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Kid friendly outdoor restaurants in NYC

These kid friendly outdoor restaurants in NYC are fun for the whole family

Written by
Evelyn Derico
,
Allie Early
,
Danielle Valente
&
Oliver Strand
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NYC has loads of kid-friendly restaurants that are fun for the whole family, but when the forecast calls for amazing weather, these kid-friendly outdoor restaurants in NYC are the place to be. Here you can enjoy fresh air, the kids are free to play, and most importantly, the food is fantastic. There’s no need to sacrifice quality when you’re looking to dine out with the kids — these spots are welcoming to families and serve up delicious bites, from pizza and barbecue to tacos and fried chicken.

After a day of chasing the little ones around (with so many things to do with kids in New York, it’s easy to end up with a jam-packed schedule), or an exhausting day hitting the family-friendly hiking trails and biking trails nearby, it’s nice to know that these welcoming, kid-friendly outdoor restaurants in NYC are set up for you to unwind and enjoy the breeze with the whole family.

Kid friendly outdoor restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Brooklyn
  • price 1 of 4

Roberta's still has it: The cool-kid spot that put Bushwick on the map makes delicious pizzas, amazing sides and one of the best hamburgers in the multiverse. The all-day spot is kid-friendly at all hours, but you'll probably want to pack it in when the Zoomers start showing up around 7pm. That's OK: The key to enjoying Roberta's is to show eat when your kid is hungry—show up at 6:30 and there's no wait. Grab a seat outside, order a glass of something to take the edge off the day. Life is good, and parenthood has its perks.

A beach day at the Rockaways is about the most summer thing you can do in NYC—and the food concessions on the Boardwalk make it one of the tastiest. There are three–Beach 86th Street, Beach 97th Street and Beach 106th Street—and each is distinctive. Beach 86th Street is anchored by Rippers, a burger bar that looks over the best surf spot in the Rockaways. Beach 97the Street is the biggest of the three, with a dozen different options, plus a family-friendly outdoor dance floor where DJs and live bands set up. Beach 106th Street has a Caracas Arepa Bar. In other words: You can't go wrong.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Gowanus
  • price 2 of 4

The Gowanus Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is always packed, but the food is worth the wait. Show up before 7pm on weekdays to score one of six outdoor picnic tables and on weekends, put your name in and stroll around the block until the host shoots you a text. Coloring books and temporary tattoos keep the crew busy while you wait for your grub. You and your crew can enjoy the Family Stylin' BBQ, which offers a whole chicken, three sides, a full rack of ribs, 1 pound of pork or brisket and cornbread, and serves anywhere from four to six people.

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  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

We really like eating—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 something for everyone: thin-crust pizza, Middle Eastern bites, fried chicken, Japanese comfort food, ice cream from Sugar Hill Creamery and more. Grab a table outside for a postcard-perfect view of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. 

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

Mister Dips is a burger and soft-serve stand operating out of a 1974 Airstream trailer parked on an elevated park of the William Vale Hotel. The RV offers four gourmet-level griddled burgers: a single or double with aged cheddar, a Swiss-topped veggie burger and a rotating special. Beyond the bun, there are waffle fries and “dairy dips,” ice-cream cones in flavors like Jacker-Crax (buttered caramel popcorn with salted peanuts) and Hawaii Five-0 (Tahitian vanilla scoops with pineapple preserve and toasted coconut).

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Brooklyn
  • price 2 of 4

Greenwood Park is part biergarten, part kindergarten: This massive indoor-outdoor restaurant and beer garden transformed an old gas station and mechanic shop into the perfect place for families during daylight hours—large tables afford room for big crews and all their stuff, and the menu boasts straightforward American fare like burgers, a warm pretzel, and loaded nachos. While the kids scarf down lunch, be sure to try one of the 60 beers on tap. This is certainly one of the best outdoor restaurants NYC can't resist, but be mindful if you're planning a family outing that kids aren't served after 7pm.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Governors Island

There are many reasons to venture out to Governors Island (open May through October), where there’s plenty to see, do and enjoy as a family, and the food is one of them. After all, you're bound to work up an appetite after exploring the 172-acre park, which has a Hammock Grove, extensive playgrounds and the longest slide in NYC. The food trucks on Liggett Terrace has everything from kimchi tacos to vegan Ethiopian to the handmade ice cream sandwiches that you can hold out as a bribe for good behavior.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Harlem
  • price 2 of 4

Harlem Tavern is an inviting biergarten-style eatery near Morningside Park has an enormous outdoor patio you can 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.

