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Comments on my choices for weekend with 2 10-year olds

I am visiting with a friend and both our daughters in early October. We want to eat well, but at mostly moderately-priced restaurants. We arrive on a Saturday and leave on Tuesday afternoon. We are staying in the Midtown East area (East 50th and 3rd). I have tried to find kid-friendly places near the attractions that I think we will be visiting, but this is difficult, as you never know how the kids are going to do, etc., but here is the partial list:

breakfasts: figure that we'll just pick up and go in the morning and find a greasy spoon or something near where we are going, except on Sunday, want to take the kids to Norma's for brunch before the Museum of Nat. History.

lunches: Serendpity (I know....not worth it, etc.... 'cept my friend has always wanted to take her daughter there), Balthazar, Katz's, Sarabeth's, burgers (Shake Shack?)

dinners: Otto, somewhere near theatre for a 5:30 meal on the Sunday at 46th and Broadway - maybe Trecolori or Virgil's, Landmarc

must-do snacking: Max Brenner, Dylan's

Any and all suggestions welcome!

Thanks.

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  1. For snacks, I'd stay away from Max Brenner--too touristy, and the food isn't any good (even the desserts).

    3 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      The kids will love max brenner: are the desserts fabulous- no ,but they are good (although $$$$) and also it is generally different from what you can get at home..Kids also like the dessert place in fao schwartz. other snacks you will all like "cones" in the village and dylans candy shop around 60th on the east side; none are cheap

      1. re: ellenost

        I agree. I just went with my 10 year old niece who is a chocoholic but not an adventurous eater. She looked for plain milk chocolate and everything was fancy chocolate so she didn't appreciate it. Then she ordered an oreo shake and it came with carmelized nuts and her mom and she said it tasted funny. Overall Max Brenner was a bust.
        I think she would have liked Jacques Torres better if we could have gone there and been able to see them making the chocolate. But they loved Dylan's.

        1. re: cbw

          Jacques Torres is much better!

      2. If you want to avoid the long waits at Shake Shack, try the Burger Joint in Le Parker Merdian.

        1. I agree with Max Brenner, too crowded and over-hyped. And I don't think I can recommend the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian. I don't think the $6 is worth the burger at all. The line may be long but Shake Shack is much better.

          If you are going to the Uptown Sarabeth's, I would recommend Good Enough to Eat or Fred's over that. They are all in the same vacinity, but the food at GETE and Fred's is just so much better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kelea

            I like burger joint. But just thought of Stand 12th & Univ. - which has great burgers, but also has deliciois milk shakes.

          2. Balthazar, Katz's and Shake Shack are good ideas. Not so sure about Sarabeth's. It is just ok, but nothing great. I'm all for candy, but there is something grotesque about Dylan's Candy Bar. It's just so crowded and touristy and commercial. If you are already down by Katz's, you could hit Russ and Daughter's and Economy Candy for "snacking." My 7 year old liked Max Brenner for its Willy Wonka vibe. The food is very blah. Your 10 year old might be old enough to see through it. A nicer but smaller chocolate emporium is Jaques Torres in SoHo. You can watch them making the chocolates and they have a dessert and chocolate drink bar, but it's not a full fledged restaurant like Max Brenner. Landmarc is pretty good for kids. They'll love the free cotton candy and you and your friend can enjoy the well priced wine. I'm assuming you mean the one in the TW Center. It has a nice view. Things you might consider adding: NY style pizza and dim sum in Chinatown. You can find tons of recs on this board for the best places for these.

            1. My son was around ten when I first took him to New York...He loved Norma's, Burger Joint, John's Pizzeria, Otto's... More recently he also loves Jacque Torres and Magnolia's for cupcakes...We did not get a chance to do Max Brenners' but it looks like something 10 year olds would like!

              1. Thanks for all of teh great replies.

                I will scratch Sarabeth's off the list.

                I guess we need a quick snack place for Sunday after the Museum of Natural History. I was thinking that we would take the kids for a walk on Columbus after the museum, and hit a few of the nice kids' boutiques for them. Maybe somewhere there for a shared sandwich?

                Also, Economy Candy is a great idea when and if we do Katz's - thanks.

                For dinner our first night (Sat.) we were trying to think of a great NYC experience place for them - Union Square Cafe? Otto? We don't want to eat in the theatre district as we will be there on Sunday for a 7 pm show.

                4 Replies
                1. re: elasticwaistband

                  Another fun stop for kids is Chelsea Market. They can watch the breadmakers from Amy's Bread at work in the concourse, and there's also an Eleni's cookie shop and Fatwitch Brownie's store. Eleni's can be expensive, but one or two (small) items won't break the bank. Also, if you go after 6pm, much of the baked goods are half price. Kids also love to climb on the scultures/benches in the market.

                  1. re: elasticwaistband

                    Otto is probably more feasible, USC res. can be tricky.

                    1. re: elasticwaistband

                      For the quick snack place, maybe Alices Tea Cup or Popover Cafe.

                      1. re: elasticwaistband

                        Have been to both Union Square and Otto's, and I think not only will the kids enjoy Otto's more, but you will have more fun....

                      2. If you are planning to hit lower East side, don't forget to drop by Pomme Frites for Belgian fries and DonutPlanet for donuts!