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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!
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).
Soul and southern American
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 inProspect 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).
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. Midtown (americangirl.com).
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. Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com).
You'll find great banh mi and pho this Vietnamese minichain. But the hit with the kiddos is the bubble tea: Navigating the intense after-school scene is a local rite of passage. Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope, Brooklyn (hancos.com).
An inviting biergarten-style eatery near Morningside Park that 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. Harlem (harlemtavern.com).
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. Upper East Side (alicesteacup.com).
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 eight or more. Greenwich Village (rosemarysnyc.com).
Given the way eager crowds breathlessly push to get in the door on weekend mornings, this Sunset Park hall, reliably dishing out buns since 2008, seems more like a Manhattan hot spot than an outer-borough stalwart. The mania makes sense once the dishes start appearing. Steamer carts move fast, and snap decisions usually result in fortuitous discoveries. Bring your appetites! Sunset Park, Brooklyn (eastharborseafoodpalace.us).
One of the most Instagrammable shake spots in NYC is at Black Tap. Kids’ eyes will bug out of their heads when they catch a glimpse of the U Bet Chocolate Shake or Oreo Cookies and Cream Shake—both of which will require a few tastes from other relatives. Although the burgers and main dishes make for a fun lunch, the main draw to Black Tap is undoubtedly the desserts. SoHo, Herald Square and Midtown (blacktap.com).
On the 100th anniversary of Russ & Daughters, the Lower East Side appetizing store that gained notoriety for its smoked fish selection, a new café was opened to allow patrons a chance to dine in. Families can still nosh on appetizers like potato latkes with wild salmon roe and creme fraiche and Russ & Daughters fishsticks with gaspe nova, scallion cream cheese, shissel rye crust with cocktail and tartar sauce. They’ll also have breakfast items, eggs, soups and herring dishes to choose from. Order a platter of a variety of smoked fish served with cream cheese, onion, tomato capers, pickles and bread and you’ll have enough to feed a crew of four. Sweet treats include blintzes, chocolate babka French toast, noodle kugel and challah bread pudding. Lower East Side (www.russanddaughters.com).
Share a pie with the family at this Bushwick pizzeria that offers the classic Margherita all the way to more adventurous selections like the Nightmare on Moore Street, which has taleggio, marinated radicchio, pickled shallots and habanada peppers. Picky eaters can create their own pizza masterpiece with more than 20 different toppings to add to their pie. The original in Bushwick is a family-friendly restaurant with plenty of non-pizza fare, while the busy Manhattan locations in market halls are perfect for a quick pizza. Bushwick, Brooklyn robertaspizza.com).
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. Harlem (harlemshakenyc.com).
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! Gowanus, Brooklyn (pigbeachnyc.com).
Patsy Grimaldi—the flour-dusted legend behind Grimaldi's, which has since changed hands—busts out of retirement to reclaim his pie shop's first location, along with its original coal oven. Your whole brood is more than welcome—pizza has, after all, been in Patsy's family for eight generations. The menu spotlights iconic red-sauce fare, including classic pies (Margherita, Marinara, Calzone and White Pizza) and meatballs, as well as New York Cheesecake, cannolis and other tasty desserts. A second location opened in the Time Out Market close by. DUMBO, Brooklyn (julianaspizza.com).
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. Various locations (themeatballshop.com).
With 13,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to enjoy, South Slope’s Greenwood Park is a super kid-friendly bar in one of Brooklyn’s most family-oriented 'hoods. In addition to the whopping 60 beers on tap, there’s a bar menu with plenty of items for little ones to nosh on while you sip. Park your stroller in the sprawling garden and order a warm soft-baked pretzel, a hot dog or some chicken fingers—it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. Just make sure you clear out by 7pm, when Greenwood Park becomes 21 and up. South Slope, Brooklyn (greenwoodparkbk.com).
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. Fort Greene, Brooklyn (cafehabana.com).
Denino’s has been serving NY-style pizza to Staten Island families since 1951 and if you haven’t hopped on the ferry to get a taste for yourself, then it’s time you do. The dough is made fresh daily and is topped with their homemade sauce and handmade cheese. You can’t beat that! Along with appetizers, salads, soups and heroes, the menu offers 14 different pies, including Denino’s “M.O.R.” pie with meatballs, fresh onions and ricotta. Go for the classic cheese pie or go all in on the garbage pie with the works: sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms and onions. Staten Island (deninossi.com).
Whether you’re in search of the perfect slice or looking to sit down with the family to enjoy their infamous Sicilian pie, this Bensonhurst pizzeria does not disappoint. Kids get their own menu here with child-sized pasta with meatball in tomato sauce, chicken finger basket, macaroni and cheese and ravioli and meatball in tomato sauce. Rebellious ones can forgo pizza entirely—dishes from the grill, heroes and seafood ensures no one goes home hungry. Bensonhurst, Brooklyn (spumonigardens.com).
For some, the original Jing Fong in Chinatown might be intimidating: It’s marked by giant escalators, a vast dining room and walkie-talkie–toting waiters marshalling diners. But it has remarkable dim sum. The shrimp shumai with glass noodles is exceptional, as is the ground pork and shrimp wrapped in a big black mushroom. The freshness and originality of its most mundane offerings keep people coming back for more. Chinatown and Upper West Side (jingfongny.com).
By CHLOE's delicious and creative vegan fare is made even tastier by its Seaport District kids' menu (eat-in only). If your kids opt for Smiley Mealz, they'll enjoy a small mac 'n cheese (dairy free!), half meatball sub (meatless!) or half smashed avocado toast, plus a side of air-baked fries or crudité, a cookie and a small lemonade. Yippee! Various locations (eatbychloe.com).
You go to this mini-chain combo favorites like the Big Blue Bacon (Wisconsin blue, fried onions and bacon marmalade) or the California (sharp cheddar, Hass avocado, salsa verde). You can personalize the burgers—perfect for picky eaters. The friendly rooms are lively and easygoing. Bareburger is more than a family standby, it's a slam-dunk. Various locations (bareburger.com).
The burgers at this joint are perfectly sized for little hands and super tasty. Not only can families choose from burgers flavored with special “ShackSauce” or crisp-fried portobello burgers, but also chicken sandwiches and hot dogs for those picky eaters. A side of crinkle-cut fries is a must along with any of the rotating shakes and frozen custard concrete flavors. Bonus: Some locations have clever takes on the veggie burger. Various locations (www.shakeshack.com).
The menu at this whimsical restaurant is sure to delight all ages—it’s full of delicious treats! From the signature Frrrozen drinks like hot chocolate, strawberry supreme and pink ice to the pies, banana splits and pie, every sweet tooth will be plenty satisfied. Kids can choose from several different burgers and a variety of sandwiches like the Ultimate BLT on challah bread. Their long list of “drug store sundaes” include the “Can’t Say No” Sundae, a cool concoction of humble pie, ice cream, banana and hot fudge topped with whipped cream. Upper East Side (serendipity3.com).
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 original has the kind of aura you just can't find at a franchise: Get a couple of franks with a side of crinkle-cut fries, or opt for a corn dog on a stick with a massive Lemonade. You're in Coney Island, baby! Coney Island, Brooklyn (nathansfamous.com).