23 Family-Friendly Restaurants in NYC in 2024

Published on June 19, 2024 | 0 Comments
Family enjoying a dinner together

Finding the perfect spot to dine with your loved ones can be challenging, but family-friendly restaurants in NYC offer a wide variety of options catering to kids and adults. Are you looking for a place that combines great food and a fun atmosphere? Or are you searching for a restaurant where the whole family can enjoy a meal without any fuss? The vibrant culinary scene in New York City has something for everyone, making it easy to find a spot that meets your needs.

From kid-friendly restaurants around NYC to eateries that cater to large gatherings, The Big Apple boasts numerous family-friendly restaurants with NYC chefs that will ensure a pleasant dining experience for all ages. Whether you're craving classic American fare, international cuisine or delightful desserts, these fun restaurants in NYC provide eclectic menus, welcoming atmospheres and convenient amenities.

 

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Discover the Most Family-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

Exploring food tours in NYC can be an exciting way for families to uncover the city's best culinary hidden gems while immersing themselves in local history. These tours often highlight the best family-friendly restaurants in NYC, offering a delightful mix of tastings and educational tidbits about the neighborhoods you visit. Food tours provide an enjoyable and engaging experience for both kids and adults, making them a fantastic way to bond over delicious meals at family-friendly restaurants in NYC and shared adventures.

Alternatively, if you fancy a night in but need ideas to please even the fussiest appetites, why not take a cooking class in NYC? Led by expert chefs, you'll learn everything you need to wow your entire clan.

The 23 Top Family-Friendly Restaurants in NYC

1. Serendipity 3

A legendary dessert destination, Serendipity 3 is one of the best family-friendly restaurants in NYC, known for its whimsical atmosphere and indulgent treats. Founded in 1954, this fun NYC restaurant has enchanted visitors with its creative menu and nostalgic charm. 

The Vibe

Serendipity 3 is magical and eclectic, with a vintage décor that transports you to a different era. The bustling ambiance, filled with laughter and the clinking of dessert spoons, makes it a perfect spot for families and kids.

What to Order

The must-try item is the world-famous Frrrozen hot chocolate, a rich and delightful treat that’s both a drink and a dessert. Don’t miss out on the extravagant sundaes, which this family-friendly restaurant in NYC designed to make you feel like a child again.

Serendipity 3 | 225 E. 60th St., New York, NY 10022 | $$ 

Indulge ina frozen chocolate at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC
via Serendipity 3

2. Alice’s Tea Cup

Founded in 2001 by sisters Haley and Lauren Fox, Alice's Tea Cup is New York City's most magical tea house, inspired by the world of "Alice in Wonderland" and perfect for those seeking family-friendly restaurants in NYC. 

The Vibe

Alice's Tea Cup exudes a playful atmosphere with its colorful walls adorned with butterfly wings and pastel tea kettles. Young visitors can don fairy wings, adding to its reputation as a top kid-friendly restaurant in NYC.

What to Order

Start with the famous scones, served with clotted cream and jam. The Alice’s Blend tea is also a must-try. For something more substantial, the tea sandwiches, particularly the lox sandwich, are highly recommended. 

Alice’s Tea Cup | Multiple Locations | $$ 

3. Dinosaur BBQ

A celebrated barbeque joint, Dinosaur BBQ is known for its fresh, homemade, high-quality Southern fare. Established in 1988 in Syracuse by John Stage, this family-friendly restaurant in NYC has garnered national acclaim, having been featured on the Food Network and "Good Morning America."

The Vibe

Dinosaur BBQ is casual and lively, with rustic wooden walls, mason jars and red barstools creating a warm atmosphere. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC is a perfect spot for families to enjoy a relaxed meal together.

What to Order

Don’t miss out on the spice-rubbed, pit-smoked and grill-finished chicken wings. For a starter, the Creole deviled eggs are a hit. 

Dinosaur BBQ | Multiple Locations | $$

Barbecue chicken wings served with celery
via Dinosaur BBQ

4. Cowgirl

A staple in the West Village since 1989, Cowgirl brings Southwestern comfort food and Texas-friendly service to the village. This bar and family-friendly restaurant in NYC has become a beloved community spot, blending the wild-west spirit with the creative energy of the city. 

The Vibe

The vibe at Cowgirl is playful and kitschy, with colorful hanging lanterns and a quirky chandelier.

What to Order

The menu in this family-friendly restaurant in NYC is packed with Southwestern delights. The chicken-fried chicken is a standout, featuring a boneless breast fried to perfection and topped with cream gravy. The Frito pie is another must-try, with a bag of Fritos smothered in chili, cheddar, onions, sour cream and jalapeños.

