The 10 Best Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops in L.A.
Need a place to get your caffeine fix while you're out with the kids? Check out the 10 best kid-friendly coffee shops in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles offers plenty of coffee shops for your next java fix, but if you - or your nanny or sitter - are rolling in your minivan with three kids in tow, don’t risk getting the evil eye from a place full of aspiring screenwriters hard at work. It turns out there are plenty of coffee shops designed just for customers with little ones.
So, the next time you get a hankering for a double espresso, check out one of these kid-friendly coffee shops, where your children will be welcome while you enjoy a beautiful, life-affirming cup of hot coffee.
Address: 5000 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Located on a prime corner in rapidly gentrifying Highland Park, Café de Leche offers everything a parent of young children needs: Stumptown coffee, a kids play area, and free WIFI (no WIFI on weekends, though). Be sure to order one of their famous Horchata Lattes to enjoy while your children are occupied by the play kitchen and wooden toys.
The only drawback: The bathroom doesn’t have a changing table, so come prepared with a pad or blanket to put down on the floor.
Once your little one tires of the offerings at Café de Leche, head across the street to York Park and let your kids climb the woodland-themed play structure. The park is popular with neighborhood moms, and features plenty of benches and shade cover.
Address: 3413 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Sunday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Romancing the Bean, in the family-friendly Magnolia Park neighborhood, has a kid’s table that’s stocked with loads of books. Moms with pre-walkers will appreciate the long, communal table that offers plenty of space for pulling up a stroller or high chair.
While it's worth mentioning that the coffee is organic, tea lovers will love Romancing the Bean's selection of high-quality loose leaf teas that are brewed to order. As for food, the menu features some of the best coffee shop eats in town (owner Kerry Krull is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu) and even includes a section with kid favorites, like peanut butter & jam, grilled cheese, and turkey & baby swiss. The menu choices for adults (or adventurous kids) include everything from breakfast burrittos to a brie and apple pannini. Adults and kids alike will swoon for the house made waffles, which are available on weekends only.
Address: 139 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Larchmont Boulevard may hold the record for the most coffee shops in a few square blocks (seven, at last count), but Bardonna, in the former Groundworks space, is definitely the most kid-friendly. At first glance, the narrow space and teeny tables may not look welcoming for the family set, but head to the spacious back patio, where you’ll have plenty of room to spread out. The hidden patio has a covered shade area, lots of bigger tables, and is rarely crowded.
Fans of cold brew will love Bardonna’s on-tap version, and the alternative milk offerings (e.g., hemp, almond, homemade cashew) are rife for jokes about Angelenos’ weird dietary restrictions. Go early to ensure that you get the prime pick of their outstanding baked goods -- my kids love the strawberry pastry tarts.
After you fuel up on coffee, head across the street to Chevalier’s Books, one of the few independent bookstores left in Los Angeles. They have a fantastic children’s section, free storytime on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., and a kids sing-a-long on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for $15.
Address: 2810 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Hours: Sunday - Thursday, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.
The Great Room Café may actually be heaven on Earth for those of us with kids. In addition to a full selection of coffee drinks, they also have wine, beer, and child care! For a mere $10, you can check your kid into one of the separate, supervised play areas, while you get your coffee drink on. The clean, beach-chic space is beautifully appointed, and the kids playroom is stocked with lots of toys, books, and sized-just-for-them furniture.
In addition to the inexpensive child care, the Great Room Café offers an extensive menu of delicious comfort food. The kids menu features classic selections like mac and cheese, chicken tenders, and quesadillas, but the choices on the regular menu are the real stand-outs. Try the steak scramble or order up a 10" personal pizza customized with all your favorite toppings. Be sure to save room for dessert so you can indulge in the ice cream sandwich made with two warm chocolate chip cookies.
Address: 34 Washington Blvd., Venice Beach, CA 90292
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Friday - Sunday, 6 a.m. - 10:30 p.m
Head to The Cows End Café every Monday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the Kid’s Sing-Along, designed for kids ages 3 months to 3 years. Hosted in the upstairs back room, each week features a different local performer (Mista Cookie Jar is a regular), and admission is free, though tips are appreciated.
