Best Coffee Shops in Richmond for You and the Kids

If variety is the spice of life, then coffee is the thing that keeps us awake to enjoy all that…you know…spice. Coffee is, truthfully, the only thing that keeps me going some days. And while I can make it at home, somehow I never manage to make it taste quite like my favorite coffee shops. Maybe it’s my lack of equipment, maybe it’s my lack of proper coffee beans or maybe it’s just that everything tastes better when I don’t have to make it myself.

That being said, finding the perfect coffee shop isn’t that hard. You just go where you like the coffee, the atmosphere or the location. But finding the best coffee shops where you can go with your kids? That’s a different kind of challenge.

Few things are nicer than getting out of the house for a nice, hot cup o’ joe – especially now that the weather is turning a bit cooler. So it helps to know where you can go with the kids to chill for a bit or even meet some friends for a morning or lunch time get-together. With that in mind, we checked out some of Richmond’s coffee shops and found some that are not just kid-friendly, but all-around fantastic.

Here’s what we factored in when we picked our favorites (in order of priority):

  1. Kid-Friendly (because, kids always come first, right?)
  2. Location (because, sometimes you just can’t drive 30 minutes for anything…even great coffee)
  3. Atmosphere (because, kids matter, but so do you)
  4. Prices (because, no one wants to spend a fortune on a cup of coffee)
  5. Coffee (because, last, but definitely not least, if you’re a coffee snob like me, when you finally manage to get everyone out of the house, you want it to be well worth it!)

Normally, when we do our “best of” rankings, we factor in everything to come up with the one that matches up the best with every category. But this time, we’re doing something a little different. When it comes to coffee shops, we all want something a little different – some of us take our coffee seriously, others want a cool vibe to go with the coffee and other still just want to make sure the kids will play for 10 minutes without a meltdown. So, while we’ve ranked our categories based on what we have as priorities, each of the following five coffee shops were a clear winner for one reason or another. Take a look and choose based on your priorities!

BEST PLAY AREA: Cartwheels and Coffee

cartwheels-and-coffeeImage source: Cartwheels and Coffee / Facebook

The down-low for parents: When it came to naming their coffee shop, Cartwheels and Coffee went for the obvious, because this is a place where you can have coffee while your kids LITERALLY do cartwheels (without getting yelled at or breaking a $35 hand-glazed artisan macchiato mug…I am assuming there is such a thing). No, you have not landed in heaven, just Cary Street. This one-of-a-kind coffee shop was created with the needs of parents in mind – specifically, the need to imbibe at least one cup of coffee without having to dig through your purse for a “toy” – which usually ends up being your keys. The downside? There is a $5 admission charge for kids 12 months and older – and that’s before you buy coffee or baked goods from their, admittedly, small selection. Also, it’s limited to kids 6 and under. But if you’re looking for somewhere to chill with a playgroup, a couple of friends, or a good book while the kids are entertained, this is the place to go. Oh…and they serve locally roasted Blanchard’s coffee – BONUS.

Why your kids will love it: Cartwheels and Coffee offers a fully enclosed play area with train tables, soft squishy things to climb on and slides.  They also offer birthday parties, special classes like story time and sing-alongs.  Did we mention that kids can climb on things…this point cannot be mentioned enough. The main point, though, is that your kids will play for hours without disturbing you once (except for potty breaks, of course).

Cartwheels and Coffee
2820 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23221

Mon – Fri: 9am – 1pm
Saturdays: private parties

 

BEST LOCATION(S): The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café

urban-farmhouseImage source: The Urban Farmhouse Market and Café / Facebook 

The down-low for parents: Location, location, location (and then some). While the word “chain” may make you shudder and think of a certain place with a mermaid that haunts your dreams and drains your wallet, this market/ organic restaurant/ coffee shop/ hangout started as a chance for Richmond local, Kathleen Richardson, to bring local, organic, fresh foods and coffees to urban settings. What resulted was crazy, rapid growth with six shops in as many years. That means that no matter what part of Richmond you like to frequent, you’ll find an Urban Farmhouse, complete with large spaces, healthy and delicious organic foods, kids’ play areas and a wide menu with coffees, breakfast, lunch and yes, even dinner.

Why the kids will love it: Kids’ play areas, plenty of art work on the walls (which is for sale by the way, thanks to collaborations with local artists) and fun foods like the chocolate almond butter panini with banana and honey that feels like a treat for them but that you will feel good about them eating.

