This family-run restaurant occupies kids with all kinds of toys they can take to their seats as they wait for their food. A children’s menu (with a flip-side activity sheet) features hot dogs wrapped in pizza dough, fish sticks (fried or grilled) with fries, pasta marinara with one meatball, chicken soup with orzo (a good baby food substitute) and pizza that will please every family member. Kids can make their own pizza (assisted by staff) on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 to 7:30 PM.
280 Watchogue Road
Staten Island NY 10314
Hours: Sunday, 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM; Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM; Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM
Prices: No children's menu item over $4.95
Don’t be fooled by this Indian/Asian fusion restaurant’s opulence: A party with children gets seated within three minutes and treated to complimentary sweet potato fries. There’s even a special mini-thalli (complete meal) available for kids that includes rice, naan, daal and two entrees chosen by the chef -- basically, a crash course in Indian food. They’ll do a three-course meal in 45 minutes upon request, and during warmer months, your family can dine outside on the patios.
480 Lexington Avenue (at 46th St.)
New York, NY 10017
Hours: Lunch, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday; dinner, 5:00 to 10:00 PM Sunday to Thursday, and until 11 PM Friday and Saturday
Prices: $15 for a complete meal for children up to 12, free for children five and under, plus an a la carte milder menu for kids
This restaurant mesmerizes kids with its windowed walls looking out to Times Square (especially the dancing M&M’s at M&M World across the street). A dramatic lighting scheme and high- backed, white upholstered booths lend a retro feel while providing privacy for families as they munch down on neo-classic American fare, with traces of Caribbean and Hawaiian influences. It’s a great alternative to chain fare but offers kid-pleasing meals such as cellantini pasta and three cheeses (aka mac and cheese), burgers, and the bolder chicken and waffles. Parents enjoy entrees such as chicken pot pie with organic vegetables and grilled meatloaf dressed up with Portobello mushroom sauce and onion rings.
1605 Broadway, on the lobby level of the Crowne Plaza
New York, NY 10019
Hours: Lunch, daily from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM; dinner, daily from 4:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Prices: $18 kids' three-course pre-theater menu plus kid-tempting a la carte selections
The Moxie Spot
This Brooklyn restaurant features two floors of play space and an eating area whimsically decorated with found art, Mario Brothers and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired kitschy items. In between bites of their food kids can indulge in storytimes, sing-a-longs, disco dance parties, movie nights, Nintendo Wii nights, arts and crafts, board games, foosball and tons of toys and blocks. Parents will delight in dishes such as grass-fed hanger steak sandwich (with Swiss cheese and red onion tapenade) and in-house roasted Chinese duck with rice. Kids can get everything from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a hot dog and fries.
81 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10 AM to 6:30 PM; Thursday to Sunday, 10 AM through 8:30 PM
Prices: Weekdays, $2.50/child play fee Monday to Friday 10 am to 5:30 PM; kids' combos, $5.45. With the purchase of an adult entrée or dinner special after 5:30 PM, kids get a free kids' combo that includes plain pizza, mac and cheese, or small pasta.
Momofuko, which means "lucky peach," serves up an eclectic mix of Asian-inspired cuisine in an elegantly decorated yet simple space with its floor-to-ceiling windows, blonde paneling and long dining/counter bar. Parents delight in signature dishes such as barbecue pork buns, sliced sea scallops, chocolate chip cake truffles and cold smoked duck breast. Kid favorites include chilled spicy noodles, ramen and Cousin Leroy and Arlo’s soft-serve ice cream.
171 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM to 4 PM; dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 PM to 11:00 PM; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 PM to 2:00 AM. Appetizers as low as $9.00; larger dishes range from $11.00 to $22.00.