True coffee connoisseurs will love the individually-brewed 100% Pure Kona Coffee that's a great deal at $4.95 per cup. There's a full espresso bar, too, and the Cow's End's proximity to the beach is perfect for a morning stroll with a coffee in hand. Acai bowls may be a current trend, but The Cows End has been serving them since 2002, and their Acai Nutty Protein Bowl is the perfect (healthy) way to kick-start your morning.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Closed Wednesdays
C + M (it stands for Coffee and Milk) at LACMA is conveniently located right outside the entrance to the children’s gallery. If you're new to L.A., or just new to this whole parenting thing, you may not know that LACMA provides free memberships to all kids under 18. Termed LACMA “Next Gen,” this allows you to tag along as your kid’s guest, which means on any given day, you'll see lots of moms cruising the galleries with strollers in tow.
C + M has a full selection of coffee drinks to make mama happy, but they also whip up the most delicious milkshakes. Find a seat at one of the many outdoor tables, and let your kids run around the plaza while you savor a hot coffee and pilfer sips of your child’s milkshake.
When the beverages are done and the kids get antsy, head inside to the Boone Children’s Gallery, where the lovely volunteers will set your kids up with paper and paints. Your kids will love learning the art of East Asian brush painting, and if you go on Mondays or Fridays at 2 p.m., you'll be able to catch storytime in the main gallery. (It will have you all feeling so zen, your kids might even fall asleep.)
Address: 2333 Fern Dell Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068
Hours: Open daily, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Trails Cafe, located on Fern Dell in Griffith Park, offers vegetarian and vegan eats in a pastoral setting. If you've always dreamed of being able to get your coffee fix in the middle of nature, The Trails is the place for you. Sidle up to the window of the old-fashioned lunch stop and order one of their famous avocado sandwiches, an almond milk latte, and a homemade strawberry lemonade for the kids, and then enjoy your lunch at one of the picnic tables under the trees. The avocado sandwich may get all the (Instagram) glory, but the egg salad is worth mentioning as some of the best in town. Don't leave The Trails without dessert: you'll be blown away by the vegan berry pie, and the lavender shortbread cookies are not-to-be-missed.
Address: 12224 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Friday - Sunday, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
The best thing about Venice Grind -- other than the fact that they serve great coffee -- is that it’s located right next door to Sweet Lucie’s ice cream. The two shops are connected by a spacious patio with plenty of seating and room for oversized strollers. Venice Grind has a full range of coffee drinks, including pour-over coffee for $4 a cup, as well as a selection of baked goods. Once you’re sufficiently caffeinated, take the kids to Sweet Lucie’s for a scoop of organic ice cream. They also have quite a selection of vegan options as well.
Older kids might enjoy perusing Soaptopia, also next door to Venice Grind. All the soaps are homemade, and the vibrant bars have funny names, like “Somewhere Over the Bathbow” and “Boardwalk Hempire.”
Address: 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles 90036
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.
I like to think that the architects of Barnes & Noble purposely placed the cafe on the same floor as the children’s section with tired moms in mind. One caveat is that it’s on the third level, which means having to wait to get your stroller onto the elevator. But, once you manage to get your entourage upstairs, there’s enough to occupy everyone for at least an hour.
Full disclosure: The coffee choices aren’t anything special. It’s basically a Starbucks, but the children’s area has a nice, big train table and plenty of places for moms to sit. Stop by on Saturdays at 11 a.m. for storytime featuring new children’s books. The event is free, and they host some fantastic authors, so be sure and check the schedule to see what’s coming up.
Address: 445 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica, CA 90402
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Friday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
If you prefer to enjoy coffee with your toes in the sand, make the trip to Back on the Beach Cafe at the Annenberg Community Beach House. The to-go window only operates during peak season (Memorial Day - Labor Day), but they serve takeout options at the front counter all year ‘round. The cafe is literally in the sand, so bring the sand toys and let the kids build a castle while you enjoy a coffee.
Back on the Beach serves breakfast until 3 p.m. every day, which means you don't have to race against the clock to get there in time to enjoy their brisket hash and eggs or the crab cake Benedict. Kids will freak out for the Bananutella french toast, an insanely delicious dish concocted with bananas, nutella, crushed almonds, and whipped cream.
If your kids aren’t fans of sand, take your coffee over to the splash pad. They’ll love running through the water, and there are lots of covered picnic tables that are perfect for enjoying the morning’s first (or third) cup of coffee.