Sideways is a cafe with an awesome reputation amongst families in Dulwich Hill and it’s easy to see why. Sideways doesn’t just welcome children, they celebrate them. Big smiles are on offer, no matter how busy the staff. Even the short order cook pauses between flipping pancakes to admire and coo at yet another baby up at the till. And this cafe has an endless stream of babies and young ones, especially on Friday mornings when nearby Johnson Park hosts ‘The Magic Yellow Bus’ a council run play bus with toys and free activities. But if it’s raining Sideways can pick up the slack. The cafe has two entrances both wide enough to accommodate prams. There are brightly coloured, good quality pencils on hand, plenty of paper, a toy box and books. Who needs the bus?
And of course there is the food. The counter is loaded with baked goods made on the premises, muffins, cakes, victoria sponges and quirky constructions of biscuits and sweets with fun names like, ‘teddy hot wheels’ and ‘tiny teacups’ made of marshmallows and sprinkles of hundreds and thousands. Small treats that won’t ruin young appetites.
There’s also the usual kiddies’ fare on offer, scaled down breakfasts, babycinos, milkshakes and smoothies but what makes the kids’ options stand out above the rest is Sideway’s policy of making child friendly meals tailored to your needs. As the owner Danielle says, ‘every child has different tastes.’ They are happy to listen to parents’ special requests and prepare kids’ sized portions of items on the menu.
Last time we went to Sideways my son, a Dr Suess fan was tickled pink by the green eggs and ham. Breakfast lasts all day and the consistency of the food is high. Service is swift and efficient, so hungry children aren’t left feeling restless by long waits or forgotten orders. On week ends the brunch brigade are out in force but the staff at Sideways manage a tight ship and manage to keep things running smoothly.
There is outside seating with umbrellas for shade and somehow the cafe seems to be in the prefect position to catch the sun from all angles. As a consequence, Sideways feels bright, light and sunny. The décor is simple and clean with splashes of bright colour.
Look out for the black and white stripey awning next time you are in the back streets of Dulwich Hill. You won’t be disappointed.