We love visiting NYC with our kids, and since it’s a short ride from Boston to NYC, we are able to travel there frequently. We’ve been more than a few times, and yet every trip is completely different. You could travel to NYC dozens of times and do different activities on each trip. But it’s not just the activities that are exciting – eating in NYC can also be so much fun. There are loads of kid friendly restaurants in NYC – some with themes, and some just have a great family atmosphere. While you’ll find plenty of fun restaurants in NYC, these are our favorite family-friendly options. If we missed your favorite, leave us a comment!
The Best Kid Friendly Restaurants in NYC
Carmine’s Italian Restaurant
Carmine’s has several locations outside of NYC (including in Atlantis Bahamas), but the original is in NYC on the Upper West Side. We went to the busy one in Times Square, which always seems to have a wait. Make a reservation in advance if you are planning to dine there, otherwise you’ll have a long wait to be seated. We walked right in with a reservation, while walk ins were told that it was a 75 minute wait.
Carmine’s is known for their enormous portions. Everything is served family style, so you’ll definitely want to bring your appetite. We selected two entrees for our family of four and had plenty of food left over. But Carmine’s isn’t just about big portions – the food is absolutely delicious! The lively atmosphere makes it one of the most fun restaurants in NYC – perfect for families.
We cannot go to New York City without having lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Located right outside of Times Square on Broadway, this iconic diner is a place that kids will love. Featuring incredibly talented servers who take turns performing popular and Broadway tunes, this diner is one of the most popular restaurants in New York. While the food isn’t as good as other kid friendly restaurants in NYC, the entertainment makes it a must-visit.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner doesn’t accept reservations, and you’ll line up at the door waiting to get in. I’d recommend going early to miss the longest lines. We’ve also found that Ellen’s tends to get really busy on Broadway matinee days – so try to avoid going on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Sundays.
We learned about Parm NYC from our Exclusive Resorts concierge, and it sounded like the perfect lunch restaurant for us. There are several locations in New York, including one in Battery Park City, right by the One World Observatory. It’s a casual restaurant, featuring absolutely delicious authentic Italian food.
They do have a kids’ menu (including pasta and chicken tenders), but my kids opted to share a large meatball parmesan sub, while I had the chicken parm. We were pretty full after lunch, but they also do have some delicious desserts as well. Parm accepts limited reservations, which you can make online if you choose to. I think it’s a great option after visiting the One World Observatory.
If you love cheesecake (and who doesn’t!?), then you have to include a visit Junior’s Cheesecake during New York City family vacation. There are several locations, including one right in Times Square.
Junior’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a standard diner menu. During our visit, I enjoyed a lunch combination with matzo ball soup and a pastrami sandwich. There is also a kids’ menu for children under the age of 12, which includes options such as chicken fingers, grilled cheese, burgers, and pasta.
For a sweet, whimsical dining experience, check out one of the two locations of Alice’s Tea Cup. This adorable little tea room offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner including an afternoon tea option. But if tea isn’t what you are looking for, there are lots of other delicious treats on the menu, including sandwiches.
They do accept reservations, although one our visit we were able to walk right in. As always, make a reservation in advance if you are visiting during a busy time of year, or if you have plans and need to be seated right away.
It may be officially known as Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, but Black Tap is most famous for those Instagram-ready crazy milkshakes. Once my kids saw those milkshakes on social media, we absolutely had to include a visit to Black Tap on our NYC vacation agenda.
There are three locations in NYC (and one in Las Vegas). We went for an early dinner at the Midtown Manhattan location. Expect to wait in line regardless of when you go, but it’s always a great idea to get in line early. We waited about 30 minutes after arriving at about 5:30pm, and the line was much longer when we left.
Black Tap offers delicious burgers, but you may want to order your milkshakes first. Our server recommended doing that, because it’s easier to take the food to go. We received our food shortly after getting our milkshakes. My kids decided to share a burger, and they loved it. I’d definitely recommend sharing entrees if everyone is ordering milkshakes.
I got the Cake Shake, which is available in limited quantities each day. It includes a funfetti cake slice, and was so delicious. We were offered to-go cups for our shakes, since we weren’t able to finish them, and also brought some of our entrees back to our room.
What is your favorite kid friendly restaurants in NYC? Did we include your favorite?