May 30, 2018

{Dining with a Toddler} Kid Friendly Restaurants in NYC

 

The best restaurants to dine with toddlers and children, NYC and Brooklyn.

Dining out with kids can be an intimidating task and in order to enjoyably do so, some key factors go into the entire process.

For one, finding a restaurant that makes you feel comfortable bringing your little one(s). A few weeks ago the three of us went out for brunch to one of my favorite newer restaurants in Brooklyn. I’ve been there for dinner before, but never for brunch and never with Nate. I figured it would be a good option, especially early in the afternoon. Well it turned out to be quite the unpleasant experience. They (the restaurant) made the entire process seem like we were burdening them; from asking for a high chair (which they didn’t have) to trying to simplify an item on the menu so Nate could eat it (they couldn’t accommodate). While I completely understand that some places should be labeled as ‘adults only,’ I left the restaurant feeling turned off and vowing to never return, with or without Nate.

In general, NYC is not the easiest city to dine with kids; it requires some strategic planning. Spaces are small and most restaurants are not geared for families with little kids. My 20-year-old self would have rejoiced in the kid-free atmosphere or would have rolled my eyes at parents trying to impose on my boozy brunch. But these days, things are different and when dining with Nate, we often find ourselves returning to our comfortable favorites.

In an effort to branch out from my go-to’s, especially in the city, I reached out to my NYC mamas to find out their favorite child-friendly spots. Normally, I try and create helpful blog posts for all of you but in this case, I’m selfishly very excited for this list!

These are the places, both in Brooklyn & Manhattan, that were recommended numerous times. I’ve been to a lot of them, in most cases without Nate, so we’re pretty excited to start checking a few more off the list.

If any of you have a recommendation that’s not listed here, please let me know in the comment section and I’ll be sure to edit this list so it’s helpful for everyone!

And as the below photos indicate, aside from picking a comfortable spot, we always come equipped with cars, stickers, snacks (in case food is taking too long), and other odds and ends to keep Nate sitting still & distracted. Our very last resort is a video on the iPhone, which we try not to do unless meltdown mode ensues; we’re certainly not above it. In the end, it’s also about us and if it means that we’ll get a few minutes of adult conversation without hysterics, so be it! 


Manhattan


THE SMITH

Where: East Village, Lincoln Square, Midtown, & Nomad

Lively place for classic American fare & specialty cocktails. It’s also large and noisy, so even if your child has a meltdown, chances are, no one will hear.

ROSEMARY’S

Where: West Village – 18 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

Airy spot with a rooftop farm for seasonal Italian dishes, house-made pastas & notable wines. Because god knows, when dining with kids, wine is a must.

MORANDI NY

Where: West Village – 211 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10014

Rustic, buzzy trattoria from Keith McNally with Italian fare & sidewalk seating.

SARABETH’S

Where: Upper East Side, Central Park South, Park Avenue South, Tribeca, & Upper West Side

Posh chain serving American fare, including brunch & dessert. Some offer dinner & cocktails and always one of the most popular choices for families with kids.

ALMOND

Where: Flat Iron – 12 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Lively bistro serving French comfort food in a rustic setting. Very popular for brunch.

BUBBY’S

Where: Tribeca – 120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013 + High Line – 73 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014

Weekend brunch hot spot serving homestyle American eats with many locally sourced ingredients.

THE DUTCH

Where: SoHo – 131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

Regional American fare, including oysters and much-hyped fried chicken, in a lively, modern space.

TAVERN ON JANE

Where: Greenwich Village – 31 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

This casual spot offers bar snacks, steak dinners & plenty in between, plus varied wines & spirits.

EASTFIELD’S

Where: Upper East Side – 1479 York Ave, New York, NY 10075

Sibling to The East Pole serving oysters, seasonal dishes & cocktails in a smart setting.

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN

Where: All NYC locations here

Classic light fare & organic breads fill out the menu at this rustic-chic bakery/cafe chain.

MÉMÉ

Where: West Village – 581 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 + Hell’s Kitchen – 607 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Mediterranean tapas, Moroccan-style entrees & a full bar served in a cozy, relaxed setting.

SERAFINA

Where: All NYC locations here

Casual, intimate Roman trattoria serving rustic Italian faves, including housemade pasta.

BRUNETTI

Where: West Village – 626 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Neapolitan eatery serving brick-oven pizzas, small plates & wine in a woody, garden-enhanced space.

ROSSOPOMODORO

Where: West Village – 118 Greenwich Ave, New York NY 10011

Cozy spot founded through an ongoing passion for creating Neapolitan cuisine with the freshest and most organic ingredients possible.

