Brooklyn and Manhattan dining with toddler

I have a problem. Ever since we had our baby, who’s now a toddler, we narrowed our dining options around the city essentially to

  • pizzerias
  • burger places
  • Asian places- where noises are acceptable and children are expected.
  • and sometimes taquerias

Our toddler behaves quite well in restaurants actually. But he’s still a kid and will very occasionally decide to do kid stuff like banging his utensils on the plate, etc.

There is nothing wrong about eating in the above-listed places. But, I’d love to see if I can eat “European cuisines” or non-hole-in-the-walls more often, where kids are welcome by both the staff and fellow diners. We are in Brooklyn and we usually eat there or in the city.

A list I have gathered so far:

  • Cacio e Pepe
  • Isabella
  • Landmarc
  • Beyoglu
  • Ganso
  • Queen

Are there other good choices that we should think about? Our kid eats everything. Thank you!

Generally the upper west side and tribeca have lots of kid friendly spots- and of course basically anywhere in chinatown. Koreatown spots would work too as long as the kid isn’t tempted by the bbq in the table…
In tribeca (as well as their other location) Bubby’s is just great old fashioned homestyle cooking- generous portions so go hungry. And be sure to get their pie!
Also in tribeca: walker’s, two hands, locanda verde at brunch, and nish nush.

Any of the westville locations are kid friendly, just avoid the tiny original in the w village which is cramped and always crazy busy.

The food halls like city kitchen, gotham market, and similar chelsea market are all good with kids.
Madison square eats is happening now through the end of the month, which is best for a weekend lunch/dinner when it’s nice out to get food at the vendors and then sit across the way in madison sq park itself.

Mommypoppins does comprehensive reviews of how kid friendly places are- but they also include some places with not so great food…

The spring session of Madison Square Eats ended on May 27th. However, Broadway Bites is going on now through July 17th, and has many of the same vendors as MSE.

Blue Smoke is child-friendly. We always go to the 27th St. flagship as it’s just a few blocks from our building. Lots of families during weekend brunch. I’m guessing the same holds true for the Battery Park City location.

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I don’t think any of the places that you have listed would be a problem with a well behaved toddler as long as you are prepared.

Have you been to Ganso on a weekend at lunch time? The place is packed with kids. We took our son to Queen from the before he could walk. They love him there.

Main thing to keep in mind is if the kid gets fussy, one of you picks up the child and heads outside until calm returns. Interrupts your meal but will minimize interruption of the meals of innocent bystanders.

As BKeats stated, Ganso is very kid-friendly. One of the owners has a toddler/young boy and has made his restaurants very welcoming. Pro-tip at Ganso Ramen – get a kid-sized ramen for half the menu price.

100 Montaditos is a good Spanish chain resto with a location on Bleecker St. – as the name suggests, lots of sandwiches and some very good fries/patatas bravas.

When our child was smaller we went to the excellent (and Michelin-starred) La Vara for its take on Sephardic Spanish. Haven’t been in a while but they were very accommodating.

Most BBQ restos are kid friendly (if you can stand the waits) – a current favorite is Hometown BBQ in Red Hook. Hill Country Brooklyn, while just OK, has events for kids (kid concerts, building blocks, face paintings, etc.) on Sunday afternoons.

Threes Brewing has a rotating list of restaurants that take over its kitchen (right now it’s Tortilleria Nixtamal! - ) and is good for brunch or an early dinner.

I’ve seen a lot of kids at Mission Chinese Food when it first opens in the evening, but I’ve yet to go with my kid. However, Mission Cantina can be very good (depending on what restaurant it is this week – man I miss the short-lived Vietnamese breakfasts!)

As Ttrockwood mentioned, any of the “food courts” can work – particularly good is the one in Brookfield Place (nee World Financial Center) which also happens to be near the great playgrounds of Battery Park City.

Oh yes, the brookfield place food court even has a play area for kids IIRC. And the blue ribbon sushi counter there is great. Lots of other options including various spots with wine and beer :slight_smile:

Actually blue ribbon izakaya on the lower east side or the blue ribbon sushi bar and grill at columbus circle would also be good kid friendly spots with adult worthy good food- earlier in the evening would be best, both can get very busy and rather loud later it gets. And bonus they take reservations.

Also Maialino! Can’t believe i forgot to mention it before, love their brunch (which is more lunch-y), and they take reservations. Don’t miss the cacio e pepe eggs at brunch, or the olive oil cake dessert.

Great! We have not been to Ganso yet. But this was recommended to me. The more kids the better- nobody will notice any kids related noises then.

Why UWS? Because there are more families and fewer single people there? Thanks for the suggestions too! I will add them to the list. I hadn’t thought of Locanda Verde and Blue Smoke- but that’s great. We need more of this type of places to be open for brunch/ lunch service. Thanks Ttrockwood!

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Good call on the Broadway Bites. Anything outdoor is perfect for kids. While we are talking about outdoors, are there restaurants with seatings outside that would be appropriate for kids? (versus inside, that is.)

Any subtle pressure from other diners? E.g. looks, etc.? Thanks for the suggestions!

I will also try to summarize the list later on- hopefully it can be of use to other parents of little monsters.

Sorry I didn’t realize madison sq eats was over already!
Although eataly is right there and although a madhouse on weekends if you go before noon it’s managable, and great to get sandwiches or fresh focaccia, pizza, or meats and cheese for a madison sq park picnic.

Cookshop has nice outdoor seating and is kid friendly, also takes reservations for weekend lunch/brunch (otherwise there is a serious wait)

and the Highline food vendors are open now, which is nice to pick up whatever and eat near the water just north of chelsea piers or on a bench on the highline.
Add friedman’s lunch to choices too, any of the locations.