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First Time NYC Visit - Family Restaurant Ideas

Hello All,

My family and I are visiting NYC for the first time next month. We are staying in Times Square for 4 days. My kids are 12 and 8. I was wondering if I could get some ideas of places to eat. Looking for good pizza, deli, breakfast or any other must hits.

Thanks to everyone for assistance.

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  1. Let us know your price point per adult and per child -- include or exclude alc. drinks for adults, just tell us, and remember tax is 8.75% and tip 15-10% more.
    Are you going to be traveling around or just in Times Square? What do the kids like eating?

    7 Replies
    1. re: yebo

      Thanks for asking for details.

      We will be traveling around the City and would take a ride for Good Eats. Times Square will our base, but will be traveling around based on things we want to see in the City. I'm still working on the full itinerary.

      We usually eat at moderate priced restaurants. High is ok, and low budget is always fun. With the kids, high end usually doesn't pay off since they don’t serve food kids usually like to eat. We love to find the hidden jewels with some sort of character. We also like to find local places. We try to avoid the Tourist Traps and hate anything that is a national chain.

      I'd like to try some good NYC Pizza and I love a good deli. I grew up with great delis all around and its a lost art now.

      Thanks again.

      1. re: ljt064

        Definitely go to Katz for Deli. For pizza I actually just went to Lombardi's for the first time and thought it was great. Don't care what others may say it was some mighty fine pie. Had the margherita, white, mushrooms with garlic sauteed spinach, and pepperoni and it was great.

        Go to Grom for Gelato.

        2165 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

        1. re: steakrules85

          What don't you think is great?
          I was a Lombardi's supporter back when.
          It was good, not the best ever. Now, it is quite shameful.

          1. re: dietndesire

            What don't I think is great? Are you trying to say i like EVERY restaurant I have been to? Don't get your point dietndesire. Like I always say on these boards we all have our own opinions and these threads provide us the opportunity to voice them. No need to start with the verbal backlash.

            As far as Lombardi's I totally disagree with you that it is "shameful". If it was so shameful then why is the place always mobbed and at least 45 minutes to an hour wait? Yes I know what you will say.. it is a tourist trap and a place who's reputation has been built up tremendously by the outside press, TV, blah blah. While it may be true that it has gotten a boost from the extra press, they seem to still be doing something right for people to keep coming back. I had the opportunity to sample 4 different kinds of pizza and all were very satisfying. Is it the best pizza I have ever had? No I did not say it was but I totally enjoyed it. Di Fara's still is the best for me. But for the original poster I think Lombardi's would be a nice experience for the family. It won't break the bank and it will provide a very good meal in an NYC landmark location.

            There are a lot places that either I do not like, felt were overpriced, or think are overrated/overhyped which I would not recommend. I have voiced my opinion about those restaurants as well.

            1. re: steakrules85

              steakrules85 - I completely agree with your summation of the situation and I'm glad you give your opinion (and I've seen many that voice your dislikes), it's what these boards are suppose to be about. Don't know why there has been so many "nasty" comments lately.

              Hope this doesn't get booted because it's off topic so I'll add this:

              John's might be a good choice for pizza and hit one of the Shake Shacks while you are out and about. Maybe Blue Smoke or Virgil's for BBQ.

              Shake Shack
              Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

              Blue Smoke
              116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

            2. re: dietndesire

              I agree with dietndesire. Lombardi's would be a bad choice. It is not good these days.

            3. re: steakrules85

              i wouldnt go out of my way to grom for gelato (i've only tried the UWS location) so i don't know if the west village is any better.
              since you guys are staying in times square, i think ellens stardust diner is a nice place to go to especially for milkshakes.

        2. As soneone, far more intellegent than I, once said: "Your courage will never again have to be proven!" So, pizza: John's, 260 W 44 (www.johspizzerianyc.com). Sports (you didn't indicate whether kids are boys or girls): ESPNZone, 4 Times Sq (www.espnzone.com). & Dave & Busters 234 W 42 (www.daveand busters.com). A little more upscale, but still with crayons on the tables and paper tables "clothes": Cafe Un, Deux, Trois, 123 W 44 (www.cafeundeuxtrois.biz).

          Two subway trips--if the weather is right, perfect for both you and the kids: 79th Boat Basin Cafe (www.boatbasincafe.com), about 5 stops on the #1 subway, which you catch right there @ the Times Square station, 42nd st and 7th avenue. Exit at 79th street and walk about 3 blocks west. Stone Street: about 10 restaurants in the financial district all with outdoor tables. Food, you name it, they offer it. Take the #2 or #3 from Times Sq to Wall Street. About a 3 block walk, plus they can see the Stock Exchange. So, good luck and have fun!!

          Boat Basin Cafe
          W 79th St and Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10024

          1 Reply
          1. re: Upperwestsider

            Dave & Busters? Not only is it a chain, but it's a bad one! ESPNZone is a chain too.

          2. Carmine's at 200 W. 44th is great! This is their website and you can see the menu and pricing for each location. http://www.carminesnyc.com/ This one is in the Theater District. The prices will look a little high but they serve "Family Style" so you get a huge plate to share. Their Strawberry Shortcake is to die for!!!

