Family Dining in New York City

New York City has something for every appetite. And as a top vacation destination for families, naturally it must offer a variety of family-friendly dining options. If you’re headed to New York city with your family soon and don’t want to visit the same old chain restaurants you have at home, or sacrifice good taste for keeping the kids happy, here are some restaurants to put on your list.

Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those foods loved by kids and parents alike, and Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese (know as S’MAC) in Manhattan’s East Village is bound to thrill all members of the family. Featuring fast-food-style service and a cheerful (and appropriate) orange and yellow color palette, S’MAC’s is all mac and cheese all the time (well, 11-11 weekdays and 11-1 a.m. weekends). Choose from several serving sizes of macaroni and cheese, starting at Nosh, working up to Major Munch and Mongo. Stop by for an early dinner and save 15% on orders on $10 or more during S”MAC’s happy hour Monday through Thursday, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Kids can stick with the basics, like the All-American, a blend of American and Cheddar cheeses, or go for the Cheeseburger Mac, with Cheddar and American cheeses combined with seasoned ground beef. Kids may also dig the “create-your-own” macaroni and cheese, in which they get to pick out two cheeses and three mix-ins, with options ranging from hot dogs to bacon to broccoli. OK, maybe the broccoli would be more up mom and dad’s alley.

The big kids (aka parents) in the group may want to try the Mediterranean, a grown-up mac and cheese of Goat cheese, sauteed spinach, kalamata olives, and roasted garlic, or the Parisienne, featuring creamy Brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary.

If the whole family wants to experiment and have some fun, try the S’MAC sampler, eight of S’MACS most popular varieties server up in a big sizzling skillet. Fun drinks are on hand for the kids, like Jones Soda Co and Fizzy Lizzy soft drinks, as well as hot chocolate. Parents of kids with allergies will be happy to learn a gluten-free macaroni is available.

Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese
345 East 12th Street, NY
Phone: (212) 358-7912


If you’re over in Brooklyn, plan a stop at family favorite Bubby’s DUMBO on the East River, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Exciting views of New York City will keep all members of the family entertained while waiting for your made-from-scratch meal. Situated in a converted warehouse DUMBO (the neighborhood” Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”), Bubby’s is full of light and air, making for a cheerful setting. They’re especially known for their brunches, so stop by for sourdough or banana-walnut pancakes for the kids and the Salmon Florentine (the salmon is smoked on-site) or House Smoked Rainbow Trout and Eggs for those with the grown-up tastes. Don’t forget to save room for homemade pie and ice cream!

1 Main Street in Dumbo
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 222-0666

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

A trip to New York City wouldn’t be complete without pizza, and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria under the Brooklyn Bridge scores high for travelers with kids (and though the little ones may not care, it also ranked number one for pizza in the Zagat guide). Classic thin-crust New York pizza (sold by the pie only, so be sure you can agree on toppings) features homemade mozzarella. The coal oven pies are immensely popular and Grimaldi’s doesn’t take reservations for their dining room, so consider calling ahead for your pizza, and enjoy a picnic at the nearby waterfront park where you can enjoy views of the Brooklyn Bridge. If you have a chance to eat inside, it’s an experience to remember, with red-and-white checked tablecloths and Frank Sinatra on the jukebox. If you only have time for pizza once while on your family trip to New York City, make it Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Note that Grimaldi’s doesn’t take credit cards.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
19 Old Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 858-4300
Take A or C on the subway to High Street.

Alice’s Tea Cup

For a special experience, especially for fans of Alice in Wonderland, take the family to afternoon tea at Alice’s Tea Cup in the Upper West Side, goCityKids’ 2008 Parents’ Picks for Best Family-Friendly Restaurant in New York City. Whimiscal touches like the fairy wings staff wear let you know you’re not in Kansas any more. Walls are decorated with photos of scenes from “Alice in Wonderland” and lines from Lewis Carroll’s famed story. The grown-ups, particularly those with a fondness for tea, will enjoy the extensive selection of teas, including white, green, red, black and herbal varieties. They’ll also like treats on offer like scones and elegant sandwiches such as the Croque Monsieur with grilled gruyere, mayonnaise and whole grain mustard on semolina with golden raisins and fennel. The kids are definitely not forgotten on the menu though, with options like homemade graham crackers, peanut butter or nutella and granny smith apple sandwiches, grilled cheese, and pureed baby food

Alice’s Tea Cup

102 W 73rd St
(between Amsterdam Ave & Columbus Ave)
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 799-3006

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