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Jun 22, 2012 09:09 AM

Bringing a 10 year old to NYC for the first time - Dining Advice Needed

I used to live in NYC but now I live in the land of beer, meat, and gastronomy (a.k.a. Chicago). I'm taking my 10 year old niece to New York for a weekend and wanted some dining advice. She lives in the suburbs so I would really like to take her somewhere that looks impressive even if the food is maybe not as great.

I was contemplating between Spice Market and Buddakan since both look like nothing she has ever seen. They also seem like a good choice because we can sample a lot of items which is great for a 10 year old. Originally I was leaning towards Spice Market but many of the recent reviews have said that everything has become rather bland. I would love to get some feedback. The key is for it to be the type of place we can actually make a reservation for. While not in the same area I was also considering DBGB. Thoughts?

If anybody would like to share any other good advice or suggestions for things to do with a 10 year old I would be grateful. Even though I generally do whatever I can to avoid touristy areas I don't want to deprive my niece to some of the quintessential new york expereinces such as seeing time square at night.

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  1. I haven't been to Spice Market and Buddakan but my 10 year old niece loves DBGB.

    1. I think I would do something along the lines of the Stanton Social/Beauty & Essex-ish type of place. A restaurant that, while still "impressive" in its design, offers small versions of somewhat familiar comfort food.

      1. I've been to the Buddakan in Philadelphia. The decor fits what you're looking for, and I'm sure the The Chocolate Bento Box dessert will delight your niece. The food is good, if not a bit overpriced. Sometimes it can be a bit salty.

        My guess is that the menu at DBGB will be more appealing then the atmosphere -- it can get pretty loud in the dining room. But given her age, if you go early, it should work.

        Even though Katz's doesn't take reservations, it's not too hard to get in. And then you could walk around the East Village and take her up to Big Gay Ice Cream.

        5 Replies
        1. re: von_levi

          Or to Economy Candy on Rivington-the Ali Baba's cave of candy. Or The Sweet Life-an impossibly adorable candy store on Hester Street- two dreamlands for any 10year old.

          1. re: pammi

            [oops, i replied to a repeat of this thread - posting here now


            I think Buddakan would be pretty impressive for a little kid to see. some parts have an Indiana Jones feel, while the downstairs dining area with the big table and chandelier has this Disneyland Haunted Mansion vibe. From my experiences there, it doesn't seem to matter whether or not you have a reservation. They seem to make everyone wait in the lounge area for like 20-30 minutes - but maybe it'll be different since you're with a kid. The food is fine - especially if you're more interested in ambience. Not that I'm saying I love it, but I prefer it over Spice Market.

            You should also take your niece to Serendipity 3 - enchanting interior with fun desserts. From there you can walk to the Roosevelt Island Tramway, that will give you an above-ground view of the city and will also make her feel like she's on an amusement park ride.

            Speaking of, Coney Island would be awesome if you can make it out there. The bathrooms at 89 Mercer are also entertaining.

            [in addition to that original post...]

            at Kenka she'll be able to make her own cotton candy, which she might also enjoy.

            1. re: waxyjax

              The decor in Kenka is.... questionable for a 10-year-old.

              1. re: Cheeryvisage

                The decor outside of it is questionable, too.

                1. re: Pan

                  aw yes, i forgot to warn the OP of that. not sure if much of it would register with a kid though--i don't think i would notice any of it at that age. it's important to note that the decor is less questionable than the images on the menu (the menu items should probably just be selectively dictated to a 10 year-old).

        2. I think Budakan and Spice Mkt are both great options. With all the appetizer options atBudakan that may be the better choice. Make sure you wander around the restaurant. Pastis too may be a good option.