Where to eat in New York with kids. Eating out can be especially tough for families in New York because while there is an endless selection of amazing restaurants, most are small and cramped due to how expensive rent is in the city. Many restaurants won't be able to provide you with a high chair or booster, and if you want some space to stash a stroller? Fuhgeddaboudit! Mother of girls, Carmen Sognonvi from luxury family travel website Top Flight Family, gives suitcases&strollers her city guide to eating out with kids in New York.
Moo Burger, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
This is hands-down my favourite place to get burgers for kids in the whole of New York city. I always order the Nova Scotia: it's a salmon patty topped with smoked salmon, mustard creme fraiche, baby arugula and wilted spinach. But if you want to go traditional, order the All-American.
It's a classic beef burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and the restaurant's signature "moo sauce." Their French fries are delicious and so are their sweet potato fries, as they're served with maple syrup. Yum! Your kids will love everything on the kids’ menu: from sliders to hot dogs to grilled cheese sandwiches to milkshakes.
Canton Kitchen, Chinatown, Manhattan
171 Hester St., New York, New York, USA, Tel: +1 212 343 2623
I'm from Hong Kong originally and, whenever I find myself hankering after some real Cantonese food, I bring my family to Canton Kitchen. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this place serves delicious home-style Cantonese cuisine. I love a good pork congee for breakfast but they also serve breakfast sets with cha chaan teng (Hong Kong tea restaurant) classics like Spam and egg instant noodles and sweet condensed milk on toast. If you go for lunch or dinner, don't miss the Peking pork chops and Yeung Chow fried rice. Be warned that the service can be a bit gruff, as it is at most Chinatown restaurants. But trust me – the food is worth it.
Cafe Luluc, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
214 Smith St., Brooklyn, New York, USA, Tel: +1 718 625 3815
If you're looking for a great breakfast or brunch spot, you have to check out Cafe Luluc. They serve the most amazing Dutch-style pancakes: thick as a cake, crispy on the outside, fluffy and airy on the inside. Their eggs and omelets are great too. We always order the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and scallions; it comes with French fries that are perfectly cooked.
Tip: This place is mobbed year-round. If you want to avoid waiting in line, go as early as possible (they open daily at 8am) and/or go on a weekday.
Pho Bang, Chinatown, Manhattan
157 Mott St., New York, New York, USA, Tel: +1 212 966 3797
Pho is one of those foods that can inspire passionate debate. Everyone has their favorite pho spot and will vigorously defend their choice against others. I’ve had several different faves over the years but right now Pho Bang is my favorite. The broth is fantastic, the noodles are perfectly cooked and the beef is sliced paper-thin, just the way I like it. One thing that’s great about this restaurant is that they offer different sizes of bowls when it comes to pho: small, medium and large. My husband and I usually order a medium for each of us, while our daughters split a medium between them. It’s the perfect amount. Make sure you order some sides: you don’t want to miss the spring rolls, summer rolls or stir-fried water spinach. They round out a terrific and inexpensive meal.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie – Brooklyn, Park Slope, Brooklyn
If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, check out Blue Ribbon in Brooklyn. It’s pricier than my other picks and that’s because the restaurant offers fine dining-level food in a jeans-and-t-shirt, kid-friendly atmosphere.
Don’t go here without ordering the spicy fish soup. Yes, it costs US$17 but the bowl is big enough to share between two people and the flavors are out of this world. Another fantastic starter is the beef marrow and oxtail marmalade. You scoop the bone marrow out of the bone and spread it on toast and it’s just heavenly. For entrees, we love the sweet and spicy catfish and the fried chicken. Oh, and the cocktails here are fantastic too.
Blue Ribbon Brooklyn also has probably one of the greatest kids’ menus you’ll ever see, spanning from kids’ classics like chicken nuggets and grilled cheese, to more adventurous choices like chicken and vegetable paella and vegetable kababs.
By Carmen Sognonvi of Top Flight Family. Images: Blue Ribbon Brasserie – Brooklyn, Ronnie Chua, Belinda Kuo, Moo Burger, Hieng Ling Tie