Top 5 smoke-free casual dining for parents with small children

By on February 29, 2012

Japan is a country where nearly 30 million of its population smoke cigarettes. Unlike in the US and Europe, smoking bans in Japan do not apply to several dining establishments for the sake of business. Most family restaurant chains and coffee shops have a designated smoking area to serve both types of customers. Except for the smoking part, family chain restaurants still offer competitive advantage in terms of cost, food, ambience, nappy change areas, and location. However, this does not mean that parents who opt for a completely smoke-free dining experience are without a choice. Here are some of the casual cafes in Tokyo where moms or dads can freely hang out with kids, play, eat nice meals, and just have a good time — away from second-hand smoke. Check these ones out!

Baqet Cafe Shinjuku
Pronounced like “packet” with a “b”, Baqet is the place to go for all-you-can-eat, fresh-from-the-oven bread. The smell of freshly baked European bread as you set foot at the door is a challenge to resist. Their lunch or dinner plates come with all-you-can-eat bread and are prepared a la French bistro which is mostly chicken, pork, and beef. The downside is they have nothing for vegetarians or fish eaters. Corn Glitz, Raisin Roll, and Sugger Butter Roll are the hottest items for children because they’re soft, fluffy, sweet, and not crusty. Price and value considered, it is worth the trip.

Kid’s Set lunch from ¥590 Adult a la carte menu from ¥1,100 up
Shinjuku Nomura Building B1, Nishi Shinjuku 1-26-2, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
6 mins on foot from JR Shinjuku station Tel 03-5381-7309
Check for other locations
No smoking, Kids plate available, with nappy change area, toilet for kids, children’s play area,
baby chair, kid’s menu, parking space and buggies allowed [/colored_box]

Oyako Cafe Picnic (Curries and Japanese set menu)
This is a typical mommy-and-me cafe and an ideal place for kids to hang out and play. Diners get a free drink and use of kids play area. Menu includes curries with rice and vegetables. There aren’t many foods listed on the menu. Request for a specific meal when making a reservation. Lunch from ¥1,000 up.

Use of space:

Adults ¥300 (1 hour) / ¥150 (30 minutes)
Kids ¥200 (1 hour) / ¥100 (30 minutes)
Babies below 12 months of age free
Open 9:30am-5pm (last order 4:30pm)
Closed on Sat and holidays
Tel: 03-5985-4719
Website: (Japanese only)
Nearest station: Fukutoshin Kanamecho station by Yurakucho line
Chuo Building 2F, 5-24-9 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
No smoking, kids plate available, with nappy change area, toilet for kids, children’s play area, baby chair, kids menu, and buggies allowed

Dear Kids Cafe

The menu consists of everything kids love, like pasta, pizza, omelets, fried potatos, chicken, etc. The play area is an ideal hangout on a lazy afternoon for parents with small kids.

11am-7pm (Last order for food 6:15, last order for drinks 6:30)
Tel: 03-35858-3711
Kami Shakuji 1-25-3, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Kami Shakuji Station by Seibu Shinjuku Line, South Exit (4 minutes on foot)
No smoking, with kids plate, kids menu, nappy change area, kids’ toilet, kids’ play area, baby chair, nursing area, parking space, and buggies allowed.[/colored_box]

El Torito Sunshine City (Mexican cuisine)
Located in Sunshine City, one of the tallest buildings in Ikebukuro, the east side of Tokyo, El Torito remains to be a favourite among the American crowd. The main sales point of this establishment is its authentic Mexican food, decor, spacious interior including a pool of cheerful staff.

11am-11pm (Last order 10pm)
Lunch menu ¥780-¥880
Drinks start from ¥590
Open daily
Tel: 03-5954-7611
Nearest station: Higashi Ikebukuro station by Yurakucho line
3 minutes on foot from the station
No smoking, kids plate available, with nappy change area, toilet for kids, children’s play area, baby chair, kids menu, parking space, and buggies allowed.

Crayon House

Crayon is a child-friendly organic restaurant in Omotesando where hip parents meet and hang out with their kids. Crayon House’s upper floor has a good stock of toys and foreign picture books for children to enjoy. The small food shop at the basement is where you can buy specific organic Japanese food. They don’t carry much products and items are expensive.

Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily
Kita-Aoyama 3-8-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 3406-6308
Nearest station: Omotesando (walk down to Omotesando towards Harajuku, turn left at the Hanae Mori Building and continue walking another block)
No smoking, with kids menu, nappy change area, kids toilet, and buggies allowed

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