Lately we've being doing some family walks on weekends. We get up early in the morning, drive to somewhere we haven't been before, have breakfast and then do our walk. Last weekend we had Narrabeen Lakes as our destination. Now Narrabeen has loads of cafes, but it also home to loads of sporty spice people who get up early, exercise and have breakfast - so trying to find a table was proving to be a bit tricky when we arrived. Our boys don't go well in busy cafes, they don't like the noise and they don't cope well with not having a bit of space to move around in - and to be honest I am exactly the same. So after ditching the idea of eating in a cafe right on the water, we ventured into some side streets and that is how we found the delightful Cafe Dalmatino!
Cafe Dalmatino is a modern European cafe and the owners have Serbian heritage. From the outside it looks like any other coastal cafe in Sydney however the inside has a much more European feel to it. I loved the enormous communal table under the antique light fitting - it would be the perfect spot to kick back and relax over a child free dinner with a bunch of your besties whilst you enjoyed some of Cafe Dalmatinos fine fare. But we are here talk about dining out with kidlets so lets get down to business shall we?
If you have a pram you are best placed to sit at one of the outside tables. Access into the cafe is easy but I would suggest that if you are meeting up with friends who also have prams then maybe leave them in the car and pop your little one into one of the high chairs available or use your baby carrier as there is not a huge amount of space between tables. On a Sunday morning we easily found a parking spot right out the front of the cafe but as this is Narrabeen and the beach is about 100m away, you may need to be prepared to do the block a couple of times in the height of summer or peak periods. The cafe has a kids menu for lunch/dinner and there are loads of options on the breakfast menu for kids to enjoy. The best bit however, is that they serve free babycinos with a side of marshmallows!
Our coffees and babycinos were expertly brewed by the handsome Serbian barista - he oozed European charm and also fawned over our boys (a combination that makes this Mumma very happy!!). They serve Gusto coffee at Cafe Dalamtino and to be honest I haven't enjoyed this blend of beans in the past. But I have to say the skim flat whites we received were nothing short of brilliant.
For breakfast the boys were tossing up between a selection of mini French Pastries ($2/each) or the house made daily muffins ($4). Cafe Dalmatino bake all of their sweet treats in house. After much (insert infuriating) umming and ahhing they went for the muffins. The morning we dined the flavour was mixed berry. They were served with "blood" according to number one son! The blood was just some delicious berry coulis, however there was no way we could convince the boys of that fact and they only ate the muffins. I think some muffin dipped in the blood would have tasted absolutely scrummy and I would have tried it if the boys hadn't woofed down the muffins in record time.
I have a thing for avocado smash at the moment - I think it's a healthy yet substantial breakfast choice. Cafe Dalmatino's version ($13.50) is probably not as good as some others I have had of late but it was still tasty and I devoured every last crumb of it. Mr Munch went with the bacon and poached eggs which looked and smelt oh so yum and for $11.00 it was a great value dish. Some other highlights on the breakfast menu are the vegie fritters with avocado smash & rocket ($16) and the buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup, berry coulis (aka blood), toasted almonds and your choice of either ricotta or ice cream ($16).
Cafe Dalmatino is open for lunch and dinner as well. The lunch time menu ranges in price from $9 - $25. You can have anything from a selection of the best Italian olives with toast and house made dip to Cavatelli pasta with prawns, zucchini, tomato broth & basil. Dinner is served from the family friendly hour of 5.30pm Thursday - Saturday nights. The menu changes regularly with the main emphasis being on seafood, and all mains are under $30.00. The kids menu is $7 and they can choose between fish or chicken nuggets & chips.
Whilst there aren't any activities for kids to do whilst you dine at Cafe Dalmatino, our boys seemed very content to just sit and "people watch." They loved the passing parade of surfers heading up to the beach, who all seemed to stop in for a takeaway coffee en route. A gorgeous blond chick with hot pink board shorts and a massive surf board kept them entranced for ages, as she did every other bloke in the cafe! Fearing that we may end up spending the whole day in the cafe checking out surfer chicks, I moved my 3 boys off onto our walk where we became one with all the local sporty spice families.
Do you have a favourite family walk Little Munchers? Does it start or end in a cafe?
10 Waterloo St, Narabeen NSW
Opens 8am 7 days
Breakfast and lunch 7 days
Dinner Thu, Fri, Sat nights