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Baby friendly cafes?

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Isabelofmtl Sep 25, 2012 05:50 AM

The list of cafes catering especially to moms and babies is short and I can find it elsewhere on the Internet. What I'm therefore asking is suggestions for cafes that accommodate strollers, breastfeeding, etc. These are the places moms naturally congregate in every neighbourhood, but since they're not advertised as mommy-baby cafes, I have a hard time finding new ones to try. My daughter is almost 3 months, so I have many months ahead to try these! Example: Toi et Moi on Notre-Dame.

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    picklebird Sep 25, 2012 06:32 AM

    Em Cafe on Parc and Bernard is very stroller and baby-friendly. Lots of moms go there after classes at the Y.
    Juliet et Chocolat on St. Laurent and Prince Arthur- lots of moms+babies hang out there. Big space, easy to fit strollers, etc.
    Byblos on Laurier E. is very kid-friendly. They have a box of toys for kids.

    1 Reply
    1. re: picklebird
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      Isabelofmtl Sep 25, 2012 02:41 PM

      Thanks, picklebird, this is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for!

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      Arktik Sep 25, 2012 06:51 AM

      there is this place in NDG : http://www.melonsetclementines.com

      you can also hang out at the Coop down the street on sherbrooke as well, ( they have toys and books) but only a few tables

      2 Replies
      1. re: Arktik
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        LoveGossipGirl Oct 12, 2012 08:45 PM

        i was just going to mention Melons et Clementines. Great place.

        1. re: LoveGossipGirl
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          deborahm Oct 27, 2012 07:36 PM

          Awesome recommendation! This place has saved my sanity when trying to eat out and have a coffee avec bébé and I have met so many new mothers there. Thank you!

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        lepuma Sep 27, 2012 03:25 PM

        Hochecafé in Hochelaga, at the corner of Letourneux and Ontario is very baby-friendly. There's lots of room between tables to move a stroller around and they even have a changing table next to the washroom. Coffee's good too...

        By the way, the Quebec charter of rights and freedoms gives you the right to breastfeed in any public place. Courts have consistently awarded damages around 1000$ against business owners who have asked people to stop breastfeeding in their place of business.

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          jojomtl Oct 2, 2012 08:49 AM

          Most Cafés I went during my maternity leave were baby friendly: Lily and Oli, Café Saint-Henri, Parenthese (all on Notre-Dame not far from Toi et Moi). However, what I have found is that moms don't congergate in cafés.... I was usually the only mom there. If you live in that area, there is a group on Fcbk: Mamans de Verdun, Lasalle et environs. They usually organise activities with babies...

          2 Replies
          1. re: jojomtl
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            Isabelofmtl Oct 21, 2012 05:02 AM

            I also thought of Toi et Moi as the mommy cafe in my neighbourhood (Little Burgundy/St-Henri) because I'd see moms with strollers there all the time. Now that I have a stroller & baby of my own, I can say that, although they have a ramp, and the staff were super accommodating to a group of 3 moms with strollers the other day, having 2 heavy non-automatic doors at the entrance makes getting in REALLY complicated, even with someone helping to open the doors. Aso, there is no change table in the bathroom. Luckily, my stroller seat flattens out so I could use that, but if I was using my carrier, I might have had to change the baby right on the table, kind of gross.

            I noticed other potential spots in the neighbourhood fail to accommodate not just strollers, but people with wheelchairs or motorized scooters. The new Java U doesn't have an automatic door and there is a step to get in. Starbucks on Notre-Dame has an automatic door, but there is also a step. For those reasons, I haven't bothered trying them, so I don't know if they have change tables in the bathrooms.

            1. re: Isabelofmtl
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              stak Oct 21, 2012 10:53 AM

              Yes, it's only since I've started walking around with a stroller that I've noticed how inaccessible many places are, especially in the Plateau/ Mile-End. Steps with no ramp, and those dang double doors make life a lot more difficult for those on wheels! Also, booth seating with fixed tables is very difficult to breastfeed in.

          2. j
            jojomtl Oct 2, 2012 08:51 AM

            You are allowed to breastfeed in any public place.

            1. j
              jojomtl Oct 2, 2012 08:52 AM

              Ahh I've forgot Mariani also on Notre-Dame. Those are the places I went frequently during my mat leave.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jojomtl
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                deborahm Oct 5, 2012 01:57 AM

                Café Expressions on avenue Mont-Royal (east of Saint-Denis) is very baby friendly. This cafe carries Toi et Moi coffee and it is a nice, relaxed atmosphere. There is a change table in the washroom. Café Rico on Rachel (just opposite La banquise and Parc Lafontaine) is as well, and they roast their own coffee. Both places have little "cove" area with toys for kids. Café Expressions even has high chairs--perhaps Café Rico does too although I haven't checked.

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                Isabelofmtl Oct 5, 2012 01:21 PM

                Thanks everyone, keep 'em coming! My mom friends and I are going to try them all! :)
                For anyone else's information I wanted to say that, although Parentheses bills itself as a mommy-baby cafe, I do not find it "baby friendly". There is not enough room to manouevre a stroller between the tables, and many of the chairs are low and have arms, which kind of traps you in them so you don't have the ease of movement necessary for reaching a baby in a stroller, for example. Also: $8 for pre-packaged salad greens is ridiculously over-priced.
                Juliette and Chocolat doesn't have a ramp or an automatic door BUT the staff is super friendly and helpful. They held open the door on the way in and out for us. There is one step to get in.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Isabelofmtl
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                  deborahm Oct 5, 2012 05:56 PM

                  Hi--if you like Greek food Ilios on Saint-Denis (west side of Saint-Denis south of Duluth) is such a friendly place and has amazing food. The owner is simply lovely and welcoming with babies and children. They serve coffee and all sorts of Greek pastries including a chocolate covered baklava that is really the best way of regaining energy after a long day of chasing toddlers. It is downstairs so I usually go with baby in a sling but so worth the stop if you are in the area.

