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Family Friendly Restaurants on The Gold Coast

Whether you are holidaying or a local, we have compiled a list of the 15 best family friendly restaurants on the Gold Coast. We understand that eating out with kids on the Gold Coast can sometimes be a disaster. The stress of finding appropriate menus and meals, and venues that are suitable for children where you can all feel comfortable can sometimes deter you from even leaving the house. Lucky for you, the Gold Coast is boasting with plenty of kid-friendly restaurants and we have sifted through them to show you our favourites!

We have ensured to capture a broad range of locations across the GC. All our suggestions tick many boxes that families who are headed out for a meal would be requiring. We have thought of it all when compiling this list. We ensure delicious meals for everyone and places for the little ones to play and run off the never-ending energy.  Our list has options for indoor and outdoor dining, a range of price points to suit all budgets, and a variety of venues like restaurants, cafes, pubs and taverns. We have ensured there is something suitable for your family and your taste buds.

There are always plenty of memories to be made around a dinner table, and being able to do this whilst someone else does the cooking and cleaning up is just a win-win if you ask us! You will be sure to enjoy a delicious meal at some of the best kid friendly restaurants on the Gold Coast! These are places where children can play freely allowing the adults to have some precious grown-up conversation. For a beautiful family lunch or dinner, at a nice family restaurant on the Gold Coast, be sure to check out our list below.

1. Southport Sharks | Southport

southport sharks play room

It’s been labelled the best family dinner restaurant by many attendees, and after our research (yes, we tried this one ourselves!) – we sure can see why. Located in Southport, just 15 minutes out of Surfers Paradise, you will find the Southport Sharks. It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is easy to find and has free parking. With plenty of seating options available, you won’t feel jammed in either.

Inside this establishment is Frenzy Food Court, and it’s the place to be with the family. It has a menu that will have adults drooling with all the classics from fish and chips, chicken snitzels, to angus beef rump and even a buffet. The kids will also love picking from the menu, with options like grilled chicken, Bolognese, chicken nuggets or fish bites.

What we love most about the Southport Sharks is that there is something every day of the week for kids, from free meals (and buffets!), to kids’ performances and coloring-in entertainment. They also have the Wobbygong Kids Fun Zone, where children aged 3 to 12 years can be booked in for a small cost, and adults can enjoy a meal child-less! We wrote about Southport Sharks after our visit here.

Check out this family loving establishment here

2. The Collective | Palm Beach

The Collective - Palm Beach

This is a venue for those of you who like options, and a groovy atmosphere! We know that heading out of the house with kids in tow often means having a whole range of taste buds that you need to appease. This is why we couldn’t look past having The Collective on this list, for a super fun night out where there is food (and drinks) for all.

All under one roof at one location you will find five types of cuisine on offer; Mexican, Greek, Asian, American and Italian. We are talking tacos, nachos, souvlaki, gyros, dumplings, bao, fries, burgers, pastas and pizzas, the list goes on! You can enjoy this food downstairs amongst lush greenery or upstairs on the rooftop overlooking the hinterland. 

Plan your trip to food heaven here

3. Currumbin RSL | Currumbin

Sometimes you just can’t go past a good old-fashioned RSL. Currumbin RSL is a great location for a family meal if your children are a little older and independent, we say this as right out the front of the deck area is a brand new pirate playground that is fully fenced. This means you can relax on the deck basking in the view of the creek, enjoying your food and drinks, all whilst watching the kids from afar.

And enjoy your food and drinks you will! The menu is a classic delight with tasty starters, and main options from the grill, the ocean, plenty of classics, burgers, salads and pizzas. For the little ones that will be running up an appetite from all the fun they are having on the playground, there is an impressive selection of pizza, nuggets, cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, and more.

Find more information on the Currumbin RSL here

4. Burleigh Town Hotel | Burleigh

When searching child friendly restaurants gold coast, Burleigh Town Hotel is one you absolutely cannot miss. It has recently undergone a massive makeover and it sure is a makeover to wow at! It has been totally transformed to an establishment that caters for absolutely everyone. With a list of spaces to enjoy, including the bistro, sports bar, beer garden, pergola and patio, there is sure to be a perfect spot to perch. What we really admire about this place is the options for kids entertainment, it has a kid’s room and an outside playground, guaranteeing you some much needed peace and quiet.

