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If you're looking for the best family restaurants in NYC, we have the definitive list for you.
We mix the best of the newest restaurants that make this city's scene so exciting with the classics every New Yorker should visit, plus restaurants with play areas and other fun restaurants in NYC in all five boroughs. Little New Yorkers want more than just chicken fingers and hot dogs (not that there's anything wrong with those), and we include the dim sum palaces, udon counters, and taco joints that make local kids flip out.
Our list of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC even includes some low-key kid-friendly bars and beer gardens (JG Melon, Greenwood Park, Berg'n, Donovan's and Harlem Tavern, among others) for those late afternoons when you just want to grab a beer with your friends.
Most importantly, we only include restaurants that welcome children and families—there's no side-eye if you show up with a stroller. Many of the spots on our list have comfortable booth seating, easy take-out options, booster seats, impressive kid's menus and other amenities to make your lives easier. Happy feasting!
Best restaurants for kids in NYC
An all-day cafe with a pedigree, Roey's is the more casual sibling of the scene-y Rosemary’s just down the street. It's a true family restaurant, a place with a good wine list and a game shelf by the front door. Roey's has a wood-fired oven and a menu filled with dishes that are as comforting as they are elegant: blistered pizzas (among the best in NY), 'Nduja BLT, main course-size salads. We love that kid's menu covers all the bases, and is made to the same standards as the rest of the food. The staff is gracious and helpful—how nice to show up with children and be made to feel completely welcome. Add all that up and you have a spot where discerning New York grownups can get a delicious herbed chicken with roasted apples, and bouncy New York kids can get a PB&J made with seasonal jam, and everybody goes home happy. Greenwich Village (roeysnyc.com).
When Daily Provisions opened in a small room off the back of Union Square Cafe 2.0, it became understandably famous for its crullers. They are magnificent–fresh and succulent and worth every calorie–the rest of the food deserves as much attention: Egg sandwiches in the morning, roast beef sandwiches with fried onions for lunch, rostisserie chicken for dinner. The tiny original location made for tight quarters, but a more spacious outpost opened on the Upper West Side that has enough room for you, and your family, and the strollers and scooters you used to get there. Upper West Side (dailyprovisionsnyc.com).
We sometimes want to relive our childhoods through food, but we now have adult taste buds to please. Westville resolves the conflict with his brand of designer school-cafeteria food with lots of healthy and vegetarian options. There's a kids menu, but some young regulars ake a meal out of their favorite side dishes. The Hudson St. location is particularly family-friendly, with plenty of room for strollers and a staff that is trained in the arts of keeping kids happy—they know the drill, and bring around crayons and activity placemats. The message is clear: You and your kids are welcome here. SoHo (westvillenyc.com).
New York's first dim sum house opened in 1920 on a rough crook of gang-riddled Doyers Street. After a near-century in business, the family-owned parlor is one of the most atmospheric rooms in Chinatown, with checkered tablecloths over Art Deco tables and vintage lamps—Nom Wah is completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate the dim sum scene. (The NoLIta location is also nice, if not as historic.) The food, too, stands apart: Try the ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun, the flaky fried crepe egg roll and the tender stuffed eggplant filled with a spiced shrimp-and-squid mixture. Chinatown and NoLIta (nomwah.com).
In a white-tiled slip of an East Village eatery, former James Beard Award-winning Del Posto pastry great and (and former punk-rock drummer) Brooks Headley has found a permanent home for his uberpopular veggie burgers. The food is unreasonably delicious (with sides as tasty as the sandwiches), but the room is astonishingly small. So here's the play: Stop by on a nice day, and walk your meal the half-block to Tompkins Square Park. Eat, play and be merry, then go back for the gelato, which is arguably some of the best ice cream in the city. East Village (superiorityburger.com).
Sisters Hannah and Marian Cheng have unleashed their secret family recipes at this white-walled dumpling house, named for their mother. Handmade with organic vegetables and meat from, the ginger-and-scallion pockets come in three varieties: the pork-and-bok-choy Reinvented Classic, the kale-and-shiitake Mighty Veggie and the namesake Mimi Cheng. The dumplings are bright and fresh, and a world away from other dumpling houses that barely phone it in. Order the house-made mint lemonade and watermelon-cucumber juice and you have a winner of a meal that's simple and tasty and quick. East Village and NoLITa (mimichengs.com).