Cowgirl | 519 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014 | $$ 

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5. Harlem Shake

Drawing inspiration from Harlem’s rich history and vibrant culture, Harlem Shake is a retro-style eatery that offers a nostalgic dining experience with a modern twist. It's a favorite among locals, celebrities and tourists looking for top family-friendly restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

Harlem Shake is lively and welcoming, with an old-school interior that pays homage to Harlem’s cultural heritage. The walls are adorned with vintage photos and celebrity autographs, creating a fun and nostalgic atmosphere. 

What to Order

At this family-friendly restaurant in NYC, you can’t miss the signature burgers made with custom-blend Pat LaFrieda patties, or the delicious milkshakes featuring Blue Marble ice cream.

Harlem Shake | Multiple Locations | $ 

Try the burger and fries at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC
via Harlem Shake

6. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Housed in a 1920s apothecary store, Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain offers a delightful step back in time. Opened in 2010 by a sibling duo, this charming family-friendly restaurant in NYC brings back the classic soda fountain experience with a modern twist. 

The Vibe

Brooklyn Farmacy is nostalgic and lively, with its old-school décor, twirling red stools and original architectural details like tin ceilings and penny tile floors. The revival of this old pharmacy into a thriving soda fountain was even featured on Discovery Channel’s "Construction Intervention," highlighting this family-friendly restaurant in NYC’s unique transformation.

What to Order

The stars of the menu are the famous ice cream sundaes and floats, especially the classic egg cream. Don’t forget to top off your visit with a slice of pie, served with a generous scoop of ice cream.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain | 513 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY 11231 | $$ 

7. Good Enough to Eat

An Upper West Side institution, Good Enough to Eat has been serving hearty American comfort food since 1981. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC is popular for its extensive breakfast options, including everything from Austin-style migas to eggs Florentine.

The Vibe

This family-friendly restaurant in NYC features large windows that flood the space with natural light. The décor includes hanging plants, vines and strings of Greek flags.

What to Order

Don’t miss the bacon waffle, filled with pieces of double-smoked bacon and served with fresh fruit. The avocado and cheese sandwich option is also a favorite.

Good Enough to Eat | 520 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10024 | $$

Avocado and cheese sandwich served on a plate
via Good Enough to Eat

8. Bubby’s

A beloved Tribeca institution for over 30 years, Bubby’s is renowned for its homemade comfort foods like pancakes, pies and biscuits. Founded by Chef Ron Silver on Thanksgiving Day 1990, Bubby’s started as a small pie shop and has grown into a celebrated family-friendly restaurant in NYC.

The Vibe

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with blue ceilings, exposed air vents and plenty of table seating perfect for families. 

What to Order

Families can indulge in the famous James Beard pancakes or the hearty hot chicken sandwich. Kids have their own menu with favorites like mac and cheese, making Bubby’s a unique top pick for kid-friendly restaurants around NYC. 

Bubby’s | 120 Hudson St., New York, NY 10013 | $$

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9. Café Spaghetti

Nestled in the heart of Carroll Gardens, Café Spaghetti is Chef Sal Lamboglia’s tribute to classic neighborhood Italian dining. Formerly of Bar Primi, Lamboglia brings his passion for Italian-American cuisine to this cozy family-friendly restaurant in NYC.

The Vibe

With a charming interior featuring blue accent walls and exposed brick, Café Spaghetti exudes a warm, homey feel. The large, colorful backyard with a baby blue Vespa and string lights at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC creates a vibrant yet relaxed setting.

What to Order

Kids and adults alike will love the cheesy cacio e pepe rice balls and the famous spaghetti pomodoro, sprinkled with Parmesan and basil. 

Café Spaghetti | 126 Union St., Brooklyn, NY 11231 | $$$ 

Enjoy some spaghetti pomodoro at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC
via Café Spaghetti

10. Action Burger

Located in Brooklyn, Action Burger is a hidden gem among the family-friendly restaurants in NYC. Owned by Vlane Carter, a multi-talented author and creator of the BIO-Sapien series, the restaurant brings a unique twist to the dining experience with its comic book and gaming theme.

The Vibe

The whimsical interior is adorned with vintage arcade games, comic book posters and newspaper clippings celebrating gaming culture. The walk-up counter allows you to choose between "Hero" (healthy) and "Villain" (not-so-healthy) foods. 

What to Order

Here you can find some of the best NYC burgers like the Toragon Burger — a monstrous creation with two beef patties, crispy chicken, three types of cheese, spicy guacamole and bacon.

Action Burger | 292 Graham Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 | $ 

11. Sweet Chick

Founded in 2013 in Williamsburg, Sweet Chick has quickly become a go-to family-friendly restaurant in NYC for families seeking Southern-inspired comfort food, namely chicken and waffles. 

The Vibe

This family-friendly restaurant in NYC features a rustic interior with exposed brick, beams and air vents. It's a bustling spot that manages to be both trendy and family-friendly, perfect for a relaxed meal with the kids.