Scrolling through the visual menu, not only will you be drooling, but you will be sure to pick a meal that will fill the hole. The menu ranges with snack and share plates, salads, mains including curries, pastas, fish, chicken, there is wood-fired pizza, burgers and sandwiches, and tasty grilled meat. The kids menu is also impressive, with a range of classics like burgers, nuggets, pastas, pizzas and fish available.

Book your visit to one of the best kid friendly restaurants on the Gold Coast

5. Sandbar | Surfers Paradise

Their slogan is “wind, dine and take your time”, and what a treat that sounds! Sandbar is one of the best family restaurants Surfers Paradise has to offer. This venue is a prime location, situated right across the road from the main patrolled beach and is perfect for those of you are seeking somewhere to have a laidback dining experience.

The adults will love the broad range of meals available, it offers a dining experience that covers all areas from gourmet burgers, fish and chips, steaks to poke bowls. We love that it has a children’s menu, with all items on this costing you under ten dollars, making it one of the most cheap family restaurants. We think Sandbar is a great location to re-fuel after a big day enjoying the beautiful coastal front of Surfers Paradise!

Check out one of the best family restaurants Surfers Paradise

6. The Historic Rivermill | Mount Nathan


Set amongst the gorgeous Gold Coast Hinterland and situated upon 6.4 hectares in Mount Nathan is The Historic Rivermill. We recommend doing this as a day outing! It is a lush venue, with amazing views and sprawling bushland, meaning while the adults enjoy the view, the kids can explore it! The little ones will love the on site animal farm.

The Rivermill café is the spot for plenty of delicious eats. The lunch menu boasts of various burgers, squid, macaroni, fish and salads, with plenty of beverage options like coffee, tea and milkshakes. The kids will love their options, with cheeseburgers, calamari, macaroni, fish, pork bites and a burger options.

Plan your day amongst lush greenery here

7. Coomera Lodge Hotel | Oxenford

Coomera Lodge Hotel is one of the best family restaurants Gold Coast has to offer. Located in Oxenford, it is a large venue offering many spaces to sit and enjoy a meal and a beverage, you can relax in the bistro, the beer garden, the perch or the sports bar. We love a venue with lots of spaces, it means there is options for families of all sizes and ages. It also has a brand new playground, kitted out with climbing options and slides, guaranteed to be a win with the little ones!

They have a brand new menu, filled with various pub classics – schnitzels, steaks, burgers, and lots of vegetarian and vegan options to cater for all. The kids menu is also full of favorites – $10 mains of pizza, chips, nuggets and pasta – and a big win for us is the $2 dessert menu with a choice of ice-cream or frog in a pond. Bellies are sure to be satisfied!

Find out more about this family favorite here

8. Cafe Catalina | Southport

Overlooking the Broadwater with stunning views is Café Catalina. It is located adjacent to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and is a fantastic option if you are on the hunt for family restaurants  Gold Coast. This is a great location for an early dinner, where you can then head down to the massive playground that’s nearby and let the kids burn that last bit of energy for the day. Or, perhaps you would rather a big play, then filling the kids bellies into a food coma before heading home for the day – there are options!

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and their menu looks amazing. They offer entrees, Japanese style cold plates, salads and a wide range of mains including burgers, fish, dumplings, and steak – just to name a few. The kids will love the little guys menu full of favourites like fish, calamari, sushi and more.

Book your beautiful lunch overlooking the Broadwater here

9. The Barn | Mudgereeba

The Barn | Mudgereeba

If you are seeking a tranquil dining experience, then The Barn set amongst the valleys of Springbrook in Mudgereeba is a must visit. It offers a café, dining and beer garden with a beautiful rustic vibe, kitted out with eco-friendly and sustainable gardens. There’s a pen with baby farm animals which will bring the kids lots of joy.

The food is something you must try, with a paddock to plate style of dining. The Barn prides itself on the collective of culinary professionals who provide nothing but the best when it comes to casual dining. The menu is overflowing with Italian inspired meals, offering entrees, mains, sides, and 5 or 6 course chef selected meals. They even handcraft their pasta on site. The Barn is a casual dining experience that will feel anything but!

Plan your idyllic dining experience at The Barn here

10. Robina Pavillion | Robina

Located in Robina is the Robina Pavillion, a venue we think is one of the best restaurants Gold Coast has. Its location is prime, being situated along the water and it offers a casual dining experience spread across a multitude of areas – the brasserie, sunny’s bar and deck, the lakeside, the parkside and the public house sports bar. With so many options to perch, we think this is a great restaurant for big families. They have a creche that operates on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays during the evening and a dedicated kid’s area.

