Not every café is child (or parent) friendly - simple things like baby changing facilities, space for a pram, and just not wanting to disturb legions of people on their laptops can make neutral spaces difficult when you have a baby or toddler. So here's a list of 10 cafes around London that are either explicitly geared towards children or parents, or just friendly places for us to be.
- The Hub, Victoria Park
Victoria Park is already a great place for parents to hang out, have an outdoor workout, or just get out the house. The Hub makes it even better - it's run by 2 local mums and sources food from the local community. There's plenty of indoor and outdoor space, as well as a great list of options for breakfast, lunch, and kids. Pick up some pancakes, a nutritious lunch, or just a coffee with some friends.
2. Apple Tree Children's Café, Herne Hill & Peckham Rye
If you're looking for a café that's specifically made for children, you can't find one better than the Apple Tree Children's Café. It's a play space designed for under 5s, with a ball pit, toadstools, a tunnel and climbing frame - all in full view for parents to watch while having a coffee. You'll need to book a 1.5 hour play session for £7.50 per child, but children under 6 months go free with a paying sibling.
3. Bear and Wolf, Tufnell Park
The Bear and Wolf is a lovely spacious cafe with a playroom and garden out back where you can sit and enjoy the space and a great toastie. It's consistently full of families with young kids enjoying a coffee and the simple menu.
4. Jungle Cave, Shaftesbury Avenue
A small word of warning - if you bring your little one to the Jungle Cave they'll spend weeks and months afterwards begging to go back. Unlike some of the others in this list, this is entirely created for the kids. Previously known as the Rainforest Cafe, it's an immersive jungle adventure where you can have lunch. The food is on the pricey side for what it is, but you're paying for the full experience and you can include a toy in the price of the meal.
5. My Old Dutch, Holborn, Chelsea, Kensington
You can't go wrong with pancakes, and My Old Dutch has a standard menu as well as create your own savoury and sweet pancakes that'll please even the fussiest toddler. Drop in on Mondays for Monday Madness where you'll get any classic sweet or savoury pancake for £7.25 - and they're big enough to share.
6. Pear Tree Café, Battersea Park
Finish a visit to Battersea Park by dropping into Pear Tree Café. It's accessibile, comfortable, and has an extensive menu as well as a healthy children's menu with some classic favourites. Perfect for finishing off a walk and enjoying the waterfront view together.
7. Giraffe Café, Victoria, Kings Cross, Southbank
Famously family friendly, the Giraffe cafe is great for when you want brunch and your little one mostly wants some coco pops. The Southbank Centre café is particularly great for families, with step-free access, an extensive kids' menu, and of course it's in reach of plenty of attractions for a rest and some food after all the excitement.
8. Stepney City Farm Café, Stepney Green
Allotment kitchens and farmshops aren't out of reach just because you're in London. You can find both at Stepney City Farm. There's no charge to see the farm, but donations are welcome as they're a charity - one that's been running in zone 2 since the 70s. You can visit a very grumpy goose, a goat, and some donkeys before settling down to some delicious seasonal fare in the café. There's also a farmer's market every Saturday, and even the chance to try out some new craft projects in the craft studios.
9. Toconoco, Haggerston
Toconoco literally means 'kids on the floor' in Japenese. It's a wonderful family friendly café tucked away just off Regent's Canal, serving a series of delicious teas. It also provides an opportunity to check out a child-friendly menu that's about as far away from chicken nuggets and tomato pasta as you can get. There's an excellent daily set lunch menu for £8.10, along with varied rice balls and noodles to expand your little one's palate.
10. A Little Me Time, Ealing Broadway
A Little Me Time has a spacious playroom, a fantastic selection of bubble teas, and some great Taiwanese cuisine. Play sessions are quite a lot cheaper than alternatives, starting from just £2.50 for an hour with a minimum of 1 drink ordered per adult, and you can opt for a meal plan and play from £15 per family.