What to Order

The signature dish here is the fried chicken and waffles, available in classic style or with a twist like barbeque sauce or soy honey garlic. Other popular choices include shrimp and grits, grilled sandwiches and buckets of chicken.

Sweet Chick | Multiple Locations | $$ 

Fried chicken and waffles served on a plate
via Sweet Chick

12. Patsy’s Pizzeria

Founded by Pasquale Lancieri in 1933, Patsy’s Pizzeria is a cornerstone of New York's pizza history. With its original Harlem location, this family-friendly restaurant in NYC has expanded its coal-oven empire to serve classic Sicilian pies throughout the city.

The Vibe

This family-friendly restaurant in NYC offers a relaxed feel with dimly lit takeout storefronts and cozy red-sauce dining rooms. The historic décor, including the ancient oven and nostalgic photos, adds to the charm.

What to Order

With some of the best pizza in NYC, a must-try is the coal-oven pizza. With the option to build your pizza, they're available by the slice or as whole pies. Don't miss out on the family-style salad, perfect for sharing at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC.

Patsy’s Pizzeria | Multiple Locations | $$ 

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13. S’MAC

Short for Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese, S’MAC is a beloved eatery in Manhattan's East Village that has been serving gourmet mac and cheese since 2006. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC offers a diverse menu of customizable mac and cheese varieties that can be made gluten-free or vegan, catering to all of your family’s dietary preferences.

The Vibe

The interior features red plastic school chairs and yellow vinyl stools that match the yellow accent wall and exposed brick. The cozy and casual atmosphere of S'MAC is just what you want from a family-friendly restaurant in NYC. 

What to Order

Popular choices include the Spanish-inspired La Mancha with Manchego cheese and the flavorful Buffalo chicken mac, topped with cheddar, American cheese and Buffalo wing sauce.

S’MAC | 197 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003 | $$

Savor some Buffalo chicken mac at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC
via S’MAC

14. Friedman’s

Named after economist Milton Friedman, Friedman’s was founded with a commitment to gluten-free dining, inspired by one of the founders' diagnosis of celiac disease. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC has become a safe haven for gluten-free families.

The Vibe

The atmosphere is clean and sophisticated, with large mirrors enhancing the spacious feel. 

What to Order

The Nova Benny, featuring poached eggs, potato latke, smoked salmon and hollandaise, is a must-try. For a sweet treat, the lemon ricotta pancakes topped with whipped cream, lemon zest, seasonal berries and Vermont maple syrup are a crowd favorite on NYC's family-friendly restaurant scene.

Friedman’s | Multiple Locations | $$

15. Parm

Since its original opening in Little Italy in 2011, Parm has become iconic as a family-friendly restaurant in NYC for its takes on Italian-American soul food. Founded by Michelin-starred Chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, along with restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick, Parm aims to perfect classic dishes inspired by their childhoods.

The Vibe

This family-friendly restaurant in NYC features a casual, retro atmosphere with vinyl booths and tile floors, reminiscent of a classic diner. It’s a great spot offering an environment where parents can take a breather while kids enjoy customizable options.

What to Order

Must-try dishes include the famed chicken Parm, featuring a golden-brown chicken breast with homemade mozzarella and sauce, or the rigatoni carbone, served in a world-famous spicy pink vodka sauce. 

Parm | Multiple Locations | $$

Chicken parm topped with melted cheese
via Parm

16. Chocobar Cortés

Known for its rich and delicious hot chocolates, Chocobar Cortés is a delightful outpost of a much-loved Puerto Rican restaurant, where chocolate is the star. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC has been captivating patrons since 1929.

The Vibe

With its retro feel featuring vinyl stools around the bar, checker tile floors and yellow awnings, Chocobar Cortés provides a charming and lively atmosphere perfect for families. 

What to Order

Don't miss the grilled cheese on brioche with chocolate butter, a favorite at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC. And, of course, be sure to try the nine varieties of hot chocolate and the churros con chocolate.

Chocobar Cortés | Multiple Locations | $$

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17. Brooklyn Crab

Located in Red Hook, Brooklyn Crab brings the charm of a Maryland crab shack to New York City. The restaurant provides stunning views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, making it a favorite among family-friendly restaurants in NYC, especially in warmer weather.

The Vibe

Large outdoor areas are filled with picnic tables, faux palm trees and colorful bar seating. The seasonal backyard at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC is always a hit, featuring an eight-hole miniature golf course, bean bag toss and a sandbox, ensuring kids are entertained while parents relax.

What to Order

Try the signature Brooklyn Crab Royale for two featuring Maine lobster, king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab and shrimp, served with corn, potatoes and coleslaw.

