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Mar 9, 2011 07:24 PM

Kid-Friendly (Without Being Boring for the Adults) Restaurants on the West Side

I'll be visiting Manhattan from Honolulu in a couple weeks, and looking to get together with some old friends over dinner. I'd love some recommendations for a good restaurant for a group of eight adults and two toddlers, somewhere on the west side between Houston and 125th. It should be cheap-ish (entrees under $20). Also, two of the diners are vegetarian so it needs to have something for them. Coming from Hawaii, I'd tend to prefer something other than pacific rim or east asian, because we already get a lot of really great asian and pacific rim cuisine here.

I did a few searches, but I wasn't sure about the price range for a lot of the suggestions, and a lot of people also seemed to be looking for Chinese or specifically pre-theater places. We're also less interested in burger places like Shake Shack. Previous recommendations that looked promising included Otto, Chelsea Ristorante, Keste, and Kefi. Would any of those work?

Or, other ideas? Suggestions? Thank you!

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  1. Others (who may not be awake :) ) can offer much better current suggestions that fit your criteria than I can, but just FYI, if there's a weblink to a restaurant in a post or thread, it'll take you to a Chow page about the restaurant, which often has a further link to the restaurant's online menu. It might not be 100% current, but it'll at least give you an idea of their range.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeG

      Thanks Mike! That's a helpful tip. I'll go do a bit more scouting.

    2. Well behaved, mild mannered kids, who are dressed nicely can go just about anywhere in New York. It shouldn't be an issue.

      Keste or Co. could work really well for you, but my one warning would be to mention that Keste is a small place that can easily feel cramped. If you're traveling with strollers and need tables grouped together, you should probably call ahead or they might not have room for you.

      Amy Ruth's for soul food comes to mind for some reason, but your vegetarian wouldn't have a lot of options unless they're really pescatarians. So that doesn't really fit.

      I would focus on finding a place that can handle large groups, that is vegetarian friendly. We've had some threads for people looking for that before.

      Amy Ruth's
      113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

      230 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

      Keste Pizza & Vino
      271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      1 Reply
      1. re: sugartoof

        Thanks sugartoof! These are not my kids, so I don't want to make any promises about them being well-behaved, but I'm crossing my fingers that's the case.

        I definitely want to call ahead no matter where we go, because 8 adults +2 kids is quite a large group. Co. looks DELICIOUS, so thank you for that recommendation. Amy Ruth's also looks delicious, but because of the vegetarian thing, I think I'll save that one for the future.

        Great idea to search with groups/vegetarian search terms. I was so focused on the toddler thing that this didn't even occur to me. Will do!

      2. Hi,
        I've been in this boat several times in the last year. My family likes places where we can get the kids in a booth with no ability to flee into the dining room. So when you're looking at places, you might want to just ask about whether they can accommodate kids.

        2 Replies
        1. re: redbecca

          Ha, a booth is an excellent idea. I'm not a parent myself, and most of my friends in Hawaii do not have kids yet, so this is all new territory for me!

          1. re: C0URTNEY

            Kefi is great.

            505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        2. Otto is very child friendly. I like Amy Ruth's (recommended already) a lot, but wouldn't recommend it here; vegetarians would have to eat mac and cheese and other sides (think even the collards are meaty), and the service is too slow for an efficient dinner before attention spans wane. Arturo's is wonderfully child friendly, but their pizza's not as good as other places (like Co., also recommended). I'd also consider the green table at chelsea market--seasonal fare, lots of options for vegetarians, and lots of space throughout chelsea market for children to wander through and explore (including a bookstore with a decent children's section).

          106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

          The Green Table
          75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          3 Replies
          1. re: rose water

            Ooh thank you rose water for these recommendations. Arturo's and The Green Table both look amazing. I'm going to have to schedule several MORE dinners just so I can go and try all these places.

            You chowhounds are life-savers!

            1. re: C0URTNEY

              Landmark in TWC always has groups with kids, may be a little on the high end of your price range. Kefi is great, Lansky's Old World Deli ( 71 & Columbus), is also great, bet they don't have too many in Hawaii!

              505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

              Lansky's Old World Deli
              235 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

            2. re: rose water

              Thanks everyone again for your suggestions! Just wanted to update that I ended up making a reservation at The Green Table, which wasn't even on my radar originally, so THANK YOU!!

              I've also got quite a list brewing of other places I want to eat, including:
              The Spotted Pig
              Barney Greengrass
              The Shake Shack
              Cafe Sabarsky
              Nick's Pizza
              The Green Table
              City Bakery

              I better be hungry during my trip :)

              Barney Greengrass
              541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

              Spotted Pig
              314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

              City Bakery
              3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

              Cafe Sabarsky
              1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

              The Green Table
              75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              21 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

            3. Here is a great restaurant map of Kid Friendly restaurants all over Manhattan. (Many are vegetarian friendly too). Hope this helps everyone!!