When calling to mind one particular cuisine that never ceases to satisfy the kiddos, the answer is simple: Italian. We may be partial to the New York–style pie, but these Italian family restaurants like Roberta's and Eataly are sure to keep the kids happy with their freshly-made pizza—not to mention the pasta (the housemade strands at Rosemary's are a must), calzones, gelato and beyond. The dishes at these spots have the makings of a fantastic family meal, so go forth and mangia!
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Denino’s pizza is worth traveling for, so grab the kids, hop on the ferry and make a day of it. The classic cheese pie at this family-owned Staten Island spot is tough to beat. But with a huge menu of pizzeria classics, including meatball heroes, salads and garlic bread, there’s sure to be something for every member of your crew.
Young or old, everyone can find something that strikes their fancy at this sprawling Italian food complex. The hard part is deciding what—and where—to eat! Six full-service restaurants serve pizza, gelato and everything in between; alternatively, skip the long waits and pick up some fresh pasta or exotic produce to prepare at home.
This beloved Brooklyn pizza staple, considered by many to be one of the city’s best, has plenty to offer little eaters. Kids can enjoy treats like a simple tomato, mozzarella and basil brick oven pie ($17) and a cheese-and-pesto-stuffed calzone ($18). Long waits and hungry tummies can make for cranky kids, but you can make a reservation if you’re dining with six or more.
The kids’ menu at this Italian-French bistro proves eating healthy can be delicious. Aside from the typical fare, there are several options designed with the USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines in mind. Kids won’t even know that items like the roasted chicken legs with broccoli, whole wheat quesadilla or skirt steak with cheesy rice (all $14) are good for them.
From the good people who brought you Franny’s (Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg), this classy Park Slope trattoria focuses on classic Italian food with a personal touch. Marco’s offers several dishes that will appeal to younger diners, like the spaghetti with tomato, basil and Parmigiano Reggiano ($17) and fried potatoes ($9). The Cookies & Cream ($10), containing two types of gelato with almond cookies, is a sweet ending to a refined meal.
There’s a pie for everyone at this laid-back Neapolitan wood-fired pizza joint, which has locations in the East Village and Williamsburg. Picky tots can go for the classic Margherita ($15), while parents may want to try the Brussels sprout pie with pancetta ($16). Stop in for a midday meal with the kids and get the prixe-fixe lunch special (Mon through Fri; 11am–4pm) including their choice of pizza, plus a green salad ($17.07).
What kid doesn’t love pizza? At Roberta’s in trendy Bushwick, they can chow down on a simple Margherita ($13) while you feast on the Four Emperors ($16), piled high with arrabiata, mozzarella and ricotta. Picky tots can also choose their own toppings to design their perfect pie ($1–$4 per topping). Produce is grown at the restaurant’s on-site farm; grab tickets to a weekly garden tour to give curious kids a behind-the-scenes look at what’s on their plate.
This Italian trattoria has a special kid’s menu featuring simple favorites like focaccia with house-made mozzarella and penne with marinara, as well as Italian cookies for dessert. Veggies, herbs and other fresh ingredients come from the restaurant’s very own rooftop garden, which means the food on your plate is always local and in-season. Be advised: Rosemary’s can draw quite the evening crowd, and they only take reservations for parties of seven or more.