21 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC Where You’ll Still Feel Like an Adult

Uh oh: You feel like going out with the fam but the babysitter is booked. Before you stay in, allow us to inform you that you *can* have an excellent meal in the Big Apple with the kids in tow. These 21 kid-friendly restaurants are sure to keep everyone at the table happy. (Note: Many of the below options offer outdoor seating, but not all. If outdoor dining is what you’re after, check out our list of the 39 best outdoor seating setups in the city.)

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1. Maman

  • Location: multiple
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

In addition to its French fare for adults, this photogenic café chain has an adorable kids menu, featuring dishes like almond butter and fruit compote over country bread, grilled cheese and roasted potatoes. There’s even a section that teaches kids French phrases like “j’ai faim” (“I’m hungry”). “For kids in diapers, they’re one of the few places that have really nice young-kid accommodations, like high chairs and changing tables in the bathrooms,” adds executive editor Dara Katz.

2. Vic’s

  • Location: 31 Great Jones St., New York, NY
  • Reservations: Resy

All the chic city mamas frequent Vic’s on the weekends to enjoy the soft scrambled eggs, borsa (“little purse”) ricotta pasta and refreshing spritzes while their kids nosh on pizza and rainbow cookies. The sun-drenched open space leaves lots of room for maneuvering strollers and enjoying family time, minus the stress. The outdoor patio won’t disappoint.

3. Clinton Hall

  • Location: multiple
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

Doughnut grilled cheese with tomato soup? Both adults and kids love this modern beer hall for its outrageous menu. Each of the six locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island features communal tables, flat-screen TVs for game-day viewing and oversized versions of Jenga and Connect 4. There are also fun, Instagrammable foods that older kids will love, including a fondue burger on a pretzel bun and over-the-top W.T.F. Waffles topped with ice cream and a slice of cake. Outdoor dining available at some locations.

4. Bubby’s

  • Location: 120 Hudson St., New York, NY
  • Reservations: Yelp

Famous for its homemade pies, biscuits and burgers, Bubby’s has long been a go-to for city families (including a few of the celebrity variety). The welcoming and spacious dining room is decorated with fun paintings by the chef and owner, Ron Silver, and the comfort food menu features big portions ideal for sharing. Think pancake flights (complete with caramelized banana-walnut, blueberry and Nutella varietieds), fried chicken and a stunning array of seasonal pies. Outdoor seating available.

5. Oath Pizza

  • Location: 1142 3rd Ave., New York, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

A pizza parlor sounds like a no-brainer for kids, right? You’ll want to go to Oath Pizza even if you don’t have kids, thanks to elevated thin-crust pizzas crafted on a crust that is hand-stretched, grilled and seared in avocado oil. Choose from signature combos like the Bella (ricotta, mozz, roasted garlic, balsamic drizzle and Grana Padano) or the Spicy Mother Clucker (roasted chicken, sriracha and aioli drizzles and pickled onions). For the pickiest eaters, you can customize a pie from top to bottom, including a gluten-free crust if needed.

6. S’MAC

  • Location: 197 1st Ave., New York, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

Mac and cheese isn’t just for kids anymore—but feel free to bring them along. With 14 gooey varieties to choose from, plus the option to build your own, the combinations at this East Village spot are endless. Try classics, like All-American and 4 Cheese, or go for more creative flavors, like the Parisienne or the masala. S'MAC is an allergen-friendly business that also offers gluten-free, vegan and low-carb options. Outdoor dining available.

7. The Thirsty Koala

  • Location: 35-12 Ditmars Blvd., Queens, NY
  • Reservations: Resy

This award-winning cafe celebrates the Land Down Under with seasonal, indigenous Australian ingredients served in the heart of Astoria. Enjoy wild, sustainable seafood while the kiddos munch on organic chicken tenders and take in the boomerang-clad walls around them. The kids’ menu also includes organic, vegan, gluten-free pasta, Niman Ranch burgers and grilled Joyce Farms chicken breasts. Outdoor dining available.

8. Aurora

This rustic Italian eatery offers upscale food in a laid back atmosphere. At locations in both Williamsburg and SoHo, guests can enjoy the open dining room or the leafy garden patio outside. The menu is great for picky eaters and more adventurous kiddos alike, as it ranges from handmade pasta to New York strip steak. Just know it’s slightly pricier than your average night out with the family.

9. Jungle Cafe

  • Location: 131 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

Time to get your veggie on! After serving thousands of little ones, Jungle Cafe owners decided the best approach is to let them try everything—with a buffet. The casual vegan and kosher Greenpoint eatery is known for its yummy salads, smoothies and soups and reasonable prices. From breakfast burritos to quesadillas, there’s sure to be something for everyone in your crew. Don't miss the decidedly cool backyard space.

10. The Smith

Don't be fooled by the grand dining rooms and shiny decor: The food at this American bistro is casual and homey (aka perfect for kiddos). There's plenty of shellfish, steak, salad and pasta to choose from, so you can't go wrong at any location. Imagine your favorite hometown diner with an upscale twist. With four Manhattan locations, you can likely find one near you—plus, almost all of them rank in the top 10 “most reserved” restaurants on OpenTable, which pretty much speaks for itself. Outdoor dining available at some locations.

