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Dinner for 20 out-of-town teenagers in Brooklyn, near park or downtown

Hey folks,

I know this is a tough one. I am assisting a youth group from Atlanta, here to experience the city, and Bklyn, over MLK weekend. Trying to locate a spot for dinner that is reasonably priced and can accomodate these (well behaved!!!) teens. Doesn't have to be touristy, though that might be the best option.
I'm loathe to go to Juniors, but that's just because I'm queasy at the toursity spots.

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  1. they would probably love Juniors. Iwas shocked recently when my well reared daughter (I had never taken her to Juniors!) took her european boyfriend there recently.

    I would have recommended Grimaldi's in the past but its gotten so bad that its really nor recommendable any more.

    Chinatown is a good option with a group, but you would have to arrange ahead of time.

    1. How about Smith Street? Savoia has a long table in its 2nd room, and the prices are decent. Food is pretty good too! There's also La Villa on 5th Avenue. I often see groups of office workers and such there, although you'd definitely want to make sure they can accommodate 20.

      1. I think you are right about Juniors.
        But if we stay near the park, what about 200 Fifth? Not too expensive, easy to please?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sarah McC

          Park Slope is not my bailiwick, but I believe 200 Fifth is a big multi-beer sportsbar. Large space and cheap menu for sure, but it's possible your large group might be closed out this weekend due to the NFL playoffs. I could be wrong, just a surmise.

        2. 20 teenagers on Smith St? That sounds like a recipe for trouble with all the bars around there. Or maybe that was just me as a teenager.. :P

          How about something like Bubby's in DUMBO. The food's ok and they'll enjoy walking around and taking in the views in DUMBO. You can go to the ice cream factory for dessert.

          1. Kids really love JUNIOR'S. Our Youth Group had their Christmas week dinner there. It was a huge success.

            JUNIOR'S really has good burgers and great desserts. Not too noisy, not too rushed, with a wide selection of choices.

            I never thought of JUNIOR'S as being touristy. All the Brooklyn folks I know have been going there forever.

            1. Bubby's popped into my head immediately. It's a huge space so they can probably accomodate your large group, and it has a pretty decent and teen friendly American/BBQ menu. Plus, you can take them to Brooklyn Bridge park afterwards for amazing downtown skyline views.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Psychobabble

                I took my daughter and some of her friends to Sea, the big Thai restaurant in Williamsburg. They thought the place was incredibly cool. The food is cheap and they didn't seem to care that it wasn't especially good.

              2. Teenagers from Atlanta might not be familiar with Thai food. Better to stick with a wide choice American menu. The burgers and ribs at both are good.
                I think BUBBY'S is a good choice, as is JUNIOR's. Both are teen friendly.

                The BUBBY's location is an added plus if the weather is clear. They can take pictures down on the docks, and stop in for ice cream at BROOKLYN ICE CREAM FACTORY.

                1. Jack's on 5th Ave. between 13th and 14th has a kid-friendly menu and very gentle prices. It's a real dive, and is rarely crowded except for brunch, but is very good food/value and might be a place the kids find cool.

                  1. 20 teenagers near the park?
                    Two Boots in the Slope! It's 'different', but not too different, for teens.
                    Or Juniors...there's alot to love there really, more from the perspective of goofy atmosphere of course, but delicious cheese pie . . .

                    1. La Villa- great pizzas, plenty of room for 20 teens.
                      Two Boots- ok pizza, not as much room but fine

                      1. Thank you.

                        Now I'm ashamed that I gave Junior's a bad rap, even though I've never been. I think Junior's or Bubby's will be just right.

                        And I love that some of you have experience shepherding large groups of teens! It's hard work, but so rewarding.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sarah McC

                          Between those two I'd go with Bubby's if they can accommodate you. More for the area than the food. It would probably be fun for them to walk around DUMBO and check out the park by the water. There's not much to see right by Juniors.


                        2. DALLAS BBQ on Livingston Street

                          1. How about Layla Jones or Sam's for pizza?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sixraccoons

                              Layla is too small for that size of a group.

                            2. Bubby's would be good. tons of room, for sure.

                              looking for something more interesting? Bogota, park slope. Latin food, not that expensive, and they can probably fit your crew

                              1. Two boots woould be a fun place and there's ample seating in the back.

                                Anthony's Pizza on 7th (around 14th) has great pies that average about $11. Brick-oven baked and quite delicious.

                                Yes, stay away from Juniors.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: pastoralia

                                  I've had several unpleasant experiences with groups of kids at Two Boots--they spent all their time telling the kids to quiet down, but couldn't be bothered to take the order, which would lead to bringing the food, which would lead to the kids quieting down and getting out of there. They seem to do fine with toddlers (one or more to a family), but I can't recommend them for groups of teens--staff just seems to dislike them.

                                  1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                                    theres nothing special about Two Boots to make it recommendable to this group.

                                  2. re: pastoralia

                                    Well, I adore Anthony's, but I can't imagine that they could accommodate a group that size!

                                  3. Why take kids from Atlanta to Bubby's for southern influenced food - you want them to experience NY! Thai food would be great, and a place like Song would be fun. Can't go wrong with Pad Thai and Thai Iced tea for 20. Plus it's in a fun area - can't say that about Flatbush.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: anita_cocktail

                                      I was at a large mixed-age birthday group at Song. They can handle a group, but I'm not at ALL confident about average teens being able to handle even the least challenging Thai/Asian Fusian food.

                                      Considering that many American teens have an exciting time going to one of those awful Sbbaro pizza places for "Italian food!", I think you'd be doing well at any of the Brooklyn spots mentioned thus far.

                                    2. I'd go with Coney Island. Nothing says Brooklyn like a Coney Island hot dog and fries. Plus there is lots to do in the area.

                                      Anthony's is way too small and not a place teens would care to see. Same for Thai, my son loves Thai but I wouldn't guarantee all teens would.

                                      1. How about Pete's Waterfront Alehouse on Atlantic?

                                        1. I think the big decision maker tomorrow is going to be weather. Plans will probably change, teens will probably be grumpy, adults will probably be grumpier. But now I feel like we have multiple options, to please taste and budget.
                                          Will report back.

                                          1. Success!!
                                            The weather was terrible, and the teens were tired. But Junior's was a perfect place for the final group dinner. We had a lovely waiter, plenty of attention, tons of food, and a lower bill than any place in Manhattan suited for a big group.
                                            And the burgers are juicy and very tasty!
                                            Thanks for all the help.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sarah McC

                                              Happy to hear your dinner was a success. A fun place for teens with good food, nice atmosphere, good service and a great value to boot!

                                              JUNIOR'S is often pooh-pooh'ed here, but it is still a great place for family fun. And still the best cheesecake in the whole wide world.