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Living in New York City can turn anyone into a food snob. It has some of the best food in the world and can transform anyone’s palette, even picky eaters. From pasta to Israeli to Southwestern to Greek food to high tea to ice-cream, the selections are varied and there many kid-friendly restaurants. NYC is the perfect place to leave your kid’s comfort zone (and your own!) and try new foods. We’ve put together a list of the best restaurants for kids in NYC.
Best Restaurants for Kids in NYC: Manhattan- For Picky Eaters
Alice’s Tea Cup
Alice’s Tea Cup is one of our favorite restaurants in New York. It’s a tea room inspired by the story of Alice in Wonderland where your kids can experience their first high tea complete with scones, sweets, and a pot of English tea. Or if they’re hungrier, they can munch on crepes, porridge, and pancakes. Chapter 1 is located at 102 West 73rd Street, 212-799-3006. Chapter II is located at 156 East 64th Street, 212-486-9200.
Bubby’s, which literally means “grandma” in Yiddish, is located in Tribeca. It’s popular with kids who love family-friendly, homemade comfort food like meatloaf, mac and cheese, biscuits, and brisket. You may likely bump into Robert De Niro, a regular patron, or other famous people, so be on the lookout. Bubby’s is hands down one of the best restaurants for kids in NYC. 120 Hudson Street, 212-219-0666.
Bluebird London, pictured in the above photo, is located right near Central Park at the Time Warner Center. It offers a great high tea that includes a selection of teas, scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets. Bluebird London serves a kid’s menu, all day, every day, with chicken tenders, fried cod, waffles, and gooey meringue. 10 Columbus Circle, 347-682-2100.
Cowgirl NYC is a local West Village highlight for families. Known for Southwestern comfort food, it offers a children’s menu with “Kidtown” food kids love like Frito Pie. Other yummy, kid-friendly options kids love including quesadillas, chicken fingers, and enchiladas. 519 Hudson Street in the West Village; 212-633-1133.
Ivan Ramen is a great choice for little ramen fans. Kids will love their steam buns, classic ramen, or chilled sesame noodles. There are two locations, but if you hit Gotham West on the west side, there’s outdoor seating. 600 11th Ave, 212-582-7942.
Root & Bone
Root & Bone is a Lower East Side restaurant that serves (delicious) gourmet Southern food. It’s kid-friendly menu includes all the best regional dishes from the south, from salads (for less picky eaters!) and sandwiches to fried chicken with waffles. Kids will adore the biscuits and fried chicken. 200 E. 3rd St. at Ave. B, 646-682-7080.
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Best Restaurants for kids in NYC: Manhattan- For Less Picky Eaters
Bustan, pictured above, has the best Israeli food in NYC. Once settled in, children will love sampling food from the region – from homemade hummus to eggplant carpaccio to roasted cauliflower with tahini to chicken “musakhan,” roasted chicken with tahini-amba and herb salad served with delicious taboon bread. The atmosphere is welcoming, family-friendly, and uniquely NYC. 487 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-595-5050.
Don’t miss Mandoo Bar in Korean Town, where chefs make dumplings in the window and then serve them sizzling hot. Your kids will want to munch on Korean salad, pickles, spicy ramen soup with tofu, bibimbap, steamy delicious meat, and veggies served in a hot stone bowl. 2 West 32nd Street, 212-279-3075.
Vatan is a traditional Indian restaurant with a prix fixe thali style menu. It includes a series of small dishes and whatever more you like of each dish, as you can order as much as you like. The entrée course is accompanied by Pulao (boiled white rice with peas), Khichdi (lentils mixed with rice and assorted vegetables), and Kadhi (soup with yogurt and spiced chickpea flour). Kids can (and should!) eat everything they fancy and request a mild level of spice. 409 3rd Avenue, 212-689-5666.
Your child doesn’t have to love Asian food to love Wagamama, and it might even turn the pickiest child into a less picky eater. Wagamama has a kid’s menu with noodles, chicken, and pork that is full of yummy flavors. The ambiance is child-friendly, and your kids will want to go back again and again. 210 5th Avenue, 212-920-6233.
Wukuni is an upscale Japanese seafood restaurant in midtown. It now offers a first-ever kid’s menu, called Captain Kuni’s Treasure Ship, for an incredible value – $10 for kids under 12-years-old, at both lunch and dinner. Options include Carrot & Sesame, Ohitashi (Spinach Salad in Savory Dashi with Shimeji Mushroom), Buri Carpaccio (King Yellowtail topped with Jalapeno), and Yellowtail and Tuna Rolls. Talk about an adventurous palette! 327 Lexington Avenue, 212ｰ447ｰ1212.
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Best Restaurants for Kids in NYC: Brooklyn
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain is total nostalgia and so family-friendly – they serve everything from egg creams to milkshakes and ice-cream sundaes. The ambiance is equally exciting – from the counter and leather seats where kids can sit comfortably to waitresses wearing old-fashioned uniforms. Kids (and adults alike!) will love the $4.50 sundae. Take a trip to the back of the cafe to see old-fashioned type-writers and tons of board games. 513 Hudson Street, Brooklyn (Carrol Gardens), 718-522-6260.
