Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants NYC: 12 Must Try in the Big Apple

Museums overflowing with dinosaur skeletons and sparkling gems, plus the allure of a Broadway evening. The Big Apple is a juicy Eden of family-friendly attractions. However, where do you dine once you’ve completed your NYC kid itinerary?

Follow along to discover the 12 best kid-friendly restaurants NYC.

We all know little ones don’t always have the most adventurous palates. Save yourself the struggle of a toddler tantrum. When you make a reservation to eat at any of the top kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.

From charming afternoon tea time on the Upper West Side complete with scones and clotted cream. To mounds of meatballs and spaghetti, breaking bed with your brood no longer has to mean hot dogs and chicken tenders.

Harried parents will appreciate special touches such as stroller storage. While children will love quirky cowboy motifs or crafting their own custom mac and cheese.

Ready to chow down with the kiddies? Read on…

Kid Friendly Restaurants NYC

American Girl Cafe

Whether your little angel is a fan of Kit, Molly, or Samantha, they’ll be tickled pink by a date at the American Girl Cafe. Located at Rockefeller Plaza, this sprawling headquarters of American Girl Magic tops every list of kid-friendly restaurants Midtown NYC.

Let your favorite doll get the full VIP treatments at the American Girl Salon. Or design their own matching apparel at the Create Your Own Design Studio. After an afternoon of shopping, primping, and color-coordinating outfits it’s time to eat!

Lock in your dining or tea time reservation ahead of time and enjoy a rotating menu of kid-approved favorites. Opt for brunch, lunch, or dinner at the American Girl Cafe and sample a triple stack grilled cheese or a yummy French toast topped with warm maple syrup.

Save some room for a sweet treat to share, as you won’t want to skip their chocolate mousse flowerpot featuring a seasonal sugar cookie.

two children holding a dolls and eating their dessert
photo credit: The Florida Mall via Facebook

Alice’s Tea Cup

Fancy a spot of tea? Upgrade your wee one’s backyard tea party with a visit to the whimsically wonderful world of Alice’s Tea Cup. Boasting two NYC locations, you can opt to sample scones, crustless sandwiches, and slices of decadent mocha chocolate chip cake on the Upper West or East Side.

Started by two friends in 2001, who sought to take out the ‘pink up’ aspect of afternoon tea, every inch of Alice’s features cozy charm. Tots will delight in the Alice in Wonderland illustrations, decorations, and complimentary fairy wings.

Rosa Mexicana

Want to spoil your little one with a thoroughly festive supper after a NYC Ballet or Lincoln Square performance? Say ‘hola’ to lots of South of the Border flavor and fun, when you feast on quesadillas, guac, and empanadas at Rosa Mexicana.

Related Post: Things to Do with Kids in NYC: Top 27 Fun Activities

Bursting with vibrant decorations and a lively pink-hued ambiance. Little tots will be delighted by the tableside guacamole presentation and their special ‘amigos’ menu.

Your tiny senor or senorita can opt for a kid-friendly quesadilla, mac and cheese, or burger served with their choice of beverage and a cup of Häagen-Dazs chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

Close up photo of street tacos with lots of white onion
photo credit: Xavier crook via Facebook

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

While the jury may still be out on whether T. Rex was a fan of ribs, we can bet that your brood will be more than satisfied by the bevy of mouthwatering BBQ options available in Harlem. Head west and make your way to Riverside Drive, for a night of pulled pork, prime brisket, and slow-smoked ribs.

Since 2004, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has blessed locals and tourists alike with their welcoming service and vibrant atmosphere. Fully equipped for families thanks to their special kid’s menu and supply of high chairs, Dinosaur is a great option for a post-Times Square visit or afternoon matinee.

Tots can munch away on Honey BBQ glazed wings, grilled cheese, pulled pork sliders, and a variety of sides.

Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain

Sock hops, egg creams, and sundaes, oh my! Take things back to the days of the old-school soda fountains, when you make a beeline for Brooklyn. Escape the bustle of Manhattan and revel in the relaxed pace of Carroll Garden when you treat your family to a wholesome Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain trip.

Related Post: Things to Do with Toddlers in NYC: 17 Fun Activities to Try

Nestled in a historic 1920s apothecary, sugar lovers from all walks of life flock here for a sweet reprieve. Soak in the chic tiled floor and snap that perfect selfie of your towering Sir Twix A Lot Sundae.

Or, experience the thrilling carbonation of an ice cream float with fun flavors such as Betty Boop (Chocolate Soda and Vanilla) or Pink Poodle (Hibiscus and Vanilla).

two children sitting on a pink bench eating ice cream outside of Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain in NYC, New York, USA
photo credit: @nickisebastian and Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain via Facebook


After a windy day of Hudson River Cruises and visits to Lady Liberty, nothing sounds more appealing than a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese goodness. Bring on the comfort carbs when you and your family pay a visit to S’MAC.

This East Village eatery has been slinging ooey gooey noodles and cheese for over 15 years. With a steadfast commitment to fresh, quality, ingredients every mac and cheese here is made in-house. And can be served with either regular, low-carb, multi-grain, or gluten-free elbow macaroni.

Ideal for picky eaters or little ones with allergies, there are endless ways to build your own mac. From Muenster to Swiss, you can switch up your cheeses and add in everything from hot dogs to salsa to slab bacon!

Mac and Cheese purists can opt for the All American or a S’MAC sampler, which can be enjoyed al fresco thanks to their outdoor dining options.

Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery

Avoid hanger-fueled meltdowns post Times Square, when you step inside the cheery confines of Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery. While the original Juniors can be found in Brooklyn, we love the convenience of the Times Square location for families. A landmark NYC restaurant, Junior’s hits the spot no matter the time of day.

Kick off your day of Iron Man selfies or visits to the wax museum with a hearty breakfast of French Toast and bacon. Or swing by for a lavish lunch of potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, and pastrami. Don’t forget to split a rich slice of Strawberry Cheesecake, or pick up a whole pastry to go.

Close up photo of a cheery cheesecake at Juniors in NYC, New York, USA

The Meatball Shop

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs? Munchkins of all ages will be in marinara-drenched heaven at the Meatball Shop. Another prime Big Apple example of how kid-friendly doesn’t need to mean tater tots and apple juice. Parents will be impressed by their eclectic wine list and bespoke cocktails.

While munchkins can customize their own order of meatballs, choosing from classic, chicken, and veggie, and smothering them with their choice of sauce. Satisfy that sweet tooth with one of their crave-able cookie ice cream sandwiches post spaghetti and meatball supper.


With an explosion of groovy colors and timeless nostalgic appeal, both parents and wee babes will be enthralled by this iconic NYC institution. For almost 70 years tourists, actors, and artists alike have congregated at Serendipity3. Savor sweet helpings of their world-famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate while you take in the vibrant surroundings.

Related Post: Best Broadway Shows for Kids – Your In-Depth Guide

Take a stroll around the petite restaurant, and try to reserve a table under the giant clock (it’s Tom Cruise’s favorite spot). Order up a plate of crispy buttermilk chicken tenders. Or debate whether to continue on the savory or sweet train.

Take down a foot-long hotdog covered in cheese or bacon. Or keep it strictly desserts with an Outrageous Banana Split or Unicorn Bliss Sundae.

Close up view of the top of a shake with two straws at Serendipity3 in NYC, New York
photo credti: Serendipity3 via Facebook


The Wild West is calling! Inject some kitsch into your next Manhattan lunch or dinner with a flavor-packed excursion to Cowgirl. For over 30 years Cowgirl has served as a West Village staple. While locals may love this charming watering hole for its warm service and lethally strong margaritas, tiny ones will be bowled over by the cowgirl and western-themed motif.

Take a seat at a cozy wooden table draped in red checkered cloth, and admire the funky portraits of equestrians past. Munch away on a festive appetizer of State Fair Corn Dogs or house-cut sweet potato fries, before diving into a kid-approved quesadilla or Sherry’s Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Wash it all down with a frothy root beer float, or really splurge with their decadent Cowgirl’s Ice Cream baked potato dessert.

Kid-Friendly Rooftop Restaurants NYC

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge

Rooftops and rugrats might not sound like a match made in heaven. But until 3 p.m. kiddies will have full reign of New York City’s largest indoor and outdoor rooftop bar and lounge.

The Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is an urban amusement park and restaurant dotted with positively pink photo ops. Perfect that pose in front of the giant Pink Bunny, or try your hand at the putt-putt.

Snag a coveted brunch reservation and surprise your pink-obsessed pal with a rosy-hued pancake stack complete with hot pink cotton candy, bananas foster, blueberries, and apple compote.

Pink and white wintery decor inside a bar in NYC
Photo Credit: Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge via Facebook

SERRA by Birreria

On the hunt for kid-friendly NYC restaurants with a view plus some house-brewed ales? Luckily you don’t need to sacrifice elegant scenery when you savor a show-stopping meal of Southern Italian cuisine at SERRA by Birreria.

Part of the Eataly family, foodies of all shapes and sizes will be impressed by the lush greenery of this spacious terrazza. Escape the heat and embrace a bit of European countryside ambiance when you pop in for a spritz or a beer flight.

Nourish little ones with crispy arancini and freshly baked bread with Ronnybrook butter before sharing a smattering of homemade pastas.

New York City Hotels for Kids

Before you book your favorite Big Apple kid-friendly restaurant, ensure you have the most sumptuous accommodations to return to. Stay steps from Times Square and Rockefeller Center, or sneak in nap time on the Upper West Side.

From luxurious on-site amenities to epic skyline views, our New York City Hotels offer something for every family. As always, make your reservation stress free, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

Psst.. want to secure the perfect pied-à-terre for your little prince or princess? Check out our full guide to the Best NYC Hotels for Families.

family with two daughters walking in front of brooklyn bridge

From watching Simba ascend the throne on Broadway to surviving the terrifying twists and turns of the Cyclone on Coney Island. Every second of an Empire City adventure will inspire and excite your little ones.

While you may spend days discovering the beauty of Central Park or visiting the Empire State Building, after hours it’s time to eat! Thankfully, you’ll never be too far from a delicious meal in this culinary capital.

Mix up your days of goldfish and juice boxes with finger-licking good BBQ in Harlem. Or embrace Southwestern flavors and flair with Huevos Rancheros and Quesadillas downtown.

Commemorate your NYC sojourn with an epic brownie and hot fudge-covered sundae in Brooklyn. Or make special memories when you try the world-famous Junior’s cheesecake.

No matter if you are hunkering down for a lovely lunch with dolls. Or want to soak in the last of that summer sunshine, there are kid-friendly NYC restaurants for every occasion.

Tell us, What Are Your Favorite NYC Kid-Friendly Restaurants?

Leave a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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