17 Best Coffee Shops in Los Angeles to Bring Your Kids When You Need Caffeine
A great coffee shop in Los Angeles is a wonderful respite where parents can get that much-needed daily caffeine fix. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for a parent with kids in tow to find a nice, relaxing place to grab a cup (or several cups) of coffee. Of course, this is Los Angeles; a place you can find just about anything. That means there's an abundance of coffee shops in Los Angeles that are great for kids.
The best coffee shops in Los Angeles go the extra mile to provide entertainment for kids, comfortable seating and outdoor spaces, and kid-friendly fare so they can join in on recharging (even if they're skipping the caffeine). Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly coffee shops across the Southland.
After a coffee, you might want a bagel, and if you ask us, these LA bagels are better than ones in NY. We can't forget about donuts, which also pair nicely with coffee, and there are some LA donut shops worth the traffic. We've made dining out with kids a little easier with our restaurant guide for Los Angeles and Orange County families.
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Sip coffee from Cafe de Leche while the kids play at York Park. Photo courtesy of Cafe de Leche
1. Cafe de Leche — Highland Park
Cafe de Leche in Highland Park makes really good coffee, roasted in small batches in the back of the cafe. Families can enjoy perusing the shop's collection of children's books. And don't forget to ask your barista for a unicorn sticker of the Cafe de Leche logo.
Of course, the real appeal of the Cafe de Leche Highland Park branch is York Park, right across the street. The park is a blast, with a nature theme that includes a fun snake slide, climbing equipment, and musical instruments. It's also gated, creating a safe barrier between kids and cars. Another kid-friendly highlight of this area is the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Check our calendar for upcoming performances, and make it a day in Highland Park.
Street parking can be a little tricky, though I've never driven around more than 5 minutes looking for a spot. There's a pint-sized version of the shop in Altadena, though it doesn't have the sort of kid-friendly amenities right next door like the original outpost.
2. Spoke Bicycle Cafe — Frogtown
One of the original shops in the Frogtown neighborhood is Spoke, a spacious outdoor cafe on the LA River bike path. "Eat, drink, pedal, repeat" is the shop's slogan which makes sense because you can rent bikes and helmets by the hour from the on-site bike shop, as well as kid trailers for little ones who don't have their own set of wheels yet.
Spoke's vibe is casual and cool, with plenty of picnic tables and colorful murals. Along with great coffee from local roaster Trystero (and we mean local, it's roasted in Frogtown), the menu includes breakfast, lunch, and snack items, as well as wine and draft beers for those who may need a different kind of pick-me-up. There are many options for children like a "kid-size burger" and PB&J toast. And while all of this is delicious, the real draw for families is riding bikes and scooters on the river after eating. You could also extend the bike ride to nearby Echo Park.
Parking is limited to what's available on the street, but you can drop your car at Marsh Park before heading over to Spoke via the river path.
Treat your little ones to kid-friendly fare. Habitat Coffee photo by @ashleyriveros, courtesy of the Habitat Facebook page
3. Habitat — Glassell Park
Habitat boasts friendly service and plenty of kid favorites on the menu, which includes healthy packaged snacks like veggie chips and dried fruit. Breakfast items are made to order; the salads are fresh, and the cold brew coffee is especially good. The shop is pretty spacious, too, with seating inside and big tables out front.
The best boon to parents, however, is Habitat's proximity to Glassell Park and Rec Center, which is just one block behind the coffee shop on Verdugo Road. Parking is plentiful at this park, which has a playground suitable for big and little kids alike, along with picnic tables, a big sports field, and an outdoor pool that's open year-round.
4. La Monarca — Boyle Heights
While you can find locations of this local chain throughout Los Angeles, the most remarkable is likely the Boyle Heights location. For one, it's on the ground floor of one of Los Angeles' oldest still-standing buildings, the Cummings Block. Secondly, it's right across the street from Mariachi Plaza, so you can sit and enjoy a Pan de Leche with a cafe de olla and take in the vibrant street scenes. It's more than just a coffee shop, specializing in pastries and cakes inspired by the founder's Mexican hometowns.
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5. Somemore LA — Koreatown
This bear-themed coffee shop on Olympic Blvd. has adorable treats and delicious drinks that you and your kids will love. The seating is playfully colorful, and cute decor throughout the shop makes for the perfect Instagram shots. Iced beverages come with a heart-shaped straw, which happens to be reusable. Parking can be tight, which is no surprise for Koreatown, but there is a small lot.
6. Bricks and Scones — Larchmont
This cozy coffee shop is perfect for an afternoon of sipping coffee and munching on baked goods. There are many highlights of Bricks and Scones, including board games and a swap-in/swap-out library. The cafe has a lovely little patio in the front area. Plus, it's located on the north end of the Larchmont drag, making parking a lot easier.
7. Barnes & Noble Cafe at The Grove — Mid-Wilshire
Okay, so it's not the most independent coffee shop in Los Angeles, but we have to mention the cafe at Barnes & Noble in The Grove. While these coffee shops used to be a dime a dozen, with most brick-and-mortar bookstores closing, it's a bit of a rarity. Enjoy your coffee as the kids are kept busy with a play area, then browse the kid's section — it's located right next to the cafe. Since you're already at The Grove, explore the fun things to do with kids at the Original Farmer's Market.
