Finding a kid-friendly cafe in Toronto can pose a challenge and many urban moms are forced to endure less than cheerful atmospheres to partake in cafe culture. Instead of grinning and bearing the irritated glances, sighs, and eye-rolls of the childless masses, head to Lil’ Bean N’ Green in Leslieville. This one-of-a-kind cafe includes a play area for the kids, while offering a nice selection of drinks, eats and treats for all tastes.
Everything you could possibly want for you, and your little one, can be found on the mouth watering menus at Lil’ Bean N’ Green. Along with tea, smoothies, baked goods and snacks, all the regular coffee offerings are available at competitive prices. Adult and kid menus offer light fare, such as bagels, sandwiches, salads, wraps, kiddie pancakes and even organic baby food. Order the kid’s sampler and make three choices from a variety of child-friendly favourites like, apples, yogurt, cheese and avocado. Local and organic ingredients are used where possible and the cafe includes an array of seating options for the tiniest baby to the most rambunctious toddler. Most importantly, since everyone here is accustomed to meal time with little ones, no-one cares if your child would rather lay down fierce beats with a fork, than eat the yummy food.
For a fee of $4, your little one can enter the bright and cheery play area. Fenced off at the back of the shop, the play area includes a wide selection of toys and books. There is even a costume designed tree house for your little climber and a kitchen center for your little chef. Cozy rugs, pillows, couches and chairs are provided and you are welcome to join your child in the play area-staff will even put your drink in a handy, non-breakable cup-or you can sit nearby at one of the tables and relax. Complimentary Wi-Fi is included, so bring along a lap-top and enjoy some time online, without feeling guilty. The $4 fee also includes a circle time with music, songs and dancing. Check the calendar on Lil’ Bean N’ Green’s website to see what’s happening daily at circle time.
The thing that stands out at Lil’ Bean N’ Green above all else is the sense of community created by owners Meray and April. These passionate owners have created a hub for neighbourhood parents to meet and share in the joys, triumphs and defeats of child rearing. A number of workshops and events take place each month including family dinners, talks by parenting experts, and baby sign language classes. Environmental consciousness is also on the menu at Lil’ Bean N’ Green, as the cafe uses compost-able cutlery and take-out cups. If you are looking for a casual, friendly cafe, where owners greet customers by their first names and kids are welcomed with open arms, Lil Bean N’ Green is the place for you. This child-centered cafe proves that community can live and thrive in Toronto’s urban core.
Lil’ Bean n’ Green