At this buzzing Italian institution, arriving early is a must if you want to avoid waiting around: Families crowd the cozy, casual and surprisingly inexpensive spot's tables nightly. Although the menu features plenty of flavorful fish and meat entrées, kids tend to order the simple, hearty pastas such as homemade gnocchi with tomato, cream and basil or spaghetti with cherry-tomato marinara sauce. The generous desserts (primarily Italian traditions like a delectable tiramisu and a lighter panna cotta) can easily be shared.
665 Amsterdam Ave
|Cross street:||between 92nd and 93rd Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $15. Cash only|