Enough things change in your life when babies come along, so surely you should still be able to head out for a coffee? But from what I gather, it’s not that simple. There can be many obstacles to what was once a straightforward outing. So at the request of many parents, while I can’t help with getting out the door, I can help with rounding up some of the more child-friendly places across the city, where you can still get a decent coffee or bite to eat. I will vouch for the food and drink and I’ve asked parental pals for sign off on the child-friendly aspects — high-chairs, loos you can use, buggy space and minimal eye-rolling.
Blas Cafe, 26 Kings Inns Street, Dublin 1
A handy one because it’s the city centre but tucked away from the very busy streets, at the bottom of the beautiful old Chocolate Factory building. Inside, there’s plenty of space and tables and they always have a couple of high chairs on hand. The food is reliable, tasty cafe fare — great breakfasts, cakes and lunches, easily adaptable for kids choices and the coffee is good too.
Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Brother Hubbard has always been well known for friendly service, so this Capel Street cafe is a great one to have in mind. It suits as somewhere you can head on your own when you might need a bit of support, or if a few of you need buggy space. They do fantastic middle eastern-leaning breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and a great selection of freshly baked treats. There are high chairs and plenty of kid-friendly food options.
The Woollen Mills, 42 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1
A friend told me she loves the Woollen Mills as it either fuels or rewards her, depending on what direction she's come from, for getting across the Ha'penny Bridge with a buggy. It offers much more than that too though. There are great food options for coffee or a proper feed, the deli for plenty of colourful salads and big-gun sandwiches or sit in, and choose from a fantastic line up of Irish focused dishes. They also offer a kids menu, high chairs, changing and colouring. Happy days.
The Phoenix Cafe, the Visitor Centre, Ashtown Castle, Phoenix Park, Dublin
Did you know we have one of the largest urban parks in Europe right here on our doorstep? And parks are usually parents' best friends, especially when there is a great cafe involved too. The Phoenix Café is an award-winning, eco-aware spot that toils away all summer long, serving everything homemade. Think organic eggs for breakfast, tasty baking and bright café classics of salads, quiches and sandwiches. Very welcoming to parents and kids, with grass, playgrounds and even the zoo nearby.
Gertrude, 130 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
This latest opening from 3FE on Pearse Street is a gorgeous and welcoming space with lots of, well, space, so it’s perfectly suited to buggies. A ramp on the way in, high chairs and accessible loos all help too. And then there’s the food. Open from morning through to afternoon (and dinners on weekends) they offer divine breakfasts and an all-day menu. The pastries and toast come from the neighbouring Bread Nation and excellent coffee from 3FE of course. Oh, and there’s wine.
Two Fifty Square, Williams Park, Rathmines Rd Lower, Dublin 6
This warehouse cafe space in Rathmines has a great reputation already for its speciality coffee — they even roast their own beans onsite. And happily, they also have a great reputation for welcoming to the buggy brigade. There’s plenty of space inside and a brunch-focused menu of bakes, avocado toast and sandwiches that suits one-handed eating.
Five Points, 288a Harold's Cross Road, Dublin 6W
Five Points is a neighbourhood cafe well used to catering to the smaller customers. There are high chairs on hand and welcoming service, which always helps. The best thing though is, being a 3FE offshoot, the coffee is always outstanding. And then there is the excellent cafe food; superb eggs and sausages at breakfast, gooey toasties and salads for lunch. I hear they even do babycinos…
Lolly & Cooks, Herbert Park, Dublin 4
This comes highly recommended for the kid-friendly vibes and again it situated right in the park with a playground nearby which has to help, right? The cafe itself is simple and just what you need for a coffee or lunch pitstop, scones, sandwiches, daily salad bar and always a great array of cakes. There are kids menus and wine available too. A real all-rounder.