Sitting at the top end of the restaurant-laden Kloof Street in the City Bowl, Café Paradiso is that rare bird that’s both excellent restaurant and child-friendly spot. Usually parents have to compromise on eating less-than-wonderful food in exchange for finding a spot that the kids will enjoy too, or having to cope with sulky small ones at a place that doesn’t cater for them beyond offering staples like fish fingers or burgers.
While the menu is indeed home to a great burger and some ‘hake goujons’ for the ankle-biter set (amongst some other great options), its appeal lies in the fact that it’s something of a Cape Town institution for its inventive breakfasts, crispy-based pizzas and substantial Italian-influenced mains – even drawing drop-ins from the celeb jet-set who regularly grace Cape Town to shoot movies or just ogle the scenery from the outdoor terrace. All without an eye-watering price tag…
Café Paradiso makes it onto our list because it offers the chance for kids to make their own pizzas, right in the heart of the kitchen and under the watchful eye of an enthusiastic and friendly group of minders. While you’ll no doubt want to cast an eye over what bizarre and wonderful toppings the kids are adding to their pizza, it’s also a welcome opportunity to sit quietly and sip something warm, or strong (or both!) or enjoy your meal while the kids are entertained, doing something a little out of the ordinary. Priced at just under R60, the activity also feeds the kits, as they eat the pizzas they make, and there’s also the option to decorate cupcakes, make gingerbread men or roll out some choc-chip cookies – all for the same price.
The team in the kitchen settle them down at a table, show them how to dust their boards with flour, roll out the pre-portioned dough (into any shape they like!), add a variety of toppings and pop them in the wood-fired oven, before presenting them at the table to enjoy alongside the adults’ meals.
When booking a table, ask for a seat at the ‘Inside Courtyard’ – it offers a direct view of the kitchen, if you’d like to keep an eye on the small ones as they prep their meal.
110 Kloof Street,