February 16, 2023
7 mins Read
When it comes to great family-friendly places to eat, the sheer number of cafes and restaurants in Kiama is impressive. This beautiful part of the NSW South Coast is so much more than its dramatic coastline. Here we pick the best family-friendly places to eat and drink in Kiama.
(Don’t miss our tips of best things to do in Kiama with kids and best family accommodation in Kiama.)
You will be frozen with indecision if you don’t plan where you are going to have breakfast in Kiama as there are a plethora of places to choose from.
Let’s whittle down your options to some of the best and start with The Hungry Monkey, where you can order three sliders on squashy buns for the kids, chilli eggs and avo on toast for the adults. Drag yourself away if you can, as you did promise the kids you’d go crabbing on the low tide, and then return for lunch where you can share a plate of loaded fries with bacon, cheese and the signature Monkey Hot Sauce.
Light floods through the floor-to-ceiling windows at Penny Whistler’s, which concertina open to create a comfortable place to chill overlooking Kiama Harbour, which is coloured in deep inky blues and whites. The kitchen prides itself on sourcing local produce and there’s always specials that rotate depending on what’s available. Spy on your neighbour’s meal choices and order the banging bacon and egg sandwich, the Penny’s Benny, and malted buttermilk hotcakes. There’s also paleo-pleasing egg-white omelettes on offer.
Flour Water Salt is not so much a hidden spot, it’s more of a coveted café that has sprouted across country NSW (in Milton, Bowral and Kiama). Hike along the coastal path past the Kiama Blowhole and then pick up some almond croissants and artisan sourdough for lunch from the café, which is the sister business to Berry Organic Sourdough Bakery (which supplies cafes up and down the coast).
Gather by the Hill in nearby Gerringong is the perfect place to rest your tired legs after a busy morning ticking off all the best things to do in Kiama. Settle down in the contemporary sun-drenched space for a few cheeky cocktails and bar bites while the kids inhale linguine with tomato sugo or fancy chicken nuggets from the Grommets menu.
It’s all about the coffee (and babycinos) at Little Earth Café & Roasters: just don’t let the ocean views distract you from ordering some artisan house-roasted coffee to take home. Also recommended are the Reuben toasties, which will help fuel little legs for yet another excursion past the magnificent Kiama blowhole.
Kiama locals rejoiced when they heard the news that Emily Herbert had returned to Australia from the UK, where she was head chef at Ottolenghi Belgravia for four years. It’s big news for the town. Those with budding junior master chefs in the making will appreciate the level of effort and thought behind the Otis Deli bretzels (peppered with za’atar and slathered in labneh), which are perfect for a light lunch. The cherry ripe slice and smartie cookies are also hard to go past.
The Milk & Honey Cafe is a cute spot to visit while in Kiama and has toys and high chairs to cater your whole crew. If you’re in between meals, order cake and a pot of sticky chai.
The staff at The Hill Bar + Kitchen in neighbouring Gerringong are cheery and attentive and very accommodating for families with kids. The dishes, when they arrive, are almost as beautiful as the coastal views at this Scandi-chic casual diner.
Want to understand fully why residents of Sydney’s south talk about how cool Kiama is? Visit Diggies Kiama, which has a sister venue in the Gong, and is the kind of chic seaside eatery perched on Blowhole Point that will knock your socks (or booties) off. The vibe is cool, confident and sophisticated at the café, which is adjacent to the visitor centre with views of Kiama Harbour and the Pacific Ocean. Get your kids to wriggle out of their wetsuits and watch as they devour beer-battered fish and chips in reverential silence.
Prefer to order takeaway burgers and have a picnic on the beach? Head to the colourful Cactus Kiosk near Jones Beach to try grilled barramundi and order kiddie-sized portions of calamari or fish and chips.
Olive & Vine serves a more refined take on fish and chips with beer-battered flathead served with chunky fries, side salad and house-made tartare sauce. There’s a bespoke menu for little ones and if they are fish phobic, the kids pizza with ham and pineapple is a standout.
The Blue Swimmer at Seahaven sits on a kink of the Crooked River, which winds all the way to the Gerroa foreshore. Book the kids in for a surf lesson and book a table for two to enjoy fish tacos, herb falafel, chilli prawns and roasted beets.
If you’re keen on self-catering and want to make your own fish and chips, you can gather potatoes and fresh seafood at the Kiama Makers & Growers Market on the fourth Saturday of every month or the weekly Kiama Farmers’ Market, held every Wednesday from 3 to 5pm.
It’s a Monday night, you’re on holiday and you don’t feel like cooking. Relax. It happens to the best of us. Take the pressure off and head to the Kiama Leagues Club where kids Under-12 eat free on Monday nights.
Sails Bistro is another popular spot for pub club grub and live music and has a free courtesy bus available to transport you to and from your accommodation from 4 pm every day. Kids will be wrapped with their complimentary cheeseburger and chips.
A common theme with Mexican restaurants is there is no pretension and El Corazon Cocina de Mexico is a much-loved fixture with families for that reason, with a dedicated kids’ menu offering staples such as nachos, quesadillas and chicken burritos.
As the sun dips, the Grand Hotel Kiama comes into its own. Nab a spot in the contemporary bistro for family-pleasing favourites such as salt and pepper squid, sriracha wings and duck spring rolls.
Hanoi on Manning also comes into its own after dark. The seriously snug restaurant scores serious points with locals for its authentic Vietnamese: BBQ duck rice paper rolls, rainbow-bright salads and daily chef’s specials such as caramelised pork leg with egg. Save some calories for dessert at Café Kiama & Scoops & Ice Creamery.
Miss Arda is the sister venue to Emily Herbert’s Otis Deli and those with older children will appreciate the Middle Eastern-inspired menu, which is perfect for a special occasion family feast. Indulge in aubergine fries, with molasses and feta, prawn and chorizo dumplings and prawn prosciutto risotto.
To plan your visit to Kiama read our Ultimate travel guide to Kiama
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