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24 Fun Restaurants in NYC for Kids + Secret Local Tips

Planning a trip to NYC and not sure what to do with your kids in NYC? If so then check out this amazing local’s guide to some super fun restaurants in NYC for kids.

Unlike fun restaurants for adults, these eateries feature a fun, laid-back atmosphere that is sure to impress adults and kids alike.

The menus also tend to bit less adventurous and a bit simpler so that kids have no problem finding something delicious to eat.

All in all, these amazing kid-friendly restaurants in NYC offer great food, fast service, and a fun atmosphere, making them a fun place that kids and teens in NYC want to go.

So, stop stressing and start using this amazing local guide to plan the perfect 2 days in NYC itinerary.

I have lived here for 30+ years and have taken many of my friend’s kids to these epic New York City restaurants for kids.

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Fun Kids Restaurants in NYC – Multiple Locations

1. Shake Shack

Enormous Shake Shack sign where you order food at one of the fun restaurants in NYC for kids. The letters are white and the sign is black with wooden trim,

Shake Shack is one of the fun kids restaurants in New York City that you can’t miss. This family favorite has spread itself all across the city, from Harlem to lower Manhattan and beyond.

Here, it’s classic fast food – hamburgers and hot dogs served with crinkle fries – with vegetarian options like their decadent veggie burger (loved mine).

Plus, the milkshakes are thick and luxurious with seasonal flavors including pistachio and tangerine.

Honestly, sometimes you just need to let them eat a burger without stressing over the green stuff.

This is also one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC because the service is fast, the price is good, and kids will love everything on the menu.

Yeah, you won’t be begging anyone to eat their food here.

2. Alice’s Tea Cup

Seeing as Alice’s Tea Cup brings the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to life, it’s naturally one of the fun restaurants in NYC for kids.

Breakfast sandwiches and toasts come with the likes of peanut butter and jelly. But, afternoon tea is also available and is awesome for a birthday or “un” birthday party in NYC!

And any tiny tots out there can order chocolate milk instead of actual tea.

There are two cafes near Central Park and one in Brooklyn.

Local Tip: I think there a much better afternoon teas in NYC. But, you’re not here for the epic food. You’re here for the whimsical decor.

Also, be sure to book in advance since this place is regularly packed with people.

3. Junior’s

A piece of original cheesecake and brownie cheesecake from Juniors. There is a napkin to the right that says Junior's on it and the plates sit on a wooden table at one of the kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.

Now, if you haven’t heard of Junior’s then you must have been living under a rock.

Hands down, this Brooklyn-based restaurant makes the most famous cheesecake in New York.

I’d say just order the original. It’s legit the tastiest on the menu and they have been making them since 1950.

Although, younger diners might be more dazzled by red velvet or devil’s food cheesecake.

Luckily, you can order in a range of sizes and they serve lots of sandwiches, burgers, and fries too if you’re looking for something a bit more savory.

Again, this is one of the fun restaurants in NYC for kids located across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. You can also easily find two locations in Times Square.

Local Tip: I have never been that impressed by their cheesecake but it is world-famous. It’s also super chill and has a very kid-friendly menu.

4. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Any restaurant with “dinosaur” in the title is guaranteed to be a fun restaurant for kids in NYC.

Now, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has a restaurant in Brooklyn and Harlem.

Sadly, there’s no t-rex on the menu. But you’ll find ribs, steaks, and brisket that even the pickiest eaters won’t be able to say “no” to.

Plus, it’s all super smoky. The sliders are also a great choice for kids with small appetites. Or, opt for the family feast and go crazy.

5. Eataly

View of Serra by Birreria in the srping when it has lovely floral decor.

Now, Eataly is one of the fun Italian restaurants/markets in NYC for kids begging you to take them to Rome.

See, this franchise was started by Mario Batali and is a string of Italian markets with an attached trattoria.

However, you can get everything from pizza to pasta to gelato to espresso here.

Kids will love peering behind the counter at all the exotic cold cuts and coils of fresh pasta.

To eat, it’s gotta be pizza for the kids, doughy focaccia for the grown-ups, and gelato for dessert.

Eataly has outposts all over the place and is one of my all-time fave places to eat in NYC. Go here NOW and you will not be disappointed.

Local Tip: Grown-ups can head to the rooftop bar at the Flat Iron location to enjoy stunning, seasonal decor (picture above) at SERRA by Birreria.

6. Kith Treats

Dotted all across Manhattan, Kith Treats is a fun ice cream restaurant in NYC for kids.

But, it’s not your typical parlor. This concept store is a cereal bar where breakfast and dessert come together to create a unique treat.

It’s a major hit with kids but adults love it just as much. Just pick your favorite cereal and ice cream flavor and combine them. Or, order one of the suggestions.

Local Tip: I love the Bam Bam. Just be aware that the portions are huge. So, you can deffo share one between two people.

