Norman – This Place Wins in All Categories!

My rating: ♥♥♥♥/5

On this holiday Monday, (It’s MLK day!) we had planned to go to a museum, but they were all closed! So we decided to follow a neighbor’s advice and hit up Norman, a Scandinavian restaurant and all-day café in Greenpoint. She had suggested it not only as a great place for food or just a coffee, but also as a huge indoor space for a toddler to run around in on a frigid winter’s day.

I know I say in the title that “this place wins in all categories,” but we haven’t exactly eaten there yet. We plan to do so though, and when we do, I will most certainly update my review. So, for now, this review only speaks to Norman’s coffee and kid friendliness.

We survived the 10-minute walk from our apartment and arrived at Norman. When you live in an 813 square foot (even that is a lie! I swear they count the spaces behind the walls!) apartment with a toddler, a place like this is a breath of fresh air. It is HUGE! And yet just about every seat contained a hipster glued to a Macbook. But that was ok since we were only there to hang out, have a coffee and let Pookie run wild.

The second we arrived and unbundled Pookie, we noticed this funny round bench with a huge cone-like structure in the middle of it. Three little girls were having a blast on this thing, and Pookie said to himself, “I wanna do that too!” So we let him attempt to climb the cone, and while we had mini heart attacks out of fear that he would roll right off of it, he had a great time. He attempted to make friends with the little girls, but they were like, “Go away, Baby!” Poor Pookie!

I stood in line to order coffees for myself and RR and contemplated getting a pastry, which they make in-house. They have your standard croissants and pains au chocolat as well as some fun Scandinavian (I’m assuming) delights such as the Kanelsnurre and the Spandauer with preserves and smoked cream cheese. I ended up just getting RR a latte and myself a mocha. RR loved his latte, which looked lovely in its grey ceramic mug, and while my mocha looked similarly lovely, it wasn’t the best. But I’m a sweet drink-loving snob/ dork, so maybe someone else would have loved it.


Then we let Pookie explore the place. We took out his Vtech walker (it goes wherever we go these days), and he was off! Let me tell you the hipsters loved that. I love that reluctant smile hipsters give you when they see your (adorable) baby struggle to push his “B-I-N-G-O”-playing walker over their Macbook charging cable.

Despite the so-so mocha and the annoyed hipsters, an extremely fun time was had by all. We can’t wait to go back to try the delicious and beautiful-looking food with or without Pookie. Speaking of which, when I learned that they not only have high chairs, but also a changing table in one of the restrooms, I was sold on this place being as kid-friendly as you can get!

I only subtracted a heart for the mocha, but I’m pretty sure that once we try the food, it will overwhelmingly compensate (it looks SO good!) for the less-than-perfect coffee, and I’ll likely give Norman a perfect score.