LEXINGTON BRASS

Where: Midtown East – 517 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017

Sleek-but-casual bistro offering up hearty New American fare & creative cocktails.

ESTANCIA 460

Where: TriBeca – 460 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Argentinian bistro with Italian influences serves regional wines in rustic whitewashed space.

BLACKBARN

Where: Madison Square Park – 19 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Locally sourced, upscale American cuisine served in a barn-inspired setting with a chef’s table.

TANNER SMITH’S

Where: Midtown West – 204 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Watering hole with a Prohibition theme serving craft cocktails, beer, wine & bar bites.

OTTO

Where: Washington Square Park – 1 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10003

Bustling, gourmet pizzeria & wine bar from Mario Batali with Italian train station decor.

LOCANDA VERDE

Where: Tribeca – 377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

TriBeCa hot spot showcasing rustic Italian cuisine in a lively atmosphere.

BOUCHERIE

Where: West Village & Union Square

Bistro for dry-aged steaks & other French fare, with a bar that’s strong on absinthe.

EATALY

Where: Flatiron & Fidi

Branch of the famed Italian market, offering counters, restaurants & cooking demos.

BAR JOO

Where: Union Square – 35 Union Square W, New York, NY 10003

Clubby Korean gastropub & lounge with a selection of small dishes, 2 bars & a stage for live music.

LANDMARC

Where: Tribeca & Columbus Circle

Upscale yet easygoing, sleek & spacious. This no-reservations eatery serves French & Italian standbys with kid-friendly appeal & choices plus late-night hours for adults.

TUTTO IL GIORNO

Where: Tribeca – 114 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013

Branch of a Hamptons-based Italian restaurant, with a chic design & contemporary dishes from Naples.

BLUE SMOKE

Where: Tribeca & Madison Square Park

Danny Meyer’s spacious barbecue joint matches its signature ribs with deep beer & bourbon lists.

LURE FISHBAR

Where: Nolita – 142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

Upscale fish restaurant famous for its luxury yachtlike interior & hopping bar scene.

EL VEZ

Where: Tribeca – 259 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282

Modern takes on Mexican favorites served in a flashy space with vibrant colors & a lively bar.

GRECA

Where: Tribeca – 452 Washington St, New York, NY 10013

Counter-order spot for daytime Greek dishes & baked goods, with a communal table & loungey seating.

JANE

Where: Soho – 100 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

A casual space sets the scene for American meat & seafood staples, plus a busy weekend brunch.

EL TORO BLANCO

Where: Soho – 257 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Refined Mexican fare like made-to-order guacamole & a long tequila list in a dimly-lit spot.


BROOKLYN


SCOTTADITO OSTERIA TOSCANA

Where: Park Slope – 788A Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Northern Italy touches Brooklyn via this eatery with hearty fare & a rustic, farmhouse-like setting.

KRUPA GROCERY

Where: South Slope – 231 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Seasonal American dishes served in a spiffed-up former newsstand space.

FAUN

Where: Prospect Heights – 606 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Stylish eatery with an Italian-American menu based on local ingredients, plus a leafy back patio.

WESTVILLE

Where: Dumbo – 81 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Fresh produce & locally sourced meats lead the list of ingredients at this popular American spot.

COLONIE

Where: Cobble Hill – 127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

American fare is locally sourced at this sociable wood-accented spot with an open kitchen.

THE FREEHOLD

Where: Williamsburg – 45 S 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Coffee, cocktails & American gastropub fare served in a hip cafe & bar with a grassy outdoor space.

BAR TABAC

Where: Cobble Hill – 128 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

A hip Parisian-style neighborhood bistro popular for late-night bites & brunch. This happens to be one of our favorite restaurants, with or without Nate. Again, loud and noisy, which is always a plus when dining with kids.

BLUE RIBBON BRASSERIE

Where: Park Slope – 280 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Buzzy New American eatery with an expansive menu, oyster bar & late-night weekend hours.

BUTTERMILK CHANNEL

Where: Carroll Gardens – 524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Quaint eatery offering a hearty American comfort-food menu & a popular weekend brunch. If coming with kids on weekends, get there early as it gets very crowded by noon.

LA VARA

Where: Cobble Hill – 268 Clinton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Spanish tapas with Moorish & Jewish influences draw crowds to the stylish storefront restaurant.

LEUCA

Where: Williamsburg – 111 North 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Southern Italian fare from Andrew Carmellini served in a rustic-chic space anchoring a swanky hotel.

GRAZIELLA’S

Where: Clinton Hill – 232 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Pizza from a wood-burning brick oven plus other Italian classics at s family-owned spot.

CAFE MOGADOR

Where: Williamsburg – 133 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Buzzy atmosphere serving traditional Moroccan tagines, couscous & more in comfy yet charming quarters.

