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Three Hidden Toddler-Friendly Cafes in SE Melbourne

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by Dayna Chu (subscribe)
I'm the Chief Funster of the Chu Crew; I love finding adventures for my husband and I and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlassHalfFullMelbourne
Published July 12th 2014
Three cafes that let you have your coffee and drink it too
Ah, behold the hidden gems. I confess that I am a bit high-maintenance when it comes to going for coffee. I have all but given up on meeting friends for a snack, a cuppa, and maybe even, if we're lucky, a conversation. My four young children are only part of the issue.

I don't expect cafes to bow to the whims of toddlers everywhere, but it would be nice to be able to get in the door (you'd be surprised at how many cafes are not even accessible at their door). So without further adieu, I reveal my three best kept secret cafes: Somewhere Elsja's, Jody Mac's, and Cafe Sana.

Head to Spotlight Moorabbin on Nepean Highway and your first job is a trek upstairs, or up the elevator if you have a pram. If you've never taken the elevator, you may not have even noticed Somewhere Elsja's Cafe, just beyond the stairs; the elevator lets you out straight in front of it. Kids' toys and a kids' table, babycinos, kid-sized snacks, and kid-sized prices; a perfect spot for a relaxing play, chat with a friend, or quiet time to yourself. Elsja has plenty of gluten-free items available as a nice bonus for those that may have dietary restrictions.

Jody Mac's is one of those places that you may have seen a hundred times but never really noticed. This cafe is on level two of Westfield Southland, best accessed by the Tennyson Street carpark. If you've ever been to the smaller of Southland's indoor play-areas (above Target), you have unwittingly stood in the midst of greatness.

Jody Mac's baristas can pull a mean shot with the best of them; they have a decent selection of sweet and savoury treats and even sandwiches, salads, and whole fruit. There is seating in the cafe area for over 30, and another five tables of four seats each out in the open area overlooking the small indoor playground. Bit obscure to find from inside the shopping centre, but if you head toward ToyWorld past the travelators, or look up Westpac bank or Jody Mac's on the shopping centre map, you'll get your bearings and it will be worth it.

Cafe Sana is a shopping strip find off of Nepean Highway. Lebanese Restaurant meets cafe meets ice creamery, this comfy yet spacious cafe ticks all the boxes, including serving you at your table if they are not too busy. Ample space for prams and kid-friendly menu options, your kids will love to stretch their legs a bit while you get comfy on the couch and share a chat with a friend.

So, my friends, don't let your kids keep you hostage at home; here are three hidden gems for you, where you can have your coffee, and drink it too (while it's still hot, no less).


Somewhere Elsja's: Homemaker Centre Moorabbin, 970 Nepean Hwy Moorabbin, VIC 3189

Jody Mac's Cafe: Westfield Southland, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham, VIC
Phone: (03) 9584 2001

Cafe Sana: 884 Nepean Hwy, Hampton East, VIC
Phone: (03) 9555 0442
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Why? Because having kids shouldn't keep you a hostage at home
Your Comment
Three Little Seeds in High St, Thornbury, caters to parents and young children who are looking for healthy (organic) food.
by jacqt (score: 0|8) 1525 days ago
Great job for coming third.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12030) 1515 days ago
Jimmi Jams in Elwood can't be beat, a huge play area for grown-ups with good tasty fud and tasty beverages to match, while the kids can go wild out back in the playground.
by Krzystof (score: 1|12) 1467 days ago
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