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Manhattan Restaurants continued
685 Amsterdam Ave., at 93rd St.
315 Amsterdam Ave., at 75th St.
It’s a never-ending fiesta at these colorful home-style Mexican restaurants. There’s a kids’ menu with roast chicken and tacos, frozen margaritas for you, and a staff that truly understands what feeding a family is all about. Come early to avoid the lines. (I–M)

Genki Sushi
9 E. 46th St., near Madison Ave.
250 Vesey St., near West Side Hwy.
Children of all ages will be fascinated as dish after dish of sushi cruises by on a conveyor belt. Pick the ones you like, and pay according to how many plates you’ve selected and the color of the plates. California rolls and edamame are super kid-pleasers at these Manhattan outposts of one of Japan’s largest sushi chains. (M)

Baking Class
Candy Camp at Aix
2398 Broadway, near 88th St.
On the first Saturday of every month, Aix pastry chef Jehangir Mehta teaches kids 4 to 14 how to make molten chocolate cake and fruit tarts, then spoils them with tastings of divine sweets like bittersweet chocolate and guava ($40). If you want privacy, schedule a party for $50 per kid.

780 Lexington Avenue, near 61st St.
The zebras on the red walls at this restaurant have been mesmerizing kids since it opened 59 years ago. The menu includes non-designer Italian items like chicken à la cacciatore, veal Marsala, and manicotti. The pastina in brodo can beat the pants off any chicken soup, with stars added as a bonus. Tables are close together, so Gino is better for older kids, who will feel very grown-up here. Cash only. (E)

Good Enough to Eat
483 Amsterdam Ave., near 83rd St. 212-496-0163 The Upper West Side meets upper Vermont, where a kids’ menu written in crayon features burger bites, chicken fingers, and mac and cheese. They’ll give your little ones books and crayons to keep them busy so you can focus on the exceptional home-baked cakes and pies. (M)

Googie’s Diner
1491 Second Ave., at 78th St.
An Italian diner of sorts, Googie’s serves uptown nannies, moms, and their offspring a wide variety of dineresque goodies. Sunday brunch is especially popular; when the weather is nice, strollers and Times readers vie for space at crowded sidewalk tables. (I–M)

Grilled Cheese NYC
168 Ludlow St., near Stanton St.
Who knew grilled cheese could be so gourmet? The laid-back staff at this small shop patiently waits and supplies complimentary treats (sorbet, chips, or carrots) as customers chew over a dizzying array of grilled-cheese specialties, ranging from “the classic” to meat-and-vegetable combos. Sweet-potato fries and icecream sandwiches earn major points with the kids. (I)

Hard Rock Cafe
221 W. 57th St., near Broadway
The Manhattan location of this chain boasts a pair of white feathered wings worn by Fiona Apple, and the black-and-white leather jacket that covered Michael Jackson in the classic Pepsi ad. Don’t plan on any heart-to-hearts while you munch hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and salads: Both the music and the patrons are pretty raucous. (I–M)

Havana Central
22 E. 17th St., near Broadway 212-414-2298 This Union Square cocina offers kid-pleasing rice and beans as well as Cuban pressed sandwiches and build-your-own paella. Many of the Latin libations (batidas, sangria, mojitos) can be made alcohol-free for the underaged. (I–M)

322 E. 86th St., near First Ave.
An instant Upper East Side hit, this cool spot is a great place to introduce your kids to more sophisticated cuisine. “Small plates” are perfect for trying lamb chops, grilled shrimp, pasta, and even fish, cooked plain or in fabulous preparations if your kids are more daring. Come before eight, especially on Sunday nights, when four kids can easily share the 50-ounce porterhouse carved tableside. (E)

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide