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Toddler-Friendly Restaurants in Basel

What to do with a toddler on a cold and rainy day? I myself have also had this question, so for the past two winters I have started making a list of places to go and spend time with small children during the colder months of the year. This list is specifically for toddler-friendly restaurants, but make sure to stay tuned for my next article on indoor and outdoor playgrounds.

Coop City Marktplatz

Pfauen Basel, Freie Str. 75, 4051 Basel

Coop City Marktplatz, Hutgasse 19, 4001 Basel

On the top floor of the larger Coop supermarkets in Basel city centre there are self-service restaurants that usually have a kid’s corner that will allow you to eat more or less peacefully while your toddler explores and plays.  Another advantage is that they have a great variety of foods, so you can make healthier choices or simply choose the foods your picky eater will accept.

Max Kämpf Platz, 2, 4058 Basel

This lovely cafe was designed by a mother-of-four as “the place she wished existed when her children were little”. It is a traditional cafe in the front, with a fantastic playroom in the back (as large as the cafe itself!) with all sorts of toys (in good condition) and even a couple of slides. On the menu you can find hot beverages, pastries, cookies, cakes, toasts and the soup of the day (my favourite). One rule: to use the playroom, customers are expected to spend a minimum of 10 CHF. On weekends the space can be rented for birthday parties and events. They also make beautifully themed cakes and cupcakes.

Gerbergasse 30, 4001 Basel

Most people know this very central and popular café in Basel. You can sit there for hours and work on your laptop without the pressure to consume. On Wednesday mornings, they also have a children’s day and the central area of the cafe is filled with mats and toys for the little ones, so their parents can enjoy a cup of coffee and even meet other parents. Quite a lovely idea!

Spalenberg 15, 4051 Basel

Also close to the Marktplatz area, this place was a surprise for me. It took me five years of living in Basel to find out that this cute Scandinavian-style shop was also a café with a children’s play area! The café is in the back of the shop and the playroom is on the first floor all the way at the back. Seems a little hidden, but once you get there, it’s really lovely. The play area is in a separate room from the café, but it has one large table for the adults inside. If this table is taken, you can watch your children from the next room or stand inside. There isn’t a large choice of toys, but kids still have lots of fun. It’s a nice option when you are walking around the city centre and need a place to take a break. The only downside is it's not stroller friendly as there are many steps to get in. 

Steinentorberg 20, 4051 Basel

A Basel favourite, this food court offers dozens of types of cuisine from different countries that can be eaten at any of the large common tables inside this interesting building that used to host an indoor farmers market. Besides that, there’s a small play area that is usually packed with children while their parents watch them from the surrounding tables. It must be said, the toys are not the cleanest and there are not many of them, but it’s convenient. Especially because each member of the family can choose their preferred type of food and the Markthalle opening hours are quite generous for Swiss standards.

Sternengasse 19, 4051 Basel

This food court is a hidden gem. It’s underground, with a discreet entrance in the Aeschenplatz area. Once you enter, you won't believe the amount of free space and rooms designed for kids. There’s an all-yellow room with large foam blocks for climbing and building, a ‘jungle room’ for reading and relaxing on bean bags, a climbing arch with slides, a foldable tunnel, a construction trailer for climbing and more. There are also high chairs available for use. One thing to mention is there are not many food stall options and very few open in the evening (only one or two). Both times I went there in the evening, we were the only customers there. 

I hope this list helps you to find a space to entertain your little one and have a break on rainy or chilly days. If there were any places we missed, please let us know in the comments.

Gabriela Peres D'Aquino

Gabriela was born and raised in Brazil. She is a graphic designer and has lived in Italy, France and now Basel.  Along the way, she has picked up a few languages (German being the most difficult).  She had a child in 2021, which means her social life very focused on children's activities and hanging out with other families with kids.  

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