Adventure, baby!


Chi Chi’s Cafe: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Waterloo, Sydney

Sometimes at the end of a long and arduous week, all you want is to drown your sorrows in some comfort food. Chi Chi’s Café, in Waterloo, is just that: a kid-friendly place that offers no-fuss comfort food when you really need it.

Lukas waiting (sort of) patiently for his food. (Photo by Emily Staresina)

Although Danks Street is lined with cafes (more and more everyday it seems), few are open between that awkward time after lunch and before most people consider eating dinner. Feeling a little desperate for calories, Baby Lukas, my husband Lorin and I stumbled upon Chi Chi’s. It was relatively quiet and it looked like it was closing, but much to our delight, the host ushered us in and assured us all options were on the table. At 4:45pm in the afternoon. Total score.

Lorin decided right away on the beef burger with chips ($14.50) and Baby Lukas convinced me to share a cheese and tomato open melt ($8.50). While we waited for our food, the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or friendly to Baby Lukas. In fact, Baby Lukas ended up behind the counter in the arms of a waitress, helping her ring in a few transactions.

Chi Chi's beef burger with Chips ($14.50). Photo by Emily Staresina.
Chi Chi’s beef burger with Chips ($14.50). 
Chi Chi's cheese and tomato open melt ($8.50). Photo by Emily Staresina
Chi Chi’s cheese and tomato open melt ($8.50). 

Our food came relatively quickly and it was good value: big, unpretentious portions with generous servings of side sauces at no extra charge. Such a relief to find this sort of place amongst all the trendy cafes in the neighbourhood.

Last Bite: the next time you’re craving some serious comfort food that’s good value and welcomes kids with open arms, check out Chi Chi’s Café.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No, but kids won’t starve

Chi Chi’s Cafe
Shp 1a/ 207 Young St
Waterloo NSW 2017
Phone: (02) 9699 3510
Prices: $

Saint Michiba Pizza: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Waterloo, Sydney

What do you get when the Franciscan order and a flying pig cross paths? You get a slice of pizza heaven. St. Michiba’s is a kid-friendly pizza eatery on Waterloo’s leafy Phillip St with a sinfully delicious menu with a playful shade of Japanese-anime-inspired ambience.*

Lukas pointing out the cool artwork inside St Michiba's
Lukas (kind of) pointing out the cool artwork inside St Michiba’s. Photo by Emily Staresina

On a recent blustery spring evening, Baby Lukas and I took my parents (visiting from Canada) to St. Michiba’s. For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that it was not my first time at St. Michiba’s and that they may even know me when I ring for takeaway.

As the restaurant interior is small, we elected to sit outside which was great because it left us room for the pram and allowed Baby Lukas free access to zawk (my word to describe his style of zombie walking – a fresh skill he’s acquired) and gawk at all the people walking by.

The first thing my parents noticed was the unusual menu – salads are listed under “The Garden of Eden” while vegetarian pizzas hail from “The Franciscan Order”. We decided on the Genesis salad (prosciutto, avocado, toasted walnuts, parmesan on wild rocket, $14), the Rahmiel (smoked ham, mushroom, pineapple and olives, $26) and the Assisi ($22, otherwise known as a Margherita).

In not very long our pizzas arrived, and they didn’t disappoint: for approximately 10 minutes not a sound (other than Baby Lukas happily chowing down on pizza crust – which make for excellent teething snacks, by the way) was heard as we concentrated on the goodness. As a testament to the quality, my father, who’d rather have a steak over pasta (which is what he classifies pizza), was stunned at how good these thin-crust pizzas tasted.

Lukas in awe of the heavenly feast before him (Genesis salad, $16, Assisi pizza, $22)
Lukas awed by the heavenly feast before him (salad, $16, Assisi pizza, $22). Photo by Emily Staresina

While we ran out of stomach to try any of the Last Temptations (also known as dessert) we were more than satisfied with our dinner.

Last bite: Waterloo doesn’t lack for pizza joints, nor does it lack for kid-friendly places to eat, but St. Michiba’s is one of those rare places where good food and stuff to do make happy babies and happy parents.  

*Clarification: I’ve no idea if the flying pigs artwork that adorn the pizza boxes and the walls actually are Japanese Anime inspired, but this is what my uninformed self would call it.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No, the menu suits any kids eating pizza

St. Michiba’s
Shop 8 / 863 Bourke Street, (actually located on Phillip St at end of Pedestrian crossing)
Waterloo NSW 2017
Ph: (02) 8068 8767
Prices: $$$
Hours: Sun-Sat 5pm-10pm
Get Directions

Saint Michiba Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wahwah Lounge: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Waterloo, Sydney

Wahwah Lounge is one heck of a baby-friendly cafe. From the super cozy booths to the staff who treat your baby like a rock star, not to mention the yummy food, Wahwah Lounge in Waterloo is an easy, breezy place to brunch.

