There’s no such thing as a free lunch —but in Canberra there is now such…
Let’s face it: when you’re a parent, caffeine is a necessity.
But once you’ve got a little one in tow, the cafe experience becomes a little less effortless.
Suddenly, there’s so many more things to consider than if you’re going to order a medium or large size cup: is the pram going to fit, or is it going to knock into ten annoyed patrons before we even sit down? Is there a change table in case of the dreaded poo explosion (which, when you’re in public the odds of this increases drastically)? Is there any parking if the café isn’t walking distance?
That doesn’t that doesn’t mean mums or dads should have to miss out on Canberra’s better quality brews or resort to the same old places every time they want to catch up.
Here are 20+ “coffee snob” approved, pram friendly options for your next caffeine fix…
Smaller catch ups
Little Oink, Cook
This cute little café at the Cook shops is the perfect child-friendly option for a coffee, and it even has a little play area for toddlers.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Usually easy to find | littleoink.com.au
Sure, the coffee is good, but it also doesn’t hurt that Ricardo’s has some of the most delectable desserts in Canberra.
Change table: Yes, inside the Jamison Centre | Parking: Can get busy on weekends, but usually easy to find on weekdays | ricardoscafe.com
The Meating Room, Weston
Equal parts cafe, grill and bar, this nifty establishment is great if you’re hankering for a side of lunch with your coffee, and it even has a parent’s room.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Relatively easy to find on weekdays, can get busier on weekends | meatingroom.com.au
A Bite to Eat, Chifley
A favourite among southside mums, this cafe even has a little playground across the road for older kids.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Usually easy to find | abitetoeat.net.au
The Shed Cafe, Westfield Woden
Yummy food, good coffee, plenty of room and located just near Country Road – what more could you want?
Change table: Yes, inside the shopping centre | Parking: Available underground at Westfield Woden, with the first two hours free | theshedcafe.com.au/woden
Bookplate Cafe, Parkes
A good play date is to visit Questacon’s play station then walk over to this recently renovated café/restaurant for a cuppa or a relaxed lunch.
Change table: Yes, on the lower ground level | Parking: Busy during the week, easier to find on weekends (depending on school holidays) | bookplate.com.au
National Portrait Gallery Café or National Gallery Café, Parkes
Both of these options are spacious and have parent rooms available (and if there’s an exhibit on that you want to see, it’s an added bonus!)
The Deck at Regatta Point, Parkes
The outdoor deck at this cafe is gorgeous if it’s a sunny day, with stunning views of Lake Burley Griffin.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Dependent on events etc, parking fees apply | thedeckatregattapoint.com.au
The Hyatt, Parkes
Though it may seem a bit fancy at first for a bub’s catch up, the Hyatt actually has oodles of room plus a great change table area. You can sit outside on the veranda and have a coffee or indulge in a cake or the afternoon high tea on Fridays (all you can eat, anyone?)
Change table: Yes | Parking: Usually easy to find weekdays or weekends | canberra.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
Inner north and city
Pollen at the National Botanic Gardens, Acton
If it’s good weather, the outdoor space at this cafe is a great option – just be sure to note that you need pram room when booking. It’s also perfect for a walk after in the gardens.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Ample on weekdays, busier on weekends – parking fees apply | pollencafe.com.au
A Baker courtyard or Monster at Hotel Hotel, NewActon
A Baker’s courtyard has plenty of room for prams and is the perfect location for a walk around the lake afterwards. During the winter, its neighbour Monster at Hotel Hotel is also a great option as it has a massive fireplace, good coffee and a change table, plus there are baby-friendly movie sessions available next door at Palace Electric Cinema!
Change table: Available across the road at Hotel Hotel | Parking: Available downstairs at Hotel Hotel, near the Capitol Tower building or street parking, can get busier during the week. Parking fees apply | abaker.com.au and monsterkitchen.com.au
Two before Ten, City
This café comes complete with a gorgeous little courtyard for soaking up that spring weather, plus barista Jack makes the best chai teas in Canberra (in my humble opinion!).
Change table: No, but there is a parent’s room nearby at Canberra Centre | Parking: Ample on weekends, limited on weekdays (city loop bus available) – parking fees apply | twobeforeten.com.au
Ivy and the Fox, Acton
Located on the grounds of the ANU, this charming cafe has a delicious menu and also has a fantastic outdoor area for the warmer months if the babies need some tummy time.
Change table: No | Parking: Available across the road, parking fees may apply | facebook.com/pg/Ivy.TheFox
Rodney’s cafe, Pialligo
Pialligo is always a great place to go if you’re craving something a bit different. This cafe is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has a handy playground for the older tots.
Change table: Yes | Parking: Relatively easy to find during the week, busier on weekends | rodneys.com.au/pages/The-Cafe.html
Five Senses, Tuggeranong
This is a great option for a coffee if you’re doing Giggle and Wiggle across the road at the Tuggeranong Library beforehand!
Change table: Yes, inside the shopping centre | Parking: Under the shopping centre or across the road. Underground is free for the first two hours | 5sensescafe.com
Brew Bar, Tuggeranong
Such is this spot’s popularity, there’s a second Brew Bar not too far away on Reed Street.
Change table: Yes, inside the shopping centre | Parking: Under the shopping centre or across the road. Underground is free for the first two hours | facebook.com/BrewBar-Anketell-Street
Frankies at Forde, Forde
This little gem is the perfect coffee stop if you’ve got a pram in tow (just be sure to take your own cup if you’re taking away, or be prepared to buy a reusable one – these guys don’t do disposable).
Change table: Yes | Parking: Relatively easy to find on weekdays | frankiesatforde.com.au
Tinker Tailor, Casey
This cool café has local coffee snobs raving, for its delicious brews and pastries alike.
Change table: Yes, in the Casey Market Town centre | Parking: Good during the week, can get busier on weekends | caseymarkettown.com.au/tinker-tailor
This gets a bit tricky cafe-wise, but there are a few options:
Check out babieswholunch.net for a great guide to pram-friendly cafés around Canberra!
Just FYI: our author is a new mum and lives in the city, so these are the cafes she has come across or heard about in the last few months. If you know any more pram friendly cafes across town, please let us know in the comments below!