The JG Melon on the Upper East Side is a New York icon whose simple menu and old-school ambience have drawn in both locals and destination-seeking visitors for over 40 years. Good news: The juicy, flavorful burger lives up to its reputation. Get a side of cottage fries (your waiter will sternly correct you if you ask for French fries), and a Shirley Temple for the kids, and a cocktail for yourself because you deserve it, and you have all the magic of Manhattan in a single meal. The offshoots in Greenwich Village and the on the Upper West Side are perfectly nice, but they don't have the aura of the original. Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Greenwich Village, (jgmelon-nyc.com).
Step into Japan Village, and hit up one of the 10 vendors that make up this food court within the sprawling Industry City warehouses along the Brooklyn waterfront. Start at Shokusaido and order a spread of snacks, including the kakiage, a Japanese-style fritter that comes out as a tangle of julienned vegetables studded with shrimp. Then dive in: With Ramen, sushi, yakitori, soba and more, Japan Village is a culinary playground for kids and adults alike, with something for everyone. Sunset Park (japanvillage.com).
Three Owls Market is the West Village's newest eatery, joining the growing number of all-day cafes in New York. The room is tasteful and sleek and comfortable, while the menu pulls from Italian, Mediterranean and French pantries: It includes 40-60 items for eating in, with 25-30 prepared food options. There's a fancy grilled cheese with gruyere and shallot jam, and juicy chicken from the rotisserie, and bowls piled high with attractive salads and sides. West Village (threeowlsmarket.com).
This massive restaurant is always packed on the weekends but the not-so-long wait is well worth the famously tasty dumplings and other dim sum treats that pass by the tables on steam carts. This is the sort of dining spectacle that creates memories for the whole family. Sunset Park, Brooklyn (pacificanany.com).
We really like eating around the city, and we're guessing you do, too. So lucky for all of us, we've packed all our favorite restaurants under one roof at the Time Out Market New York. The DUMBO location in Empire Stores has fluffy pancakes from the venerable Clinton Street Baking Co., thin-crust pizza from Patsy Grimaldi’s Juliana’s, Middle Eastern bites from Miss Ada, fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, Japanese comfort food from Bessou, cookie dough scoops from DŌ and more amazing eateries—all cherry-picked by us. Chow down over two floors with views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. DUMBO, Brooklyn (timeoutmarket.com/newyork).
The wood-paneled 120-seat smokehouse in Red Hook is run by the self-taught pit master Billy Durney, who turns out 'cue with global influences. The meats and sides are delicious, and the gym-sized room is big and accommodating. Line up (there's always a line), and let your kids goof off while you wait to order. A second location in Industry City has the same caliber food in a market hall-lie setting. Red Hook, Brooklyn and Sunset Park, Brooklyn (hometownbbq.com).
This is where the families of Brownstone Brooklyn go to broaden the palates of their young diners. Sit at the sleek oak sushi bar or at the small tables and order obanzai, Kyoto-style tapas that change almost daily. The sushi is excellent, but it’s the cooked food that stands out: Chicken teriyaki is skin-on organic fowl with al dente asparagus and okra pods, and the soy pudding dessert is beyond creamy. Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (hibino-brooklyn.com).
The original Los Tacos #1 in the Chelsea Market brought LA-caliber tacos to NYC. The mini-chain has expanded across the city, and those perfect adobada tacos with freshly-made tortillas are now easier to find than ever. The menu is short and sweet: There are tacos, platos and quesadilla-like mulas. Order an agua fresca or a horchata and you and your kids could be eating on the street in Boyle Heights—did we mention there's no seating? The newest location in TriBeCa is particularly family-friendly. Various locations (lostacos1.com).
This Crown Heights cousin to Smorgasburg is hybrid biergarten and food court, a “cafebeeria,” if you will, and it's decked out with rows of wooden tables and stalls with hearty grub. The food vendors change regularly, and there's always something for everyone. Berg'n is perfect for grazing with a group: Bring your games and coloring books and Pokemon cards, and stake out a table. Crown Heights, Brooklyn (bergn.com).
Southern dishes get the hip Brooklyn treatment at Sweet Chick. Go-to dishes like shrimp and grits, fried chicken and waffles and crawfish hushpuppies amp the comfort food factor to new levels. But don’t fill up on main courses—you’d be remiss not to spice up your order with sides such as fried okra and buttermilk biscuits. The original in Williamsburg has been joined by locations in Prospect Heights and Long Island City. Various locations (sweetchick.com).
