Did you know that some New York restaurants now enforce a ‘no kids’ policy? And not just the kind where maitre d’s look down their hairy noses in horror at anyone not old enough to pay the tip. Yep, The Big Apple is a tough place to be a kid!
But for every snooty wowser, there’s a restaurant owner who doesn’t just empathise with family dining needs, but goes out of their way to make kids (and parents) food pit-stops one of the highlights of a New York holiday.
Alice’s Tea Shop, Upper West Side
This Alice in Wonderland themed tea shop is for kids made from sugar and spice. If you’re also dragging along the snip, snails and puppy dog tails variety, shut them up with a peek at the cakes and a to promise to visit our suggestion below tomorrow.
It’s a fun place to enjoy an afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches and more – even babies are catered for with homemade baby food available.
As for nearby accommodation, try the Beacon Hotel New York. The units all have kitchenettes, large rooms to fit cribs and roll-away beds, plus a 24-hour coin operated laundry room for inevitable emergencies.
Peanut Butter & Co, Greenwich Village
Only in America could the humble peanut butter sandwich become a franchise! Peanut Butter & Co (pictured) is ideal if you’re on a budget, the kids are fussy eaters or you just want to say, “We ate there!”
The secret is in the many ways they jazz up the everyday nut sanger to create a wondrous selection of dishes all for under 10 dollars.
Amongst more than 20 menu items is “The Elvis”, filled with grilled peanut butter, banana, honey and bacon. And the Pregnant Lady, which comes with peanut butter and pickles. You can also buy their blends of PB to take home.
New York can be an expensive place to stay if you’re not in the know. The Flatotel Hotel New York in midtown Manhattan is a budget option for families that need space. Plus, you get complimentary continental breakfast each day.
Osteria del Circo, Midtown West
This family-run fine dining restaurant (translates to Tavern Of The Circus), brings upscale Tuscan Italian dining to what appears to be the inside of a big top circus tent, complete with sculptures of swimming monkeys, deep red carpets and ceilings hung with trapezes.
Kids love the pizzas, side dishes and desserts such as sorbet. The children’s 3 course menu costs around $30 in this swanky establishment.
Omni Berkshire Place on Madison Avenue was awarded the Family Friendly Award from Where Magazine New York for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Kids get milk and cookies delivered to their room on the first night!
S’Mac Manhattan’s East Village
Macaroni and cheese has never looked so interesting – or delicious – even to the most selective little diner.
At S’Mac, they pan-fry and serve up all sorts of irresistible varieties – from old school All American to mac n cheese mixed with bacon, sausage or buffalo chicken.
Many also include something called vegetables, like the Garden Lite with its parmesan, light cheddar cheese, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli and more.
More adventurous types might like to try The Parisienne with its fancy creamy brie, roasted figs, shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary.
You can also pick your own ingredients, including gluten free and multi-grain macaroni. Or even have this party in your mouth delivered straight to your hotel room.
The luxurious Belvedere Hotel in the theatre district knows what kids like – surfing cable channels, watching movies and using Nintendo.
Ample Hills Creamery, Brooklyn
Caving into ice-cream tantrums doesn’t need to compromise your natural foods philosophy.
At Ample Hills Creamery in trendsetting Brooklyn, you and the kids can sample scoops of 24 delicious and quirky flavours, all made from scratch using fresh eggs and dairy products, and dispensed by staff pedaling a stationary bike.
But what to choose? French toast? Maple bacon? Stout and Pretzels? Or maybe start the day with a Breakfast Trash made with frosted flakes, Froot Loops and Cap’n Crunch!
While the kids wait for their masterpiece, they can browse through ice cream themed books and play with toys.
At the Affinia 50 Hotel of midtown Manhattan crack open your “Fun-for-Family” chest and explore the board games and other cool stuff to use during your stay. Don’t forget to hit up the concierge about kids’ snacks, access to cribs, strollers and high chairs.
Got your own NYC family favorites?
Do you know any other great New York family restaurants? Share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Image by kmf164