Luke’s Bar & Grill
1394 Third Ave., near 80th St.
Families come to this friendly, neighborhoody joint to eat
inexpensive pub grub indoors and out. Two large television
sets provide entertainment for the kids while you dine at
leisure on the likes of Cobb salad, roast chicken, or super-juicy
burgers. Come on the early side, though, before the singles-oriented
bar set arrives. No credit cards. (I)
170 Thompson St., near Houston St.
Weekend lunches at this Roman trattoria from the talented
Batali and Bastianich team are jammed with kids eating gourmet
helpings of buttered spaghetti. The down-home front room is
boisterous and perfect for large families, while the quieter
back room is a place to teach your kids how to eat pasta with
Ma Ma Buddha
578 Hudson St., at W. 11th St.
When your little ones are tired of playing in next-door Bleecker
Playground, stash their strollers, scooters, and cycles in
the corner at Ma Ma Buddha, where super-friendly waitresses
will attend to their every food need. The kitchen can make
just about anything Chinese that a kid could want. (I)
2672 Broadway, near 102nd St.
Every day is Cinco de Mayo at the colorful uptown branch of
Mama Mexico, where wandering mariachis and busy wait staff
create a festive and cacophonous setting. No one will hassle
you about your noisy kids, so sip oversize margaritas to your
heart’s content. There’s no children’s menu,
but chicken, rice, and taco choices will please even the fussiest
1633 Broadway, at 51st St.
Transport your little ones to the Red Planet at this intergalactic
Times Square favorite. The food—salmon, ribs, and calamari
for adults, plus typical kid fare (hamburgers and chicken
fingers)—is served by waitresses who frequently converse
with aliens. There are dancing Martians, an arcade, and a
gift shop as well. (M)
64 Charles St., at W. 4th St.
Head to this tiny Villager for authentic Maine lobster rolls
and pan-roasted brook trout. The fried clam roll and Canadian
steamers are good bets as well. Portions are sized for a shipload.
110 Madison Ave., near 30th St.
Despite the distorted geography lesson your kids will get
from the kooky map on the wall of this charming lower Madison
café, you’ll certainly feel like you’re somewhere
in Europe as you sample cuisine with Mediterranean and French
influences. The staff is incredibly sweet and will guide your
young ones toward dishes like garlic shrimp or mussels while
you select the more sophisticated Dover sole or halibut. (M)
102 Fifth Ave., near 15th St.
Go on the weekend for a Southwestern brunch in a festive room
where kids enjoy toned-down versions of star chef Bobby Flay’s
chicken-and-sweet-potato hash and scrambled eggs. The din
is so loud that you won’t have to wonder whether your
noisy kids are bothering fellow diners. The cactus-pear margaritas
and cornbread are excellent. (M–E)
Mumtaz Indian Restaurant
1493 Third Ave., at 84th St.
Avoid the neighboring kid magnets of McDonald’s and
Krispy Kreme, and encourage your brood to enter this colorful,
almost mystical red room, where sitar music quietly accompanies
delicious north Indian food served at an unhurried pace. Skip
the searing beef vindaloo or lamb masala and opt for “cooler”
dishes like chicken biryani, vegetable samosas, and keema
paratha (Indian bread stuffed with minced meat). (I)