Seattleites are happily spoiled when it comes to coffee, and we know how to enjoy a cup or two. From the big boys like Starbucks to the much-loved independent coffee shops and neighborhood cafes that line our streets, there truly is something for everyone. And thank goodness for the kid-friendly coffee shops! Whether it be to chat with another adult over a latte while your kids play, find solace from the rain, or enjoy a coffee/cocoa date with your little connoisseur, these spots are much-needed and appreciated! Here are some favorites:
Twirl Café (Queen Anne)
One of the most kid-friendly coffee shops around, Twirl is a mecca for moms, kids and coffee. A winner of many parent awards, the café offers delicious sandwiches, soups and salads, plus a full kids menu that includes lots of organic ingredients. We tried the sunflower-butter and jelly sandwich with orange slices- my 3-year-old loved it! The play area is superb, with a jungle-themed tree house, train table and mini kitchen. There’s also a multipurpose room on the upper level. Twirl offers fun extras like monthly classes, preschool ballet and art workshops. “Whine Wednesdays” are a hit, offering free wine tastings with a play admission, as well as supervised playtimes for when momma needs a break.
*Playtime is $5 (with food purchase)
El Diablo Coffee Company (Queen Anne)
Pop in to this eclectic java house for a whole new perspective on coffee. Seattle’s only Latin-style coffee house, El Diablo is a haven from the rain; a refuge of playful, brightly painted walls, furniture and décor. There’s a small play corner with toys and books, but the atmosphere itself might be enough to keep kids interested. The Cuban coffee is nothing like you’d find at Starbucks; with the beans roasted at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time, the rich and robust flavor pops with a dash of caramelized syrup. Tempt the kiddos with authentic Mexican hot chocolate or a batido, blends of fresh fruit and ice. For an exotic treat, try the tropical fruit salad or Cuban toast. Moms and Dads- keep this in mind for a topper to a date night; El Diablo offers wines by the glass or bottle and devilishly good desserts.
Firehouse Coffee (Ballard)
This modernly rustic Ballard coffee shop boasts Café Vita coffee, friendly service and a dedicated playroom. Parents can sit and sip their java or check email while they watch the kiddos get their play out with a great variety of blocks, books and toys. A kids menu offers classics like pb&j, grilled ham & cheese, Capri Sun and chocolate milk. The pint-sized Italian sodas are pretty cute too. The Firehouse has a great location, just east of the Ballard Locks, right next to Gymboree and down the street from Me ‘n Mom’s.
Set in a church basement with a name-your-price policy, this non-profit community coffee house is not your average cup of joe. Nonetheless, it’s a neighborhood favorite. The space is large, with a separate room dedicated to kids. The play area is well-stocked with books and toys, and comfy places for parents to sit and converse. Mosaic offers goodies from Little Rae’s Bakery and coffee from Fidalgo Bay Coffee, plus some pretty spectacular hot chocolate.
*Note hours are limited
Coffee to a Tea with Sugar (West Seattle)
Coffee to a Tea and Sugar Rush Baking Company combined forces to bring you and your little ones a perfectly sweet spot to cozy up with a cup of coffee and a cupcake. Warm and rustic, the shop serves both organic, fair-trade coffee and tea from local companies, as well as scrumptious treats fresh from their in-house bakery. From the much-loved mini cupcakes to fancy layer cakes, coffee cakes and their famous lemon bars, there is a little something for any sweet tooth. The kid’s area is cute, with a brightly painted mural and pint-sized play tables, with lots of toys to entertain while mom sips java. Reserve a weekend spot for “Afternoon Tea” and sample a selection of full leaf teas while nibbling on mini scones and petite tea sandwiches. The Children’s Tea version includes apricot & marshmallow or bologna & cheese sandwiches with hot chocolate. Yum!
*P.S. Click here for a free mini cupcake from Coffee to a Tea!
The Village Bean (Bothell)
Nestled in Bothell’s charming Country Village, the Village Bean is a welcoming coffee shop that encourages adults to sit back and enjoy while their kiddos play in the well designed, clean space. A train table, little kitchen, magnet wall and ball & pipe maze keep the little ones happy, and the healthy, delicious made-to-order sandwiches keep parents happy. There’s a full kids menu, as well as smaller snacks like string cheese and goldfish crackers. On sunny days, sit outside near the fountain; there’s a cute little playhouse for kiddos, not to mention the entirety of Country Village itself.
And here are a couple of cafes worth mentioning. Sit down for a coffee or a full meal. Oh, and they’re kid-friendly…of course.
Vios Café (Capitol Hill)
Enjoy authentic Greek food or a cup of coffee. There’s a cozy play area with a cute mini kitchen, blocks and books. The children’s dinner menu gives the little ones a tasty introduction to Greek cuisine.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this family friendly neighborhood bistro is a hit. Mommy groups come for coffee and play time, families come for a delicious brunch, and couples linger over a glass of wine. The play area features a chalk board wall and doll house. Two things to try: the popular Steel Magnolia (hazelnut, espresso, milk and white coffee), and the delicious gelato.