            1. For delis the obvious choices are Carnegie, Katzs, Sarges and second avebue
              Go to Bleccker st and go to Johns, Keste, Joe's actually on Carmine, go to Rocco's for dessert and coffee.
              Go to Ippudo, Setagaya and Momofuku all in the east village for ramen.

              Go to the Central Park boathouse for snacks and rent rowboats.
              Go to Chinatown and Little Italy for the color and experiences.
              Go to Quenns for a veritable United nations of cuisines.
              Of corse dont forget to go to the museums.

              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

              1. Take the A/C subway to brooklyn. Have pizza at Grimaldi's (practically underneath the Brooklyn Bridge), then walk down the street for ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Then walk back to manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge for an unforgettablr view of the manhattan skyline.

                1. I've had family in town with kids recently and, in an effort to avoid tourist traps as well, these places seemed to go over well:

                  Pizza - No 28 or Keste on Bleeker, Luzzo in East Village, - all are authentic, good and reasonably priced.
                  Italian - Lupa - despite the more trendy greenwich village location, the staff was very friendly with my niece and even offered to make her a special pasta with just sauce, cheese or butter. It really allowed for her mom to have a nice, adult dinner out while also still entertaining her.
                  Dessert/snack - Alice's Tea Cup on the UWS is cute for girls ...best for tea/snacks/dessert though
                  Sandwiches/Burgers - I agree with the Katz's suggestion. If the weather is nice, also consider Shake Shack in Madison Square Park - burgers are yum.

                  In times square, I hear a lot of kids like Mars 2112. Its more commercial, gimmicky, but supposedly fun for kids depending on their age.

                  Hope that helps

                  170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                  Shake Shack
                  Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

                  211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                  Alice's Tea Cup
                  102 W 73rd St, New York, NY 10023

                  Mars 2112
                  1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ps22

                    Just to note that there's also a Shake Shack on Columbus and 77th, just across the street from the Museum of Natural History (and very convenient to Central Park for al fresco dining).

                  2. Virgil's BBQ would be a good place for a family, and is at Times Square (if you're not coming from BBQ country). For something a little different, Via Brasil on 46th St has good Brazilian food and a nice atmosphere.

                    Virgil's Real Barbecue
                    152 W 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                    Via Brasil
                    34 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                    1. If you're around the Apple Store @ Fifth Ave & 59th St. which is right in front of F.A.O. Schwartz, then if you swing down to 57th Street between 6th & 7th you'll find Angelo's pizza. Great thing crust pizza and also wonderful salads. http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...
                      BTW, the Central Park Zoo is a quick walk up to 65th Street inside the park (or walk up 5th). I personally love the penguin house, and the seals, and the polar bear. . . Boys, tend to like the snakes, etc., more than I do.

                      1. At 12 and 8 I think it's time to broaden your kids' horizons beyond pizza and burgers. Try looking for dim sum suggestions in Chinatown (Dim Sum Go Go is approachable and good for brunch -- go early!) or maybe the vegetarian Indian places in Curry Hill. Or go to Katz's for pastrami....just think of something you can't find at home (bagels! smoked fish! spanish style tapas!) and go for it.

                        NY is a great place to introduce kids to new things -- it's a big exciting experience and they might surprise you!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JMJD

                          Great point. When I was young I only ate around 6 things but after a few trips to NYC I started trying to find pirogies in my small New England town!

                          I second the dim sum suggestion and might also suggest Korean BBQ. That might be fun as well.

                        2. For very good, very reasonable (for NYC) Italian in the theatre district, go to Trattoria Trecolori on 47th Street between 7th and 8th Ave. Warm, welcoming - your whole family will enjoy it. Be aware though, that it gets very busy in the pre-theatre rush hours, so reservations are a good idea unless you're dining around 5 or after 7-7:30.

                          Also close to you are Five Napkin Burger (10 oz. burgers and fries in a bustling atmosphere) on 9th and 45th, and while Virgil's is better than decent BBQ and good for families, I suggest you take a walk over to the Hudson (Intrepid museum is actually pretty cool) and lunch at Daisy May's on 11th and 46th. Nothing fancy - but very good eating.




                          Trattoria Trecolori
                          254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                          Five Napkin Burger
                          630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

                          1. Thanks to everyone for some great ideas. Looking foward to a great 4 days in NYC.

                            1. What about Serendipity on East 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Aves? I know it's a tourist trap, but a lot of locals go there as well! It's a fun place to go for afternoon tea or for a rest stop to recharge your batteries after having shopped the whole day. The frozen hot chocolate really is to die for!! Also, I highly recommend the seafood fettuccine.

                              Great place for kids/families. :)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: nycfinedining

                                please just don't let your kids eat at the ESPN zone. The food is horrendous, even for a "bratty kid"

                                You and they would much rather have other recommended options

                                1. re: wreckers00

                                  I made the mistake eating there in Washington DC, and will never eat at a ESPN zone again. I will have a drink there but will not eat at meals.