99 Bank St., near Greenwich St.
Nadine’s fits in its West Village neighborhood the way
a beret fits on a Frenchman: comfortable, cozy, and warm.
Children strapped into high chairs and booster seats at this
contemporary bistro chow down on macaroni and cheese, penne
pomodoro, and pizza while adults happily indulge in diver
scallops, cedar-plank salmon, and Cajun-style meat loaf with
a fluffy side of mashed potatoes. (I)
1814 Second Ave., at 94th St.
Mama’s manicotti competes with Nick’s much-lauded
pizza at this popular Upper East Side spot. But make no mistake,
it’s the pizza that’s on everyone’s tables.
With the cheesiest mozzarella you’ll find anywhere,
it’s no surprise that it’s been a perennial “best”
since Nick’s original Queens days. A full Italian menu,
1604 Broadway, near 49th St.
A welcome change from Mexican tacos and burritos, this Times
Square spot meanders through Central and South America with
a menu of ceviches, steak or chicken a la parilla, tamales,
and other Latin goodies. Bright tiles and a dramatic ceiling
light that changes colors throughout your meal make for a
party atmosphere. The tres leches cake is better than
any birthday cake your kids have ever had. (M)
Call 212-921-5988 for restaurant locations.
Friendly prices and shareable portions pack these West Side
Chinese noodle shops with hungry families. They’ll put
a rubber band around two chopsticks (with the paper cover
rolled up in between) to help your kids eat with authenticity.
120 W. 55th St., near Sixth Ave.
A grown-up restaurant with grown-up prices, this midtown Sirio
Maccioni– family offshoot entertains with whimsical
circus décor and pampers kids in a way that only an Italian
mama could. Order Shirley Temples and pizzas, or ask the chef
to create simpler versions of the menu’s Tuscan offerings.
Call 212-688-5916 for restaurant locations.
Awe-inspiring thin-crust pizza, great salads, and friendly
service pack ’em in at these family-oriented city pizzerias.
There’s a somehow-pleasant din over which even the most
vociferous baby can’t be heard. (I–M)
Butter & Co.
240 Sullivan St., near W. 3rd St.
There are nearly twenty ways to savor peanut butter at this
kitschy West Village café, where you’ll be transported
back to elementary school with offerings like ants on a log
(raisin-studded peanut butter on celery) or the Elvis (a grilled
peanut-butter sandwich with bananas, honey, and bacon—allegedly
his favorite meal). Crusts optional. (I)
170 E. 81st St., near Third Ave.
At Pearson’s newest outpost, kids and adults can get
as messy as they want with yummy ribs and chicken that they
must eat with they hands. The room will remind you of the
picnic area at a trailer park (if you’ve ever seen one)
and the country music playing in the background is the real
thing. It’s probably the only place on the Upper East
Side where you can find a Lone Star Beer, too. (I-M)
22 Mott St., near Pell St.
83-02 Queens Blvd., at Goldsmith St., Elmhurst
Introduce your little ones to authentic Hong Kong cuisine
served from a dim sum cart. They’ll accommodate just
about any special request, but be sure to ask the hostess:
Most of the servers speak very little English. (I–M)
Pink Tea Cup
42 Grove St., near Bleecker St.
Killer pancakes, a groovy jukebox, and decadent pies make
the sometimes epic wait for a table at this Village soul-food
café worth every minute. The staff is Über-kid-friendly
and your budget will love the lunch specials. (I–M)
227 Mott Street, near Prince St.
81 Washington Street, near Front St., Dumbo, Brooklyn
What kid doesn’t like rice? From this eponymous restaurant,
they can have it any way they want: with Vietnamese lemongrass
chicken salad, baked black beans, carrot or spinach rice balls,
pad Thai–style with rice noodles—or just plain.
Rice offers ten different types of rice and about a dozen
main-course toppings. The Brooklyn branch has a very cool
brick-warehouse setting with an outdoor patio. (I)