been known to wind down the window just to savour that smell!

At first glance it may not look that family-friendly, but they have a fantastic and reasonably priced kids menu complete with fun farmyard colouring sheets. No cheap and nasty ice-cream in a bowl here, the kids ice-cream sundae is a work of art. Highly recommended for a family lunch (and siesta afterwards with all that meat).

Miss Moonshine's Ponsonby Auckland

Happy face at this ice-cream sundae!

Miss Moonshine’s
Lot 3, 130 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

Boric Food Market

If you’re exploring Muriwai beach or some of the West Auckland vineyards then Boric Food Market is a great place to visit for brunch, coffee or lunch. As the name suggests it’s a store selling lovely fruit, vegetables, deli goods and meat, but out the back is a great cafe with a fantastic country-themed kids’ playground.

There are plenty of tables and chairs for adults to sit at while the kids run around and play on the see-saw, tractor and pretend store.

Boric Food Market
1404 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway

Casa del Gelato

For the best ice-cream in Auckland head to Casa del Gelato. It’s where you’ll find authentic award winning gelato and sorbet in a multitude of flavours. They’ve also recently jumped on the freak shake bandwagon.

Our favourite flavours include chocolate, lemon, chocolate rum raisin, salted caramel and unicorn (!)

Casa del Gelato, Mt Eden Auckland

Casa del Gelato complete with unicorn ice-cream

Casa del Gelato
Branches in Ponsonby, Te Atatu, Mt Eden, Orewa, Parnell and Newmarket

 

So that’s our round up of our top picks for family eats in Auckland. Let us know of any great suggestions you have in the comments!

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The Hokianga Harbour looking towards Omapere