The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC
Families visiting New York City have so many options to eat, it can be overwhelming. There’s no reason to dine at a chain restaurant you can find at home when you’re in New York City with so many great places that can easily accommodate children. DimSum and Pizza are great choices for families, but you can also try out any of these restaurants for a meal that will please parents and kids alike.
1. Hill Country Food Park
This newly revamped Hill Country outpost meets and exceeds all the kiddo criteria: high-quality, kid-friendly, and adult-crave-able eats like tacos and fried chicken; a massive space for clusters of strollers or scooters, not to mention cartwheels, cousins, meltdowns, and musical chairs; and an easy, fluid, judgment-free atmosphere that allows parents to keep calm and BBQ on. The gargantuan, two-level complex is open and airy, with six food-truck-like “stations” on the ground floor. Austino’s (named after the owner’s son) is a pizza hut that serves big-mamma slices that will feed at least two hungry siblings; Bluebonnets, as in the Texan wildflower, offers lighter wedge-salad and daily soup options. Everything is made in the same kitchen and it’s hard to choose a starting point. The chicken and waffles is a good point of entry but a better move is to stick to the BBQ, which is aggressively smoked and tastes like it came straight from Texas. Get the brisket. A big ol’ plate of it. Or the brisket sandwich, or the brisket taco, or the brisket nachos. And save enough room for a scoop of Van Leeuwen’s sublime vegan (the irony!) chocolate ice-cream on the way out. By the way, the upstairs boasts a sprawling private space for (not cheap, but epic) birthday parties, magic shows, or concerts. Essentially, the restaurant is so ridiculously kid-friendly that no one should be admitted without one.
Address:345 Adams St., nr. Brooklyn Bridge Blvd., Downtown Brooklyn
2.Westville (Hudson St)
We sometimes want to relive our childhoods through food, but we now have adult taste buds to please. Westville resolves the conflict with his brand of designer school-cafeteria food with lots of healthy and vegetarian options. There’s a kids menu, but some young regulars ake a meal out of their favorite side dishes. The Hudson St. location is particularly family-friendly, with plenty of room for strollers and a staff that is trained in the arts of keeping kids happy—they know the drill, and bring around crayons and activity placemats. The message is clear: You and your kids are welcome here.Address: 333 Hudson St- New York
This simple pizza joint pleases just about everyone who enters. Kids can enjoy simple pizzas and pasta, while parents can enjoy more adventurous flavors and an outstanding wine list. The atmosphere is upbeat and friendly and if you dine early you’ll find yourself surrounded by local NYC families having dinner together. It’s close proximity to Washington Square Park is great for visitors who might want to take a post-dinner stroll with the kids. Also, check out the best greek restaurants around New York if you are greek food lover.
Address:519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014-2601, USA
4.Ellen’s Stardust Diner- Midtown West
If big, fun and noisy is your thing, you’ll love Ellen’s singing waitstaff. The servers, all clad in retro duds like poodle skirts and bowling shirts, leap onto the tables at this family-friendly diner to belt out Broadway show tunes, new and old. As you can imagine, this theater district diner gets pretty crowded with tourists starting around 5 pm, so make it an early bird dinner. There’s even a Kids’ menu with the usual fare like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and fries.
Address: 1650 Broadway at 51st Street
Phone: (212) 956-5151
5.The Roxy Hotel – Tribeca
If it’s a relaxing brunch the heart desires, the vibe at The Roxy Hotel’s Roxy Lounge is decidedly laid-back, with comfy couches enveloping diners in an area more reminiscent of a plush living room than a sit-down establishment. Adding to the relaxed atmosphere: Kids can catch a flick in The Roxy Cinema downstairs, which screens a mix of adult-oriented and kid-friendly films (check their schedule, which updates frequently).
Address: Avenue of the Americas at Walker Street
6. Serendipity 3 – Linox Hill
This “restaurant and general store” is wall-to-wall eye candy, with opulent light fixtures and kooky artwork occupying every inch of decorateable space. The menu is best known for its over-the-top sundaes and signature “Frrrozen” drinks, along with burgers, sandwiches, and snacks. This small spot can get crowded, so reservations are recommended.
Address: 225 East 60th Street, between Second and Third Avenues
7.Benihana- Midtown West
Yes, it’s a chain, but these pioneers of American hibachi know a thing or two about cooking as live entertainment. My 5-year-old was thrilled to pieces by the flaming onion volcano and when our chef flipped a piece of zucchini at him, we thought his laughter might never stop. With a substantial kids’ menu, Benihana is worth a visit if you’re in Midtown and looking for a refueling stop.
Address: 47 West 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
An old-school Brooklyn classic, this diner-with-a-twist recently opened an outpost at 49th street in the heart of Times Square and you can’t beat the location or the food for its thrill-factor. With enormous floor-to-ceiling windows, vaulted ceilings, tons of neon and outsized portions, this is belly-of-the-beast Times Square overload with a touch of retro Pulp Fiction attitude. Kids will love the center-of-the-action feel and the rock solid food: hamburgers come with French fries and onion rings (I love the chopped liver offering as a classic New York side) and there’s also an under-12 Junior menu with can’t-go-wrong chicken fingers and grilled cheese for children who can’t diverge from the standards. There are New York-themed craft cocktails for grown-ups and house wine from the Red Hook Winery for some local color. Start with the delicious cultural mash-up of Reuben eggrolls and by all means finish with an enormous slice of Junior’s famous cheesecake. One slice could easily feed a family of three.
9.Milk Bar Bakery
The conceptual sweets created by award-winning chef Christina Tosi (who started the dessert program at Momofuku) for the many Milk Bar locations will delight every family member with its litany of Willy Wonka-worthy imaginative sweet delights. A great place to grab an ice cream and hang on a park bench, there is a Milk Bar Bakery on the same Chelsea block as Momofuku Nishi so you can make a double bill of lunch or dinner. Show your kids you haven’t forgotten the sweet things in life with Milk Bar’s loaded-with flavor compost cookies, soft-serve cereal milk ice cream flavored to taste like breakfast cereal and topped with a sprinkle of cereal crunch and a crack pie—like a chess pie with an oat cookie crust—which is so loaded with salty, sugary goodness, I’d recommend leaving it to the adults.
10. Jekyll & Hyde Club
If themed restaurants like the Stardust are your cup of tea, add the Jekyll & Hyde Club to your list. Located in Greenwich Village, the restaurant offers a haunted and spooky experience meant for older kids who like a good scare with their burgers. As the restaurant staff warns, something happens every 10 minutes, and live entertainment with a full cast of characters is always a part of your meal, day or night. The menu is filled with American fare, pizza and pasta, so all ages will find something they like.
Address:91 Seventh Ave. S.,