Post Overview: Kid-friendly restaurants in NYC
Let’s be honest, as much of foodie paradise New York City might be, most kids couldn’t care less about someones culinary expertise. Regardless of the years of grueling school and travels around the world to perfect a recipe, if the food isn’t shaped like a dinosaur you’re out of luck.
To save you some time (and money) this guide will cover the best restaurants in New York City for families and little kids. You no longer need to put in the hours of homework to impress one of the harshest critics (a mini you, I’m sure).
So without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in New York City
For over 30 years, Carmine’s has been one of the most iconic family restaurants in New York City. The restaurant serves all the typical Italian fared food, from pasta to some of the best tiramisu. But what sets them apart is the portion sizes.
Carmine’s doesn’t play around when it comes to family-style dining, so this is one of those “don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach” situations.
The kid-friendly NYC restaurant has been welcoming visitors and locals alike since 1990. It’s rare to find the place empty. I brought my sisters here on their first trip to the Big Apple and they still reminisce of the meal often, it was that memorable to them!
Address: 200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
#9. Max Brenner
A chocolate shop turned restaurant? Oh I can smell the “best parent” award already!
Max Brenner specializes in chocolate but expanded its Union Square location into a spot families can pop in for a meal. The menu is sizable with a plethora of options like pizzas, pastas and burgers. You can enjoy a meal and finish with something sweet all in the same spot.
Admittedly, the food is mediocre, however; the hot chocolate and chocolate fondue are worth the visit if you’re looking for a fun date spot with your kiddos. For this reason alone, I consider Max Brenner one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.
Further Reading: Need more suggestions? Here are 20 Best Cups of Hot Chocolate in NYC!
Address: 841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
#8. Tin Building
The Tin Building is a newer addition to the city, opening in late 2022. Located in the Financial District, about a 10 minute walk from Wall Street the glorious food hall is an amazing stop for the whole family.
The venue is a collection of shops, seating areas and of course over 15 restaurants all under one roof. Selling everything from flowers to fresh produce this place has it all!
Kids go nuts for the crepe stand and candy store. And parents, you didn’t hear this from me but there is a bar upstairs if maybe you need to sneak off to the restroom for a bit. 😉
Not only is the Tin Building full of great NYC restaurants for families, the proximity to Pier 17 makes it an even better stop since your kiddos will have a chance to burn off some energy. While your littles are running loose you can gawk at the impressive Brooklyn Skyline.
Address: 96 South St, New York, NY 10038
#7. Junior’s Cheesecake
After living in New York City for over a decade, it seems like there are few places you can mention to out of town folks who instantly light up when hearing the name. Junior’s Cheesecake always tends to the trick, and for those who have been — can you blame them?
Easily one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City goes to the flashy, delicious, over-the-top famed cheesecake shop, Junior’s. Located in the bustling heart of Time Square, if you’re brave enough to face the crowds the sticky grins of your kiddos will be rewarding enough (I hope).
Is Junior’s just a tourist trap serving forgettable meals? Sure, but for a kid who considers chicken nuggets a gourmet meal, this is one of the best restaurants in NYC for families!
Further Reading: Is your kid not a fan of cheesecake? Don’t trip chocolate chip, check out 15 Dessert Spots in New York City to Visit with Kids (Worth the Sticky Mess).
Address: 1515 Broadway @, W 45th St, New York, NY 10036
#6. Black Tap Craft Burgers
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer gained popularity largely thanks to the absurd milkshakes they make. I’m talking rich, colorful, loaded milkshakes that you couldn’t even dream of finishing without gaining three cavities.
But like moths to a flame, that amount of sugar has kids rushing to its side, preying on the next victim. If you are looking for a place to celebrate a birthday this is one of the top restaurants in NYC for kids.
Fair warning, the shakes are large and in charge — plan on splitting the thing otherwise good luck getting your little to bed that night!
Address: 45 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
We can’t talk about kid-friendly restaurants in NYC and not mention a pizza joint! You’ll have a hard time finding a list of the best pizza in the city without mentioning Juliana’s.
Located in picturesque DUMBO, Juliana’s is a family-style pizzeria that offers full pies and a few salad, soup or pasta options. Depending on how many mouths you’re feeding, typically two pies is more than enough for a group of four to six people.
While you’re in the area, make sure to swing by Jane’s Carousel on the waterfront for a fun, after dinner activity!
Address: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
#4. Maison Pickle
The first time I visited Maison Pickle the waitress let my husband and I know that the portions are large here because “skinny people are easier to kidnap”. We laughed at what we assumed was a joke and proceeded to order two separate meals because who likes to share their food? Not this gal!
As soon as the plates headed towards the table we realized what a huge mistake we made. The portions were MASSIVE and the waitress was in fact not making a joke. Maison Pickle is one of the best family-friendly restaurants in NYC thanks to the portions alone.
Just a few dishes split amongst the family will be more than filling and get the job done. But it doesn’t just stop at the food — the dessert is equally as gigantic. I recommend ordering the 24-layer slice of cake to finish off your meal, your kids will love you forever for this.
Address: 2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Often referred to as a trip to grandmas house, Bubby’s ranks highly on a list of kid-friendly restaurants in New York City. The homey restaurant has perfected pancakes so much so that both kids and adults can’t get enough.
The menu is chock-full of options for all palates (including three different types of pancakes). And of course, most importantly, adult beverages because making it out the house with kids attached to your hip always deserves a reward.
While Bubby’s is a popular brunch destination, this kid-friendly NYC restaurant also offers a great lunch and dinner menu so no need to rush out the door early in the morning!
Address: 120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
#2. Chelsea Market
It’s true what they say about kids being some of the harshest critics, so in order to avoid any scrutiny might I suggest a food hall? One of the best kid-friendly dining halls in New York City is none other than the popular Chelsea Market.
The market is home to over 35 vendors and shops. Between the restaurants, bakeries and grab & go spots the entire fam can get what they want without ripping each others heads off.
Highlights at the Chelsea Market include:
- Matcha from Chalait (so good)
- Warm donuts from the Doughnuttery (what’s better than a warm donut?)
- Tacos from Los Tacos No. 1
- Spices from Spices and Tease
While you’re in the market, pop in and out of the unique shops with your kiddos and let them burn off some energy. There’s also the neighboring park, Little Island that is worth the short walk.
Fun Fact: The Chelsea Market is housed in the old Nabisco factory building – this building is the birthplace of the Oreo cookie!
Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
#1. Serendipity 3
Some folks will argue that Serendipity is the king of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC and I can’t say I disagree. It feels like the spot was created with kiddos in mind with the entertaining decor and irresistible bites.
But nothing takes the crown like the frozzzen hot chocolate (not a typo!). Your little won’t know what to do with themselves as the frozen mountain of sugar approaches the table.
I can attest from first hand experience, you won’t find a better family-friendly restaurant in New York City for dessert than Serendipity.
Address: 225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
Best Family Restaurants in NYC (Post Summary)
- Serendipity 3
- Chelsea Market
- Maison Pickle
- Black Tap Craft Burgers
- Junior’s Cheesecake
- Tin Building
- Max Brenner
Map of the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC
And that wraps up our post on the best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC. Let us know if you think we missed a spot!