Melbourne is a cafe city with the inner city home to a huge amount of cafes and coffee houses. However, not all are kid friendly especially with young kids. That said, each area has its share.
A new cafe in our neighbourhood – Carolina – has been added to the list of places where we can take our kids for a coffee, brunch or just to catch up with someone.
Carolina Cafe Review
What makes Carolina so good for young kids is the very kid friendly courtyard out the back. Feeling more like someone’s paved backyard, it is nice and relaxed with lots of kid friendly seats. The courtyard is also accessible from a laneway at the rear which makes it easy to get in and out with a pram. You can go through the Nicholson Street entrance without too much trouble but it is much easier to use the rear.
The best bit is the sandpit with toys in one of the corners of the yard.
Getting a seat near the sandpit while our youngest goes off for a play means I can have relaxing coffee or brunch.
Speaking of food, the menu at the Carolina is small with typical cafe breakfast/brunch/light lunch set of modern Australian options. It isn’t a big menu and, unfortunately, there’s no dedicated kids section. There is some smaller, cheaper, options that keep our toddler satisfied.
Servings are a good size – not too big or small – with most dishes being in the $15 to $25 mark. You wouldn’t come here if you or your kids wanted a big meal, but everything I’ve tried has been fresh and very tasty. The quality of the coffee is good too.
The inside is a traditional cafe with booth type seating that works well with kids but has been busy every time I’ve gone there and the courtyard is quieter and far more relaxed meaning I didn’t have to worry about my loud and energetic toddler annoying anyone hunched over a laptop working (of which there is often several inside).
So if you are in the north of Fitzroy or Carlton or the eastern part of Brunswick and need a kid friendly cafe for a coffee or a break then Carolina fits the bill beautifully.
Kid friendly?: Yes, the courtyard out the back is nice and relaxed, letting kids wander around. The sandpit is a great distraction, too.
Pram/Stroller access: Fine if entering via the laneway to the back, not so good from the Nicholson St. entrance.
Change tables: Yes, old and basic but clean and functional change tables are in the toilets.
How to get to Carolina Cafe
Carolina is less than 50 metres from the Brunswick Road stop of the #96 (East Brunswick) tram if coming from the city or the Holden St. stop if heading to the city. There is parking in the surrounds.