Cafe + Playground: Checking Out Park Street Dining in North Carlton

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Park Street Dining
Park Street Dining

If you want to go to a cafe with young kids then there’s no better choice than a cafe next to a playground. Luckily for us we live close to park st. Dining (with a small P), which was formerly Green Park before it underwent a renovation in 2017.

Like the nearby Carolina, this cafe has both good coffee and a decent menu of breakfast and lunch options and also has a big, kid-friendly feature.

Park St. Dining Review

Park st. is right next to a small playground that’s great for little kids, particularly those five and under. The play equipment is all quite small and nice and safe for mobile toddlers. There’s a fence around most of it so kids won’t just wander off.

Our oldest kid, aged 8, can get a bit bored of the playground but our younger two, 6 and 2, have a great time. In addition to the playground, there are books and a few toys inside to help pass the time as well as some high chairs for the littlest of guests. All the staff are used to kids so its easier to relax.

The cafe itself is well set up to take advantage of the playground. From the rear seating, it’s easy to have a coffee or a meal in the shade will overlooking the playground.

Coffee overlooking the playground at park st.
Coffee overlooking the playground at park st.

The whole set up works really well for a relaxed drink or meal without kids getting bored. Unsurprisingly, the back seats are popular, especially in fine weather.

The whole place is popular in general – parents with kids, cyclists and anyone after a casual drink or meal. This place is usually half full (or more) from mid morning till the afternoon when families heading home from school pickups stop by for a break.

Weekends can be very busy but we’ve never had problems getting a table.

park st. isn’t just kid friendly but dog friendly too. The outdoor space and bench seating make having a dog nearby possible without impacting anyone else.

The food and drink prices are reasonable, perhaps a little higher than some of the other nearby options but not by much. The menu itself is typical modern Australian cafe type stuff although the salads at lunch are really good.

An added bonus is the Friday, Saturday and Sunday happy hours of 3 to 6, with a small but quality list of drinks.

There’s not really anything bad to say about park st. It’s such an easy place to go that we go there often, even for just a quick run around with a drink and snack. The casual atmosphere means we’ve never had a bad visit.

The only problem is sometimes it can be hard to get a spot outside – especially overlooking the park. However that’s to be expected with a place so good.

The small but fun playground is great for little kids.
The small but fun playground is great for little kids.

Park st. Dining is located at 815 Nicholson St., North Carlton. It’s currently open between 7:30AM to 4:00PM on Mondays to Thursday and 7:30AM to 6:00PM on Fridays to Sundays. Visit for more details, including the menu.

Kid friendly: Yes, although for kids 8+ the playground might not have much appeal.

Change table: Yes.

Pram/Stroller access: Easily accessible for a pram. Hardest part is the front door, which isn’t very hard.

Getting to park st.

Park St. Dining is easily reached by the #96 tram to East Brunswick (which runs along Bourke St. in the city). The nearest stop is the corner of Brunswick Road and Nicholson Street (called Brunswick Road). It’s less than 100m from there. It’s also on the capital city trial bike trail so it’s easy to ride here.

You can also read our review of nearby Carolina Cafe here or find my top list of kid friendly cafes in Melbourne here. There are also more great places to visit in Melbourne here.

By Josh

Josh is an Australian born and bred father of three who loves sharing the best of Australia, camping and living at home with kids.