Are you a mom? Do you like coffee? Well, have I got a list for you!
In my short time down here, I’ve come across a decent number of cozy, quirky, artsy, and even upscale coffee shops. Each with its own unique menu of deliciously caffeinated drinks.
As a WFHM (Work From Home Mom), there are few things I appreciate more than a quiet place
that isn’t my closet that lets me get my caffeine fix AND get some work done. I also appreciate the fact that I’m supporting a small business venture at the same time.
Unfortunately, work time doesn’t always mean kid-free time. More often than not, I have a laptop in one hand and a baby in the other. Knowing many of you might be in a similar situation, I’ve given each spot a “kid-friendly” rating. Of course, kids are welcome at all of these establishments— it’s just that some cater a bit more to tiny clientele than others.
On to the list! I kept the criteria short and sweet:
1) Small/ locally-owned business
2) Excellent coffee
3) Good atmosphere
A solid food menu was optional— but you’ll find almost all of these spots nailed that, too.
So, in no particular order, here are my top picks:
1) Black Iron Café – Inside The McAllen Public Library [Main Branch]
4001 N. 23rd Street • McAllen, TX
In case you missed the news, there’s a brand-new café inside the main library. BECAUSE DREAMS DO COME TRUE. And it doesn’t disappoint. The coffee menu is surprisingly varied, and the lunch-centric menu surprisingly hearty. Food items come as your choice of salad, sandwich, or wrap— but I recommend you go for the sandwich. BONUS TIP: If you need a quiet place to stay focused, get your coffee to go and get set up in one of the library’s private study rooms. You can reserve one here for up to 4 hours.
2) Moonbeans – 2 Locations!
5401 N. 10th Street • Mcallen, TX
114 W. Cherokee Ave • Pharr, TX
DriveThru: Cherokee location
If you’ve ever been to KinderMusik or Colibri Yoga, you’re probably familiar with Moonbeans in McAllen. Newly renovated, it feels brighter and bigger inside than before. (The biggest plus to the remodel? You can easily wheel a stroller into the restroom.) This RGV original deserves accolades for branching out with locations in Edinburg and Pharr. And the Edinburg location gets MAJOR bonus points for having a drive-through.
1625 N. Conway Ave • Mission, TX
This downtown Mission coffee shop reminds me of an old Austin favorite (Spiderhouse, in its original form). A mix of broken-in chairs and long cafe benches, the ambience is art house meets living room. It’s a true coffee house in the sense that they only serve drinks + pastries, and they also roast all their coffee in-house. The signature drink, Latte del Rey, is awesomely sweet. But try their slow bar coffee if you’re a true connoisseur.
4) PJ’s Pies
5500 N. McColl Road • McAllen, TX
These famous desserts now have a permanent home! PJ’s North McAllen café features a menu of delicious pies, pot pies, and paninis. Of course, there’s also freshly brewed coffee and a full espresso menu. The place gets pretty busy at lunch, so skip the rush and check out their “happy hour” from 3-6 pm. There’s even a fabulous shaded patio out front with plenty of tables.
505 E. Business Hwy 83 • Alamo, TX
An unexpected find in Alamo, Coffee Time serves your basic coffee and tea drinks, plus a ton of fancy frozen concoctions. If you have the calories to spare, the Frozen Cafe Latte is perfect for a triple-digit day. They even nailed the convenience factor with outlets at every table. So bring all the digital devices you like.
6) The Loretto
1233 E. Griffin Parkway • Mission, TX
One part bistro, one part coffee shop, and one part event space, The Loretto differs from the rest of the list with it’s self-described “upscale casual” atmosphere. Still, I decided to stop by in my yoga clothes— and found that the thoughtfully decorated farmhouse-chic style actually makes it feel cozy and comfortable. Just keep in mind the shortened hours. While the bistro side is open for lunch (and it’s delicious!) from 11 am- 3 pm, the coffee shop doesn’t open until 4 pm and closes at 9 pm.
Those are my top picks. Did I miss any good spots? Let me know!
To show some lower valley love, The Village Play Cafe in Brownsville is a cute cafe and great for kids with lots of different activities!
You forgot CoffeeZone in edinburg. Awesome coffee and espresso drinks and delicious food!