#1 Civano Coffee House-
Mini chairs and a fountain are the quaint beginnings to a secret garden. For the accident-prone toddlers, the garden slash patio is covered in turf. Hallelujiah! Older siblings can bond over free board games. Classic red velvet cupcakes rotate with other in-house-baked treats like glazed danishes, and glistening berry muffins. Civano's coffee oasis takes a page from the utopian housing community. Tree-lined streets and brick walkways set a European stage for outstanding espresso.
#2 Coffee X Change-
An award-winning drive-thru should peek your attention. That, my mama's, is how delicious the food from this local chain is. Note: that takes TIME. So this may not be your best-friend-of-a-cafe if you are in a hurry. But Coffee X-Change is open almost every single holiday. Last year, they saved my butt on Thanksgiving morning. The one holiday meal I hadn't prepped for. The food here is brunch-worthy! Plus you get to order it in your pajamas.
#3 Calle Coffee at Tummamoc Hill-
Hear me out! Coffee is our life blood. Fresh air is healing. And endorphins keeps us from killing our spouses. SO, give Tumamaoc Hill a shot. Walk as far as you desire. Better still, with other mom-friends. Then reward yourselves with smooth and surprising lattes from Calle Coffee. The coolest coffee cart around. Do check their schedule on Instagram to plan your visit.
#4 Raging Sage Coffee Roasters-
Genuine staff and scones to brawl over, set Raging Sage apart. The baristas may be the NICEST locals I have met thus far. Citrus trees await on the sunny patio. Perfect for screaming littles. Or giant double-strollers. Strong brews are the only kind here. Though when I'm in the deepest of mama-funks. the Mexican hot chocolate slaps me back into reality, and finishes with smooth dark cocoa. Inside, the dull hum of conversations amongst an art crowd, is therapeutic. And the seating is quite comfy.
#5 Black Crown Coffee Company-
This is the coffee shop where you hide out from the family. The hazelnut, almond, mocha "Black Widow" coffee is MY FAVORITE IN TUCSON! Slurp and never look back. Somehow these coffee youngings way-too-cool to be welcoming, are. The heavy-metal playing in the background should have tipped me off. Betty Crocker's are not rockers. But it just made me feel cool. Young. Invisible in the best way. No way, was "Janette Lafarius" from church group, going to bump into me here. I could drink my cup of coffee in peace. With true respect for mamas, there is a "Breastmilk" drink. I died laughing!
#6 Bentley's Coffee House-
Bentley's cappacinnos are BALLER! Their house-baked goods follow suit. The challenge here is the challenge of most central coffee shops. Parking. It's better than most though. The whimsical animal toys at each table, more than make up for it! The coffee crowd is a good mix of U of A professors, their minions, and cool moms. Note: with hip staff, sometimes braless, leave the teen boys at home.
:( Dedicated, a Gluten-free Bakery and Coffee Shop-
Bad, bad , BAD service. Like rude, forget-your-order, lack of service. Then comes the $20 price-tag for 2 cupcakes, and a coffee. The sweets may be treasure for the gluten-free families. (Their pizza rolls are honestly amazing.) Each of the baked treats was way too sweet. (And my sugar-game is strong.) Pretty enough place but too quiet for kids to be themselves.
:( Ikes Coffee and Tea-
Was I super impressed? Honestly no. The baristas are fussy and the food is always sold out. A red flag for moms with snarling snackers. HOWEVER, if you are downtown, your kids are melting down, and you need that magic juice. It's local and it does the job. There is also a bathroom. Ding! Ding! Ding!
:( Savaya Coffee Market-
Savaya is the opposite of kid-friendly. There are NO SNACKS in sight! Claims that there is normally better selection, have been made a few times now. Seating is awful here! Nothing even kid-safe. My child promptly walked over and sat on a giant bag of their coffee beans. Every stool in sight was hard for my amazonian height to wrestle with. Let alone his mini size. Snooty epicureans are the target market I'm afraid. The kind who prefer coffee without sugar. People without kids rave about it though.