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Where to take an 8-year-old budding foodie?

In a few weeks, my wife and older daughter are going to be away at music camp, and I want to take my 8-year old daughter into NYC for a weekend adventure.

Last year, I took my 10-year old to Jean-Georges and had dinner at the bar: we had a great time, talking with the bartenders and the patrons around us, and she enjoyed the food.

Does anyone have any suggestions of other places to take a well-behaved 8-year old to have a memorable dinner? Ideally somewhere that has unusual or dramatic or classy decor, non-snooty service that might welcome a child, and interesting food.

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  1. I had two great meals at Bar American (as in Bobby Flay's) last week, and observed several children of that age amongst the other patrons, having a grand old time. The staff is certainly warm and accommodating, and the food isn't <too> far out for an ambitious 8-year old (personal note: the Monday fried chicken special is really, really good).

    Also, just because I never get tired of talking about it, the liege waffles from Wafels and Dinges waffle truck (different locations every day, posted online and Twitter) are about the best darn things I've ever shoved in my pie hole. I would have wanted to run away and join them, like the circus, when I was 8 or 9!

    1. I took a 7 year old to Eleven Madison Park earlier this year, and it was wonderful. He had a great time, the staff could not have been lovelier....he was very interested in the food, the service, he chatted with everyone and asked questions. It was perfect.

      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      1 Reply
      1. re: gutsofsteel

        based on the level of service that I've experienced at EMP, i would say that this is a fine suggestion.

      2. Perry st at sundown watch the sun recede over the hudson
        food is delish and reasonable

        1. I think the Bar Room at the Modern is a great place to take a child. The food is very interesting, service is excellent, and the setting is great.

          1. I second the EMP recommendation. I love that restaurant and I really believe your daughter will also. The service has always been outstanding.

            1. It has been my experience, that there is no restaurant that I wouldn't take a well-behaved child in NYC. I have found most everywhere I have taken my son welcomed him. He is now 12. That being said, Landmarc is a very fun dinner...and who doesn't love cotton candy at the end of a meal whether you're 8 or 80?

              179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              1 Reply
              1. re: samanthainthecity

                I always see kids of all age at Landmarc, both at Time Warner Center and Tribeca locations. Definitely kid-friendly and food is pretty good too.

                I *wish* my mom would have taken me to places like EMP when I was a kid!

                179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              2. Bouley would be a good choice too. Luxuriously decorated room impressive to people of any age. Very friendly staff. And the deserts were never ending. Check the menu online to see if your daughter would be up for the type of food. Bouley is a place I would certainly return to. The $36 Spring tasting lunch was fantastic. Hard to find that type of lunch in NYC on a Saturday.

                I loved lunch in JG's dining room, not a big fan of Perry St. and have never been to EMP.

                1. Thought of this review when I read your post. Place is small but there is also outdoor seating.


                  Salumeria Rosi
                  283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023