A few years ago, Birdie Num Nums was the word in my mother’s group. We were Birdie Num Nums junkies, all of us.
And why not? It was one of the first cafes in the northern suburbs to savvy-up to the marketing potential of being kid-friendly. Parents from all corners of Melbourne flocked there, like swans to a duck-dive. These days it is still popular, but not as cloyingly-so.
Birdie Num Nums is located in Carlton North in one of the many single-fronted terraces that make Melbourne so unique. It feels like you’re stepping into a piece of history. Until you realise you’ve had your child’s boogers on your shoulder all morning.
This place is an institution. It has a large covered courtyard out the back with a sandpit (stunningly cat-poo free) and plenty of room to run around. Space for the kids to move about as well. The coffee is good, the service pleasant and most importantly, the wait staff are rugrat friendly.
The menu is a pretty standard affair but it’s tasty and universally loved. There is a range of egg dishes for breakfast and a large selection of lunch options, such as open melts with chips and salad ($14), tofu and chicken burgers ($15-$16) and salads ($15-$17). There’s not much culinary innovation here but they are certainly crowd pleasers. And really, who gives a crap when you can suck on decent coffee with your kids wrapped knee-deep in sand? You don’t come here for the food, but for the break.
Ye traditionale kids menu reigns supreme – chicken nuggets with chips, fish and chips, pasta, pikelets, fruit salad etc. etc.. Nothing exciting, but it’s reasonably varied. After my whinge last week about the unoriginal “blah blah and chips” on many a kid’s menu, I didn’t order anything for Inky from it (CAN SOMEONE YELL FOOD SNOB? YES. THERE IT IS). She shared my House Made Corn bread with avocado salsa, bacon, rocket and poached eggs ($16). Freaking YUM can I tell you. Problem is, Inky loves eggs. You order an egg dish for YOURSELF and she’s hitting you up for every morsel until you realise you actually haven’t eaten any damn egg.
Cor, this kid is part-yolk, I tell ya.
There has been a definite shift in the number of cafes in Melbourne that have gone kid-friendly. I won’t say dime-a-dozen, but go ask Hey Bambini about it. There’s been some serious wising up in these parts and I’m LOVING it. Birdie Num Nums though, it’s one of the first, and in my opinion, still one of the best.
- What was the bill? Breakfast for 1 adult and 1 child + *cough* 3 coffees – $30.
- Where is it? Birdie Num Nums, 745 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
- How kid-friendly is it? 10/10 (you heard me!). Kids menu, highchairs, change table, entertainment (outdoor sandpit and toys).
* This post is not sponsored. Cafe reviews are the opinion of Melbourne Mum, and meals/coffee are paid for out of my own pocket.