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

The original Shake Shack location, right in the heart of Madison Square Park, is one of the best outdoor restaurants NYC offers—and kiddos can't get enough of it. In lieu of brick-and-mortar, you’ll find plentiful greenery and a stellar view of the Empire State Building. Few restaurants can boast a city park as their outdoor space, and even fewer can boast of a better burger. But be prepared: Danny Meyer’s wildly popular concession stand is mobbed with crazy long lines, particularly during the summer. Angus beef is ground daily for excellent patties, and the franks are served Chicago-style on potato buns with a “salad” of toppings and a dash of celery salt. Frozen-custard shakes hit the spot, and there’s beer and wine, to boot.

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  • Restaurants

The Whole Foods in Gowanus is more than just a supermarket.  Head up to The Roof, the bar and restaurant that sits above the store, and you’ll get great views of Gowanus and Carroll Gardens to go along with your burgers, hot dogs and chicken tenders. Added bonus? You can bring food upstairs from the hot buffet. Plus, picnic table seating makes this one of the best outdoor restaurants NYC offers. 

  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

Loukoumi Taverna is an original: One of the first Greek restaurants to open in NYC, Loukoumi's classic Greek fare features signature dishes from the Mediterranean such as charcoal-grilled chicken kebab, tzatziki dip and fresh seafood. Sit as a table in the lush backyard and order some fried cheese and you could be on a Greek island

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 2 of 4

Pizzaiolo Edoardo Mantelli twirls the dough at Saraghina, a charming pizzeria and trattoria. Classic Neapolitan pies, pastas and fresh market salads are the draw—choose from nine simple versions, including marinara, Margherita, prosciutto and funghi. The diminutive white-painted spot features a wood-burning brick oven, shelves lined with glass bottles and an outdoor garden.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Red Hook
  • price 2 of 4

If you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the labyrinth that is IKEA, walk a few blocks to Brooklyn Crab instead of downing Swedish Meatballs. Enjoy fish and chips, crispy popcorn shrimp and crab cakes, plus yummy sides like fries to fill little bellies. There’s a huge deck with picnic tables overlooking the Red Hook Channel and Hudson River, but the real reason to go is for the outdoor games: Bean bag toss, foosball, an 18-hole mini-golf setup in the back.

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  • Restaurants
  • Southwestern American
  • Crown Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Get tacos and margaritas at Gueros, a Crown Heights Mexican joint with sidewalk seating. Choose from combos like house-made chorizo with potato, grilled hanger steak with refried beans and avocado, or a scrambled-egg breakfast taco made with your choice of two extras.

Ogliastro is a wood-fired pizza joint on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights comes complete with a charming shaded patio dining area, great for dining out with the fam. They serve up traditional pies like a Margherita, as well as more gourmet pie options like the Gorgonzola. A great feel-good fact about Ogliastro is that they use organic meat and locally sourced produce and eggs. If you aren’t feeling pizza-y, stop by on the weekend for brunch, when they serve various delectable egg dishes and antipasti. 

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Mom's Kitchen and Bar is an American-style restaurant in Astoria has all day brunch and comfort food that the whole family will love, and features expansive outdoor sidewalk seating to boot. The kiddos will love the kids meals like chocolate chip pancakes or waffles, a cheeseburger or mac and cheese. Mom’s also has a variety of awesome milkshakes anyone would love! Choose from colorful and fun creations such as the Rainbow Bright (vanilla ice cream with Fruity Pebbles) or Mr. Fluffleupagus (chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, Reese’s cups, marshmallow fluff).

  • Restaurants
  • Hot dogs
  • Coney Island
  • price 1 of 4

The iconic frank joint's Surf and Stillwell flagship opened in 1916, and Nathan's Famous is still grilling hot dogs daily. The original subway tiles and signage are still intact, as are menu staples like crinkle-cut fries and thick-battered corn dogs, but there’s one shiny “new” addition: a curbside clam bar, a revival of the restaurant’s raw bar from the ’50s. East Coast oysters and littlenecks are shucked per order over a mountain of ice, served with chowder crackers, lemon wedges, sinus-clearing horseradish and cocktail sauce.

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