You may not immediately think of tea party fare, Asian fusion or classic French when brainstorming for your clan's next meal, but we couldn't leave out this eclectic group of family restaurants. Though they refuse to be pigeonholed with our other picks, favorites like Olivier Bistro and Alice's Tea Cup will pleasantly surprise your kids' tastebuds, expand their palates and let them have fun with their food.
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Consider this your ticket to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. At this cute cafe, little ones can enjoy a proper tea service tailored especially for them. The “Wee Tea” includes herbal tea or juice, tea sandwiches and scones ($23), served on charmingly mismatched china. There’s also a “Menu for the Small” with kid-friendly sandwiches (like PB&J on banana bread, $9) chicken fingers ($10) and an assortment of sweets.
Thanks to the children’s menu that features tasty Pan-Asian dishes with adorable names like “Bowl of Sunshine” noodle soup, “Thai Silly Salad” and “Chicken Lollies” (satay with sticky rice), it will be hard for the tots to resist playing with their food. The reasonable prices—no more than $5 for each kids’ item—will make Mom and Dad smile. Use your leftover dough to pick up some quirky Asian specialties at the attached market.
See if you can convince the little ones to try snails (excuse us, escargot) at this Park Slope bistro, where the menu is stacked with French classics. Realistically, kids will probably prefer the hamburger ($13) or a croque monsieur—a tasty twist on grilled ham and cheese ($12)—but the whole clan will dig this sophisticated spot’s relaxing vibe, especially when live music is playing on Wednesdays and Saturdays.