At Wahwah Lounge, the best place for containing a baby is in one of their cosy corner booths, which is where the friendly staff suggested we sit upon arrival. With Baby Lukas leaning over our booth and making friends with the people in the next one over (even the other patrons seem to love babies!), we ordered our food.

Wahwah Lounge - kid-friendly restaurants, Waterloo, NSW- via
Baby Lukas making friends in one of the booths. Photo by Emily Staresina.

Wahwah Lounge has an awesome all-day brunch menu, and does staples like poached eggs, really well. This time around, I ordered their Free Range Eggs (poached) with Soy Linseed Toast ($10.50), and a cheeky side of bacon. Lorin ordered the French Toast with Maple Syrup, Strawberries and Crème Fraiche ($12.50), which I have to say, was also a very smart choice.

Wahwah Lounge - kid-friendly restaurants, Sydney, NSW- via
Wahwah Lounge – Poached eggs on soy linseed toast ($10.50). Photo by Emily Staresina.

Stuck into our food, it wasn’t until several mouthfuls later that we realised Baby Lukas was “drinking” (also know as “seriously leaking”) milk from his sippy cup, and it was going all over the clean upholstered booth. Now, not only did the staff not fuss when they saw (after I frantically and apologetically asked for napkins), but they told us not to give it a second thought as these things happen, and that’s why they have regular cleanings scheduled. Far more forgiving than they should have been, WalWah truly is a baby-friendly place.

Despite nearly destroying the joint, Baby Lukas got several high-fives from the staff on the way out.

Last bite: If you’re looking for a no-fuss, no-stress outing with solid food and where Baby will be treated like royalty (even if they’re a bit naughty), Wahwah Lounge in Waterloo should be your next brunch destination.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Not really. Small strollers are ok.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No. But lots for kiddies to choose from.

Wahwah Lounge
1 Danks Street
Waterloo, NSW 2017
Phone: (02) 9699 3456
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-5pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 8am-3pm
Get Directions

Wah Wah Lounge on Urbanspoon

The Chalkboard Cafe: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Waterloo, Sydney

The Chalkboard Cafe is a baby-friendly gem amongst the hectic café scene near the bustling Danks Street in Waterloo. Integrated into the home interiors stores featured in the PYD building, the café is a trendy place to brunch.

The Chalkboard Cafe: Kid-Friendly restaurants in Waterloo, via
The trendy interior, featuring furniture for sale

This afternoon my husband Lorin and I decided to take Baby Lukas there for a feed. Living quite literally around the corner from this baby-friendly find, we freehand-ported Baby Lukas, though the large space can fit multiple prams. In fact, it’s ideal for mothers groups for this very reason.

As soon as we got there, Baby Lukas required a nappy change (I think he planned it). There’s a change table on the second floor, which is a little cumbersome to get to but a set of stairs or a slow lift will assist.

Once Baby Lukas was sorted, we sat him down on a large square table (quite literally). The staff quickly offered us a highchair but were perfectly content if we just let him play on the table. Because let’s face it: Baby Lukas doesn’t do highchairs. Now, I should point out that this is very nice (naive?) of the staff because most of the furniture in the café is for sale from the stores in the building.

The Chalkboard Cafe: Kid-Friendly restaurants in Waterloo, via
Exhibit A: Baby Lukas on playing on the table

The menu has a great selection of all-day brunch items as well as sandwiches, salads and soups. I ate a delicious Crispy Chicken plate, comprising deep friend tenders with chili sauce, a tortilla and a side salad. Lorin scored a surprisingly Canadian affair of Brioche French Toast with bacon rashers, maple syrup and carmalised bananas. We were both pleased with our meals.

The Chalkboard Cafe: Kid-Friendly restaurants in Waterloo, via
The unusual but very tasty Crispy Chicken plate

While we ate, we were visited by several staff who kept Baby Lukas happily occupied. On cue, about five bites before I would consider my meal finished, Baby Lukas started fussing, his low-grade, pre-banshee warning siren.  Considering he hadn’t soiled or broken anything, it was high time to make an exit before he de-charmed the staff.

Last bite: If you’re looking for a baby-friendly café with lots of space for prams in the bustle that is trendy Danks Street in Waterloo, The Chalkboard Cafe is the go.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: No.

The Chalkboard Cafe
197 Young St
Waterloo, NSW 2017
Phone: (02) 9698 2553
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-4pm, Thurs-Fri 5pm-9pm