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The order counter at Temple Canteen
Temple Canteen is a great place for famiiles.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NYs

A Guide to the Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

Dining out with babies, toddlers, kids, and even tweens can actually be enjoyable

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Temple Canteen is a great place for famiiles.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NYs

Dining out with kids doesn’t have to feel like a chore when a restaurant ticks off all the right boxes: high chairs and booster seats (call ahead for availability), a set of crayons, a menu with a options for picky eaters, and perhaps even space to run around. It’s also a lot more pleasurable when an establishment actually welcomes babies, toddlers, kids, and even tweens. When dining out with children, it’s a chance to not only share a meal but it can be an educational experience as well — it all depends on choosing the right restaurant for diners of all ages.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. Papaye

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196 McClellan St
Bronx, NY 10456
(718) 681-3240
Visit Website

This is the most fully realized of the city’s Ghanaian restaurant, with a double size steam table and a selection of 20 or so dishes per day. A ball of starch based on rice, cornmeal, or pounded white yam — the latter known as fufu — forms the basis of a meal, which can be matched with a gravy, known as a soup, and a choice of fish, chicken, goat, or mutton. The starch by itself is a delight, especially for kids, and can be dressed up multiple ways. A rather elegant dining room is found just beyond the steam table, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts is steps away.

A woman stands behind a steam table with four brown or red stews visible.
Most choices can be visualized on the steam table at Papaye.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

2. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

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700 W 125th St
New York, NY 10027
(212) 694-1777
Visit Website

This sprawling barbecue with plenty of parking in the vicinity serves up some of the city’s better smoked meats, spanning a pan-regional selection of styles instead of just one city or state. Since its founding in 2004, the menu has only gotten longer, adding sliders, banh mi, bowls, po’ boys, cheesesteak sandwiches, grilled salmon, and many other lures for kids and adults. Sides are particularly noteworthy, including good baked beans, great mac and cheese, and Syracuse salt potatoes, the latter a nod to Dinosaur’s upstate New York hometown.

Planks of meat on a seeded bun with grass on the ground below it.
Brisket sandwich at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

3. Harlem Shake

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100 W 124th St
New York, NY 10027
(212) 222-8300
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Done up like a rockin’ 50s diner with lots of chrome, twirling stools, and a turquoise color scheme, Harlem Shake specializes in heavily seared smash burgers, along with dressed fries, chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs. Soft-serve ice cream is a secondary focus, with whipped-cream-topped shakes and root beer floats, and for parents, there are beers and pitchers of mimosas.

Three plates on a black tray.
Harlem classic burger, fries, and Snoop Dog, with cheese and chili.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

4. Alice's Tea Cup

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102 W 73rd St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-3006
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Alice’s Tea Cup, as the name suggests, is a tea parlor that’s fit for a light breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea. It’s a good spot for parties or family meals, with scones, cupcakes, and cookies holding down the baked-goods end, and sandwiches that fall into two categories: for kids there’s toasted cheese and PBJ; while adults might prefer a curried chicken salad or a BLT. Besides good hot cocoa and lemonade, wine is also available.

A walk down storefront with dusky red awning and aquamarine tables in front.
Alice’s is a great place for birthday parties.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

5. Sarabeth's

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40 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019
(212) 826-5959
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Now boasting four Manhattan locations, this local chain and perennial brunch favorite is a solid choice for kids at any time of day. Reservations are taken, so there’s no need to wait with little ones in tow. The American menu has a satisfying if not groundbreaking range of offerings, like the seafood cobb salad or grilled cheese with manchego, gruyere, and cheddar. A bakery at the Chelsea Market location provides teatime scones, cookies, and muffins of exceptional quality to the entire chain, and this 59th Street outpost provides views of Central Park, with a great playground just across the street.

A small individual lattice tart with oozing cherry filling.
Kids will love Sarabeth’s individual Acherry tart.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

6. Haidilao Hotpot Flushing

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138-23 39th Ave
Queens, NY 11354
(917) 231-8888
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Roving food-delivery robots, costumed dancers, and stuffed anthropomorphic tomatoes make up the landscape of this Chinese hot pot in Flushing. Games, snacks, and manicures are provided as you wait in line to enter (the dining rooms are multiple, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long). Bibs partly mitigate the mess, and kids will delight in the morsels of fish, poultry, meat, noodles, dumplings, and vegetables fished from the bubbling pot. Older kids can participate in the cooking, but younger kids should be urged to sit back for this DIY meal.