Fun Kids Restaurants in New York City – Midtown Manhattan

7. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Me sitting in a jacket and hat while sitting at a red booth inside Ellen's Stardust Diner. I am holding a blue glass with

This groovy diner is one of the most fun restaurants in New York City for kids (and adults) who worship Broadway.

See, all the waitstaff are aspiring Broadway stars who’ll sing to you while delivering your shakes and fries.

The menu is classic comfort food and diner fare. I recommend going for breakfast and grabbing a stack of peanut butter chocolate pancakes.

They’re not the best pancakes I have ever had but you’re mostly here for the singing. Also, the tables are SUPER close together. So, get ready to be PACKED in here.

It’s also worth noting that tips help these singing servers achieve their dreams of fame and stardom.

8. S’MAC East Village

When the homesickness kicks in, take them to S’MAC East Village.

This is one of the coolest restaurants in NYC for kids to unleash their creativity. See, the mac ‘n’ cheese menu is huge and allows for tons of customization.

Plus, portions come in a variety of sizes. So, kids can order from the adult menu but receive a fun-sized portion that is meant for smaller tummies.

S’MAC has a casual yet hip vibe and feels like a home away from home.

9. Benihana

The Benihana on West 56th Street is the OG of what is now an international restaurant brand.

Here, wizardly chefs cook your order on the hibachi grill while you watch.

Therefore, if you need something to distract the kids with as you take a breather since these entertaining chefs will sort you out.

Plus, Benihana has a tantalizing kids’ menu for anyone under 12.

FYI, there is a second Benihana in the Yankee Stadium. Handy if you’re seeking fun restaurants in NYC for kids in the Bronx.

10. John’s of Bleecker Street

Me sitting behind an original pizza pie on a metal tray with a pizza server on the left. I have my hands out behind the pizza and am wearing a pink coat and yellow hat at John's of Bleecker Street.

Another of the fun restaurants for kids in NYC if they are clamoring for pizza, John’s of Bleecker Street serves crispy thin-crust pies in Greenwich Village.

See, these are prepared to order in the brick oven just like when the place opened in 1929.

Now, pizzas are sold by the pie so there’ll need to be an agreement on toppings. But, kids will love the original since the sauce is mild.

Plus, you could split a pie between two people and won’t walk away stuffed.

On the other hand, kids can peruse a mini menu of simple spaghetti dishes. However, I think everyone will love the pizza at one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City.

11. Max Brenner

With two Midtown locations, Max Brenner is one of the fun restaurants for children in NYC who love chocolate.

See, this is a concept bistro offering fondue, waffles, and crepes. The common link: maximum-quality chocolate that rivals the chocolate ateliers of Brussels.

The chocolate pizza is very distinct but if you have the appetite for one thing, it has to be fondue.

You’ll enjoy it to the max. The hot chocolate is also really good but everything here has chocolate in it…and I do mean everything.

Local Tip: There is one in Times Square so it won’t be hard to find this fun restaurant for kids in New York City.

12. Serendipity 3

Leap off the Roosevelt Island Tramway and settle down for hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.

Make that a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate! See, the signature drink comes with hot mint or cotton candy for the kiddos. However, the adults get something a tad more potent.

Yeah, definitely don’t mix your orders.

This fun restaurant in NYC for kids is all about the drinks but the mac ‘n’ cheese is decent if you’re hungry.

Plus, the interiors are very twee with pastel-colored panels and bejeweled chandeliers.

Local Tip: I think this place is a total rip-off. But, a lot of people love it which is why it is on this list.

13. American Girl Place New York City

First and foremost, American Girl Place is a doll store. Plus, they have a salon where kids can get their hair done to match their brand-new/favorite doll.

Even better, the cafe is one of the most fun restaurants in NYC for kids to have afternoon tea.

On the menu, you’ll find signature buns followed by kid-friendly finger sandwiches and cute-as-a-button cakes.

FYI, reservations are mandatory for the cafe and recommended for the salon.

14. Cowgirl

Yeehaw, Cowgirl is the best restaurant for kids demanding the whole hog for lunch.

This Greenwich Village gem dishes up hearty southwestern fare. For example, fried chicken dinner and nachos with all the toppings.

However, it’s the frito pie that hits the spot after a manic day spent exploring the kid-friendly side of NYC.

Psst – coincide your visit to enjoy the best happy hour in NYC for the best savings possible.

Fun Restaurants for Children in New York City – Downtown Manhattan

15. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

Me staring at a black tap milkshake with a giant slice of confetti cake on top.

Black Tap is one cool spot in Soho for a burger and a tap brew, aka milkshakes for the kids.

Now, this is one of the best burger restaurants in NYC for kids with elevated tastes.

Burgers are made with some pretty high-brow garnishes and it’s the Wagyu steakhouse that you’ll see everyone chowing down on.

