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3 days w/small Chowpup - where shall we eat?

I'm not sure where we're staying, but we'll be in town soon for three weekdays, and looking for great chow opportunities. Chowpup is an enthusiastic eater, but he's little, so no Uber-formal Temples to Serious Cuisine, all mouth-searing Sichuan, or four-hour-long wine-flight tasting menus. I'm thinking ethnic, relatively cheap, and unique/particular to NYC (we're from the Philly 'burbs for point of ref).

We'll be doing a few of the usual touristy things, like the Brooklyn Children's Museum, MoMa, the Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo.... so, anything close to those that would be suitable for us & the little guy? Anything not-to-be-missed?

Cuisines we're not into: Ethiopian, Indian, anything that revolves around offal. Other than that, we're pretty game. :) Bonus points for a really good Italian restaurant that isn't too serious/formal for Junior to be welcome.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you can offer!

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  1. How cute and fun!
    In Brooklyn, take Junior for some pizza at Grimaldi's...then head over to The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for some yummy homemade ice cream and fabulous views of Manhattan.
    For lunch, why not go to The Central Park Boathouse? The food is fine, but the views and atmosphere are so breathtaking! He will really love it, and so will you all.
    (people are going to roll their eyes)...Why not try Carmine's Upper Westside location for a good Italian meal?

    2 Replies
    1. re: LFeinberg

      I'd recommend wandering downtown - East Village, lower East Side if you all like a change of pace from uptown NY and you can have a great Italian lunch or dinner (cash only) at Bar Pitti on 6th Ave. between Bleecker & Houston. Another fun outing might be the Chelsea Market on 9th Ave. bet. 15 & 16, where you can have lunch at one of the places (maybe a lobster roll & clam chowder at the fish place). The building is a great architectural site and there are food boutiques - also ice cream & bakeries.

      1. re: LFeinberg

        Has anyone ever had a "good Italian meal" at Carmine's?

      2. il labritorio del gelato, peanut butter co., magnolia bakery

        1. Thank you so much everyone. Love the ideas... Keep'em coming!

          I'm especially into the Cheslea Market concept. For some reason I was mixing it up with an organic farmer's market that's only open on Saturdays .... Greenmarket?

          Anyway, now that I realize they are more than one thing (!), I'm really into the Chelsea Mkt idea. We were in Barcelona a few months ago and fell in love with the Boqueria, so big noisy architecturally/historically significant place bustling with people and food food food are right up our alley...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mawrter

            if you loved the Boqueria, Chelsea Market is going to be disappointing. it's not nearly as big or colorful, although there are some good places in there worth checking out. And i'm sure your li'l chowpup will be amused by the cookie's in eleni's.

            Also, Lombardi's is definitely worth going to, in SoHo, for great pizza. And there's a place across the street from it, called Rice to Riches that serves only rice pudding, in all these different, totally addictive flavors.

            1. re: funkymonkey

              I agree with the downtown focus. Other suggestions -- in Chelsea, we frequently took our chowpuppy to Cookshop where they were perfectly lovely with her even at age 12 months. Since you're probably eating at off hours (6 pm dinner anyone?) you can do very well in nicer places without it being forever or having lots of eyerolling from staff or other patrons. On the other hand, why not the Shake Shack? Little compares to the joys of an outdoor urban burger....
              Also have had great experiences with kids at Mary's Fish Camp (extra points for being close to Magnolia) and at all the bistros.

          2. If you're at the Museum of Natural History, you might consider stopping by Alice's Tea Cup on the West Side (70s and Columbus or so) for lunch or a snack. It's a little tea shop and cafe that has sandwiches, soups, and salads as well as tea and tea sweets (very nice scones and cakes, etc). It's a nice place to sit and take a load off after the museum.

            1. You could try Nonnas at 85th and Columbus, an easy walk from the Natural History Museum. It's a cozy Italian w/outdoor seating if the weather is nice.

              I'd suggest the Fairway cafe, which sits above Fairway market, but I think it would be too frustrating. The cafe has very decent burgers, etc., though it can get very crowded. The market is (sort of) the NYC answer to Boqueria, but the food, etc. is all crammed under one roof and seems like it's alway chock full of quietly seething New Yorkers. Great prices and tons of really interesting imported food. Might be worth a peek in, but be wary of cart jams.