17 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC Where You’ll Still Feel Like an Adult
What do you do when you feel like going out but every single babysitter is booked? There’s no need to stay in when you can have an excellent meal with the kids in tow. These 17 kid-friendly restaurants will keep both you and your offspring happy. (Note: Many of these options below offer outdoor seating, but not all. If outdoor dining is what you’re after, we’ve rounded up 31 of the best outdoor seating setups in the city here.)
In addition to its French fare for adults, this photogenic café chain has an adorable kids’ menu, featuring dishes like an almond butter and fruit compote, a Comté grilled cheese and a yummy seasonal cookie. There’s even a section that teaches kids French phrases like “j’ai faim” (“I’m hungry”). Outdoor seating available at some locations.
Multiple locations; mamannyc.com
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 the kids nosh on pizza and rainbow cookies. The recently expanded sun-drenched open space leaves lots of room for maneuvering strollers and enjoying family time without stress. Outdoor patio available.
31 Great Jones St.; vicsnewyork.com
3. Clinton Hall
Doughnut grilled cheese with tomato soup? Both adults and kids love this modern beer hall that has oversize games and an outrageous menu. Each of the five locations (in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, plus one more coming soon on Staten Island) features communal tables, flat-screen TVs for game-day viewing and huge versions of Jenga and Connect 4. Then there are the fun and Instagrammable foods that older kids will love, including a fondue burger on a pretzel bun and over-the-top “W.T.F. waffles” (layered with scoops of ice cream and topped with a slice of cake). Outdoor dining available at some locations.
Multiple locations; clintonhallny.com
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 chef/owner Ron Silver, and the comfort-food menu features big portions ideal for sharing, like a pancake flight (caramelized banana-walnut, blueberry and Nutella), fried chicken and a stunning array of seasonal pies. Outdoor seating available.
120 Hudson St.; bubbys.com
5. Oath Pizza
A pizza parlor sounds like a no-brainer choice for the 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 (roasted garlic, balsamic drizzle and Grana Padano) or the Spicy Mother Clucker (chili-spiced chicken, sriracha drizzle and pickled onions). For the pickiest eaters, you can customize your pie from top to bottom, including a gluten-free crust if needed.
1142 3rd Ave.; oathpizza.com
6. S’MAC East Village
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 the classics such as All American or 4 Cheese or venture out and try some more creative flavors like the Parisienne or masala. S'MAC is an allergen-friendly business, and also offers gluten-free, vegan and low-carb options. Outdoor dining available.
197 1st Ave.; eatsmac.com
7. The Thirsty Koala
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 “chook” strips—Aussie for chicken—and take in the boomerang-clad walls around you. The kids’ menu also includes organic, vegan, gluten-free pasta, Niman Ranch burgers and grilled Joyce Farms chicken breasts. Outdoor dining available.
35-12 Ditmars Blvd., Queens; thethirstykoala.com
This rustic Italian eatery offers upscale food in a laid back atmosphere. Located a few blocks from the water in Williamsburg, diners can enjoy the open dining room or the leafy garden patio outside. The menu is great for picky eaters and more adventurous kiddos alike—from handmade pasta to New York strip steak—just beware it’s slightly pricier than your average night out with the family.
70 Grand St. Brooklyn; aurorabk.com
9. Jungle Cafe
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, kosher Greenpoint eatery is known for its yummy salads, smoothies and soups, and is also dedicated to providing healthy eats at a reasonable cost. From breakfast burritos to a grilled avocado kimchi sandwich, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Time to get your veggie on! Outdoor dining available (in a very cool backyard space).
131 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn; junglecafenyc.com
10. The Smith
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. Don’t be fooled by the grand dining rooms and shiny decor, the food at this American bistro is casual and homey (i.e., perfect for kiddos). With plenty of shellfish, steaks, salads and pastas to choose from, you can’t go wrong at any location. Imagine your favorite hometown diner with an upscale twist—if that diner was reliable, consistently delicious, and was in the heart of the Big Apple. Outdoor dining available at some locations.
Multiple locations; thesmithrestaurant.com
11. Buttermilk Channel
This quaint eatery is best known for its weekend brunch, with an 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. (Parents should order the housemade pickles and the fresh local oysters, kids will love the popovers and lasagna.)
524 Court St., Brooklyn; buttermilkchannelnyc.com
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 come and 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 handful of selections of proteins and sides even kids would enjoy, alongside seasonal veggies, grains and, most notably, their Mac Five Cheese. Outdoor dining available.
701 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; risbobk.com
Looking for something a little more unique? Look no further. This South Bronx hip-hop restaurant opened in 2018 and celebrates the area’s Afro-Latino heritage through Southern soul food, Puerto Rican eats, music and decor. Try the crispy catfish, the chicharones (fried pork rinds, or crunchy pork potato chips) or the lobster mac—the extensive menu covers all of your brunch, dinner, or boozy beverage needs. And what kids don’t love to groove? Outdoor dining available.
135 Alexander Ave., The Bronx; beatstro.com
OK, so this one might be a tough sell for a lot of 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 over 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 as well as traditional entrees like chicken teriyaki and Chilean sea bass (even the pickiest eaters tend to love sweet and tangy chicken teriyaki). And don’t worry—you don’t need to know how to use chopsticks.
270 Court St., Brooklyn; osakany.com
15. Xochimilko Family Restaurant
This family-owned Mexican restaurant in the Bronx offers an expansive selection of traditional favorites like enchiladas, chilaquiles and a selection of fresh agua frescas, with a popular weekend brunch. They feature daily and weekly specials for those who want to try something new, plus their flan is to-die-for. The best part? They’re BYOB.
653 Melrose Ave., The Bronx; xochimilco-family-restaurant.business.site
Known for dishing up imaginative pizza pies and tap beers in a trendy, surf-style atmosphere (indoor and outdoor seating is available), 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, cynar and broccolini—although you really can’t go wrong with their twist on the classic New York slice. And if you get home and realize you need more, they now sell frozen pizzas nationwide.
Multiple locations; robertaspizza.com
17. Adobe Blues
Ever seen a saloon in New York City? For a fun dinner right by the ferry stop, this Southwestern staple has been serving Staten Island since 1992. With margaritas, beers, and live blues and jazz bands almost every night, there’s something everyone in the family can appreciate. Adobe Blues’ American twist on Mexican favorites has helped them rank as one of the “best bars in Staten Island” by locals, which is really saying something in NYC’s most residential borough.
63 Lafayette Ave., Staten Island; adobeblues.com
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