New Yorkers are known for their educated palates and dedication to dining out—and with such gourmand parents, city kids learn it all at a young age. Here are a number of places that aim to please both adults and children with fine food, efficient service and a kid-friendly atmosphere, on Mother’s Day and all year long.
524 Court St., Brooklyn,
The fried chicken at Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens is revered citywide; and it appears on the kids menu, too. Added bonus: It’s served from a wait staff is welcoming to all ages. The clown sundae (cone-topped Van Leeuwen with M&Ms for eyes) turns the under 10 set into regulars.
Why mama will like it: All sorts of good stuff in the $10 kids special: veggies are included, the hot dog is organic and the chicken free-range.
Why kids will like it: Extensive kids’ choices and crayons delivered promptly for mid-meal coloring.
3 W. 18th St.,
City Bakery’s outrageously flavorful sweet and savory eats make for a quick and easy midday meal with kids. Head straight back to the serve-yourself, by-the-pound buffets; Greenmarket salads and heartier fare like mac and cheese and flaky single-serve pizzas change frequently throughout the day.
Why mama will like it: A play-area nook is equipped with toddler-size tables and a handful of toys; all the food is fresh and easy for young ones and parents to love.
Why kids will like it: The double chocolate cookie pretty much speaks for itself, but the peanut butter and classic chocolate chips are also dynamite.
318 Grand St., Brooklyn,
Williamsburg gets more family friendly all the time, and Lodge is a go-to for neighborhood parents. A cheeky rustic-Americana theme works equally well for hipsters and youngsters; everyone collectively digs the warm artichoke dip, burgers and the popular brunch.
Why mama will like it: The place is bustling and friendly, and besides a $8 kids deal, there’s a full bar and good cocktails too.
Why kids will like it: Cool details abound: wooden stumps as tables, antler light fixtures, big picture windows of the street scene outside all work to keep kids entertained.
Dim Sum Go-Go
5 E. Broadway,
The pleasures of dumplings transcend age, but the bumper-cart maelstrom of most dim sum palaces can be confusing. Dim Sum Go-Go, is casual and straightforward; there’s no wheeling the food around the restaurant so tables order by ticking the appropriate boxes (sesame balls! jade dumplings! roast pork buns!) on a paper menu.
Why mama will like it: A wide variety of dumpling fillings, soups and main courses means everyone is satisfied, including vegetarians; food arrives quickly.
Why kids will like it: The enjoyment of scribbling on the menu is not to be discounted—let the little ones be in command of marking up the menu.
5 E. 51st St., 212-759-4729, primeburger.com
Apparently unchanged since its 1938 opening, Prime Burger is a classic midtown lunch counter that kids will get a kick out of. The waiters are gruff but winning, delivering pared-down burgers and diner classics to New Yorkers hungry for a nostalgic experience.
Why mama will like it: Inexpensive, appealing diner fare (kid's meal, $5.95) and expedited service means everyone is happy.
Why kids will like it: Much of the seating in the room is made up of old school desks, so that every place setting has its own tray; family groups can get a whole section of desks facing each other.
Cafe Gitane at the Jane Hotel
113 Jane St., 212-255-4113
Where the original SoHo Cafe Gitane is cramped and sceney, the newer West Village outpost is airy and relaxed. The sunny space and retro-chic decor includes a foosball table and other games for the easily impatient. The avocado toast, a staple snack of Gitane's menu, is perfect for picky palates.
Why mama will like it: It’s right across from Hudson River Park and just blocks from the Highline. Not to mention the famous couscous with harissa.
Why kids will like it: Fun places to sit include green swervy stools at the counter. And did we mention foosball?
200 Ninth Ave., 212-633-8033, kleebrasserie.com
Breakfast for dinner is one of life’s great treats, and the cornflake French toast is a must-have at this Austrian bistro. The owners are new parents themselves (earning a spot of notoriety for making breast-milk cheese) who’ve updated the kids menu to include simplified versions of the otherwise grown-up fare—everyone loves spaztel!
Why mama will like it: The restaurant recently installed a changing table in the restroom and are actively encouraging a family-positive atmosphere.
Why kids will like it: Not only is there French toast for dinner, but scrambled eggs, pancakes and a peanut-butter banana sandwich.