Coffee shops hold a special place in the hearts of city-dwellers: They are that extra room you don’t have at home but desperately need. They are places for us to be alone, to have work meetings or friend meetings, to fuel up, to concentrate, to relax, to eat, to hide … they are basically our bars when drinking isn’t appropriate.
And, if you go to the right one, coffee shops are a great place to take the kids, for the oh-so-many-reasons we need them: got time to kill, need a switch of venue, have a quick playdate, hungry for an after-school snack, or the weather is bad. Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly coffee shops around town.
One Shot Coffee & Cafe
What to expect: One Shot is one of the prettiest coffee shops in Philly (as evidenced by photos above), but that doesn’t mean it’s precious. In fact, the owners have make it a point to be more than just a place to get coffee, so you’ll find a large menu, great house-baked desserts, events, and more. Serious workers tend to hang downstairs, so if you’ve got the kids, grab a seat outside or in the second floor space, where there’s a little library with a great table for puzzles or games.
Location: 217 West George Street
La Colombe Fishtown
What to expect: One of the more spacious venues in Philly, this La Colombe outpost is so much more than a coffee shop: there are pastries, lunch items, a distillery and more. Mostly, there’s plenty of areas with low tables and comfortable seats where your tots can color and play while you enjoy a perfectly pulled cappuccino. Great place for a playdate!
Location: 1335 Frankford Avenue
Queen Village/Society Hill
Milk & Honey Market
What to expect: If you head to the back, there’s a larger room which is perfect for chilling with the kids, since they won’t disturb any serious coffee drinkers sitting up front. Back there, you’ll find a toy bin filled with games. Other things we love here? The music is never too loud, the staff is friendly, and there’s a nice array of pressed breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as sweet treats. There are also a few seats on the sidewalk if the weather is nice.
Location: South and 4th streets
Red Hook Coffee and Tea
What to expect: Red Hook is small, but spacious, because the majority of the coffee shop is taken up by two well-loved (read: don’t worry about getting dirty) sofas, which leave plenty of room for playing games, reading books, or scooting cars around on the floor. The fish-shaped pillows always entertain my daughter, and the food is fantastic — the sandwiches are some of my favorite in the city. Note: It’s really cute … lots of kids from Meredith come here with their parents after school for a snack or homework time.
Location: 4th and Catherine
Cake and the Beanstalk
What to expect: Quirky and homey, the staff at C&B couldn’t be sweeter. While the space is tight, there is an enclosed side area with more room, as well as Legos, books and toys. The sweets are baked in-house. Best part: The owner does free story- and craft times once a month.
Location: Locust and 11th
What to expect: Aimee Olexy has created a cafe and coffee shop that has awesome drinks and sweet treats, freshly made salads and great sandwiches to-go (we recommend the turkey BLT). The tables are communal and the inside space is bi-level, which makes it a little challenging for strollers in the winter. But all kids are welcome and accommodated. In the summer months the outdoor seating is awesome for doggy watching.
Location: Washington Square
Logan Cafe at Sister Cities Park
What to expect: This is one of our favorites in the city when the kids are in tow. This bright cafe is in Sister Cities Park, which means children are a regular fixture. There is plenty of room inside and a large outdoor seating area that overlooks the play areas, so you can enjoy your Joe while the kids frolic in sight. There are also kid-appropriate eats, sweets, fresh fruit, and good coffee. It opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays.
Bonus: The Free Library has installed a mobile library inside with lots of children’s books to peruse while you are there. Also check out the many events, like holiday happenings, soccer programs and Stroller Strides.
Location: 18th and the Parkway
Nook Bakery & Coffee Bar
What to expect: In the mornings, Nook is filled with people grabbing coffee and rushing to work, but in the back is an area with couches and tables that is removed from the bustle. Staff is always friendly, and there are great baked goods and many tea options, too.
Location: 20th and Chestnut
What to expect: The best part of Mugshots is the size — the large open room is a rarity for a city space. In the front of the shop there are some couches and groups of chairs, which are great for kids, so they can roam around your general vicinity without being disruptive. You’ll also find a bin of toys and games for babies and kids. There’s a large menu here too … but be warned, service can be slow.
Location: 20th and Fairmount
What to expect: There are three OCF shops around town (yes, they are connected to the real estate company of the same name), and all have friendly baristas, a bright and modern look and good coffee. The one in Fairmount, though, is particularly kid-friendly thanks to a large space that can accommodated a bunch of strollers. This one also gets parent bonus points for having a full menu, smoothies, a great brunch where you can BYOB, and amazing hours (as early at 6:30 a.m. and as late at 9 p.m.).
Location: 21st and Fairmount
Photos: Images from One Shot in Northern Liberties