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locals' fave places to eat with kids?

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I'm going to be in NYC for 3 days next week with my husband and 3 kids (4, 3 and 1). Other than Ellen's Stardust Diner and Katz's deli, I'm hoping to eat at little-ish places that are favored by the locals and not overly expensive. We definitely want a great New York Pizza and anything else that's "not to miss when in NYC". A suggestion or 2 in SOHO/Lower Manhattan, Midtown, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side would be great.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Upper East Side
    serendipity for Ice Cream (near Bloomingdales UES)
    Sarabeths (UES)(American)
    Patsy's (Italian)(UES) is quite child friendly.
    JG Melons, Jackson Hole (Burgers)(UES)

    Upper West Side
    Shun Lee Cafe (chinese)
    Popover Cafe (American)

    Midtown
    John's for pizza;

    In the summer: anywhere with outdoor tables.
    lots of Chinese is child friendly.

    1. For burgers on the UES, I would head up to Ottomanelli at 93rd and Lex - I prefer their burger to others in the area. Not sure what your plans are, but this is not too far from Central Park and various museums.

      I find most Chinese restaurants to be child friendly as jwg posted - Shun Lee Cafe used to be a place I liked, but now think it's just a bit to greasy.

      Are there any particular kinds of food that you'd like to try?

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth

        Also - in the Village - just north of Soho - is Lupa, a Batali place. I've been there for lunch with friends who have five daughters. The staff was incredibly nice - the younger girls didn't eat much and the bill ended up being quite reasonable.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions!
        MMRuth - no particular type of food we'd like to try...we're in Toronto so the kids are exposed to some different types of food. We just want to make sure we try some quintessential new york foods.
        Do people still like Shake Shack? More for hubby than the kids though! :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: fms

          I still like Shake Shack - would recommend going a little before they open to avoid long lines.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Or if you are willing, go up to the UWS location and there's never more than a 15 wait. I still love it and went just last night

            And like valerie said, avoid Seredipity. I think the food is just terrible and the service really ruins a meal. If desserts/chocolate is something the kids like, you're better off at Max Brennar.

            Also on the UWS is Pinch & S'mac. Pizza and mac & cheese, any kid will be happy with either and they have gourmet topping plus delicious salads for adults. plus beer. it's a fun environment and REALLY kid friend

            1. re: kelea

              The UWS location definitely has shorter lines. I've never been there for lunch, but I've never waited more than 10 minutes to order for dinner.

              We took my little cousins to the S'mac location in the East Village (which doesn't have a Pinch attached to it) and they absolutely loved it.

        2. I take the little one to Korean places all the time.. Particularly Woochon.. The lady there is super nice and you get to cook your own food.. Kind of like dinner and show.

          1. Cafeteria in Chelsea. Good food for you and the husband, nice cocktails. Fun food for kids. Fried oreos and great mac and cheese. Outside seating which is great if weather permits. Otherwise the noise level is pretty high which is helpful if your kids have there own high noise level!!