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Brooklyn Restaurants

Anna Maria Pizzeria
179 Bedford Ave., near N. 8th St., Williamsburg
A welcome, family-oriented find amid the hipsterdom of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods, Anna Maria’s offers basic, no-frills Italian: inexpensive thick-crust pizza, calzones, heroes, and more substantial fare like chicken cutlets and tortellini. Everything is served on disposable plates so the kids can drop, spill, and tip, and you won’t be embarrassed. (I)

The enormous menu at Blue Ribbon Brooklyn will satisfy every kid. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)

Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
280 Fifth Ave., near 1st St., Park Slope
Possibly the most kid-friendly restaurant in all of New York, this Park Slope sibling of Manhattan’s all-night, hard-to-get-into Blue Ribbon trio has a menu that includes just about anything a kid (or an adult) could want, from fried chicken to catfish fingers to impeccably stacked raw seafood towers. (M-E)

19 Old Fulton St., near Front St., Dumbo
This noisy pizzeria was serving exceptional coal-oven pies back when Dumbo was still an elephant and no one made any special trips to this now-trendy neighborhood down by the bridges. A no-reservations, no-delivery policy guarantees long lines spilling onto the sidewalk. (M)

Junior’s Restaurant
386 Flatbush Ave. Extension, at DeKalb Ave., Flatbush
Grand Central Terminal
No doubt you’ve heard of the cheesecake, so thick that you practically need a knife to cut it, but there’s much more to this landmark diner. Sit in an enormous vinyl booth and enjoy old-school service from waiters sporting bow ties and vests. Wash down the huge portions with an old-fashioned egg cream. (I–E)

Kafe Shashlychnaya
414 Brighton Beach Ave., near 4th St., Brighton Beach
You won’t understand the menu, you won’t understand the waitresses, and the Russian pop videos blaring from the TV are like an MTV remake of Doctor Zhivago. But your kids will gobble up the soup with dumplings and shish kebab specialties, as well as the Brighton Beach hospitality. Look for the blue sign with Russian letters. (I)

Monty Q’s
158 Montague St., near Clinton St., Brooklyn Heights
A busy lunch place for the courts, Brooklyn Heights’ Monty Q’s is a popular hangout for the teen set come 3 p.m. Individual ten-inch pizza pies as well as slices, pastas, and salads are the favorites, and in nice weather, there’s a gelato and Italian ice stand outdoors. The room has a bright feel with glass skylights overhead, colorful kites dangling from above, and lots of open space. (I)

Peter Luger Steak House
178 Broadway, near Driggs Ave., Williamsburg
Beyond its reputation for superlative steaks, Luger’s is known for long waits and gruff waiters. But the service is nicer than you might expect at this Williamsburg landmark, and carnivorous kids won’t find a more enjoyable meal anywhere. The shrimp cocktail has the largest shrimp east of the river, and kids will love the chocolate coins that come with the check. (M–VE)

The Deedle Deedle Dee's perform on Kids' Day at Red Hook's Schnäck. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)

122 Union St., near Columbia St., Red Hook
Groovy Schnäck offers a tempting menu of “Schnäckies” (burgers weighing only 1.5 ounces so you can order singles, doubles, triples), eight kinds of hot dogs, Philly cheesesteaks, and junk food drinks like Orange Julius and shakes. And the thin, skin-on frites are among the best that we’ve ever tasted. The room is fun, too: It’s all bright colors, with crayons, boxes of sugar, and other grocery items scattered about. On occasional Kids’ Days, local band the Deedle Deedle Dees performs. (I)

Tea Lounge
350 Seventh Ave., at 10th St., Park Slope
837 Union St., near Seventh Ave., Park Slope
Grandparents, babysitters, and breast-feeding mothers are all comfortable at this Park Slope hangout, where kids are treated like high royalty with an extensive menu of juices, cookies, and toastie sandwiches. Drinks include homemade granitas and hot chocolates, as well as the alcoholic variety. There’s also a very popular children’s singalong at both spots. (I)

Vera Cruz
195 Bedford Ave, near N. 6th St., Williamsburg
A lively bar scene up-front doesn’t prevent the staff at this trendy Williamsburg Mexican spot from being nice to your little ones. Especially lovely is the outside garden with umbrella-festooned tables. Try the elote a la mexicana—corn-on-the-cob with Mexican cheese, lime, and chili powder. (I–M)

From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide