The best family restaurants to dine out with kids

Looking for the perfect family restaurant? These kid-friendly restaurants in NYC offer fantastic food for all ages!
Harlem Shake
Photograph: Courtesy Kenji Lopez-Alt
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Looking for the best family restaurant in NYC? Look no further than our amazing lineup of classic restaurants, new restaurants, restaurants with play areas and other fun restaurants in NYC—even great spots for quick bites and finger foods (after all, it's pretty hard to get your children to sit still for more than an hour). Our list of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC even includes some low-key, kid-friendly bars and beer gardens (Greenwood Park, Pig Beach, etc.) for those late afternoons when you just want to grab a beer with your friends.

Perfect for family dining, many of the spots on our list have comfortable booth seating, easy take-out options, booster seats, impressive kids' menus and other amenities to make your lives just a little bit easier. Happy feasting!

 

Best restaurants for kids in NYC

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Restaurants, Cuban

Habana Outpost

icon-location-pin Fort Greene

Stop by this Brooklyn hotspot for a taste of Cuban and Mexican fare, including guacamole & queso burritos, roast pork platos and huevos rancheros (if you’re making a visit during brunch hours). Not only is this seasonal venue home to great dishes, but it’s focused on giving back to its neighbors. Each year, the annual Back to School Bash invites children in the community to celebrate the start of class with a generous helping of prizes, giveaways, fun activities and, of course, delicious bites.

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Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Food court

Gotham West Market

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

Picky eaters have met their match with this 15,000 square-foot Hell’s Kitchen Market. A variety of cuisines—including Italian, Mexican and Chinese, among others—make it easy to satisfy all members of the family when the munchies kick in. Half of the brood can ready their spoons for a bowl of goodness at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop or channel those summer vibes with a lobster roll at Seamore’s. Whatever you do, don’t head home before grabbing a scoop at Ample Hills Creamery or a decadent breakfast-dessert hybrid at Waffle De Lys.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jolie Ruben
Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Sweet Chick

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Southern dishes get the hip Brooklyn treatment at Sweet Chick in Williamsburg. 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.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak
Restaurants, Barbecue

Pig Beach

icon-location-pin Gowanus

If you have a hankering for some BBQ, this outdoor Brooklyn venue is the perfect place to munch on some savory dishes in a fun picnic-style setting. Your mouth will water at the possibilities—baby back ribs, the Pig Beach Burger (which comes with delicious secret sauce), brisket and so much more. Sides including mac n’ cheese with Goldfish, house pickles and smoke jalapeno coleslaw add the perfect finishing touch to your meal. Added bonus? Pups are welcome in the outdoor space, too!

Time Out says
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Restaurants, Barbecue

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - Harlem

icon-location-pin Morningside Heights

What began in the ‘80s as a mobile concession stand has evolved into a go-to BBQ spot for families. There are plenty of pork, burgers and brisket options, but the typical staples are accompanied by selections with flair—creole deviled eggs, bronzed catfish and the smoked portobello sandwich. Littles will feast on sides such as mac & cheese and creamed corn, though parents will want their kiddos to opt for the simmered greens or broccoli chickpea salad (wishful thinking).  

Venue says Harlem Dinosaur has a Happy Hour! Every Mon-Fri from 3pm-7pm at the bar. Check out our website for $2-$6 happy hour specials

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Photograph: Alex Strada
Restaurants, Pizza

Paulie Gee’s

icon-location-pin Greenpoint

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!

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Restaurants, Tea rooms

Alice's Tea Cup

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill

The hype is just down the rabbit hole at this Alice and Wonderland-inspired sensation. If you’re looking for a whimsical brunch or tea, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy scones, eggs, crepes and other morning meals in the backdrop of a magical space that brings Lewis Carroll’s story to life in the middle of NYC.

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Shopping, Grocery stores

Eataly

icon-location-pin Flatiron

If you can’t book a flight to the Amalfi Coast, enjoy a taste of Italy right here in NYC thanks to Eataly—the mecca for all-things pasta, seafood, meats and of course, gelato. Part grocery store, part restaurant and completely fabulous, Eataly serves as more than just a location to dine if you’re craving pasta—it’s a gateway to the Italian culture and offers tours, classes and other events that make the experience worthwhile.

