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Recommendations for special lunch in Manhattan on a weekday with two small children in tow?

We are getting married on Tuesday of next week in Manhattan (we are from the UK). Looking for recommendations for a lunch after that feels special but is suitable to take our 3 year old and nearly-2-year old. They are reasonably well behaved but they are small kids...... and I don't want to feel awkward that they are disturbing peoples peaceful lunch in a place that isn't too child-friendly.

lthough the marriage bureau is on Worth Street, it doesn't have to be especially nearby....I suspect we'll be up early due to jet-lagged small people, so will probably get married quite early and have the time to travel after. With that in mind, a special brunch rather than lunch is also a possibility.

There will just be ourselves and our kids. Neither of them need a high chair. Pretty flexible on budget since we don't get married every day. Most cuisines are good - my little girl won't eat anything too spicy though.

Editing to add that if anyone has recommendations for any other good child-friendly places for the rest of our 4-day trip they would be welcome also. My kids love pizza and sushi.

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  1. You could spend your entire time eating pizza in the West Village if you wanted to. For some reason, we have a plethora of great pizza options: Artichoke, Keste (pizza di Napoli), Pizza Roma (Roman style), Johns of Bleeker St. and Bleeker Street Pizza (NYC style).

    For something a little different, your kids might like okonomiyaki, a.k.a. Japanese pizza. Otafuku in the East Village does a good version.

    For sushi, I think Kanoyama would be fine for children, especially if you eat early, around 5ish when they open. If you're jetlagged, the timing wouldn't be too bad, probably. The nigiri set menus there are a very good value for the quality.

    For your special occasion lunch... Could you maybe name a few cuisines you're interested in? Many establishments, even formal ones, are actually pretty child friendly at lunchtime. Would you consider a more casual place, or do you prefer formal?

    (Congrats on the marriage, by the way! The Worth St. bureau is a fine place to be married. There are so many happy couples and families there, it's hard not to catch the mood.)

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    Kanoyama
    175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Bleecker Street Pizza
    69 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Otafuku
    236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

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

    Artichoke
    111 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Pizza Roma
    259 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    1 Reply
    1. re: michelleats

      Thank you - I'll check out those. For special occasion lunch I guess I was thinking modern American. It doesn't have to be especially formal - just great food. To be honest very formal and two small children don't seem to go together too well, even at lunchtime. I'd prefer somewhere that is the sort of place where it would be highly unusual if there weren't other small children present rather than them being the only small kids in the restaurant, if that makes sense? They will wait for food to some extent - I don't expect McDonalds speed - but equally a lunch that will take 2-3 hours isn't really practical either.

    2. Landmarc (locations in Tribeca and Columbus Circle) is a very child-friendly place that serves reliably good food, made with high-quality ingredients.

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      Landmarc
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pan

        I've just had a look at the menu and that looks really good. A fairly varied kids menu is always a good sign I think - not because my kids can't eat from the main menu but because it does show that somewhere is pretty child-friendly and expects children.

        1. re: pootle

          In terms of child friendliness, Pan's Landmarc suggestion is a very, very good one: Yours won't be the only young chlldren there. The food isn't always wonderful at the Columbus Circle location, I think in part because of scale (toast accompanying marrow bone or other dishes has never arrived at my table warm and other dishes that ought to be hot are often lukewarm; the restaurant might just be too big), but it's at least fair and picky eaters tend to really enjoy the place. The more "exotic" dishes, like marrow bone and blood sausage, are all things you might find more mundane, coming from in the UK.

          I have heard from some people who think the Tribeca location is slightly better than the Columbus Circle location for food. It's also closer to the marriage bureau.

          Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen (http://www.blueribbonrestaurants.com/...) is another option to look into. The food is very good and the place is casual enough at lunch time that I think children would be welcome. Some of the seating is in comfortable, child friendly booths. Breads are, not surprisingly, excellent.

          Pan, I don't spend as much time in the EV as I should and don't know whether The Smith would be a good option for lunch with children. Do you (or anyone else) know? That could be another possibility.

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          Blue Ribbon Bakery
          33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

          Landmarc
          179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          Landmarc
          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

          1. re: michelleats

            Thank you for your thoughts - I did wonder whether with Landmarc we might be sacrificing quality for child-friendliness. Hmm, we'll have to think....

            Blue Ribbon Bakery looks a great menu. And booths are always good where small kids are concerned!

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            Blue Ribbon Bakery
            33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

            Landmarc
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

            1. re: pootle

              Landmarc at Tribeca is better. I've had a couple very good meals there. I also like Blue Ribbon Bakery though. Both places should fit your requirements very well.

            2. re: michelleats

              I've never been to The Smith, so I can't comment on it.

        2. For your special meal i would recommend Maialino for lunch. Good food, child-friendly, and special enough for your wedding day.

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          Maialino
          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

          5 Replies
          1. re: gutsofsteel

            For one of your other lunches or dinners I would suggest Otto.

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            Otto
            1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: Monica

                Thank you both - I already had Otto on my list from a trawl through older threads so further recommendations really do suggest we have to make it there!

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Just looked at the menu for Maialino and it looks very tempting indeed. Especially if they are child-friendly too.

              1. re: pootle

                For Italian, also consider Lincoln and Ai Fiori. Both restaurants are accustomed to small children during lunch service.

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                Lincoln
                142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

                Ai Fiori
                400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

            2. Bubby's in Tribeca is very children friendly and great food.

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              Bubby's Pie Co.
              120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

              2 Replies
              1. re: stefathena

                Thank you - I will check that out

                1. re: stefathena

                  Great? I've never been very impressed, though I admit it's been some time since I had anything (especially any savory food) there. What do you find great there?

                2. almost every place is child friendly to children who are restaurant friendly

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: thew

                    I know a lot of people say that....and if my kids were say 5 and 6 I'd understand.....but at not-quite-2 and 3-years-and-4-months I'm not sure whether my expectations meet with other peoples. Sure, I would not let them run about like maniacs, and I take stuff to keep them happy - but I just don't think a child of just under two, or indeed one of 3-and-4-months, think in terms of 'okay, I'm in a nice restaurant, I ought to modify my behaviour accordingly'. I don't think either of my children is 'badly behaved' at all - I just worry that 'well-behaved' in some peoples minds (i.e. seen and not heard, and very very patient) is rare indeed at that age.