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The best family style Italian in NYC

Family style Italian spots in NYC will make you feel as though you're right in Grandma's kitchen

By Time Out Kids editors

Hungry? Family style Italian spots in NYC are here to embrace the culture's favorite activity: eating. 

Make your ancestors proud with a visit to fun restaurants that encourage splitting dishes. Patrizia's, Carmine's, La Mela, are among the go-to family style Italian NYC restaurants, but you're going to want to explore  New York pizza for families while you're out and about. Everything's delizioso!

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the 50 best family restaurants in NYC

If you have a few picky eaters on your hands or your littles can't quite find family dinner ideas that excite them, all you need to do is make a reservation. Trust us—one visit to the beloved family style Italian restaurants NYC has to offer will take "I don't like it" right out of children's vocabulary. Mangiare, everyone! 

Family style Italian restaurants in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Stephanie K

1. Patrizia's of Brooklyn

Restaurants Italian Williamsburg

The Italian dining scene would be incomplete without the mention of Patrizia's, the family-style restaurant that continues to expand across New York and New Jersey. While adults will want to opt for favorites like clams and fried calamari for starters, they'll be equally as excited about classic entreés such as eggplant parm, fettuccine carbonara and chicken marsala, among many others. Pizza is a great options when kiddies are in tow, but rest assured they'll be taken care of—there's a kids' menu with chicken fingers, sphagetti and meatballs and other tot-friendly options if you have picky eaters in your crew. 

Photograph: Courtesy Carmine's

2. Carmine’s

Restaurants Italian Midtown West

Getting a table under Carmine’s mismatched chandeliers is tough, even by Theater District standards. Once you do snag a spot, you’ll be greeted by an amicable staff that dishes out gigantic portions of family-style specialties. Chicken comes slathered in savory marsala sauce, and eggplant parmigiana is thickly layered with tomato sauce and bubbling cheese. Enormous desserts (like the aptly named Titanic, a sundae atop a chocolate torte) verge on the obscene, and the odds are high that you will hear “Happy Birthday” sung more than once. It's one of the top spots that comes to mind when you hear "family style."


3. La Mela

Restaurants Italian Little Italy

Looking to grab a bite in Little Italy? La Mela is a mainstay in the community for family-style bites and plenty of options. The favorites are all on the menu—veal parmigana, shrimp marinara, veal tortellini and so much more. Kids with small palette will gravitate toward dishes such as spahgetti and meatballs, chicken parm and penne vodka. Good luck choosing—you might be scanning the lengthy menu for quite some time. 

4. Piccolo Angolo

Restaurants Italian West Village

Low- and highbrow meet in this little corner of the West Village, where patrons range from big spenders to hungry bohemians. Nothing fancy here, just perfectly cooked pastas in tangy, chunky tomato sauce (try the plump ricotta-stuffed ravioli) and deceptively basic mains, like jumbo shrimp swimming in buttery broth. A simple antipasto of caciocavallo, a subtle Sicilian cheese, is served with baby tomatoes, mozzarella, salami and savory prosciutto. 


5. Tony's Di Napoli (Upper East Side)

Restaurants Italian Lenox Hill

Tony's Di Napoli serves southern-style Italian cuisine—the classic comfort food families have come to love. Opt for favorites such as linguini marinara or chicken parm (if you have kiddies who can be a bit picky). More adventurous families will want to dig into options such as the ravioli bolognese and shrimp scampi. Note that full portions of each entreé serve two–three people. 

Photograph: Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

6. L&B Spumoni Gardens

Restaurants Pizza Brooklyn

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 12 and under 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—all for $10.95. Rebellious ones can forgo pizza entirely—dishes from the grill, heroes and seafood ensures no one goes home hungry. The Chef's Tasting Table—which caters anywhere from two up to 200 customers—is a four-course family style service that includes fan-favorite dishes such as baked clams, vodka sauce, steak and sweet treats such as spumoni and ice cream for dessert. 

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Marta G

7. Forlini's Restaurant

Restaurants Italian Chinatown

Northern Italian specialties are up for grabs at the 75-year-plus establishment. Pasta fans will delight in the gnocchi al pesto and tortelli alfredo, while main main courses such as veal scaloppini will leave patrons delightfully stuffed. The menu isn't quite as extensive as other family style restaurants NYC offers, but its longevity is a testament to its success. Bon appetit! 

Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe

8. Eataly

Shopping Grocery stores Flatiron

Young or old, everyone can find something that strikes their fancy at this sprawling Italian food complex. The hard part is deciding what—and where—to eat! Six full-service restaurants serve pizza, gelato and everything in between; alternatively, shoppers can skip the long waits and pick up some fresh pasta or exotic produce to prepare at home. The family-style selection at the Flatiron hotspot is the Serra Alpina rooftop greenhouse that features greens, meats, cheeses and other tasty options. With plates such as gnocchi with gorgonzola cream, walnuts and parsley, or a porterhouse for two, this venue might be better for the older kids in your clan. 


9. Numero 28 Pizzeria Napoletana

Restaurants Pizza East Village

This pizzeria minichain sells thin-crust pizza by the inch (not the slice), baked in a wood-burning oven. Options are aplenty, including classic margherita and and white pies, but if you're looking to pack in the flavor, opt for broccoli white pizza, buratta pizza and other delicious choices! It's easy to opt for family style dining when 29-inch-pies are up for grabs, but you can personalize your dinner with orders of pasta dishes or sides like broccoli rabe and fries (a go-to for the little ones). 

More fun for kids

Lake Mohonk
Photograph: Jim Smith Photography

Family resorts near New York City

Travel Collection: Getaways

In addition to top-notch accomodations, many of these spots are equipped with swimming pools for kids, an extensive roster of outdoor activities and even onsite family restaurants where you can refuel after a long day of fun. These hotels let you and the kids go boating on lakes, embark a woodsy hikes or even tackle steep waterpark slides, all within four hours of NYC.


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