Urban Farmhouse Market and Café

Midlothian
13872 Coalfield Commons Place
Midlothian, VA 23114

Mon – Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 6pm

 Shockoe Slip
1217 E Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23219

Mon-Fri: 6:30am – 8pm
Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 8pm

Scott’s Addition
3015 Norfolk St.
Richmond, VA 23230

Mon-Fri: 6:30am – 9pm
Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 8pm

Manchester
1200 Semmes Ave.
Richmond, VA 23224

Mon-Fri 6:30am – 8pm
Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 6pm

Rockett’s Landing
4821 Old Main St.
Richmond, VA 23231

Mon-Fri 6:30am – 8pm
Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 6pm

VCU
800 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23220

Mon – Fri: 7am – 8pm
Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 7am – 8pm

 

BEST ATMOSPHERE OVERALL: PERK! Coffee & Lunchbox

perkImage source: PERK! Coffee and Lunchbox / website

The down-low for parents: This Southside coffee shop gives you everything you wanted when you moved to Bon Air – a chance to feel like you’re in the city without actually going to the city. It’s indie, it’s cool, it has good coffee, it has a play area, it’s retro-chic…I could go on, but you get the point. It’s all about VIBES. This place is “coffee shop” without being black-turtleneck-poetry-slam. With made-from-scratch baked goods and lunch items, PERK does their darned-est to source local ingredients and provide options like a gluten-free menu so that everyone can enjoy the experience. And although PERK! was only opened in 2015 (by VCU roommates, I might add), they are quickly making a name for themselves. Best of all, because it’s such a chill hangout, your kids can be ANY age and be at home here.

Why your kids will love it: PLAY SPACE! The enclosed kids’ area offers plenty of room to work out the wiggles. But what seals the deal for this Southside newcomer is that while there’s not a dedicated kids’ menu, they DO have the Linosaurus (a dinosaur-shaped cheese sandwich) and the Cosmonut (pressed almond butter-chocolate-banana sandwiches…one for me and one for the kid, please).

PERK! Coffee & Lunchbox
2620 Buford Rd.
North Chesterfield, VA 23235

Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm
Sat: 8am – 5pm
Sun: 9am – 3pm

 

BEST PRICES: Adbibo Roasterie and Coffee Shop

adbiboImage source: Adbibo Coffee Company / Facebook

The down-low for parents: For what you get at Adbibo, you get a bargain. Not only do they have a name that’s fun to say, but they are dedicated to coffee. And sure, some of our other contenders offer competitively-priced coffee, but this is house-roasted, home-brewed goodness. And for their food offerings, they provide a great menu that comes in below the competition. A bonus? They offer non-dairy milks at no-extra charge (do you hear that, Starbucks?? I should not pay extra for lactose-intolerance!) With a kids’ play area, plenty of room to sit back and chill and an overall relaxed vibe, they are sweet relief in the midst of chain coffee shops and restaurants in Midlothian.

Why your kids will love it: PLENTY of kid-friendly (i.e., non-coffee) drinks, including a wide selection of smoothies that come with a kid-size price. This is a relief when you don’t feel like throwing half of a $5 smoothie away. Also, the kids’ play area, while not the largest on our list, gives your little ones something to do while you sit back and relax. Oh, and the muffins. I almost forgot the muffins. Amazing.

Adbibo Coffee Company
10825 Midlothian Turnpike, Unit 105 (first floor side door)
North Chesterfield, VA 23235

Mon – Fri: 6am – 5pm
Sat: 8am – 4pm
CLOSED SUNDAYS

 

BEST COFFEE: Lamplighter Coffee Roasters

lamplighterImage source: Lamplighter Coffee Roasters / Facebook 

The down-low for parents: I have three words for you: Brown. Sugar. Latte. This alone earned them a spot on the list, but Lamplighters is top-ranked for their coffee across the board and it’s a must if you’re a coffee connoisseur. Note that the edgy, urban vibe can either make or break this spot, depending on your preferences. While you will definitely see other parents and their kids there, Lamplighters is very much a hang out for cool college kids and tattoo-laden hipsters – which may make you feel young again, or it might just make you turn right around to go find people your own age to play with. But if you stick it out, be prepared for great coffee, an awesome selection of baked goods – and really great coffee. (Did we already mention that?) To round out our praise, three locations add to Lamplighter’s accessibility and kids’ play areas make it a win-win spot.

Why your kids will love it: Kids’ play areas, outdoor seating, and if you’re at the Morris St. location, you can head to the park on the corner of Park Avenue and Lombardy.

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters

Summit Ave
1719 Summit Ave.
Richmond, VA 23230

CLOSED MONDAYS
Tues- Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat-Sun: 8am – 4pm

Addison Street
116 S. Addison St.
Richmond, VA 23230

Mon – Sat: 7am – 8pm
Sun: 8am – 8pm

Morris Street
26 N. Morris St.
Richmond, VA 23220

7am – 7pm
7 days a week

 

Speaking for myself, at least, as the temperatures continue to drop and the holidays get closer, having that go-to coffee shop is going to become more and more important. So we would love to hear if you’ve tried any of our favorite kid-friendly coffee shops or if you have a few of your own! Let us know in the comments below.