HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Need Some Fun Meals with 10 yo

Next week my 10 year old son and I, along with my parents, are going to NYC as their birthday present to him. We are seeing two Broadway shows, going to a Mets game, and doing all the other touristy things -- they really want to show him the town. We've got a few meals planned but need a few other recommendations. He's not a particularly adventurous eater -- he almost always orders steaks or burgers -- but can easily handle "grown-up" restaurants. I think we'd all love a great atmosphere that would be really fun for him, but the rest of us care about the food just as much.

So far he and I are going to Prime Burger or Burger Joint (but which?) for a quick lunch the day we arrive. Dinner that night is at Pastis. We also have reservations at Pietro's the next night.

I am mostly looking for a fun night out on Saturday, as we will have seen a B'way matinee that day and will be all rested up with no other evening plans. Also looking for a more relaxing dinner on Sunday night, probably closer the hotel (Rhiga Royal), since we will have been to the Mets game that day. We can also use a lunch suggestion for Monday before leaving for our flights. Thinking about going to Norma's then, or maybe before the game.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I definitely would hit the burger joint (at Le Parker Meridien hotel). Note, however, that burgers are the only option there. But they're great.

    I also would go to Norma's, but would do breakfast, not lunch (unless you're going to order breakfast at lunch time); I would not, however, eat at Norma's before the ball game, because you won't have room for hot dogs and cotton candy after eating there!

    Carnegie Deli might be a good choice for lunch or dinner, if your son will eat a deli sandwich. It's not NYC's best deli, but it's good nonetheless, close to your hotel, and a NYC institution.

    1. How about Serendipity 3? It's also close to Dylan's Candy in case you still need a sugar rush after having Serendipity's Frozen Hot Chocolate.

      1. Updating myself: My mom just made a reservation at Serendipity 3 for lunch on Friday. Also, we've revised Monday to include Ellis Island and Tenement Museum, with lunch probably at Katz's.

        So, still needing dinners for Saturday and Sunday nights.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jaschultze

          Sunday night in Chinatown will delight a 10 yr old..it's full of
          people and sights and smells and odd little curiosities.
          Every 10 yr old likes Chinese food.

        2. If you're in the mood for burgers and the 10 yr old really doesn't mind adult atmospheres, then about how Corner Bistro? It's in the W. Village and has reputation of one of the best burgers in the city.

          1 Reply
          1. re: virago7

            I think great suggestions so far, especially Serendipity 3, a place that any 10 year old will love. Get the forbidden broadway sundae and split it with as many people as plossible because it's huge. Chi-town is also a good suggestion, check out 69 Bayard for a good solid indicative meal or Big Wong close by. Katz's is still amazing (tip the waiter) and I would put in for a kid either the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the west vil. for a good kid-friendly atmosphere or for your sunday retreat a satisfying expedition down to Righteous Urban Barbeque (RUB) for really good BBQ in NYC (finally not a contradiction!). N.B., it's a little pricey, but they have good portions and it's delicious and completely unpretentious.

            Also, have to disagree on Corner Bistro. It's a gritty bar. Burgers are good, but still. It's a gritty bar.

          2. Mars 2112, at 51st and B'Way is fun for kids -- standard kid foods, an arcade, and the rocket simulator seems to please the younger set. I think they have a website -- you can google them to find it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: LloydG

              This sounds like heaven for him, and hell for us :-). I think that's more kid-friendly than we have in mind.

              We're thinking about Trattoria del Arte or Serafina near the hotel. Any word on these? Should we do Carmine's?

              1. re: jaschultze

                I think Trattoria del Arte is affirmatively awful.

                1. re: jaschultze

                  Not Carmine's. About the only reason to go to Carmines is for the sort of semi-drunken relatively-cheap pig fest. Not for 10 year olds. Not for foodies. More for grad students celebrating passing comprehensive exams, or bachelor parties

              2. Keens Steakhouse!...the most atmospheric of all the steakhouses...either sit in the main dining room w/ antique pipes glued to the ceiling or the pub room for a less expensive meal...burger and prime rib and steaks all wonderful...and, if he really digs the place, ask the staff give you a tour of the private rooms upstairs (full of mounted animal heads and paintings and clubby whatnot)...36th St...

                1. I think Carmines is a great choice. The food, IMO, is just fine and children will love the atmosphere...big, loud, huge meatballs, etc...

                  Go to the one in the 90's on the Upper West Side if you want a little less of a touristy feel.

                  How about The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park....he can run around with all of the other kids waiting an hour for their burgers.

                  1. Burger Joint is perfect, as would be Shake Shack. You just need to carefully time your visitsw to these places so that you don't have too long a wait. Shake Shack has the added virtue of being in Madison Square Park, where there is a very nice playground on the northeast side of park.

                    For dinner, how about BBQ? My kids have loved both R.U.B. on 23rd Street and Rack and Soul on B'way and 109. Note, however, that if you go to Rack and Soul I would avoid ordering from children's menu as the portions are oddly small. If you're willing to travel a bit further, you can get the same great fried chicken that Rack and Soul has at Charles' Southern, on 8th Avenue and like 155th Street. My kids loved the buffet there!

                    In Chinatown, Jing Fong is fun for dim sum--good, cheap food, humungous banquet type place. NY Noodletown is a reliable standby for wonderful port and stir fried greens. Nothing ambiance wise, but quite good.

                    1. He might really enjoy Plataforma, the Brazilian BBQ joint not far (15 min walk) from theatre district. It's a show, the food is good to very good (the pre-skewer-slicing buffet is a wonder) and you will find a real cast of characters there, from tourists to locals.

                      1. For lunch on Monday, you might consider going to Marseille, a very attractive French/Mediterranean brasserie, on the corner of 9th Av. & 44th St. If your son is not sick of burgers by that time, he can get a very good one there, while the adults can enjoy some of the other well-prepared options. For dessert, the cafe and beignets are seriously delicious!


                        Happy Birthday to your son. Enjoy your visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!