8 Kid-Friendly Restaurants With Good Food (Really)

New York City is a mecca for foodies — the cronuts and ramen burgers and artisan cannolis. And, all this food is best enjoyed at a slow and leisurely pace. Until you have a child, that is. Suddenly, there’s a tiny, whiney wrench in your dining plans — someone who just doesn’t understand that lining up for an hour at the hottest brunch spot is the thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.
After many adventures in eating out with a baby, and then a toddler, I present to you the most successful of our dining outings in NYC — a.k.a. the top restaurants in the city where you'll love the food and where bringing a small, messy (and perhaps even, god forbid, tantrum-y) child won’t make you feel like a pariah.
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Photo: Courtesy of Landmarc.
Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
For a good solid brunch and a beautiful view of Central Park, take kids to Landmarc at the Time Warner Center. Park your stroller in the designated area outside and enjoy your omelet and eggs Norwegian along with all the other UWS rugrats. This family fave is popular for a reason: good food and as elegant an environment as you can really get when kids are actually welcome.

Landmarc, 10 Columbus Circle (at W. 60th Street); 212-823-6123.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paul Esposito.
Table 87 Coal-Oven Pizza
Pizza is always the fallback choice when dining with kids. If you’re going to go that route, make it the best pizza in Brooklyn, as Table 87 is often called by the locals. This cozy pizzeria treats its customers like extended family members, welcoming the youngest diners with kind smiles and giant slices of pizza (sold by the pie or by the slice) dripping with house-made mozzarella. They’ll offer to cut up your slice into little bite-size pieces, too. After stuffing yourself with the speciality margherita pizza or a calzone, stop by the nearby Moxie Spot or take a stroll through the newly completed Brooklyn Bridge Park. Just keep walking down Atlantic Avenue to reach the playgrounds at Pier 5 then walk north to the Brooklyn Bridge, if you really want to burn off those calories.

Table 87, 87 Atlantic Avenue (between Henry and Hicks Streets), Brooklyn; 718-797-9300.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sugar and Plumm.
Sugar and Plumm
The “purveyors of yumm” are also purveyors of a brunch that's right out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and the a candy-themed extravaganza brings out the inner child in us all. The UWS mainstay ticks all the boxes on the ultimate kid-friendly dining list: childrens’ menu, high chairs, change table, stroller storage, special cups, and crayons. Just keep the little ones away from the gift shop, unless you want a sugar high with your eggs Benedict or waffles. Insider tip: The wait for a table on weekends is out of control. If you’re with a squirmy child, order takeaway and enjoy it at the communal table in the front area of the café.

Sugar and Plumm, 377 Amsterdam Avenue (between W. 78th and W. 79th Streets); 212-787-8778.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Farmacy.
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
You’ll find one of the best grilled cheeses in New York at this beautifully restored '20s pharmacy in Carroll Gardens. Kids are offered long pretzel sticks to gnaw on at the counter while waiting on their egg creams and malted shakes. Every Thursday at 11:30am, the Farmacy is standing-room only as every baby within walking distance stops by to shake, wiggle, and drool to the musical stylings of The Jitterbug’s Mr Aaron. The Farmacy quirks include a single high chair that may also date back to the '20s. Thankfully, strollers can park at the tables so you can still keep your hands free for that amazing food.

Brooklyn Farmacy, 513 Henry Street (at Grand Street), Brooklyn; 718-522-6260.
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Photo: Courtest of Sarabeth's.
Sarabeth’s Tribeca
There are several Sarabeth’s in Manhattan, but the Tribeca location remains a favorite. It's just the right balance of casual, but elegant dining with a twist of hipness. If you’re talking family-friendly dining, Sarabeth’s does everything right, pleasing the adults with the amazing selection of egg dishes and the kids with the fresh pastries. Make a reservation for easy an in-and-out dining experience. After brunch, walk across the street to the gorgeous Washington Market Playground to run off the carb-induced sugar high or take a scenic stroll along the Hudson River Greenway.

Sarabeth's, 339 Greenwich Street (between Jay and Harrison Streets); 212-966-0421.
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Photo: Courtesy of Balthazar.
The famous French bistro in Soho has a secret that runs deeper than the inner workings of their basement kitchen. Balthazar loves children (even the Cheerio-tossing kind). The friendly staff happily pick up thrown dropped cutlery over and over again and bring out fresh slices of homemade bread for kids to chomp on. Sure, the dining room is squashed to the point of knocking elbows with your neighbor, but you can take wriggly toddlers downstairs to climb on the plush armchairs outside the restrooms and snap a cute pic to Instagram the occasion: “Baby’s First Balthazar!”

Balthazar, 80 Spring Street (between Crosby Street and Broadway); 212-965-1414.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bareburger.
If you’re going to pig out on a burger and fries, you can feel better about yourself dining at Bareburger, thanks to its exclusive use of organic ingredients free of pesticides and hormones. Picky eaters can also rejoice: You can build your burger just the way you like it (bison or ostrich?!) and choose a healthy option for kids from the Cubby Menu, like a quinoa-veggie burger with apple slices. While Bareburger provides tiny diners with crayons and a menu to color, the most fun for the toddler set is the giant bear condiment containers on each table. Roar!

Bareburger, 85 2nd Avenue (at E. 5th Street) and other locations throughout the city; 212-510-8610.
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Photo: Courtesy of Alice's Tea Cup.
Alice’s Tea Cup
The littlest New Yorkers graduate from pretend tea parties to The Wee Tea at Alice’s Tea Cup. For $20 kids can have their very own pint-sized afternoon tea, which includes a small pot of herbal or fruit tea (or any other beverage), one scone, any item from the Menu for the Small and the White Rabbit dark chocolate mousse. The Alice-inspired illustrations on the walls and the fluttering of fairy wings worn by little girls enjoying tiny cakes creates a whimsical atmosphere right out of Wonderland.

Alice's Tea Cup, 102 W. 73rd Street (at Columbus Avenue); 212-799-3006.