Looking for a restaurant where staff and patrons don’t give you the evil eye when you show up with youngsters in tow? Try these best brunch spots that serve kids’-menu items such as pancakes and yummy desserts—while also catering to your tots with entertainment (thank goodness for crayons!). Or check out our full list for other great weekend options. Did we miss your favorite brunch spot? Tell us in the comment section below.
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The best places for brunch with kids
Housed in luxe houseware emporium ABC Carpet & Home, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s green palace looks like a quaint farmhouse plucked straight out of a fairy tale. Like its furnishings, the restaurant’s ingredients are all locally sourced. There are hearty omelettes and other egg-based concoctions that no doubt came from very happy chickens; bright and satisfying salads you actually want to order for brunch; and French toast so fluffy, ordering it should be mandatory. Make a reservation, or be prepared to wait (and shop while you wait).—Marley Lynch
Deep in the sleepy Staten Island enclave of Grant City, this usually pulsating lounge forgoes the DJ during brunch time for flatscreens playing cartoons. Grab a booth at an arched window and dig into the avocado breakfast burrito, sweet-corn omelette or sunny-side-egg-topped chicken schnitzel. Tear the kids away from the restaurant’s stash of Wikki Stix by offering them a PB&J-and-banana sandwich.
Harlem staple Amy Ruth's is a true soul-food institution. The cheery, laid-back eatery serves dishes named for famous figures, many of whom have stopped by over the years. Try the Rev. Al Sharpton—crunchy fried chicken and waffles—though there’s a whole variety of something-and-waffle options featuring less traditional ingredients, such as catfish and ribs. Sides like mac and cheese, collard greens and candied yams are top-notch too.—Evelyn Derico
Since launching in late 2008 on Carroll Gardens’ busy Court Street and elbowing its way to the front of the pack (winning Time Out’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Brooklyn Restaurant), Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo’s comfort foodery has become an essential. For brunch, sample the top-notch fried chicken (crispy, spicy, succulent, all the good things) along with several killer variations on the Bloody Mary, one garnished with antipasti from nearby Caputo’s. If you try to beat the rush, you’ll still have to compete for ear space with the young families and kids of the neighborhood, but the din is worth it.—Joshua Rothkopf
Two words: Breakfast. Sandwiches. A bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll is a Saturday late-morning standby, but the righteous brunchtime subs at this beloved Carroll Gardens market-café are a welcome upgrade from that bodega classic. We’re talking Balthazar ciabatta loaded with scrambled eggs, salty Cabot cheddar and arugula, or a Taylor pork roll with American cheese on a Martin’s potato bun, delivered straight to the cozy dining room. And a New York brunch isn’t complete without bagels: Here they’re hand-rolled by Park Slope’s Bagel Hole and jacked with Acme whitefish, Samaki organic lox and Ben’s cream cheese.—Christina Izzo
Expect this neighborhood favorite, conveniently located one block from Prospect Park, to be packed to capacity any time the sun’s shining. Its classic brunch foods—hearty omelettes, enormous waffles, a mouth-watering take on eggs Benedict with chorizo and ancho-lime hollandaise sauce—are worth the wait, and the minimuffins handed to waiting diners should keep even the hungriest customer going until a table opens up. One word of advice: If you’re dining outside, sit as far from the little kiddy ride in the corner as you can, unless you want “It’s a Small World” to play relentlessly in your head all afternoon.—Nick Leftley
This Southern-accented breakfast-only abode has no parallel in Billyburg or beyond—which means you can expect a bit of a wait to get seated. Once you do get in, perch on mismatched chairs at a paper-covered table (crayons are provided), wake up at a leisurely speed to the old-time folk music on the sound system, and scarf down a cheap meal that may include eggs Rothko (a slice of brioche with a hole in the middle that accommodates a sunny-side-up egg, all of which is covered with sharp cheddar) or a terrific country-ham biscuit sandwich. If you must have dessert at breakfast, finish with a bowl of caramelized grapefruit and mint.
This farmer has many friends, so get there early (say, before 11am) on weekends to avoid standing in line. Rustic as an L.L. Bean catalog styled by Grant Wood, the eatery has a square-jawed directness that comes through in simple ingredients, relative affordability and straightforward dish names (the basket of assorted freshly baked breads really should be rechristened the basket of “Omigod, the zucchini bread!”). Still, the homestead has a touch of whimsy: Rumor has it that every time someone orders the Farmers’ Market Omelette, a waiter sprints three blocks to the Union Square Greenmarket to buy fresh eggs, spinach, mushrooms and cheese.—Silvija Ozols
A museum morning followed by weekend brunch simply screams New York. Especially when that brunch comes courtesy of husband-and-wife eccentrics Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, who run this funky daytime cafeteria inside Long Island City’s MoMA PS1. The digs are cheekily familiar—fashioned after a schoolhouse, they boast chalkboard menus, old class photos and cubbyhole desks—but the midmorning menu is brash, bold and daily-changing: foie gras bread pudding with gooseberries, soft-boiled eggs with carrot- and pea-studded aspic. Take that picky-eating, pancake-ordering brunch friend and teach ’em the golden M. Wells rule: Eat first, ask questions later.—Christina Izzo
There’s something for every palate at any of Sarabeth’s five NYC locations: The swanky restaurant’s extensive brunch menu features standout savory dishes such as lobster rolls alongside scrummy sweet fare like lemon-and-ricotta pancakes. We recommend ordering a basket of Sarabeth’s signature fresh scones and muffins, served with homemade jams, and if you’ve always wanted to have afternoon tea, stop by from 4 to 5pm on Saturday or Sunday. Take heed that Sundays get crazy busy (this is an Oprah fave, after all), so you’ll want to make reservations.—Evelyn Derico
Tri Dim Shanghai
This Upper East Side restaurant offers a wide range of Shanghainese, dim sum and Szechuan dishes. You’ll find plenty of classics among the starters, like scallion pancakes, Peking crispy duck roll, egg drop soup and steamed shrimp dumplings. As for entrees, traditionalists might go for the Szechuan-style twice-cooked pork or crispy whole sea bass. To try the beggar’s chicken—a whole bird marinated in Chinese five spice, then wrapped in lotus leaves and slowly roasted—you must order a day ahead of time. Other specials, like the lion’s head casserole of braised pork meatballs and cabbage, can be requested that same night. You’ll probably need to order some fried rice or spicy dan-dan noodles to round out your meal, too.
Venue says: “We offer the best lunch deal in the city - $7.75 for soup or a spring roll along with an entree. Also join us for brunch on Sat or Sun 12-3”