                  1. re: deborahm
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                    deborahm Oct 8, 2012 12:31 PM

                    Not to veer off from café themed thread but I was at La petite marche for brunch yesterday. It's massive, tonnes of tables and was packed with babies and kids and families of all ages. Standard brunch fare, generously portioned. However, it was the number of infants and toddlers there that made me think you might want to try it out if looking for a brunch place. On Saint-Denis north of avenue Mont-Royal across from the National Theatre School.

                    1. re: deborahm
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                      Isabelofmtl Nov 21, 2012 11:04 AM

                      Tried this place last weekend and, while I enjoyed discovering it (thanks debirahm!) I wouldn't call it baby-friendly, at least not by the standards i set out in the initial post. There are multiple stairs to get in, and although it's large, the tables are packed tightly so you can forget about bringing a stroller. Luckily, i wore my baby. They do have high-chairs. Didn't check if they had a change table in the bathrooms.

                      1. re: Isabelofmtl
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                        deborahm Nov 23, 2012 09:48 PM

                        Thanks Isabelofmtl for feedback. I think you're right and sorry as I veered off a little to suggesting places that are welcoming toward babies or at least family oriented. I've had to change my standards a little bit on this--particularly in the Plateau given the crampedness and density of this area. Was at Aux Vivre for brunch last Sunday right at 11 when they open and there was room for my jogging stroller and there were tonnes of families with babies. I don't consider it the most spacious nor might if meet your original criteria as a place where mothers will hang out but it was accessible, good brunch, and relaxed atmosphere with a lot of children in the 0-4 age range.

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                  mellybean Oct 20, 2012 08:59 PM

                  There's a new cafe in what used to be a video store at the corner of Decarie and NDG avenue. LOTS of room to move around but the stairs to the basement are pretty exposed and there's nowhere to change diapers (this will probably change in the future). The food is really good and they have a wide range of teas. The owner is super-friendly and considering trying to have some kind of child-friendly activity in the morning.

                  It's not what you were asking for but I run a playgroup Tues/Thurs from 10am - noon with coffee, bread and fruit. We're at the Unitarian Church (5035 de Maisonneuve) and if you decide to check it out don't let the locked door deter you, there's a small white button on the intercom, press it and someone will answer the door.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mellybean
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                    blissfulmarie Nov 16, 2012 07:03 AM

                    Hi mellybean, may I ask what the name of that café is on the corner of Decarie and NDG Ave?

                    I live in the area and would like to discover a new place!

                    Also, for mommies with kids, there is a playgroup in the basement of the church (you do not need to be a member of the church) on NDG Ave and Marcil. It goes from 10:00 to 11:30 every Tuesday and Wednesday and you can make a donation of 3.00 and they offer coffee, tea and some snacks for the kids. I went twice already and was able to chat with other moms while my 5 months old daughter was playing in the saucer and interacting with other babies :)

                    1. re: blissfulmarie
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                      Arktik Nov 17, 2012 09:06 AM

                      Yes! this place is a great spot to meet other moms (or, nannies!) and let your kids run wild. Be warned that the dreaded NDG gastro runs rampant here (this is not food related, but just cause of of all the toddler germs!) still worth it!

                      1. re: blissfulmarie
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                        mellybean Nov 22, 2012 06:23 AM

                        I think it's called VieVo now but the sign over the door is still the one for VideoShoppe or something like that. It's the last place on the block, a few doors over from Orange Café.

                        There's one big step to get in but I think that's it and certainly lots of room inside so strollers aren't a problem.

                        If anyone wants to email me I can point you towards a couple more NDG (and nearby) playgroups but I don't think this is the right place to post about them. :) melani_l@yahoo.com

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                      succulence Nov 17, 2012 07:06 PM

                      Hi Isabel and other moms,
                      I discovered ChocoMacaMousse this summer and just reviewed it here (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878159). The owners were "vraiment genial," which really sets the baby-friendly tone. Delicious chocolates and patisserie in a beautiful atmosphere. I have to admit, I didn't bring my toddler, but I don't remember any stairs/steps, and I think there was only one door to struggle with. Congratulations and happy eating!

                      1. hala Aug 22, 2013 08:55 PM

                        There is a new coffee shop on Verdun (intersection Desmarchais where Cafe Yema used to be). They have very comfortable chairs, including a rocking chair for breastfeeding and bouncers for the baby. They also have a rocking horse, an exerciser, a tricycle, a couple of baby mats with mobiles and some high chairs, booster chairs and toys.

                        We had coffee that tasted good and cake that tasted like it was from the grocery store. She does have homemade items like quiche, muffins, sandwiches and crepes which I would have tried if DH had not ordered the cakes before we sat down. My kids are past that stage, but if baby is with you, she has jarred baby food and fruit compote pouches.

                        She did turn on the TV the moment we walked in but since we were the only people there we asked her to turn it off and she graciously complied. I don't know if she always has the TV on or not, but I am mentioning it here for people who are avoiding TV in the first two years of baby's life as the AAP and other pediatric organizations recommend.

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