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8. The Great Room Cafe — Redondo Beach
The Great Room Cafe is a bit more than a coffee shop as it has a full menu that includes beer and wine. The menu has plenty of options that will please adults and kids, and loads of room for kids roam while parents relax. Parking is plentiful, so unlike other cafes on this list, there's no need to circle the block for 15 minutes trying to find a space.
There are also loads of entertaining things for kids to do in Redondo Beach, so it's worth taking advantage of all the offerings in this attractive beach town.
9. Hola Adios — Costa Mesa and Tustin
Hot off the (French) press, this eastside Costa Mesa coffee shop has expanded with a location in Old Town Tustin. The design of the original Costa Mesa cafe is clean, modern, and full of natural light. Conversely, the decor of the Tustin location matches that of its rustic surroundings. Both shops have indoor and outdoor seating, plus a sundry shop (don't be surprised if your little one asks you for worry dolls). In Costa Mesa, parents fix their drinks at the "piano bar" (a brightly painted working piano where the cream and sugar are). Did someone say photo op?
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Enjoy your coffee, beachside. Photo courtesy of the Back on the Beach Cafe
10. Back on the Beach Cafe — Santa Monica
Kids can build sandcastles while you enjoy your morning cup of joe at this beachside cafe at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica. With indoor and outdoor seating, Back on the Beach Cafe serves breakfast and lunch (portion sizes are generous). Don't feel like waiting for a table? The cafe offers a to-go window during the summer. Parents can take their coffee over to the adjacent playground, the super fun splash pad, the public pool, or the beach. There's also a seaside storytime in the summer. So many options!
The parking lot at the Annenberg Beach House does fill up early on hot days, so if you can get there early, it's a good idea.
11. Brentwood Country Mart — Brentwood
If you've never ventured to the Brentwood Country Mart, you've been missing out. The kitsch little collection of shops doesn't look much different than it did in 1948 when it first attracted celebrities of the area to its secluded courtyards, surrounded by boutiques and snackeries.
The upper patio is bordered by tasty food spots and pricey little shops, but the frequently-overlooked lower patio is a gem for small kids. There is a coin-operated mini carousel and an irresistible toy shop (Toy Crazy) in a walled courtyard adjacent to Caffe Luxxe (gourmet coffee for true java enthusiasts). If that's not enough enticement, it's conveniently adjacent to Sweet Rose Creamery, quite possibly the best organic, hand-crafted ice cream ever. A free weekly musical storytime hosted by Books and Cookies is another thing to add to your Brentwood Country Mart to-do list.
12. Cow's End Cafe — Venice Beach
Family-owned and operated, The Cow's End Cafe in Venice is appealing for its proximity to the beach, the fishing pier, and the canals. The coffee is also excellent, and the outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying the cool ocean breeze while your kids burn off some energy. Venice Beach is full of things for kids to do (besides the obvious of the beach). Here are 25 ideas for kids in Venice Beach.
13. Village Well Books & Coffee — Culver City
An independent bookstore combined with a coffee shop that offers seasonal drinks? Can it get any better? Well, it does. Not only does the retail portion have a great children's book selection to peruse, but they also have storytimes that include music and crafts (psst, storytime details are in our calendar).
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14. Tepito Coffee at Vroman's — Pasadena
Speaking of a bookstore combined with a coffee shop, there are few as impressive as the addition of Tepito Coffee to the downstairs space of Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. While the coffee shop itself isn't all that kid-friendly, the bookstore (and really, it's almost more of a department store with gifts, toys, jewelry, apparel, and more) is the draw. You'll find the kid's section upstairs, and while the pandemic put the quash on storytime, it's slowly but surely coming back. You'll need that caffeine boost from Tepito before embarking on all kinds of fun activities in Pasadena.
15. My Little Paris — San Gabriel
While it's a bit more than a simple coffee shop, My Little Paris is a great option to grab an authentic European-style espresso drink while your kids burn off energy at an indoor playground. If you've got more of an appetite, there's a full menu. If you're not feeling caffeine and want something a little more adult, they also have wine and beer.
16. Jones Coffee — South Pasadena
Located in the cute downtown area of South Pasadena, grabbing a drink at Jones Coffee is like being transported to small-town suburbia in the middle of the city. Jones Coffee Roasters are local to Pasadena, and their original location is on Raymond Ave.
While the Raymond Ave. cafe is also a great place to bring kids, the South Pasadena outpost is our choice because of the surrounding area. It's right off the L Line (formerly Gold Line) stop, with a small grassy park across Mission Street. There's plenty of outdoor seating, so train-loving kids can watch the trains whizz past. Then, take a stroll down Mission and check out one of LA's last great video rental stores, Vidéothèque or the very novel Republic of Lucha (yes, it's a luchador-themed retail store with a full-size ring at the center).
17. The Trails Cafe — Griffith Park
Griffith Park's Ferndell is one of our favorite urban hikes with kids, featuring plenty of shade, lush vegetation, and even a little wildlife! Near the top of the hike and at the bottom of the Griffith Observatory, you'll find The Trails, a small cafe serving coffee, sandwiches, and other snacks. You can enjoy the natural beauty of Griffith Park while you sip a latte before taking the kids over to the well-shaded play structure to burn off energy.
Additional reporting by Jackie Jones