11. Buttermilk Channel

  • Location: 524 Court St., Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: Resy

This quaint eatery is best known for its weekend brunch and its extensive menu brimming with American comfort food favorites. Sit on the sidewalk patio or indoors with the whole family, as the Carroll Gardens bistro boasts a full bar and a robust kids menu that ranges from buttermilk fried chicken to Lily's clown sundae. (Parents should order the house-made pickles and fresh local oysters; kids will also love the popovers and lasagna.)

12. Risbo

  • Location: 701 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

Chef and owner Boris Ginet migrated to the U.S. 26 years ago and opened this fusion restaurant with the goal of creating a warm space for folks to dine family-style in Brooklyn. The fast-casual French rotisserie is located just east of Prospect Park in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. The menu features a range of proteins and sides even kids would enjoy, alongside seasonal veggies, grains and, most notably, their Mac Five Cheese. Outdoor dining available.

13. Beatstro

  • Location: 135 Alexander Ave., The Bronx, NY
  • Reservations: OpenTable

Searching for something unique? Look no further: Your kids will love to groove at this South Bronx hip-hop restaurant that opened in 2018. It celebrates the area’s Afro-Latino heritage through Southern soul food and Puerto Rican eats. The extensive menu covers all of your brunch, dinner, or boozy beverage needs. Try the crispy catfish, chicharrones and the lobster mac and order the pulled pork sammy, plain mac or chicken and waffles for the kids. Outdoor dining available.

14. Osaka

  • Location: 270 Court St., Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

This one might be a tough sell for certain kids but if you’ve raised some adventurous eaters, then Osaka is just the ticket. The Japanese restaurant has served the Cobble Hill community for more than 20 years, and the staff has seen countless kids grow from childhood through college. With a cozy outdoor patio and garden, they serve a wide array of fresh sushi and traditional entrees, like chicken teriyaki (even the pickiest eaters tend to love sweet, tangy teriyaki) and Chilean sea bass.

15. Xochimilko Family Restaurant

  • Location: 653 Melrose Ave., The Bronx, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

This family-owned Mexican restaurant in the Bronx offers an expansive selection of traditional favorites, like enchiladas, chilaquiles and a selection of fresh agua fresca. They feature daily and weekly specials for those who want to try something new, plus we have it on good authority that their flan is absolutely to die for. Even better? They’re BYOB.

16. Roberta’s

  • Location: multiple
  • Reservations: Resy

Known for dishing up imaginative pizza pies and tap beers in a trendy, surf-style atmosphere, Roberta’s is proud to be expanding their menu with marinated cucumber salads, pastas and more. Excite your family’s taste buds with pizza toppings like honey and broccolini—although you really can’t go wrong with their take on the classic New York slice. And if you get home and realize you need more, they now sell frozen pizzas nationwide. Make like executive editor Dara Katz and dine outside at the picnic tables so the kids can run around while you enjoy a glass of natural wine.

17. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

  • Location: multiple
  • Reservations: Resy

With locations in Harlem and Brooklyn, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que features a fun kids menu that will satisfy chicken finger loyalists and adventurous noshers alike, who may be open to trying BBQ chicken wings, brisket sliders or St. Louis ribs. Editor in chief Jillian Quint says the resto has "a kids menu that's extremely affordable with great options, lots of room and a breezy vibe if kids are running around. Sports on the TVs is good if you have an 8-year-old who wishes he was watching basketball at all times..."

18. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips

  • Location: 1500 Broadway, Ste. 105, New York, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

If you're visiting Times Square with the little ones and want a fast meal with seating that *isn't* McDonald's, this chippie is a solid alternative. Dive into shatteringly crisp fish, shrimp or chicken with a side of natural sea salt fries. There are also six exciting dipping sauces (tartar! curry-mango! southwest ranch!) and two drool-worthy milkshakes (sticky toffee or Biscoff?) to treat your picky eaters to.

19. Speedy Romeo

  • Location: 376 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: Resy

Hit Bed-Stuy for wood-fired, St. Louis-style pizza and timeless Italian fare that even the fussiest eaters can get behind. We're talking meatballs, a kid's pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce and shredded mozz and chocolate cake with marshmallow and graham cracker for dessert. "It's spacious, there's pizza, they have high chairs at the ready—very family-friendly," says senior food editor Katherine Gillen. What's not to like?

20. Two Boots

  • Location: multiple
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

Created in 1987 by two pizza-loving indie filmmakers, Two Boots is as unique as it is Insta-worthy. Beloved for its Cajun-Italian menu, "it's got a funky retro vibe with New Orleans influence," says editorial assistant Delia Curtis. Kids will gobble up the chicken parm garlic knot sliders, The Meg white pie (complete with four cheeses, roasted garlic and oregano) and the classic calzone, oozing with ricotta, mozzarella and marinara. When in doubt, you can always build your own pizza.

21. Brooklyn Farmacy

  • Location: 513 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY
  • Reservations: walk-ins welcome

If it's dessert you're seeking, wow the kids with this retro soda fountain that boasts all sorts of ice cream treats. "The number of kids outweighs the adults at most hours," says senior food editor Katherine Gillen. And it's no surprise why, considering the menu is packed with next-level sundaes, milkshakes, floats and hot cocoas. There's also plenty of wine, beer, coffee and tea for the grown-ups.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Quinn Fish is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering all things New York City, from the tastiest espresso martinis to the best amusement parks to the perfect weekend getaways...

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...