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Restaurants

American Girl Cafe

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Every little lady will love dining with her family and her dollies. Head to the Rockefeller Center shopping hub  for a traditional afternoon tea with cinnamon buns, scones, or cucumber sandwiches alongside hot tea, cocoa or pink lemonade. If you’re looking for something heartier, the brunch, lunch and dinner menus offer sweet and savory entrées. Of course, once you’re done munching, you have the chance to shop ‘til you drop and treat your American Girl to some TLC at the salon.

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Restaurants, Italian

Ferrara Bakery & Cafe

icon-location-pin Little Italy

When your sweet tooth starts clamoring to be fed, the sweet desserts at this Italian bakery will definitely hit the spot. Whether you go for a creamy cannoli, gelato or a Zuppa Inglese with rum-soaked sponge cake, fresh custard, fresh strawberries and whipped cream, you’ll go home with a smile on your face.

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Restaurants, Ice cream parlors

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens

When it’s time for treat, this old timey soda fountain shop offers a variety of different floats made with soda made in-house and Adirondack Creamery ice cream. Kids will want to grab a stool at the counter and watch their sundae handcrafted on the spot (half sizes are available on most flavors, which is welcomed for a family with little tummies). The Sir Twix-a-little features Farmacy’s shortcake crumbles topped with caramel and vanilla ice cream in a milk chocolate hard shell and sprinkled with fleur de sel. To keep from overdosing on sugar, the shop also serves more savory meals, including sandwiches, freshly baked biscuits and granola.

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Restaurants, American

Buttermilk Channel

icon-location-pin Carroll Gardens

This charming Carroll Gardens eatery offers plenty of Southern-inspired fare both adults and the smaller set, including dishes like fried pork chops and cheddar waffles, house-made lasagne and grilled flat iron steak. When it comes to Sunday brunch, nothing beats scoring a table at Buttermilk Channel, but head out early—the wait can get pretty lengthy at this Brooklyn joint.

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Restaurants, Italian

The Meatball Shop

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Meatballs are the main attraction at this restaurant and kids will love mixing and matching their choices and marking them down on the wipe-off menu in marker. Make your own meatballs by choosing the meat (classic, chicken or veggie), sauce (classic tomato, mushroom gravy or parmesan cream) and what they’re served on. Kids can opt for traditional fare like spaghetti or go for rigatoni, a slider, broccoli or mashed potatoes. Just leave room for dessert—chocolate or snickerdoodle cookies and ice cream are delicious options to end the meal.

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Restaurants, American

Sarabeth's

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

This Upper East Side eatery is perfectly located for families looking for a rest stop in between their Central Park adventures or after strolling through the galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The breakfast menu features homestyle items like fluffy French toast, home fries and buttermilk pancakes. In the evening, dinner entrées include free range chicken pot pie and fish & chips. Just be sure to leave room for dessert—blueberry peach crostata and s’more in a jar are just a couple from the long list of deliciousness to be had here.

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Photograph: Shutterstock
Restaurants, Diners

Ellen's Stardust Diner

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Before taking the kids to a Broadway play, treat them to a meal before the show at this Times Square spot. The waitstaff are mostly Broadway actors and hopefuls the will break into song as they serve your meal! Kids can make a special song request to go alongside their mac n’ cheese sliders, mozzarella triangles and fries, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Consider the high menu prices as paying for dinner and a show.

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Restaurants, Hot dogs

Nathan’s Famous

icon-location-pin Brooklyn

After an afternoon of hopping on thrill rides at Luna Park or checking out the view from the top of the Wonder Wheel, refuel at this Coney Island boardwalk favorite. The eatery hosts the annual hot dog eating contest every Fourth of July, but grownups and kiddos will probably be satisfied with just a couple franks. Grab them with a side of crinkle-cut fries or opt for a corn dog on a stick or hot dog nuggets for smaller hands.

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Restaurants

Naruto Ramen

icon-location-pin Park Slope

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.