At de Mole, a family-owned restaurant, kids and adults alike can enjoy an authentic Mexican menu that includes tacos, fajitas, and delicious tortillas, beans, and rice. If nighttime proves to be a struggle with your kid’s bedtime schedule, grab brunch instead, where egg loving kids can try dishes such as “de Mole” Benedict, cornbread, baked eggs, and avocado toast on sourdough bread. The restaurant is family-friendly, bright and cheerful, and their Tres Leches cake with bananas and strawberries is to die for. 2 Hope Street, Brooklyn, 347-721-3399.
Smorgasburg, pictured above, is a food paradise for any child. There are several locations around NYC, but Brooklyn’s is in Williamsburg at East River Park at 90 Kent Avenue. It’s open on Saturdays and is basically a bunch of food vendors of all shapes and sizes in an open-air market. Give your kids time to pick what they want as the choices are many, including meatballs, ice-cream cones, fried chicken, tamales, dumplings, and pancakes.
Two Boots Pizza
Two Boots Pizza is a family favorite for all pizza lovers living in NYC, serving both lunch and dinner. Born in the East Village, this pizzeria specializes in Cajun-Italian cooking. The names of their pizzas reflect the flavor and diversity of NYC neighborhoods or honor local heroes such as The Vanguard and The Baron. Kids will love the food, as well as a step-up to the pizza station. 284 5th Avenue, Brooklyn (Park Slope), 718-499-0008.
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Best Restaurants for Kids in NYC: The Bronx
Madison’s is a family-friendly treasure of a restaurant/pub located way uptown. The food is very fresh and it has a lot of options for the pickiest of eaters. Kids will love their chicken quesadillas, ravioli, and vodka penne. 5686 Riverdale Ave, The Bronx, 718-543-3850.
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Best Restaurants for Kids in NYC: Queens
Amylos Tavern is a family-friendly, and family-style, Greek restaurant. Kids should be sure to try the Saganaki, a Greek cheese pastry with tomato jam, and a selection of spreads which include Tzatziki, Spicy Feta, and Melitzanosalata, or the Fagri and Lamp Chops with french fries for dinner. And for dessert? Everything! Definitely try the Ekmek, their signature dessert made of honey syrup angel hair pastry and creamy custard. 33-19 Broadway, 718-215-0228.
For Indian food fans, head to Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights for authentic and delicious Indian cuisine. From curries and tandooris and samosas and onion bhaji, the food is all yummy and fresh. 37-47 74th Street, 718-672-1232.
Senso Unico is a family-style restaurant in Sunnyside with authentic Italian food. Don’t miss the Carpaccio de Carne and Cacio e Pepe for starters and Fusilli Avellinesi and Rigatoni Napaleonan Bolognese for main courses. Also, don’t skip dessert – the Deconstructed Napoleon and Torta Della Nonna are fabulous. 43-04 47th Avenue, 347 -662-6101.
For a really unique and authentic Asian experience, head to Totto Ramen in Flushing for a big bowl of ramen. There are also locations in Hell’s Kitchen in the city. Tell your kids to pick their ramen bowl (veggie, chicken, or pork) as well as other toppings such as an egg, avocado, or bamboo shoot. 38-09 Union Street. Flushing, 917-285-2505.
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Best Restaurants for Kids in NYC: Dessert!
And, of course, don’t miss dessert! Sweet treats fill several kid-friendly restaurants in NYC. Our top choices are:
Amy’s Bread, at 672 9th Avenue, for New York’s famous black and white cookie and a full selection of morning pastries, sandwiches and salads, cookies, bars, cupcakes, layer cakes, coffee, and espresso beverages.
Big Gay Ice Cream, at 125 East 7th Street, has several locations downtown and offers the yummiest soft-serve injected with sweet treats.
DO, at 550 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village, serves cups of delicious cookie dough in various flavors with sweets, including cake batter and sugar cookie.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner, in Times Square at 1650 Broadway, is home of the singing waitstaff. They have delicious cakes and ice-cream, and, best of all, your waiter will serenade you as you eat.
Junior’s, at 1515 Broadway in Times Square, for a slice of NY’s most famous cheesecake. Totally worth it!
Little Pie Company, at 424 West 43rd Street in Hell’s Kitchen, for a slice of traditional sour cream apple walnut pie.
Milk and Cookies, at 19 Commerce Street, serves fresh homemade cookies in Greenwich Village.
Milk & Cream Cereal Bar, at 159 Mott Street, for yummy cereal concoctions, mashed into a vanilla swirl.
Tous Les Jours, in Koreatown at 31 West 32nd Street, for a bubble tea or traditional pastry.
What are your favorite kid-friendly restaurants in New York City?
Lead Photo Courtesy of Schmackary’s Cookies