EGG

Where: Williamsburg – 109 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Locally sourced Southern breakfasts & lunches draw crowds to this rustic-industrial hangout. Known for their best breakfast: biscuits, grits, country ham, and homemade granola.

PEACHES

Where: Stuyvesant Heights – 393 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233

Modern spin on Southern comfort food plus brunch & a full bar in a historic brownstone neighborhood.

LA VILLA

Where: Numerous locations throughout Brooklyn. 

Easily, one of our most frequented easy, Italian restaurants. We’ve been going to the original location for over a decade and they’ve remained consistently good and consistently comfortable, with or without a child. We always get the penne alla vodka, eggplant sticks and a chicken dish that we all share. They also have great pizza and inexpensive house wine!

SWEET CHICK

Where: Williamsburg – 164 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 + Prospect Heights – 341 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Gourmet chicken & waffles star at this hip, down-home Southern comfort-food resource with cocktails.

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18 comments

  • jOANN

    Lexington Brass is awesome. My daughter, her daughter 9 months old, and I went there for lunch in April. (My first time with a baby.) VERY accommodating! 517 Lexington Avenue. Plus, the food is upscale, nourishing, and just the best!

  • Allie

    All of these restaurants sound delicious! I’ve becer understood restaurants being unhelpful about children – especially the waiter – don’t they want a tip? Regardless, I will be sure to check these out the next time we meet with my cousin and his kids! xAllie
    http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

  • Jhirae Talmadge

    What restaurant could resist that face? Too cute! Great list 😊

    Xo

    Jhirae

    JhiraeTalmadge.com

  • Jacqueline

    Thanks so much for creating a list! Estancia in Tribeca is also very family/ kid friendly.

  • Casey stanhope

    Also a great spot in Manhattan is black barn in Madison sq park! I took my son grey (now 18 months) all the time starting at 4 months! They are stroller friendly (allow u to park the stroller right at the table) and have a phenomenal brunch with live music as well on sundays. The “stroller section” ie young kid friendly area is the front part of the restaurant. Check it out! Can hang in the park after brunch too

  • Marina

    Love this post! I’m always anxious dining out with my 17m old wondering if the restaurant will be able to accommodate him. We recently had some great dining experiences at Scottadito in Park Slope and Tanner Smith in midtown. Both delicious and kid friendly (TS is until around 6 pm and has an awesome boozy brunch). Highly recommend!

  • Donna

    In Manhattan- Otto, Locanda Verde, boucherie, anything at Eataly, Bar Joon, landmarc (either location- kids are treated to cotton candy!), Tutto il Giorno (they have a sun brunch kids program with entertainment)

  • Sharon

    Such a great list for those in the city and those planning to visit the city. I take my 3 year old nephew out often and am always looking for places where he can just be a kid but I can still enjoy the atmosphere, food and drinks.
    http://www.forthewonderer.com

  • Fatou

    I love this look!
    xx
    https://closettostreet.com

  • Bonnie

    Sarabeth on UES and Bubby’s in Tribeca does not have space for strollers. So you must park them outside.
    But was pleasantly surprised when I recently dined at Her name is Han and they were very child friendly. They saw my child was getting fussy and let her play with a toy from the restaurant.

  • Brigitte

    Perfect timing for this post! I’m planning my first trip to the USA with my husband and four year old son Boston & I’ve just booked an Air BnB in Brooklyn. So looking forward to trying some of these kid friendly spots thanks for the tips! xx
    Love from New Zealand
    Brigitte

  • Glory of the Snow

    All of these places sound great! And how cute are these photos! 🙂
    Magda

    https://www.gloryofthesnow.com/

  • Jandrew

    Great post . A great guide , now write one for every city and publish it. Thanks
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://www.jandrewspeaks.com

  • Christie

    Blue Smoke in Manhattan (2 locations) is also amazingly great for kids. Not only is the food delicious, but they have a great kids menu, provide wikki stix to kids, and let the kids decorate their own cookie before putting in the oven for after their meal. I’ve been going with my 20 month old since she was 4 months.

  • Vanessa Rivera

    Thanks for this post! We have a 10 month old daughter and struggle to find good places to eat that’s not a quick bite where we can take April with no fuss (from her or the restaurant!)
    Just booked reservations to The Smith in the east village for Father’s Day 🙂
    Xo, Vanessa

  • Maya

    Some other suggestions:
    Lure in Soho
    El Vez in Battery Park
    Greca in Tribeca
    Jane in Soho
    El Toro Blanco in Soho

    • Brooke

      Jack’s Wife Frieda on Carmine in WV is hands down our fav. We love Doma Na Richy In WV also.

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