Earlier this year, The New York Times reported on the “babyccino” trend--moms introducing their offspring to the wide-eyed world of espresso. That may be taking it a step too far–putting aside potential adverse health effects, any parent who willingly gives their small child caffeine is likely either a masochist or a cast member of Toddler & Tiaras–but there isn’t any reason you can’t have your coffee and occupy your little ones for the time it takes you to drink it, too. Here are some of our favorite spots to hang with the kiddos and a cup of joe.
This beloved, creative Tribeca spot has just reopened, offering wholesome, sustainably-sourced snacks, fresh juices and smoothies, and coffee in a cheerful, bright, art-filled cafe. “Do it Together” take-out art kits are available for sale, and hourlong crafty workshops for kids of all ages take place each Thursday at 10:00 am and 3:30 pm (online reservations recommended to ensure a spot). During the workshops–or at private events, if you’d like to book Moomah for a birthday party–kids can explore the cafe’s incredible “funky forest,” a stimulating art installation/play space.
161 Hudson Street
(Closed Sunday; open 8:00am – 4:00pm)
71 Irving Place Coffee & Tea Bar
This cozy coffee bar is known for its house blends, brewed on the owners’ Hudson Valley farm, but it also serves up sandwiches, soups, cookies, cakes and decaffeinated beverages that kids will love. Snag a round table near the (non-working) fireplace, or sit on the sunny bench outside to meet and greet all kinds of four-legged friends on their way to walks in nearby Gramercy Park.
71 Irving Place
American Girl Cafe
If you really want to cater a cafe trip to your child, consider the American Girl “experience,” a prix-fixe affair catered to American Girl dolls, the girls and boys who love them, and the parents who can lovingly tolerate dining alongside $100 plastic toys seated in their own highchairs. Afternoon tea runs $20 per person (dolls eat free!) and features a sophisticated but kid-friendly menu with options including cucumber sandwiches with Boursin cheese and chocolate chip scones with Devon cream. And yes, coffee is available for grown-ups.
609 Fifth Avenue
(Reservations recommended; limited seating times)
Blue Sky Bakery
Do you know the muffin man? It seems he’s moved from Drury Lane to Park Slope’s northern 5th Avenue. This small but bustling coffee shop, often packed with stroller-toting parents during the morning rush, bakes dozens of varieties of its signature breakfast treat each morning. Alongside semi-traditional fruit varieties like strawberry peach, you’ll find delicious combinations like pumpkin apple walnut and blueberry carrot cream cheese, as well as a chocolate chip banana bread that’s nothing short of habit-forming. While you sip a strong, creamy latte, kids can busy themselves with an assortment of books and magazines.
53 5th Avenue
(Closes at 2:00 pm; cash only)
Flying Saucer Cafe
Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue is known for its antiques shops, and you might think you’ve accidentally stumbled into one when you enter this roomy, shabby-chic space filled with plush, worn couches and lovably off-kilter coffee tables. There are toys scattered about for younger kids to play with, while older ones can make use of a chess set while noshing on baked goods and sandwiches. The coffee isn’t as reliably groovy as the decor, but having a hippie haven to hang out in for an hour while your children amuse themselves might just be priceless.
494 Atlantic Avenue
New York City is brimming with buzz-worthy cafes and coffee shops. Share the love in the comment section below and let us know your fave spot to bring the kids while you get your caffeine fix.
— Una LaMarche