The menu is overflowing with delicious pub-style classics like chicken parmigiana, beef brisket, seafood options, a range of salads, pizza’s and burgers. The kids menu is impressive, with favorites like burgers, pizzas and pasta. We think your bellies will be full to the brim upon departure of the Pavillion!

Find out more about this waterfront restaurant here

11. Surfers Paradise Beer Garden | Surfers Paradise

We think this venue is one of the best family restaurants Surfers Paradise has to offer. The Surfers Paradise Beer Garden encompasses the sandy and relaxed vibe of the Gold Coast, and is a perfect place to relax a meal and a cold beverage with the family. We think the adults will love the playground for them that is full of old-school games like Jenga, Connect Four amongst others.

This menu is for those of you like a straight forward classic pub type meal, it has all the favourites like a parmi, fish and chips, steaks, burgers and pizzas.

Visit Surfers Paradise ‘home for locals and visitors’

12. Lonestar Tavern | Mermaid Waters

Known for its reputation of providing great dining and entertainment for the whole family, the Lonestar Tavern in Mermaid Waters is a great option for those seeking a laidback family friendly Gold Coast restaurant. It has a fantastic indoor and outdoor kids playground, and an indoor playroom as well. These are sure to keep the kids happy!

With indoor and outdoor dining areas, there are plenty of spaces to sit and enjoy your meal. The menu offers a wide range of seasonal dishes, with premium meats, salads and classic pub dishes. The kids menu has all of the classics with each meal coming with a drink and for only $10.

Find more on this family friendly establishment here  

13. The Wattle Hotel | Coomera

Nestled in Upper Coomera is The Wattle Hotel, an absolute delight for families on the hunt for a great restaurant that is suitable for all ages. It prides itself of being ‘comfortable and safe’ – and as a parent, I’m not sure what else you could ask for! It has a large kids play area which will know will be well loved by the youngsters, and we recommend booking your table in advance so you can be right near the Wattle kids space.

The casual dining has a fantastic menu boasting of starters, entrees, burgers, mains, grill, pub classics and salads. The kids menu is full of favourites and freshness like nuggets, fish, cheeseburgers sausage and salmon.

See the amazing kids play space here

14. Mermaid Beach Surf Club | Mermaid Beach

Surf clubs are the ultimate culmination of a laid-back, relaxed, sandy dining experience. Mermaid Beach Surf Club has seating options that have you enjoying stunning views of the beachfront, or you can opt to watch over Hedges Avenue. The balcony area is our favourite – it’s spacious and has a beautiful sea breeze. It has an impressive playroom that will keep the youngsters busy and out of your hair while you soak in that Pacific Ocean view!

On top of the prime location, Merlina’s Restaurant inside the Mermaid Beach Surf Club has a menu that makes your stomach rumble. The adults will be well and truly satisfied with the massive range of entrees and tapas, salads, burgers, classics, signatures, pastas and grill options. The nippers will be even more impressed with their options of nuggets, fish, pizza burger or a pasta, with each kids meal accompanied with a zooper dooper or vanllia ice cream!

Plan your visit to this beachside dining oasis

15. Woodchoppers Inn | Mudgereeba

Located in Mudgereeba is the Woodchoppers Inn, the Gold Coast’s very own American BBQ! Great for families who are wanting a taste of the USA and chasing something a little different to the normal pub style menus you often find. Extra points for this venue because it has a kids’ play area too!

The menu is truly something you must see for yourself to believe. It is overflowing with their signature BBQ experience, that is a product of their specialization and passion for unique wood fired BBQ to create flavors from Australia and around the world. What we love even more about Woodchoppers Inn, is the little kids menus it totally derived from the main menu, so you can be assured the little ones will be in on the BBQ experience too!

See the drool-worthy BBQ menu here  

Family friendly restaurants on the Gold Coast

It is no secret that Gold Coast visitors and locals are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to kid friendly restaurants! We love that there is a huge range of dining experiences too, from the classic pubs, to surf lifesaving clubs, to eating amongst lush greenery and animals. We are confident that amongst the options above, you will find the perfect venue for a family lunch or dinner. Please let us know which you think is the best family restaurant Gold Coast has to offer. Happy dining!

Still looking for a family restaurant near you?

Take a look at our favourites below and then check for a discount voucher for Gold Coast restaurants!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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