We love getting out and exploring other parts of Sydney on weekends with the boys and I really recommend that you do too. I sometimes feel like I am on holidays when we a visit a suburb we haven't really been to before. And it's even more fun when we find a brilliant cafe or other eatery there that welcomes little kids with open arms. Take the funky Ristretto & Co in downtown Liverpool, it is a good example of what I'm raving on about!
Ristretto & Co is located just down the street from the Westfield shopping centre in Liverpool. There is a handy car park right across the street from the cafe. Now don't be fooled by the cute little façade of Ristretto & Co. This is most definitely more than a hole in the wall type of cafe. When you walk in the door, one of the friendly members of staff with show you to a table down the back in the more spacious under cover alfresco dining area.
Ristretto & Co is styled similarly to other on trend cafes in Sydney at the moment. Recycled chic with loads of greenery. There are tables of all shapes and sizes, and at the back of the cafe you will see Ristretto's fabulous food truck dominated by a gorgeous diva. It's all very funky and I love it. And so did my boys. To compensate for not having kids activities, I gave the boys my camera and told them to snap away (suffice to say they won't be winning any photographic prizes any time soon).
So can take your pram along? Well, Mr Munch and I were debating whether or not we thought that Ristretto & Co was pram friendly, when we saw a Dad confidently drive (at speed) his pram straight into the cafe and park it right next to his table! So yes you can. However, if the front area of the cafe is full with the take away coffee crowd, you might have to smile very sweetly at them and ask them to get out of your way (or just run straight over their toes if they don't). There are also high chairs available too to restrain your little ones. And if someone has the call of nature, you will find the loo in a small hallway at the back right of the cafe - just be careful that you don't walk into the hairdressers that Ristretto & Co is right next to.
Now lets move onto the food and coffee - there is a menu just for kids called Bambini Bites. And it is impressive and surprisingly great value (with a smile). With nothing over $6.00 it makes dining out with kids more affordable. Sadly my boys didn't road test anything off this menu as they had seen the amazing array of nutella donuts and cronuts as they first walked into the cafe and ordered those instead (see if you can get past them!). They also sipped on babycinos ($1.50) which come in disposable espresso cups - perfect! And as you can see from the above photo the coffee is by Campos and it is of course superior!
All of your standard cafe favourites are available at breakfast time at Ristretto & Co. Avo Smash, Bircher Muesli, Eggs Benny and Hotcakes for example. And those hotcakes are stunning! The plump hotcakes are full of blueberries and are served up with beautiful fresh fruit, sweet spiced ricotta, maple and coconut syrup and then topped with some caramel popcorn!! Oh my it was good and very reasonably priced at $15.00.
The Ristretto & Co Breaky Pan ($19) was an interesting selection for Mr Munch. Normally the one for the typical bacon and egg roll, or an omelette, he decided to venture out and try something different. What can I say? Underwhelmed. He missed his bacon for a start (could have ordered that as an extra), and polenta chips are absolutely on his no-go list for future, however the eggs and sausage were magnificent. The mushrooms were lacking flavour and could have been given a little more punch, and overall the dish could have been improved if served perhaps on a bed of puréed spiced tomato to add a little liquid to what was a relatively dry pan. I suspect some people will absolutely love this Breaky Pan, but alas not a favourite of Mr Munch.
Now I had a few readers comment on my social media pages that they couldn't believe that there was a trendy cafe in Liverpool! Actually I think there are quite a few. As there are in Campbelltown, Parramatta, Penrith, Bankstown, Castle Hill etc. So I'm challenging you Little Munchers to leave the safety net of your local "hood" and get out and explore this big beautiful city of ours - so much cheaper than booking yourself an o/s holiday! Go on, off you go and have a foodie experience somewhere different in this wonderful, culturally diverse and beautiful city of ours - I dare you - and I want you to tell me, and others, all about it!!!
Ristretto & Co also own a cafe in nearby Bigge Park, called The Shed. We ran out of time to check it out but I've heard along the grapevine that Bigge Park is going have a 5 million dollar water play playground built this year! So we will be back to Liverpool as soon as that water starts spurting x
158 Northumberland St, Liverpool NSW
Mon - Fri: 6am - 4pm
Sat: 7am - 3pm
Sun: 8am - 1pm