A stuffed tomato character with a red hat sits opposite me at a booth, with a hot pot meal spread before us
The anthropomorphic tomato keeps you company at Haidilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

7. Pig Beach BBQ Queens

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35-37 36th St
Queens, NY 11106
(718) 362-6111
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Like its predecessor, Pig Beach in Gowanus, this barbecue has been established with families in mind, and is pet friendly, too. For good weather, there’s a vast courtyard with nicely spaced picnic tables, furnishing plenty of room for children and their parents to run around. The menu features doctrinaire smoked meats, in platter and in sandwich form, plus wings, barbecued jackfruit for vegetarians, hot dogs, fried chicken, and more than the usual number of vegetable sides.

A metal sheet pan with a spread of barbecue (including brisket, sausage, burgers, and chicken wings) with sides of mac and cheese and purple coleslaw.
A selection of barbecue and sides at Pig Beach.
Pig Beach

8. Temple Canteen

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09 Holly Ave No 143
Queens, NY 11355
(718) 460-8493
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This sprawling lunchroom in the basement of a HIndu Temple is welcoming to all, featuring the vegetarian food of South India and Sri Lanka. Yes, some of it is spicy, while some of it is bland — kids of any age will delight in the selection. The savory pancake called uttapam and the various vegetable-containing fritters are likely to be highlights, and the dosas, whichever variety you choose, are just plain fun to eat.

A well-browned pancake dotted with vegetables like carrots and peas.
Kids will love uttapams, the savory pancakes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. Cowgirl

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519 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 633-1133
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At this quirky and kitschy West Village stalwart, affordable Southern and Texas fare is the focus. There’s a huge kids’ menu, with smaller portions of dishes on the main menu, including a quesadilla, corn dogs, chicken strips, and Frito pie. Other options include hearty salads, fajitas, and a range of burgers. Cowgirl SeaHorse, a South Street Seaport offshoot with similar fare plus a few seafood additions like oyster po’boy sliders and a whitefish reuben, is also kid-friendly.

A man sits in a white easy chair outside the restaurant. Photo by Robert Siestema

10. John's of Bleecker St.

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278 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 243-1680
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What kid doesn’t love pizza? Or for that matter, what adult? This venerable coal-oven pizzeria, filled with wooden booths and murals of Naples and the Blue Grotto of Capri, has been entertaining families for a century. The pies cook in just a minute or two and are whisked to the table. While you wait, there’s a rudimentary salad dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and the pizza crusts are thin, the tomato sauce plain, and toppings not overly profuse. This place offers some of the best New York style pies in the city.

A dining room with murals on opposite walls and a  round pizza on every table — or two.
The interior of John’s is rollicking and picturesque.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

11. Chez Ma Tante

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Read Review |
90 Calyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-3606
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Many of the places on this list are big and easy to get into, providing space for strollers and toddlers prone to wander. But some families prefer a more intimate, bistro setting, and Greenpoint’s obscurely located Chez Ma Tante provides it. While the restaurant nods to its Canadian influences, in practice that means an international collection of dishes: local oyster service, falafel, steak tartar, and kedgeree with cod. Brunch also screams “comfort food,” with poached egg, ham-and-cheese sandwich, and the luscious pancakes.

A stack of thick pancakes with butter melting on top.
Chez Ma Tante’s famous brunch pancakes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. Katz's Delicatessen

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205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2246
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There’s no better taste of 19th century New York than this 130-year-old non-kosher Jewish deli. The sliced meats (pastrami, corned beef, turkey, tongue, etc.) are superb on a sandwich or in delectable hand-carved heaps. Pickles come free, and a range of sodas, from black cherry to celery, are available. If you don’t want to ferry your order across the giant dining hall, ask to be seated in a section with servers, where all the food is brought to you from multiple stations. Did we mention that the hot dogs are also unforgettable?

Interior of Katz’s empty, with the meat carvers lined up on the right, and rows of empty tables lite by fluorescent lights on the right...
In the early morning, Katz’s is empty.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

13. Bubby's

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120 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-0666
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A Tribeca classic for good reason, Bubby’s serves fancy comfort food, including decadent pancakes, a solid matzo ball soup, and a great burger, plus top-notch pies. Prices are definitely steeper than at a diner, but the sunny space and high-quality ingredients are a step above. Note that kids are warmly welcomed.