The peanut brittle shake is good enough to give you pause on ordering a craft beer.

However, the real reason everyone comes here are the massive, super Instagrammable shakes. They are huge and served with a giant slice of cake of top. But, they’re so worth it. So, save room for dessert.

FYI, there’s another Black Tap in Midtown Manhattan.

16. Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Potentially, Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown is the oldest dim sum joint in NYC.

Opened in the 1920s, the interiors are kitsch and vintage with red leather banquettes and bougie lighting.

So, just tick off which dumplings you want to eat. Then, hand the pen over to the youngsters – that’s partly what makes this one of the most fun restaurants in NYC for kids!

Plus, dim sum is perfect for smaller bellies and anyone with a growing culinary curiosity.

You can also order a wide range of things. This way there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Local Tip: This place is cash only.

17. Koneko

A siamese cat sitting on a whicker chair with white and blue and yellow pillows. The chair has a tallw hicker back and is covered in ivy at one of the fun restaurants in New York City for kids.

Naturally, you can’t have a list of fun restaurants in NYC for kids and not have a cat cafe.

Plus, Koneko serves lip-smacking matcha lattes and cheesecakes.

But, it’s obviously the cats who steal the show.

Reservations are required and you’ll need to keep a close eye on kids to ensure the cats are not bothered.

FYI, if you’re local, you can even adopt a feline (or three) since all the cats here are looking for good homes.

Fun Restaurants in NYC for Kids – Uptown Manhattan

18. Harlem Shake

This retro-themed diner serves a holy trinity of burgers, sodas, and shakes.

Plus, Harlem Shake has given its signature plates some funky names that kids will have a giggle over.

See, the dedicated kids’ menu gives them the choice of Swag Kid, Fly Child, or Hot Diggity Dog.

That alone makes it worthy as a fun restaurant in NYC for kids.

19. Lexington Candy Shop

Me holding a menu for Lexington Candy Shop woth the vintage resaurant in the background. I am wearing a yellow and gray winter hat.

This chill diner on the Upper East Side has been around since 1925. And that makes sense since everything served at this vintage luncheonette is something that kids and adults will love.

We loved the vanilla/chocolate egg cream, the omelet, and the banana nut French Toast.

Seriously, go here NOW because the food is epic and kids will love the retro decor.

Just try not to stop by on the weekends since this place will be PACKED with people.

20. Good Enough to Eat

Traipsing around Central Park is hungry work. Especially for tiny feet.

But, Good Enough to Eat is the perfect pick-me-up. Their pies and cakes are baked on-site and are delicious.

Even better, go there for brunch in NYC. The pancakes, waffles, and French toast are so good that you’ll all want seconds.

And, this is one of the best restaurants in NYC for kids due to the food and the awesome staff who give everyone a warm welcome.

Fun Restaurants in NYC for Kids – Brooklyn

21. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain is one of the most fun restaurants in NYC for kids and adults who can’t resist nostalgic vibes.

See, it’s decked out like an old-school soda fountain and kids will love peeking over the counter.

Plus, it’s housed in a former farmacy which adds another layer of coolness.

In addition to OTT sundaes and ice cream floats folks of a certain age can pick up a prescription for wine (wink, wink).

22. Roberta’s Pizza

Delicious pizza from the best happy hour in greenwich Village.

There are two Roberta’s Pizza places in Brooklyn, one in Williamsburg and one in Bushwick.

Basically, kids will be pleased because they get pizza.

Plus, parents will appreciate the hipster vibes (the graffiti is top-notch) and outdoor seating around the tiki bar.

Everyone who comes here orders the bee sting pizza. Topped off with honey and chili, it really is the bee’s knees.

Fun Restaurants in NYC for Kids – Queens

23. Pig Beach BBQ

Pig Beach BBQ is one of the fun restaurants in New York City for kids who love eating outside. Besides the huge interior dining hall, this place has a stellar yard that you’ll love hanging out in.

Here, you’re looking at meaty plates such as brisket, ribs, wings, and burgers.

However, you’ll want to order the platter and let them experiment with a mix ot items on the menu.

Note, the mac ‘n’ cheese is a great option for fussy or vegetarian kids.

24. The Thirsty Koala

Head down under at the Thirsty Koala, an Australian restaurant in Queens.

Truth be told, this is a fairly grown-up affair as they offer a tasting menu and some ace cocktails.

But, the regular menu has a special menu for kids and it’s a fun restaurant that allows kids to pick at different side plates and seafood bites.

Plus, it’s one of the fun restaurants in NYC for kids obsessed with sharing what they know about Aussie wildlife!

Map of Fun Restaurants in NYC for Kids

Map of fun restaurants in NYC with blue dots to represent the 24 best restaurants.

That wraps up this guide to fun restaurants in NYC with kids.

Did your picks for the best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC make the list? If not then let me know!

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