Best-of Guides New York

Best Restaurants to Take the Kids

5 Restaurants
This may sound counterintuitive but one of the most pleasant experiences you can have as a parent is dining out with your children—if you pick the right spot. We’re not talking about restaurants that serve coloring books with their chicken fingers or places where they offer nine varieties of grilled cheese. These are restaurants where the children can expand their palates (but remain within their comfort zone) while the parents can indulge in grown-up conversations and a glass of wine. Located in a former garage parts building in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood, Speedy Romeo serves kid-friendly fare like pizza, burgers, and chicken parmesan, but prepared with foodie parents in mind. For chef and owner Justin Bazdarich, who worked for chef Jean-Georges for over a decade, that means wood-fired pies like the Truffle Shuffle, a soppressata and pepperoni pizza topped with truffle sauce, and The Dangerfield, a rich combination of pork meatballs, béchamel sauce, and ricotta. The food is ambitious, but the casual atmosphere makes it fun for the entire clan. Ivan Ramen, the brainchild of Ivan Orkin, Long Island-born Japanophile who opened his first noodle shops in Tokyo, hits all the right notes when it comes to family dining. Kids will love to slurp down a bowl of noodles swimming in the signature tangy, salty broth. It’s a great opportunity for children to learn to operate chopsticks while parents will appreciate all the big flavor found in dishes like triple pork garlic mazemen and spicy red chile ramen. Mile End, a Jewish deli from Montreal, offers the usual crowd-pleasers like doughy bagels, matzo ball soup, and a high-quality hot dog on a challah roll. But for more adventurous young eaters, there’s poutine, the Québécois dish of French fries, cheese curd, and gravy. Stepping into Al Badawi, a festive Palestinian restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill is like stepping into another land. There are long communal tables filled with Middle Eastern families lingering over large platters of mezze (baba ghanoush, labneh, tabbouleh) and pouring water from large terra-cotta jugs. From the pizza oven there is a steady procession of khubz (flatbreads) which can be eaten plain or topped with various spices, meats, and cheeses like a Middle Eastern pizza. For the grown-ups, there’s lamb shanks with cooked with yogurt and cabbage leaves filled with rice and meat. See the other spots that made the list below.

New York City by The MICHELIN Guide

See the New York City guide

Updated on 16 May 2024
Ivan Ramen
25 Clinton St., 10002 New York
$$ · Japanese

After opening a series of successful ramen shops in Tokyo, Ivan Orkin could not have picked a better location for his NY flagship. Indie rock beats, designer tees, and murals of manga cutouts come together seamlessly at this Clinton Street spot; and from solo stools along the wall to counter seats facing the kitchen, the snug little space has packed in the crowds since opening in 2014.

Inspector notes: "Starters like crispy eggplant with tahini and charred garlic or cold sesame noodles with roasted peppers showcase the chef's preference for flair and flavor."

Mile End
97A Hoyt St., 11217 New York
$ · Deli

Boerum Hill’s most bodacious deli serves up killer smoked meats among other treats whose caloric content rivals a week’s worth of eating. This is Montreal Jewish fare, the stuff comfort food dreams are made of.

Inspector notes: "Think of thin slices of corned beef piled high, topped with kraut and Russian dressing, blanketed in melted Swiss and wedged between toasted pumpernickel."

229 E. 9th St., 10003 New York
$ · Japanese

There are a ton of Japanese restaurants that line this stretch of the East Village, so why Soba-Ya? Why not Soba-Ya, its ultra-dedicated patrons would argue, for the buckwheat soba, as well as the hearty udon on tap here, are consistently off-the-charts good. Co-owner and mini-mogul, Bon Yagi, favors authenticity over flash in his establishments. And here he employs that traditional aesthetic to sweet perfection—along with a graceful, but simply appointed dining space; and quiet, well-timed service.

Inspector notes: "A meal might begin with uni and grated mountain yam, kissed with wasabi and crispy, toasted nori."

Speedy Romeo
376 Classon Ave., 11238 New York
$$ · Pizza

The owner benefited from years at Jean-Georges’ empire, and that intelligence and experience is conveyed through the smart accents and whimsical menu that begins with Italian ingredients. Look to the wood-burning oven for smoky, meaty artichoke halves topped with lemon aïoli, sourdough crumbs, mint and peppery arugula.

Inspector notes: "Take a chance on the non-traditional but utterly fantastic pizza combinations, such as the St. Louis, layering a proper crust with meats, pickled chillies and Midwestern Provel cheese."

Al Badawi
151 Atlantic Ave., 11201 New York
$$ · Middle Eastern

Scale is everything at this bustling Palestinian charmer, which stands out on Atlantic Avenue because of the colorful faux floral display that graces the front entrance. These flowers again make a statement inside, hanging above the kitchen and on the wall. Such vibrancy and boldness also extends to the cooking.

Inspector notes: "Start with all of the dips by ordering the enormous mezze platter, served with thin, unleavened saj bread that arrives hot out of the domed oven by the door."