14. Nom Wah Tea Parlor

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13 Doyers St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 392-6800
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The full-fledged dim sum experience at sprawling, football field-sized spots like Sunset Park’s Bamboo Garden or Chinatown’s Golden Unicorn is delightfully frenetic. But for the same excellent cuisine in a relatively serene environment, there’s always Nom Wah Tea Parlor. At Chinatown’s oldest restaurant, dim sum is ordered from a menu, and the 1920s decor is a delight. Don’t miss the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, pork buns, rice noodle rolls, and shrimp-and-chive dumplings.

A chef hustles in the foreground as a knot of customers wait in the background on a darkened Doyers Alley.
Nom Wah lies on picturesque Doyers Street.
Gary He/Eater NY

15. Eddie's Sweet Shop

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105-29 Metropolitan Ave #1
Queens, NY 11375
(718) 520-8514
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Opened in 1909 on a busy corner of Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, this antique ice cream parlor looks every year of its age, with twirling stools along a counter, soda pulls, and boxy wooden booths with red leatherette upholstery. Kids will love it and so will their parents and grandparents. The dozens of ice cream flavors are made on site, with a profusion of syrups and toppings ready to be dumped on top.

A tulip glass heaped with ice cream with hot fudge spilling down the sides.
How about a hot fudge sundae at Eddie’s Sweet Shop?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

16. Junior's Restaurant & Bakery

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386 Flatbush Ave Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-5257
Visit Website

This Brooklyn landmark — convenient to the Manhattan Bridge, BQE, and a slew of subways, if you’re coming from another borough — has been around since 1950. It started life as a Jewish deli, but over the years, it extended its menu to better reflect Brooklyn’s population. Besides deli standards of matzo ball soup, latkes, and a diverse range of reubens (one with turkey), it also offers barbecued pork ribs, Philly cheesesteaks, fried calamari, avocado toasts — and all-day breakfasts. Pro tip: Save room for Junior’s famous cheesecake.

A wedge shaped building garishly let, with a small group of people in the pointy vestibule.
Junior’s, open from 7 a.m. in the morning till late into the night.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

17. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

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513 Henry St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 522-6260
Visit Website

There’s tons for kids to ogle when they enter Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, a longtime favorite carved from a former pharmacy that dates to a century ago, featuring milkshakes, sundaes, sandwiches, pastries, and homemade sodas. A display of tin wind-up toys makes this child-friendly place feel like museum, and watching the soda jerks gyrate to work their magic on milkshakes and floats is an education in itself.

A hot dog flops out of the bun on both ends, plus a foamy root been floar.
A root beer float, with the root beer made while you watch, plus a fully dressed footlong, makes a nice kids’ meal.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

18. Bamboo Garden

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4703 6409 8th Avenue, 4703
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 238-1122
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Head to this spacious Sunset Park spot, which got a full facelift in 2017, for a festive Chinese meal. Dim sum is reliably fun-filled and gregarious, with lots of surrounding action and no need to worry about kids being noisy or or long waits for food to arrive. Expect freshly prepared versions of kid-friendly dishes: a plethora of dumplings, taro cakes, and delightfully slippery, shrimp-studded har gow. Bamboo Garden also turns out innovative dishes from time to time, like massive soup dumplings that require a straw to eat. During the evenings, the menu emphasizes pricier seafood.

Bamboo Garden Photo by Robert Sietsema

19. Ayat

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8504 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 831-2585
Visit Website

This comfortable indoor and outdoor space channels a Middle Eastern souk (a bustling outdoor market), and much of the food can be previewed in the glass cases. But the Palestinian home-style specialties like mansaf (lamb shank in yogurt) are served in crockery in family sized portions, with plenty of rice and flatbreads, making for an eat-with-the fingers delight.

A brown crock with flatbread heaped with almond rice, and lamb on top.
One of Ayat’s large-format dishes, perfect with a few vegetarian side dishes for families.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

20. L&B Spumoni Gardens

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2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-1230
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Thick square pizzas, mozzarella-oozing heros, pastas, and, of course, the legendary spumoni can all be ordered and eaten outside in a covered or uncovered setting (there’s an indoor dining room, too), depending on whether it’s raining or not. The food is the essence of southern Italian, bold and red, with plenty of starchiness. For sightseers, a Revolutionary War-era house and cemetery is worth visiting in nearby downtown Gravesend.

The pizza ordering windows
Pizzas, called “sheets,” can be ordered from this window.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

1. Papaye

196 McClellan St, Bronx, NY 10456
A woman stands behind a steam table with four brown or red stews visible.
Most choices can be visualized on the steam table at Papaye.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This is the most fully realized of the city’s Ghanaian restaurant, with a double size steam table and a selection of 20 or so dishes per day. A ball of starch based on rice, cornmeal, or pounded white yam — the latter known as fufu — forms the basis of a meal, which can be matched with a gravy, known as a soup, and a choice of fish, chicken, goat, or mutton. The starch by itself is a delight, especially for kids, and can be dressed up multiple ways. A rather elegant dining room is found just beyond the steam table, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts is steps away.

196 McClellan St
Bronx, NY 10456

2. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

700 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
Planks of meat on a seeded bun with grass on the ground below it.
Brisket sandwich at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This sprawling barbecue with plenty of parking in the vicinity serves up some of the city’s better smoked meats, spanning a pan-regional selection of styles instead of just one city or state. Since its founding in 2004, the menu has only gotten longer, adding sliders, banh mi, bowls, po’ boys, cheesesteak sandwiches, grilled salmon, and many other lures for kids and adults. Sides are particularly noteworthy, including good baked beans, great mac and cheese, and Syracuse salt potatoes, the latter a nod to Dinosaur’s upstate New York hometown.

700 W 125th St
New York, NY 10027

3. Harlem Shake

100 W 124th St, New York, NY 10027
Three plates on a black tray.
Harlem classic burger, fries, and Snoop Dog, with cheese and chili.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Done up like a rockin’ 50s diner with lots of chrome, twirling stools, and a turquoise color scheme, Harlem Shake specializes in heavily seared smash burgers, along with dressed fries, chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs. Soft-serve ice cream is a secondary focus, with whipped-cream-topped shakes and root beer floats, and for parents, there are beers and pitchers of mimosas.

100 W 124th St
New York, NY 10027

4. Alice's Tea Cup

102 W 73rd St, New York, NY 10023
A walk down storefront with dusky red awning and aquamarine tables in front.
Alice’s is a great place for birthday parties.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Alice’s Tea Cup, as the name suggests, is a tea parlor that’s fit for a light breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea. It’s a good spot for parties or family meals, with scones, cupcakes, and cookies holding down the baked-goods end, and sandwiches that fall into two categories: for kids there’s toasted cheese and PBJ; while adults might prefer a curried chicken salad or a BLT. Besides good hot cocoa and lemonade, wine is also available.

102 W 73rd St
New York, NY 10023

5. Sarabeth's

40 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
A small individual lattice tart with oozing cherry filling.
Kids will love Sarabeth’s individual Acherry tart.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Now boasting four Manhattan locations, this local chain and perennial brunch favorite is a solid choice for kids at any time of day. Reservations are taken, so there’s no need to wait with little ones in tow. The American menu has a satisfying if not groundbreaking range of offerings, like the seafood cobb salad or grilled cheese with manchego, gruyere, and cheddar. A bakery at the Chelsea Market location provides teatime scones, cookies, and muffins of exceptional quality to the entire chain, and this 59th Street outpost provides views of Central Park, with a great playground just across the street.

40 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019

6. Haidilao Hotpot Flushing

138-23 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354
A stuffed tomato character with a red hat sits opposite me at a booth, with a hot pot meal spread before us
The anthropomorphic tomato keeps you company at Haidilao.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Roving food-delivery robots, costumed dancers, and stuffed anthropomorphic tomatoes make up the landscape of this Chinese hot pot in Flushing. Games, snacks, and manicures are provided as you wait in line to enter (the dining rooms are multiple, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long). Bibs partly mitigate the mess, and kids will delight in the morsels of fish, poultry, meat, noodles, dumplings, and vegetables fished from the bubbling pot. Older kids can participate in the cooking, but younger kids should be urged to sit back for this DIY meal.

138-23 39th Ave
Queens, NY 11354

7. Pig Beach BBQ Queens

35-37 36th St, Queens, NY 11106
A metal sheet pan with a spread of barbecue (including brisket, sausage, burgers, and chicken wings) with sides of mac and cheese and purple coleslaw.
A selection of barbecue and sides at Pig Beach.
Pig Beach

Like its predecessor, Pig Beach in Gowanus, this barbecue has been established with families in mind, and is pet friendly, too. For good weather, there’s a vast courtyard with nicely spaced picnic tables, furnishing plenty of room for children and their parents to run around. The menu features doctrinaire smoked meats, in platter and in sandwich form, plus wings, barbecued jackfruit for vegetarians, hot dogs, fried chicken, and more than the usual number of vegetable sides.

35-37 36th St
Queens, NY 11106

8. Temple Canteen

09 Holly Ave No 143, Queens, NY 11355
A well-browned pancake dotted with vegetables like carrots and peas.
Kids will love uttapams, the savory pancakes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This sprawling lunchroom in the basement of a HIndu Temple is welcoming to all, featuring the vegetarian food of South India and Sri Lanka. Yes, some of it is spicy, while some of it is bland — kids of any age will delight in the selection. The savory pancake called uttapam and the various vegetable-containing fritters are likely to be highlights, and the dosas, whichever variety you choose, are just plain fun to eat.

09 Holly Ave No 143
Queens, NY 11355

9. Cowgirl

519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
A man sits in a white easy chair outside the restaurant. Photo by Robert Siestema

At this quirky and kitschy West Village stalwart, affordable Southern and Texas fare is the focus. There’s a huge kids’ menu, with smaller portions of dishes on the main menu, including a quesadilla, corn dogs, chicken strips, and Frito pie. Other options include hearty salads, fajitas, and a range of burgers. Cowgirl SeaHorse, a South Street Seaport offshoot with similar fare plus a few seafood additions like oyster po’boy sliders and a whitefish reuben, is also kid-friendly.

519 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014

10. John's of Bleecker St.

278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
A dining room with murals on opposite walls and a  round pizza on every table — or two.
The interior of John’s is rollicking and picturesque.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

What kid doesn’t love pizza? Or for that matter, what adult? This venerable coal-oven pizzeria, filled with wooden booths and murals of Naples and the Blue Grotto of Capri, has been entertaining families for a century. The pies cook in just a minute or two and are whisked to the table. While you wait, there’s a rudimentary salad dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and the pizza crusts are thin, the tomato sauce plain, and toppings not overly profuse. This place offers some of the best New York style pies in the city.

278 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

11. Chez Ma Tante

90 Calyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Read Review |
A stack of thick pancakes with butter melting on top.
Chez Ma Tante’s famous brunch pancakes.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Many of the places on this list are big and easy to get into, providing space for strollers and toddlers prone to wander. But some families prefer a more intimate, bistro setting, and Greenpoint’s obscurely located Chez Ma Tante provides it. While the restaurant nods to its Canadian influences, in practice that means an international collection of dishes: local oyster service, falafel, steak tartar, and kedgeree with cod. Brunch also screams “comfort food,” with poached egg, ham-and-cheese sandwich, and the luscious pancakes.

90 Calyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222

12. Katz's Delicatessen

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Interior of Katz’s empty, with the meat carvers lined up on the right, and rows of empty tables lite by fluorescent lights on the right...
In the early morning, Katz’s is empty.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

There’s no better taste of 19th century New York than this 130-year-old non-kosher Jewish deli. The sliced meats (pastrami, corned beef, turkey, tongue, etc.) are superb on a sandwich or in delectable hand-carved heaps. Pickles come free, and a range of sodas, from black cherry to celery, are available. If you don’t want to ferry your order across the giant dining hall, ask to be seated in a section with servers, where all the food is brought to you from multiple stations. Did we mention that the hot dogs are also unforgettable?

205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

13. Bubby's

120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

A Tribeca classic for good reason, Bubby’s serves fancy comfort food, including decadent pancakes, a solid matzo ball soup, and a great burger, plus top-notch pies. Prices are definitely steeper than at a diner, but the sunny space and high-quality ingredients are a step above. Note that kids are warmly welcomed.