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Restaurants, American

S’Mac

icon-location-pin East Village

Kids will think they’ve died and gone to food heaven at S’Mac, which elevates a childhood staple to the gourmet level. There are a dozen varieties of mac to choose from, like the Cheeseburger, with ground beef and burger toppings. The “nosh” size is perfect for kiddie appetites; order the “mongo” and enjoy leftovers tomorrow (and the next day). Any variety on the lengthy menu here, from the textbook all-American to the Spanish-accented La Mancha (Manchego cheese, fennel and onion), can be made gluten-free or reduced-lactose.

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Restaurants, American

The Grey Dog

icon-location-pin Chelsea

The menu at any of Grey Dog’s four locations offers something for everyone: hearty breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, soups and more. Your typical grilled cheese gets a twist with guacamole, bacon, Swiss and Wisconsin cheese curds; chicken tenders are served with Southern BBQ sauce and fries and Village pancakes can be served with bananas, blueberries, strawberries or chocolate chips.

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Harlem Classic burger, red velvet shake and Sonoran hot dog at Harlem Shake
Photograph: Courtesy Kenji Lopez-Alt
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Harlem Shake

icon-location-pin Harlem

Wanna bag half off your food bill here? Check out our Table for Two Burger Box.

Although the chrome-plated diner only opened in 2013, Harlem Shake, with its devoted local following and classic retro vibe, feels like the kind of neighborhood joint that has been around forever. But though it’s a relative newcomer to the scene, the restaurant is already an institution for smashed burgers, made with a technique that defies convention to produce a burger with a crust char-grilled to the max yet retaining the juiciness of a thicker patty. Cool it with one of the restaurant's classic shakes made with organic Blue Marble ice cream. A fitting end to the meal is the signature Harlem Shake , with red velvet cake crumbs nestled in a thick, custardy shake.

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Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Cowgirl

icon-location-pin West Village

If the family is in the mood for Southwestern cooking, this West Village spot has a sizable menu just for kids. Lunch offers up wooden nickel pancakes and the Texas scramble with potatoes and a biscuit, but the “served all day” list includes hamburgers, chicken strops, corndogs, quesadilla, grilled cheese and a pulled pork sammy. Order them the Frito pie—a bag of Fritos topped with beef brisket chili or veggie chili and cheddar cheese—and you’ll go home a hero. Even better: Add an ice cream baked potato—don’t worry, it only looks like one—for a superb treat.

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Restaurants, American

Junior’s Restaurant

icon-location-pin Park Slope

This New York institution's claim to fame is the rich, fluffy cheesecake, which comes in several varieties like red velvet and devil’s food—but we like to work our way up to the sweet slab of loveliness. Beginning with the perfectly salty-sour pickles and other crunchy bites that are served before every meal, little ones can peruse the appropriately-titled Junior Menu and choose from a selection of kiddie diner favorites, like grilled cheese and chicken fingers.

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Bars, Pubs

Harlem Tavern

icon-location-pin Harlem

This inviting biergarten-style eatery near Morningside Park offers both indoor seating and an outdoor patio to enjoy in warmer months. Its extensive menu boasts everything from juicy burgers and buttermilk fried chicken to quesadillas, tacos and sliders—even a build-your-own mac and cheese with add-ons like grilled steak and BBQ pulled pork.

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Restaurants, Chinese

Vanessa’s Dumpling House

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

This modest Chinatown eatery is typically packed to the gills due to its super-cheap-yet-super-tasty chive-and-pork dumplings. At four delicious fried dumplings for just $1.50, diners can get their fill with just a few bucks and still have money left over for sesame pancakes sandwiches and steamed buns. On a nice day, grab the food to go and settle with the crew under a tree at Sara D. Roosevelt Park a block west. If you’d like to try your hand at cooking a batch at home, a bag of 50 dumplings ranges $10–$15.

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Restaurants, Coffee shops

The Coop

icon-location-pin Bay Ridge

Indoor and outdoor play spaces make this Bay Ridge, Brooklyn cafe super family-friendly all year round. A chalkboard wall is perfect for tiny artists in the making while colorful graffiti art serves as inspiration. The carpeted outdoor corner is also filled with carts, blocks, mini rocking horses and cars they can scoot around in. Inside, tots can easily pass the time making their own meals at a play kitchenette and have their pick from buckets of toys. Parents will find kids’ craft sessions, face painting and other activities on the calendar.

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Family restaurants by category

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