Above the door, there’s a sign bearing the name Girdwood’s Hygienic Library. I don’t know if such a library ever existed where the cafe now stands, or at all, but it’s a curious entrance to an excellent kid friendly cafe.
From the door, beneath the Girdwood’s sign, this cafe doesn’t look that child friendly. The inside is small and slightly cramped. There’s an area out the back that’s a little more spacious, but not by much. The same for the chairs and tables outside.
However, there are two things that make this place a great choice for breakfast, brunch or lunch with young children: wonderful and friendly staff and the great food and menu. In that way, it reminded me of Carolina, another place we’ve reviewed.
The staff were very friendly and patient, chatting with my little 2.5 year old and giving him some attention that made him really happy. It made the meal much more relaxed.
The menu, mainly breakfast/brunch options with some lunch stuff for post noon, isn’t big, but there is a lot of variety and options to adapt so it feels a lot bigger. The kids menu extends to two items: eggs on toast or avocado on toast but you can combine other add-ons like bacon or ham or extra toast so it’s easy to customise.
Plus our waiter told me they could adapt any of the regular menu – which they did with our drink order (and adjusted the prices too!). Price wise, most stuff was under $20 and felt well priced.
Speaking of drinks, there’s a great drinks menu – from milkshakes and freshly squeezed juices to coffees to everything else you think of. Mr 2 loved his juice even though he found it a bit weird compared to what he was used to.
The food was delicious – really delicious. Kid-friendly or not, I want to go back just for the food. And thoughtfully done too. My son’s dish was set up so he didn’t need to use a knife – for example the toast was cut up even though it was underneath everything else.
It was thoughtful touches like that from great, friendly, staff on top of some very yummy food and drink at good prices that make it such a great choice if you need a cafe that’ll work for young kids. I hope to get back to Pepper’s some time soon.
The Pepper Cafe is located at 44 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington. It’s open for breakfast and lunch every day and dinner on Thursday and Friday. See the Pepper Cafe website for more details including opening hours and the menu.
Kid friendly: Yes, kid friendly menu, plenty of seats
Pram/stroller access: It’s not great. Inside it’s too cramped, only for the smallest prams. Outside is a little better but might still be cramped.
Toilets/change tables: Toilets yes, no change table though.
Getting to the Pepper Cafe
The Pepper Cafe is opposite Newmarket Station on the Craigieburn line. The #57 tram (to West Marybrynong, which goes through the CBD along Elizabeth Street, starting at Flinders Street Station) runs close to Pepper, with the nearest stop on Racecourse Road approximately 250 metres away.
By car, Pin Oak Crescent is approximately 4 kilometres from the CBD and 15 minutes drive. Parking on Pin Oak Crescent is limited. Streets running off it have more and on the opposite side of the railway tracks, there’s a large supermarket car park with a generous time limits.
Looking for a similar cafe with friendly staff and great food/menu? Definitely read our Carolina Cafe review here. Also check out more of our Melbourne family fun here or find my top list of kid friendly cafes in Melbourne here.