120 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013

14. Nom Wah Tea Parlor

13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
A chef hustles in the foreground as a knot of customers wait in the background on a darkened Doyers Alley.
Nom Wah lies on picturesque Doyers Street.
Gary He/Eater NY

The full-fledged dim sum experience at sprawling, football field-sized spots like Sunset Park’s Bamboo Garden or Chinatown’s Golden Unicorn is delightfully frenetic. But for the same excellent cuisine in a relatively serene environment, there’s always Nom Wah Tea Parlor. At Chinatown’s oldest restaurant, dim sum is ordered from a menu, and the 1920s decor is a delight. Don’t miss the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, pork buns, rice noodle rolls, and shrimp-and-chive dumplings.

13 Doyers St
New York, NY 10013

15. Eddie's Sweet Shop

105-29 Metropolitan Ave #1, Queens, NY 11375
A tulip glass heaped with ice cream with hot fudge spilling down the sides.
How about a hot fudge sundae at Eddie’s Sweet Shop?
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Opened in 1909 on a busy corner of Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, this antique ice cream parlor looks every year of its age, with twirling stools along a counter, soda pulls, and boxy wooden booths with red leatherette upholstery. Kids will love it and so will their parents and grandparents. The dozens of ice cream flavors are made on site, with a profusion of syrups and toppings ready to be dumped on top.

105-29 Metropolitan Ave #1
Queens, NY 11375

Related Maps

16. Junior's Restaurant & Bakery

386 Flatbush Ave Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201
A wedge shaped building garishly let, with a small group of people in the pointy vestibule.
Junior’s, open from 7 a.m. in the morning till late into the night.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Brooklyn landmark — convenient to the Manhattan Bridge, BQE, and a slew of subways, if you’re coming from another borough — has been around since 1950. It started life as a Jewish deli, but over the years, it extended its menu to better reflect Brooklyn’s population. Besides deli standards of matzo ball soup, latkes, and a diverse range of reubens (one with turkey), it also offers barbecued pork ribs, Philly cheesesteaks, fried calamari, avocado toasts — and all-day breakfasts. Pro tip: Save room for Junior’s famous cheesecake.

386 Flatbush Ave Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201

17. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
A hot dog flops out of the bun on both ends, plus a foamy root been floar.
A root beer float, with the root beer made while you watch, plus a fully dressed footlong, makes a nice kids’ meal.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

There’s tons for kids to ogle when they enter Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, a longtime favorite carved from a former pharmacy that dates to a century ago, featuring milkshakes, sundaes, sandwiches, pastries, and homemade sodas. A display of tin wind-up toys makes this child-friendly place feel like museum, and watching the soda jerks gyrate to work their magic on milkshakes and floats is an education in itself.

513 Henry St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

18. Bamboo Garden

4703 6409 8th Avenue, 4703, Brooklyn, NY 11220
Bamboo Garden Photo by Robert Sietsema

Head to this spacious Sunset Park spot, which got a full facelift in 2017, for a festive Chinese meal. Dim sum is reliably fun-filled and gregarious, with lots of surrounding action and no need to worry about kids being noisy or or long waits for food to arrive. Expect freshly prepared versions of kid-friendly dishes: a plethora of dumplings, taro cakes, and delightfully slippery, shrimp-studded har gow. Bamboo Garden also turns out innovative dishes from time to time, like massive soup dumplings that require a straw to eat. During the evenings, the menu emphasizes pricier seafood.

4703 6409 8th Avenue, 4703
Brooklyn, NY 11220

19. Ayat

8504 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
A brown crock with flatbread heaped with almond rice, and lamb on top.
One of Ayat’s large-format dishes, perfect with a few vegetarian side dishes for families.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This comfortable indoor and outdoor space channels a Middle Eastern souk (a bustling outdoor market), and much of the food can be previewed in the glass cases. But the Palestinian home-style specialties like mansaf (lamb shank in yogurt) are served in crockery in family sized portions, with plenty of rice and flatbreads, making for an eat-with-the fingers delight.

8504 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

20. L&B Spumoni Gardens

2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223
The pizza ordering windows
Pizzas, called “sheets,” can be ordered from this window.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thick square pizzas, mozzarella-oozing heros, pastas, and, of course, the legendary spumoni can all be ordered and eaten outside in a covered or uncovered setting (there’s an indoor dining room, too), depending on whether it’s raining or not. The food is the essence of southern Italian, bold and red, with plenty of starchiness. For sightseers, a Revolutionary War-era house and cemetery is worth visiting in nearby downtown Gravesend.

2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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