The ideal café pre-kids has four things: 1 – Great coffee. 2 – Comfy seats. 3 – Cool/ cosy/ creative/ delete-as-appropriate atmosphere. 4 – Wi-Fi. Once children come along the list lengthens to include at least another five must-haves including play area, restrooms with changing space, children’s menu (not counting chicken nuggets or other variously shaped regurgitated chicken pieces), non-judgemental and welcoming staff and patrons, lack of sharp-edged glass tables, unbreakable modern art….
I’m going to say now that no café in Buenos Aires (or possibly the world) ticks all these boxes for me. But some score higher on the child-friendly scale than others. These cafes give you a caffeine/ muffin fix with a side order of good times for the little people – first on the list: Casa Muamor.
Casa Muamor, Palermo, Buenos Aires
High-ceilinged, wood-panelled, with light flooding in and quirky art on the walls, Casa Muamor is pure rustic-chic. On the plus side for those with little people in tow, this café in Buenos Aires’s chic barrio of Palermo Soho has a small playroom with spinning toys, wooden tables, dolls, bricks, a seesaw and a playhouse, attached to the main room with windows for parents to watch through. Muamor also offers a small but well-formed kids menu, strong coffee for the mums and dads, and some seriously delish artisan breads.
On the minus side, whoever located the door to the playroom right next to the entrance to the kitchen was clearly untroubled by the consequences of speeding toddler meets waitress carrying plates of food. The stairs to the restrooms are steep enough to cause a panic attack when carrying a baby upstairs, and the service was slow and indifferent to the point of rudeness when I last visited. Judging by the cold eyes I got from the staff I thought I’d mistakenly pushed my stroller into Claridge’s, not a kid-friendly café with a playroom. My order of a coffee was met with a harsh “is that ALL?” and my place was cleared – biscuits taken away and everything – as I carried said coffee into the playroom to check on G. I ended up ordering two coffees and drinks for baby but the service didn’t warm up. Kids are tolerated – mums ordering just drinks? Not so much.
The very existence of a kid-friendly place with character and individuality, which isn’t filled with plastic balls and crazy-loud music, is refreshing. Casa Muamor is a pretty place to sit awhile with a cafecito while watching your little darlings attempt to escape from the playroom while carrying an armful of baby dolls. However, this place needs to improve its service and attitude to mums (and dads) if it is going to keep advertising itself as a family-friendly location.
Casa Muamor, Soler 4202