My husband and I love to eat out. Nobu, Fred’s at Barney’s, are a few of our favorites. I remember when we had our first child. We honestly thought it was the end of good food forever, or at least until we were comfortable leaving him with a sitter. I associated “kid-friendly” with McDonalds and Chucky Cheese. 

I quickly learned kid friendly restaurants are so much more than fast finger food and cheeky decor, especially in New York City.  There are a host of yummy family restaurants that cater to both kids and parents without sacrificing flavor, ambiance or service. Several even offer special deals for little ones. Whether you live in Manhattan or you’re just visiting for the weekend, here are a few of  the best eats and my favorite mom-approved “kid-friendly” places. Bon appetit.


SUGAR and PLUMM:  This posh patisserie offers everything form omelets and crepes to shrimp, steaks and chicken tenders fit for a king. But the icing on the cake is the handcrafted confections: cakes, cookies, ice cream, scones and an assortment of frothy delights. It’s super chic—and sweet.  

BROTHER JIMMY’S:   When you want to get down and dirty, this popular BBQ joint delivers. Platters of tasty fried chicken, pulled pork and ribs hit tables with a steady thud. The children's menu offers hot dogs, chicken fingers, wings, hamburgers, and mac and cheese, plus ice cream. Kids eat free every day with the purchase of a full priced adult meal. 

KELLEY AND PING:  This fun and popular noodle shop takes care of its littlest patrons with cheerfully named Pan-Asian dishes—like " Chicken Lollies" (2 Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce on the side, Carrot Slices and Sticky Rice) and " Thai Silly Salad " (Fresh Bean Sprouts, Crispy Carrot Slices, Tomatoes and Cucumber with a side of Peanut Sauce for Dipping).  Specialty cocktails for mom and dad, like the Thai Basil Martini, make it a fun night for all at this cute family restaurant. Even better, kids under 8 eat free.

WOODROWS NYC:   Sunday night truly is family night at this low-key, kid friendly restaurant. From 5pm on, kids under 10 eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. Free WiFi helps when the kids are in meltdown mode, and you’re still enjoying your craft beer.

SERENDIPITY:   This charming cafe on East 60th Street is known for its Frozen Hot Chocolate, but moms and dads love the “Serious Food” menu. Burgers, salads, soups and more—it has something for everyone. Desserts are to die for. One bite of the Forbidden Broadway Sundae will send you on a sugar high.

RODEO BAR:  You’ll love the vibe at this laid-back urban roadhouse (you throw your peanut shells on the floor). The food is appropriately Tex-Mex, from the fajitas and quesadillas to the slow-smoked Texas barbecue. Little ones can opt for all-American classics: sliders, chicken fingers, and mac and cheese. Every Monday night children under age 11 get one free kids' meal with each adult meal purchased. Cowboy hats not included.