written by
Alex Velazquez

The 12 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

nyc food restaurants family 7 min read

Let’s face it, kids are picky eaters and macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets just aren’t foods they can live off of. Parents try their best to get their kids to eat their veggies and drink milk to grow up tall and strong, but sometimes kids just aren’t having it.

Getting your kids to eat right is especially hard when you’re out of town or on a family vacation. New York City, for instance, is full of delectable cuisine from all over the world, but kids sometimes just want the best pizza in NYC or they want to visit the best dessert places in NYC. However, with New York City being so diverse in its food offerings, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. So, for those with picky eaters, listen up, NYC does have a bunch of kid-friendly restaurants.

Best Kid Friendly-Restaurants Midtown NYC Locals Recommend

The next time you visit the Big Apple with the family and want to find a memorable place to eat, consider checking out one of these kid-friendly restaurants and dessert places in NYC:

1.) Alice’s Tea Cup | What could be better than a tea party thrown by the Mad Hatter? Alice’s Tea Cup is an adorable little cafe where the whole family can enjoy service that’s uniquely tailored to them to the tune of Alice in Wonderland.

Brunch is the most popular time to come for tasty teas and the menu is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. From scones and pumpkin pancakes to mixed berry crepes and creamy hot chocolate, there’s truly something special for every little tummy!

2.) Pier I Cafe | Pier I Cafe is a seasonal spot located right on the Hudson River. The casual outdoor atmosphere is ideal for a relaxing meal and is spacious enough that even the family dog can tag along.

Be it the scenic river views, dramatic sunsets, open air seating, or delicious menu with favorites like Calamari Fritti, BBQ Short Rib Taco and tons of deliciousness, be prepared for wanting to visit again and again! Your kids will love watching the boats go by and there’s sure to be something for everyone on the menu.

3.) Benihana | When you’re in the mood for something a little more exciting for dinner, you really can’t go wrong with bringing the family to a Benihana’s. Your chef will slice and dice to create dazzling meals right before your eyes. The Asian chain is well known for turning the art of Japanese griddling (teppanyaki) into superb theatrics that will have the whole family trying to catch a flying shrimp with their mouth. Even the pickiest eaters will be entertained as the spectacle unfolds.

4.) Bareburger | Looking for a delicious place to eat after attending the theater? Bareburger has all the goods served in a very festive atmosphere. Not to mention, they’ve got crayons galore for the kids and all their offerings are organic so you and your family can have a fun and guilt-free meal.

5.) Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain | The Brooklyn Farmacy is a rendition of the classic 1950s soda fountains. Here you’ll find traditional short order fare such as grilled cheese toasted to perfection. Of course, the restaurant’s real claim to fame is its ice cream sundaes, floats and pies—which the kids go crazy for and yours will too! Don’t worry, the Farmacy now serves wine too (hint, hint, wink, wink!)

6.) Serendipity 3 | Aside from offering some of the best kid-friendly comfort food like the Ultimate BLT sandwich on challah bread, Serendipity 3 is also known for its selection of “Frrrozen” drinks. The whole family can come down to this whimsical little place to enjoy the (frozen) hot chocolate, strawberry supreme, pink ice, and wonderful selection of pies and other desserts. Sounds like a great place the kiddos will love!

7.) Shake Shack | You can never go wrong with the famous Shake Shack! When in doubt, the Shake Shack never fails to please the palette at any age. Not only can you find this fan favorite in several locations throughout the city, but it has redefined the meaning of grabbing burgers and shakes.

They also offer plenty of healthy food choices including vegan and vegetarian options. Best of all, the atmosphere is pretty loud and bouncy—which is perfect for kids.

8.) Dinosaur Bar-B-Que | While the name absolutely screams “kid-friendly,” you’ll find that the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has an incredibly varied menu for both children and foodies alike.

This place was once a simple concession stand from the 80s that turned into an exciting place to get some of your favorite summer fares like pulled pork, ribs, brisket, mac & cheese, burgers, and other tasty delights. Four-legged friends are also welcomed to dine with the family in the outdoor seating area. They provide water bowls and good smells so Fido will feel right at home.

9.) American Girl Café | If you happen to have children that are into American Girl Dolls, then the American Girl Cafe in Rockefeller Center offers the chance for your little ones to dine with their favorite dolls. Here, a girl is treated like a princess. There’s a chair for her doll, place setting for the doll – even matching bows for your princess and her doll.

The meals are delicious too! Come for the afternoon tea with scones or a perfectly satisfying dinner. Once the meal is over you can explore the American Girl Doll store to find some new outfits or accessories for beloved dolls.

10.) Ellen’s Stardust Diner | This Times Square diner is known for both its burgers and tunes—and by tunes, we mean its singing waitstaff!

While you and your family wait for your meal, the waitstaff (many of them Broadway actors) will entertain you in and out of costume. They even take musical requests and have nightly scheduled performances that the whole family will enjoy. How’s this for food and entertainment in one?

11.) Barking Dog Luncheonette | You got it! As you can easily guess from the name, the Barking Dog Luncheonette is a canine-themed restaurant – and every little kid’s dream!

This luncheonette specializes in burgers, sandwiches, plentiful salads, fried chicken dishes, and unique desserts like the Barking Dog Sundae, Banana Split, and Chocolate Brownie Sundae.

They even have an impressive breakfast menu, making it a great option for any time of the day for a family of dog-lovers along with their four-legged family members. Sold!

12.) Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery | There are two things that parents with kids in tow come to Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery for - and those are the cheesecake and the salty-sour pickles served before the meal.

Whether you come here for the Junior menu (for the kids) or the variety of the famous cheesecakes they offer, you and your family will leave full and satisfied.

More on the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

New York City is jammed pack with incredible restaurants that the whole family—especially children—will enjoy. Best of all, you don’t have to stop at dinner because there are tons of dessert places in NYC that keep people coming back for more.

Of course, there’s plenty more to do than just eat when visiting. There are live theatrical events, museums, parks, and so much more. Plus, there are plenty of things to do outside of NYC that can turn easily turn your day trip into a weekend-long getaway. For more NYC travel tips, visit the Westgate Resorts Travel Blog.

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