Siblings Leo and Oliver Kremer left the Bay Area to teach New Yorkers a thing or two about Cal-Mex cuisine. Their tiny East Village storefront first introduced us to San Francisco–style burritos; now Dos Toros is a mini-chain with locations all over the city, but the commitment to flavor and quality is still there. The burrito is the star, but other menu items make for worthy detours: The griddled quesadilla is a crisp, compact parcel of meat, melted Jack cheese and vibrant guacamole. Various locations (dostoros.com).
When it comes to pizza, New Yorkers don’t fool around—that’s why they always opt for a pitstop at Paulie Gee’s. Expect delicious pies with a perfectly crispy, blackened crust that begs for seconds (thirds or fourths if you’re able). Classics like the Brian DeParma—Italian tomatoes and Parmigano—are always crowd pleasers, but for those who are looking to spice things up, opt for pies like Neffy’s Porkpie White, which includes mozzarella, Berkshire soppressata picante, sweet Italian fennel sausage, fresh basil, post oven ricotta dollops. Sounds molto bene to us! Greenpoint, Brooklyn (pauliegee.com).
Following the success of their heavily Instagrammed Australian coffeeshop of the same name, Giles Russell and Henry Roberts opened this 50-seat, full-service restaurant and in TriBeCa. It doubles down on the original's relaxed, beach-inspired aesthetic while fancying it up for the neighborhood. Take a seat and order from the wide variety of all-day breakfast dishes (beet-cured salmon on rye caraway with poached eggs, anyone?), or the justifiably famous avo smash. TriBeCa (twohandsnyc.com).
The former Momofuku Ko and Torrisi chef opened an unlikely solo project: a diner in Two Bridges. Diner culture is dwindling in New York and Sam Yoo hopes to change that—Golden Diner is decked out in the leather-covered swivel stools, doily-like curtains and stained-glass lamps of yesteryear, and the menu offers all-day eggs, pancakes. But the menu has its fun twists and turns: Yuba club sandwiches, matcha crumb cake, chicken katsu BLTs, a mushroom Reuben quesadilla that's a gooey delight. Two Bridges (goldendinerny.com).
Since opening on Atlantic Avenue in 1948, Sahadi’s has become a NYC institution for its hard-to-find spices and Lebanese pantry staples. Now, it’s opening a second Brooklyn location in Industry City, which boasts Sahadi’s first-ever seated café and bar. Expect mezze-style kibbeh and couscous timbale as well as custom pistachio-apricot ice cream. Sunset Park, Brooklyn (sahadis.com).
Woodside, Queens, bustles on, but Donovan's stays the same. It’s the renowned burger that justifies the trek: loosely formed from freshly ground New York strip, broiled to a perfect char and simply decorated with lettuce and tomato—cheese and raw onion optional. The burger is among the city's best, and well-suited to grownups and children. The family-friendly atmosphere makes it a winner. Woodside, Queens (donovansny.com).
Kazunori Nozawa helped shape Los Angeles sushi culture with his 25-year-old omakase den Sushi Nozawa in Studio City, CA. His high-quality sushi chain Sugarfish makes a simple proposition: Keep the menu simple and the service brisk, and you can keep the prices low. This makes it a great gateway sushi spot for kids—they can try the real deal without breaking the bank. There's always a wait, but it's not so bad at 6:30. Oh, the advantages of eating on a kid's schedule. Flatiron and Soho, (sugarfishsushi.com).
Udon is the thicker, fluffier cousin of ramen—and a hit with the kids, who love the chewy texture and more temperate broth. This is a sophisticated restaurant with elegant food, and it's also a family-friendly spot with plenty on the menu to please young palates. If you want to make a feast of it, start the tamago and the fried chicken before tucking into the udon. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (facebook.com/hanonbrooklyn).
This delicious Brooklyn eatery makes it easy to slurp noodles with tykes and tweens in tow. Take a seat at the counter and order a bowl of Naruto or Miso Ramen for the kids or kick things up a notch with Curry Ramen for yourself. Naruto also has some delicious, classic appetizers to try, including Gyoza (pork dumpling) and Chicken Teryaki. We'd recommend this spot for families with kids ages 6 and up, since stool-seating and tight quarters make things tough for stroller traffic and toddlers. Originally from Park Slope, Brooklyn, Natruo Ramen now has outposts on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Various locations (narutoramenex.com).