Brooklyn Crab | 24 Reed St., Brooklyn, NY 11231 | $$ 

Seafood lovers will enjoy the Brooklyn Cran Royal at this family-friendly restaurant in NYCe
via Brooklyn Crab

18. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Located in the heart of Manhattan's Theater District, Ellen's Stardust Diner is a retro 1950s-themed family-friendly restaurant in NYC renowned for its singing waitstaff. 

The Vibe

This family-friendly restaurant in NYC features memorabilia from the 1950s, including an indoor train and a drive-in theater screen. It’s lively and bustling, with wait staff dressed in retro outfits like poodle skirts and bowling shirts. 

What to Order

Kids will love the classic American menu featuring favorites like chicken nuggets, hot dogs and mac and cheese. Don’t miss the Yankee Doodle burger topped with mac and cheese or the grilled cheese with tomato and bacon. 

Ellen’s Stardust Diner | 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 | $$

19. Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been a cherished family-owned establishment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Passed down from father to son, this family-friendly restaurant in NYC has maintained its original recipes, becoming one of the most renowned destinations for handmade doughnuts.

The Vibe

This charmingly old-fashioned bakery exudes simplicity and nostalgia. With a cozy interior featuring counter seating, baskets of freshly baked or fried doughnuts are on display behind the counter.

What to Order

The apple crumb is a standout favorite. Other must-try options include the honey dip, blueberry buttermilk and red velvet donuts. With over 20 varieties of the best donuts in NYC baked daily, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop | 727 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222 | $

Indulge in a sweet apple crumb at this family-friendly restaurant in NYC
via Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop

20. Chez Nick

Created by a team of chefs who have honed their skills at some of New York City's top fine dining establishments, the goal of Chez Nick was to bring Michelin-starred techniques to a relaxed, family-friendly restaurant in NYC. 

The Vibe

The atmosphere is minimalist and clean, yet warm and accessible. It’s a welcoming spot for those seeking family-friendly restaurants in NYC, with an unfussy, laid-back environment that encourages frequent visits.

What to Order

Kids will enjoy the spaghettoni with meatballs and Parmesan fries, while adults can indulge in dishes like the Buffalo chicken sandwich, served with pickles, Buffalo sauce and fries.

Chez Nick | 1737 York Ave., New York, NY 10128 | $$$

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21. Pig Beach BBW

Founded by NYC restaurateur Rob Shawger and award-winning pitmasters Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride, Pig Beach BBQ offers a unique, chef-driven barbeque experience at multiple family-friendly restaurants in NYC.

The Vibe

Pig Beach in Queens features a huge outdoor cobblestone courtyard with picnic tables, perfect for a meal at a family-friendly restaurant in NYC.

What to Order

Must-try dishes include Chef Jeff's brisket sandwich with pickles, crispy onions and World Champion sauce, and the Greek-seasoned smoked lamb shoulder with NYC white sauce and grilled pita.

Pig Beach | 35-37 36th St., Queens, NY 11106 | $$ 

Brisket sandwich served with pickles
via Pig Beach

22. Gertie

This vibrant corner café in Brooklyn serves modern Jewish dishes and delicious baked goods. Gertie is a favorite family-friendly restaurant in NYC known for its welcoming atmosphere and menu that punches above its weight.

The Vibe

The café is bright and cheerful, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large, colorful mural that adds to the lively ambiance.

What to Order

Try the chicken schnitzel on a challah bun, a standout favorite. Another great option is the whitefish melt, served open-faced on a sesame bagel with house-smoked whitefish salad, cheddar and pickled onions.  

Gertie | 357 Grand St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 | $$ 

23. Barking Dog

Not just a family-friendly restaurant in NYC, Barking Dog is also dog-friendly! Founded nearly 30 years ago, Barking Dog has become a favorite spot for families and their furry companions.

The Vibe

The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, with a vibrant mural featuring an illustrated collage of dogs. This family-friendly restaurant in NYC has one of the most dog-friendly patios in the area, where your pup can enjoy treats as you dine.

What to Order

Kids will love the mini burgers and chicken nuggets, while adults can indulge in the famous apple cider-braised pork served with mashed sweet potato and sautéed spinach.

Barking Dog | Multiple Locations | $$

apple cider-braised pork served with sweet potato
via Barking Dog

Exploring the best family-friendly restaurants in NYC is a delightful way to experience the city's diverse culinary scene while ensuring everyone, from the youngest food critics to the most discerning adults, has a memorable dining experience. From classic American fare to gourmet mac and cheese, these restaurants offer something special for every family outing.

Feel confident seeking a cozy spot for a weekend brunch or a vibrant eatery for an evening meal. Not only do these family-friendly restaurants in NYC promise great food; each establishment also offers an inviting atmosphere that caters to all tastes and ages. What more could you and your family ask for?

For even more ways to explore NYC and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.