The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Friday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Brisbane
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018

Five Kid-Friendly Spots to Hit When Everyone's Feeling Hangry

Where you and the little guys can relax, play and have a feed.
By Imogen Baker
June 28, 2018


in partnership with

Where you and the little guys can relax, play and have a feed.

Hangry is defined by the masses as the irrational, though very understandable, rage you feel when you are very hungry. Hangry you doesn't understand what's going on, why this is happening or what to do next. Hangry you just wants to yell and yell and yell.

What you really need is to sit down, take a moment, eat a huge sandwich or inhale an entire pizza and maybe nap it off. But that's often easier said than done — life gets in the way. This is especially true for parents because they've made life and that life is often full of demands, which can also coexist with little, but still very strong, hanger. So, on family outings, when the rage of hunger strikes for all, it's all too tempting to call it a day and go home.

But, rage no more. We've been doing some research for you with our mates at American Express, zipping around town with some rent-a-kids, flashing our American Express® Card and finding the perfect spots that welcome children (and raging adults yelling about sandwiches) so your hangry brain doesn't have to think for you.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

  • 5

    If you have high-energy tackers, there’s nothing sweeter than a penned-off area. Willow and Spoon in Wilston has everything a parent could want — strong coffee, great staples and a glorious a play space for little ones.

    The menu is imaginative and hearty. We recommend The Stranger ($18) if you’re hungry — the poached eggs, brioche, haloumi, pumpkin, spinach and green olive cheeks will fill you up quick. Or there’s The Willow ($17) with bacon, eggs, wholemeal grain sourdough and Woodside cultured butter — not fancy but a very well-executed staple. There’s also a good selection of kids’ meals if you can convince them to come in from the play area. Think small eats for the hard-to-keep-still like the muffin of the day, banana bread or mug of muesli. Or if you’ve got some good eaters on your hands, there are options like cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy chicken and chicken and sweetcorn soup.

  • 4

    Mrs Brown must have raised kids at some point because she sure knows how to make parents feel welcome. At Mrs Brown’s Bar you’ll find an impressive selection of wine and spirits, an Asian-inspired food menu, plus a kid’s menu. At a bar. We recommend chowing down on the Dirty Bird — Mrs Brown’s famous rotisserie chicken ($15 for half, $29 for whole) or the Korean fried cauliflower ($11) for a lighter snack. If the kids’ palates don’t take kindly to spicy pan-Asian cuisine, they can go for the roast chicken and pizza. It’s rare to find a bar that allows kids and even rarer to find one that does so with such a warm, welcoming vibe — and plenty of high chairs to go around.

  • 3

    Mecca Bah is busy and bustling no matter what time of day you’re there. This is great for parents because it means your kids’ shenanigans will blend right in with the vibe, but don’t worry, the chaos doesn’t extend into the kitchen. The staff are known for being attentive and full of great recommendations.

    As for recommendations, we know it’s not the easiest thing to scoff down, and it will make a mess, but don’t go past the tagines; Mecca Bah offers five varieties of the slow-cooked dish. The lamb ($28) cooked in a tomato base with salty green olives and spicy harissa on a bed of couscous is pretty damn excellent. Or if you want to keep one hand free while rangling the kids, go for a pizza — or as they’re known at Mecca Bah, a crispy wood-fired boat of joy that’ll please all ages.

  • 2
    Plum Tucker cafe in Brisbane

    Red Hill’s Plum Tucker (a very cute and apt name) is in your corner, parents. And in the other corner, they’ve set up what can best be described as a premium child-distraction station, complete with books, toys and colouring activities. It’s the perfect kid-depository so plum-tuckered parents can enjoy their coffee and hold a conversation over eggs and (strong) coffee. You can build your own dream brekkie, or go for the pre-made menu with the damper bun on the bacon and egg roll ($18)and avo, pumpkin and haloumi on sourdough ($21) combo. You might even get some food envy from the kids’ menu. With options like a mini bacon and egg burger on Turkish, the little monsters have plenty to choose from.

  • 1

    The beauty of the Corner Store Cafe is in its outdoor seating area. Not only can you bask in the sunlight, but the sound of kiddy shenanigans will dissipate into the ether while you enjoy a coffee and pastry. The place looks tiny from the outside but don’t be deceived — it’s got depth.

    On the menu, you’ll find the usual suspects with some weird and wonderful sidekicks. If you’re down for something familiar with a twist, go for the smashed avo ($18.50) with pickled beetroot, fennel salsa and pistachios. And if you’re just hangry and need indulgent food, go for the polenta, cheddar and jalapeno waffle served with a poached egg and creme fraiche ($20.50). With a day of dragging the kids around with you, you deserve it.


As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.


  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x