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10 great restaurants for family fun

Cathy Marston shares her pick of top spots in the Western Cape for your family this winter.

by: Cathy Marston | 03 Jul 2012

School holidays needn’t be a nightmare! Sure, it’s winter and it’s cold and very likely raining, but you can still take your family out for a nice holiday treat and all enjoy yourselves.

Here is a list of 10 great family options in the Western Cape where you and your family can enjoy good food and there’s something to occupy the kids if the weather’s bad.  Gauteng-ers – we need your suggestions next please!


Café Paradiso, City Bowl
City Bowl family heaven at this easy-going restaurant on Kloof Street. Send the kids off to the kitchen to make pizza, gingerbread men or ice cupcakes whilst you relax and enjoy hearty pasta or a chunky sandwich. Better during the daytime.

Il Leone Mastrantonio, Green Point
This seems like a posh option, but you’d be surprised at just how friendly this place is for your family. They’ll provide colouring materials at your table and if the kids venture round the side, they’ll find a TV showing kids channels at the weekends so you can enjoy authentic and delicious Italian food in peace and quiet.

The Italian Kitchen, Tokai
Primi Piatti don’t have the monopoly on pizza dough experiments you know! Junior diners at this popular Southern Suburbs eatery can also play with their own pizza dough before handing it over to be cooked to order. There’s not a whole lot of space, but service is quick and efficient and your family can be in and out before bedtime.

The Grill Room, Franschhoek
There’s an entire room devoted to kids at this Franschhoek restaurant – you might struggle to get them to sit down with you at all!! There’s colouring books, reading books, bean bags and TV so you can chill out over a good steak and a nice bottle of wine, secure in the knowledge that you’re all having a good time.

Jason’s Hill Winery, Slanghoek
You can always spot a restaurant where the owners have kids – and this is no exception! Ivy du Toit is winemaker at this family-run farm and clearly understands how important it is to have something for the kids to do. She has daughters – hence the tendency towards pink things in the play room, but there is plenty for all kids to do whilst parents enjoy the rustic family fare on offer.

The Stone Kitchen, Wellington
Chef Johan has moved on, but Dunstone Winery owners Lee and Abbi Wallis are determined to keep the family-friendly vibe with a childminder, countless books and games and a comfy sofa for indoor entertainment. Haven’t tried the food as yet, but if it’s anything like before – both kids and adults are in for a treat!

Freedom Hill, Paarl
Another restaurant which looks ‘posh’ but is actually relaxed, warm and friendly – especially for young diners. There is a lounge area at the back with sofas and low tables which are perfect for using the colouring books provided. Food comes in kid portions & if you go at the weekend, chances are you’ll find the owners kids looking out for new playmates as well. 

Olivello, Stellenbosch
There’s been some changes at this Winelands institution, but it’s still family-friendly and geared up to kids of all ages. Their new idea which they’re punting is ‘Time-Out’ Saturdays with child-minders, painting, make your own cupcake etc etc whilst adults simply relax and enjoy good food and good wine.

Delheim, Stellenbosch
Who doesn’t love cheese?? Not anyone I know at any rate and in winter, Delheim offers a fab cheese fondue which all the family can enjoy. If dipping your food is a bit too weird for small people, you can order great sausages and mash and counting the cobwebs will keep the kids entertained forever!

The Arniston Hotel, Arniston
I’m loving my newly-found weekend getaway in Arniston – being by the sea in winter always makes the red wine even more welcome! This isn’t the most pre-possessing restaurant, being rather corporate, but the staff are lovely, they’ll bring your kids a menu with pictures to colour in and the food is hot and plentiful. Adult food and drink is more than adequate = happy families all round!

These are my suggestions – we need a list for Gauteng and Durban next! All ideas here below please!

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