We caught up with Cork blogger Lisa Ryan www.badmammy.com to find out the top 10 child friendly restaurants in Cork.
When you’ve got kids with you when you’re out and about, it becomes obvious very quickly that when they’re hungry, they need to be fed as soon as humanly possible. If you’re out in Cork City, it can seem challenging to find somewhere that’s close by, healthy and child friendly, while avoiding the bigger fast food options. To help you out, here’s a list of my Top Ten Family Friendly Eateries in Cork City and the near surrounds – places I’ve tried out and absolutely loved time and time again, with my little man in tow.
Luigi Malones – this place is completely deceptive as it has a massive back area making it easy to bring a buggy along. Staff are extremely helpful when it comes to smallies in my experience, on hand with high chairs and a Kids Menu which boasts a lot more than the normal “sausages and chips” options for kids. Also great value for delicious food which is always important when eating out as a family! While they’re always busy, the sheer size of the place means that normally getting a table is very quick, meaning less time for hungry kids to kick off!
DeCalf – Cornmarket Centre. Very friendly staff with good access to high chairs but unless you get one of the outside tables it can be a bit cramped with a buggy in tow when it’s busy. Great for a lunch in the centre of town – it’s below TK Maxx and just off Grand Parade, so you’re only minutes away from the bustling shops on Patrick St and Opera Lane. I’m a big fan of the frittata options they have here for a quick and easy lunch, and their coffee hits the spot on days where I need an extra pick me up. Easy access too to the Cornmarket Centre changing area (the lift down to it is just outside DeCalf – while basic, it’s kept clean and easy to access!).
Cafe Velo, Georges Quay – while a little outside the general city centre area, this place is fantastic for breakfast, coffee or even just their desserts (I compel you to not be tempted!) – great selection of high chairs, staff friendly to families and good buggy access. I’m a big fan of their porridge, or the Full Velo breakfast if I’m a bit hungrier, and their incredible huge teapots!
The Woodford, Paul St – this wasn’t somewhere I initially thought of when I was wielding my buggy around town, but when I tried it out I wasn’t disappointed. Great for tea or coffee mid-shopping trip or for a spot of lunch/dinner, staff are fantastic and prices are competitive. Their changing area does require requesting a key but is kept really well.
Perry St Market Café, Drawbridge St – I didn’t realise this place existed until last year but since my discovery it’s become one of my favourite places to go with toddler in tow. Not only is it incredibly accessible, the food and coffee are great and reasonably priced, as well as containing a great changing area, with staff who can’t do more to help you. They’ve also got café’s in Blackpool and Mahon City Gate as well as this one in Cork City which I’ve been advised are all to the same standard.
Milano – This wasn’t somewhere which immediately sold me as being super kid friendly, but the first time we tried it with the child in tow we were pleasantly surprised. Staff were quick to make sure we had everything we needed, including colouring equipment for the toddler to happily scribble away. We’re big fans of the dough balls, and haven’t tried a pizza option that we didn’t love!
Scoozis – This place has a reputation for being super family friendly, and having tried it I can definitely attest to that. Arriving in with toddler and buggy in tow, staff were very helpful offering to fold up the buggy and put it away while we ate, and had a great kids menu to choose from too. They’ve also got a weekly colouring competition where kids have a chance to win a free lunch for themselves and two friends – if nothing else, it’s definitely good for keeping them busy while waiting for food to come out. While being very family friendly, it is worth noting that the building itself isn’t the largest so while staff are helpful with the buggies it can be a bit of a tight squeeze.
Bodega – This definitely ranks among my very favourite places to go for brunch at the weekend. Their Eggs Benedict and Pancake options make my heart sing, and the easy going staff who are always on hand to help with high chairs, small requests for the toddler or even just making sure everything is alright definitely make this somewhere I love going back to. Very buggy friendly, multiple high chairs available at all times and quick service at reasonable prices. Super central on Cornmarket St too.
Market Lane – On Oliver Plunkett St, minutes away from the busy shopping areas of the city, Market Lane is a great family friendly experience. Their kids menu is reasonable and all homemade, as well as having many options including kiddie cappuccinos and healthy favourites such as Shepherds Pie, Pasta Bolognese and homemade chicken goujons. For the adults, the menu is varied (their lunch menu boasts some incredible sandwich and salad options) and reasonable.
Blackrock Castle Observatory – on a sunny day, there are few places I prefer to be than walking along the Marina from Cork City to Blackrock – it’s a gorgeous view to look out on as we get our walk as a family in. At the midway point of this walk is Blackrock Castle, where we’ve frequently headed for brunch or even just a “while we’re here, it’d be a shame to not” tea and scone combo. The sausages are absolutely out of this world. Generally when we have the toddler with us we try to sit outside – the indoor area can be a bit cramped, but the canopes over the table are enough to hold the weather off. Great for a treat on your Sunday walk, or simply a different atmosphere to your lunch!
So, there we have it – ten places for you to try out next time you’re in Cork with kids in tow! Hopefully your dining experiences will be as pleasant as mine have been – tell them we sent you!
Written by Lisa Ryan