Best NYC brunch spots for kids
These restaurants cater to all the members of your family.
Tue Apr 20 2010
Photographs: Michael Kirby
2110 Richmond Rd between Colfax and Lincoln Aves, Staten Island (718-351-1101, alorcafe.com)
Deep in the sleepy Staten Island enclave of Grant City you'll find Alor Caf. During brunch, the usually pulsating lounge foregoes the DJ for flat screens playing cartoons. Grab a booth at an arched window and dig into the avocado breakfast burrito, sweet corn omelette or the fried-egg-topped chicken schnitzel. Tear the kids away from the restaurant's stash of Wikki Stix by offering a PB&J and banana sandwich.
1800 Broadway between 58th and 59th Sts (212-462-0005, aqkafe.com)
Laid-back, Nordic-influenced AQ Kaf serves breakfast every morning, but on weekends the prix-fixe brunch is available until 4pm and scores you an orange juice or (much needed, perhaps) mimosa. Entres include a soft-boiled egg with smoked salmon, ham and Gouda croissant, and a dish with great tyke appeal—jam-topped Swedish pancakes. Pastries are house-made, so don't leave without trying a lingonberry cheese Danish.
1542 Second Ave between 80th and 81st Streets (212-717-7800, nyctacos.com)
Order at the counter of this taqueria, grab a seat, and enjoy piquant Mexican dishes like braised Hudson Valley duck tamales with roasted poblano chiles, or chilaquiles with sunny-side-up free-range eggs strewn with Amish chicken and cotija cheese. Wash it down with java-fiend fave Stumptown coffee. Tots may enjoy the queso fresco and epazote-leaf quesadilla almost as much as the colorful lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) decorations.
50 Commerce St at Barrow St (212-524-2301, commercerestaurant.com)
With its dreamlike murals and handsome, Art Deco--style bar, the former speakeasy is a delightfully elegant—but still kid-welcoming—and spacious locale for the extended family on the big day out. Order plump, gooey cinnamon rolls to start, but don't gorge unless you're okay with missing out on the savory offerings: spinach-and-truffle baked eggs or the Israeli working man's breakfast (scrambled eggs, parsley, hummus and pita). Steer your little ones toward the plate-size, whipped-butter-and-maple-syrup-topped German pancake.
Indian Road Caf
600 W 218th St at Indian Rd (212-942-7451, indianroadcafe.com)
A former Sopranos producer and his pal have created a perfect perch for brunch at Manhattan's northwestern tip. The eclectic menu features entres like barbecued pulled-pork panini, vegan biscuits and gravy, and salmon on ciabatta for you, and caramel-apple French toast (pictured) or organic scrambled eggs for your babe. The food lives up to the caf's idyllic views of the Hudson River; head to Inwood Hill Playground after your meal.
505 Columbus Ave between 84th and 85th Sts (212-873-0200, kefirestaurant.com)
Bring the whole crew to the modern Greek taverna helmed by Michael Psilakis; fluffy lemon pancakes with pistachio and candied orange, and thick yogurt teeming with preserved fruit and granola, are kid magnets. Adults in a Mediterranean mood will find their Hellenic ideal in the tomato, onion and feta frittata; Greek eggs bennie with creamed spinach and Cretan cheese; and spicy lamb-sausage-stuffed sheep's milk dumplings.
29-17 23rd Ave between 29th and 31st Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-777-9477, ornella-trattoria.com)
What sets this Italian joint apart from others in the neighborhood are the exceptionally welcoming hosts, husband-and-wife team Giuseppe and Ornella Viterale, who make patrons feel like part of the famiglia. Let them ply your gang with straight-from-the-old-country cold cuts, dried figs and honey before you tuck into an asparagus frittata, or polenta oozing melted Gorgonzola. The Nutella-filled crpes are a no-brainer for bambini.
652 Union St between Fourth and Fifth Aves,Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-636-6311, palosanto.us). Cash only.
In the evenings this restaurant serves a mostly adult audience its "Latin market" cooking in a lovely mosaic-adorned setting. On weekend days, bring the brood along to nosh on handmade tortillas and avocado, ora tortilla Cubana—a Spanish omelette with plantains instead of spuds. The menu changes frequently because of the restaurant's commitment to seasonal Greenmarket ingredients, but adults can expect tasty items like bean and cheese pupusas, and pork chop sandwiches topped withhot pickles and green mango.
247 South 1st St between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-8047, ryerestaurant.com)
The hipster trappings—pressed-tin ceiling, vintage silverware—attract a stylish, bustling Williamsburg crowd. On Sunday mornings, when the typical patrons are still nursing their hangovers, the speakeasy-inspired eatery is subdued enough for families. Sophisticated options pepper the menu—Scotch eggs, Berkshire pork-belly sandwiches—but you'll find more lowbrow fare, too, like any-style eggs accompanied by a juicy slab of meatloaf, or challah French toast or a BLT. Bonus: Ample stroller parking space. Double bonus: the sriracha-laced Bloody Mary.
Schiller's Liquor Bar
131 Rivington St at Norfolk St (212-260-4555, schillersny.com)
Keith McNally's popular mirrored, subway-tiled hangout is as friendly to children as it is to the Lower East Side bar-hop contingent. Staffers stand at the ready to dispense crayons and fold up strollers as you settle in with a Pimm's cup. Brunch consists of solid bistro favorites: a basket of pastries whipped up at big sister Balthazar, seared-tuna salad, steak frites. The sour cream and hazelnut waffle (pictured) seems tailor-made for pint-size guests—just hold the maple syrup laced with bourbon.