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Jul 21, 2010 08:34 AM

Return to New York with Kids, Need Recs !

Having lived in NYC in the mid to late 90s, this is where my transformation to a somewhat foodie began. Since I lived in the GP and MH areas, my fond memories include Sarge's, Les Halles, Patria, and especially L'Expess since it was practically next door to me and 24/7. Great Pizza and Deli remain a distant memory. Sure we have great stuff here in Southern Cal, but nothing compares to what NYC has to offer. So I return about 10 years later with 2 of my kids (7) and would like to get some recommendations that are kid/adult friendly.
They are fairly good eaters for their age and partial to steak, sushi, pizza,mussels,yakitori, etc.
We are looking for places that will be fun for them but also have something for adults as well.
Here is what I have so far and we will be staying in the theatre district but can travel anywhere:

-Keens ( for our pretheatre dinner)
-John's Pizza (vicinity and an old fave)
-Serendipity (never been but looks like the kids will enjoy it)
-Yakitori Totto ( we love every bit of the chicken)
-Sarges (for breakfast and deli, sentimental reasons)
-LExpress (sentimental reasons)
-Shake Shack ( for burgers and we'll be visiting the museum in uws)

I could sure use a sushi place with a great omakase offering but also kid friendly..Yasuda remains one of my all time faves. I could also use a few kid friendly recs that are unique to NYC. I would love to dine at EMP but just not with the kids. TIA !

Les Halles
15 John Street, New York, NY 10038

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  1. > -Keens ( for our pretheatre dinner)

    Keens is a good call.

    > -John's Pizza (vicinity and an old fave)

    It's gone downhill a bit in recent years but if you don't have high expectations it may still hit the spot. Not sure where you live now.

    If you can go downtown, Motorino in the East Village might work, and you can easily follow that up with cupcakes at Chikalicious Dessert Club or soft serve at Momofuku Milk Bar or cupcakes at Butter Lane. Another option is Keste, you can swing by Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes afterwards (I'm not a huge fan), there's also Sweet Revenge nearby.

    > -Serendipity (never been but looks like the kids will enjoy it)

    I'd avoid Serendipity personally -- what are you interested in there? La Maison du Chocolate has the best chocolate ice cream I've had in NYC. You could also try gelato: Otto, L'Arte de Gelato, Il Laboratorio, maybe one of the new ice pop places like People's Pops?

    > -Yakitori Totto ( we love every bit of the chicken)

    It's pretty popular so I hope your kids are good line-waiters or you're planning to show up early. Also they run out of the more interesting chicken bits pretty fast.

    > -Shake Shack ( for burgers and we'll be visiting the museum in uws)

    Note that there's not a lot of seating at the UWS Shake Shack. If it's nice, try eating on the benches on the sidewalk surrounding the museum. There's also a room downstairs basement level but it's kinda small as well.

    > hey are fairly good eaters for their age and partial to steak, sushi, pizza, mussels, yakitori, etc.

    For sushi, I've often seen kids at Kanoyama, especially around 6pm or so (first seating).

    I'd also consider taking them to Chinatown.

    See also:

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

    175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Sweet Revenge
    62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

    Magnolia Bakery
    1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

    Butter Lane
    123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

    People's Pops
    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    Momofuku Milk Bar
    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks Kathryn for all your great suggestions. I live in Southern CA so a downhill John's will probably hit the spot. I tried Lombardi's on an overnight trip last year and it was quite good so may go there again. All your dessert recs sound lovely. I don't really expect much at all from Serendipity but sounds like a 7 year olds kind of place. Thanks for the tips on Totto and Shake Shack....we usually go early if its not a total kids place. Would you have any suggestions for a decent dinner option as a back up to Keens in the theatre district ?
      Thanks again !

      1. re: vonger44

        Actually a brand new Shake Shack has opened up in the Theatre District as well. It's apparently a zoo at lunch but way less crowded evenings and weekends (probably because of office workers leaving the area).

        Otherwise, how is Chinese? Szechuan Gourmet is nearby. As is Lan Sheng.

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

        Szechuan Gourmet
        21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

        Lan Sheng
        60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

        1. re: vonger44

          UWS Shake Shack isn't that bad if you go at off-peak hour. I usually go either around opening or between 3-5 p.m. and almost never wait more than 10 minutes.

          Instead of Serendipity, if you will make it to East Village at all - how about Lula's Sweet Apothecary? It's a vegan ice cream place, but I swear it's one of the best ice cream parlors in Manhattan. I love that place and I am a total carnivore/dairy-eater. They've got sundaes, soft serve, all those good frozen treats.

          Lula's Sweet Apothecary
          516 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

          1. re: uwsister

            Sounds like another great dessert option for us, thanks !

      2. Landmarc in Time Warner builidng is very kid friendly.

        179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        1 Reply
        1. re: grouchomarx

          I think Landmarc will def be on our schedule of eats, thanks !

          179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        2. If you're going to the Museum of Natural History I would suggest skipping Shake Shack and going to the Cafe Upstairs in Fairway Market on Broadway at 74 Street. I see people with children there all the time and they range from three year olds to teens. It's a great place for a breakfast or lunch and the kids will love it as it isn't your usual restaurant experience. You should be able to find a table overlooking Broadway and groove on the passing scene. The omelets are done expertly (not browned!) and the kids may enjoy the individual pizzas which are not the best in the world but are still quite good. I see a lot of kids going for the pancakes and the older folks for the chopped salad or Mediterranean Salad Plate (a favorite of my wife and I). There are plenty of drinks for the kids or adults. You might have the kids try an egg cream and report back on how it was as we haven't tried it yet. The coffee is good as is the pot of tea. It's all very casual so the kids don't have to be on their absolute best behavior - enthusiastically enjoying the food is well within the bounds. BTW you may experience some celeb watching - we saw Mandy Patinkin, with friends, having an obviously enjoyable lunch last week.

          Fairway Market
          2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

          1 Reply
          1. re: Brian W

            Sounds fun ! Thanks for the tip !