Chow, Baby: Where to Eat Brunch With Kids in NYC

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No one does brunch like New Yorkers, and we don’t stop brunching once children arrive. But where are the best places in NYC to brunch with kids? Read on for our favorite spots for kid-friendly brunch in NYC, most of which offer outdoor seating as well. Interested in pancakes? Check out our picks for the best NYC pancakes here!

Bronx

For a Healthy All-day Breakfast: Mottley Kitchen

This cafe is super cozy and modern, with a slick interior. You can also sit upstairs in the cute outdoor rooftop deck! Their all-day breakfast fare combined with the lunch menu is perfect for a brunchy experience any time. Choose from healthier options like the chicken grain bowl, egg dishes, or steak and onion sandwich. There are also plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes like overnight oats, kale salad, and black bean soup.

The Mottley Kitchen holds a Boogie Down Books Storytime for kids every Saturday from 10 to 11, which features a readaloud, Q&A, mindful discussions about people and their communities, as well as movement activities led by a yoga instructor. You can often find other community events here, like rooftop yoga and films, art installations, and even virtual cooking classes. 

402 East 140th Street
South Bronx
929-308-2099
Online: mottleykitchen.com

Brooklyn

 

Reunion

For an Israeli Spin on Brunch: Reunion

This Israeli cafe is a great option if you're looking for a brunch that serves up something other than waffles and pancakes. Okay, they do serve pancakes, too. But besides that, you'll find Middle Eastern dishes like schnitzel, cucumber salad, shakshuka, breakfast pita, shawarma, and more. Breakfast and lunch are served all day, until 5 p.m., so you can get your fix any time you crave it. 

Reunion now offers heated and covered outdoor seating if you prefer to sit outside. (But do make sure to check out the interior, as the space is decorated with cozy vintage vibes.) Although the cafe doesn't have a kids menu, staff is accommodating for their smaller patrons and can make modifications to the orders on request. There are also plenty of high chairs at their disposal, as well as safe and colorful children's silverware for kids to use.

544 Union Ave.
Williamsburg
718-599-3670
Online: reunionyc.com

For a Classic Diner and Tons of Character: Tom's

Is it gourmet? No. But it is beloved, and with good reason. A classic diner that's been around since the 30s, Tom's is a neighborhood institution well on its way to becoming a city treasure. Serving classic diner food, including cherry lime rickeys and crab cakes, Tom's is packed with both quirky decor and people. (You will probably have a short wait when you go, but the crowd is jovial and staff often pass out orange wedges to help fend off any hunger pangs.) Hot tip: Tom's is within walking distance of the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, so it's a good choice for before or after a visit. And breakfast is served all day!  Note: It's cash only, but there is an ATM on site. 

Tom's 
782 Washington Ave. 
Prospect Heights 
718-636-9738
Online: tomsbrooklyn.com


For Brunch with a Side of Brooklyn: Sunday in Brooklyn

Want to experience full-on Brooklyn with your brunch? Head to this mega-popular spot not far from Domino Park for noshing and people watching. Brunch is served all week long, from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. But be forewarned: Plan ahead and make a reservation, because the spot's popularity means you might otherwise end up waiting a while. 

The buzzy and casual main dining room hums with energy as favorites like decadent malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline, and brown butter; cheddar scramble, and yes, avocado toast (with cilantro tahini on sourdough, accompanied by mizuna salad and roasted walnuts and hazelnuts) emerge from the kitchen. Dishes offer a sophisticated twist on breakfast favorites new and old, and a serious, inventive and funny cocktail menu will please those who want to sample some spirits. 

Hanker for some bone broth on a weekend morning? (Who doesn't?) They serve that too. Plus, there's plenty of space to park strollers! There are some tables set up outside, plus rooftop garden seating.

Be aware that the space is under renovation (and adding more restrooms!) from January 3 to 18. In the meantime, you can visit the popup at 19 Fulton Street, which opens on January 13th.  

Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave.
347-222-6722
Williamsburg
Online: sundayinbrooklyn.com

Nancy N. via Yelp

For Indulgent Comfort Food: Buttermilk Channel

Another brunch hotspot for Brooklynites (read: lines can get long), Buttermilk Channel is probably not the place to go if you're trying to watch your waistline. This place excels in sweet and salty elevated comfort food, making it an ideal place for some weekend indulgence. You can also opt for outdoor dining.

Brunch offerings include Pecan pie French toast, the benedict-like eggs Huntington (made with a biscuit), fried pork chops and cheddar waffles, egg scrambles with toast, hash, and salad — and more! It's a good thing that brunch here is a weekend-only affair. 

The kid's menu serves up a full meal for just $15, including a main, a side, dessert and juice or milk. While you're there, you can even grab the house-published cookbook or a tote bag. 

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St.
Carroll Gardens
718-852-8490
Online: buttermilkchannelnyc.com

Upper East Side

For a Cozy Brunch on the Upper East: The Penrose

Brunch may be a sport on the Upper East Side but The Penrose doesn’t disappoint with is French toast sticks, mac and cheese bites, delectable crispy herbed home fries and fried chicken and waffle plate. The whole place oozes calm and you’ll want to kick back in this cabin-like space all day. Best of all, brunch starts at 9:30 on both Saturday and Sunday so parents can beat the massive crowds that start streaming in way later.

The Penrose
1590 Second Ave.
212-203-2751
Upper East Side 
Online: penrosebar.com

For Doggie Brunch: Barking Dog

Bring all your children to Barking Dog — both the two-legged and four-legged kind! This dog- and kid-friendly establishment is a haven for dog lovers of all ages. Pooches are welcome to join families for brunch, with a seating area outside complete with watering fountains and the occasional treat from waitstaff. Kids also get a treat in the form of coloring books and crayons (though the all the good doggos will likely keep them entertained enough!).

Brunch is a particular specialty of both locations, with a selection of yummy waffles, hearty sandwiches and burgers, frittatas, salads, and more. Brunch is served seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

329 West 49th St.
Hell's Kitchen
646-755-8009

1678 3rd Ave.
Upper East Side
212-831-1800
Online: barkingdognyc.com

For a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice's Tea Cup

Fall down the rabbit hole at this whimsical Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea house. Every child will have a magical experience at Alice's Tea Cup: On entering the establishment, children are sprinkled with fairy dust and told to make a wish! Your new little fairies might even get some wings to wear while they visit for a truly wonderful experience. 

There are two locations in Manhattan: Chapter I is the original space with a large selection of Alice-themed shopping goodies, while Chapter II has the bigger space. Outdoor seating is available, though the outside seating is sometimes taken up by private events. Both spots have a cozy and whimsical vibe, serving all kinds of tea with a varied menu of cakes, scones and sandwiches. You'll also find heartier selections for the hungrier brunchers, like poached eggs with smoked salmon on a buttermilk scone. Yum! Adults can enjoy some tea-infused drinks, like the Mango Mate Mimosa.

At the time of this writing, the tea spot is temporarily closed out of caution, but doors will open again in January.

Chapter I
102 W 73rd St.
Columbus Circle
212-799-3006

Chapter II
156 E 64th St.
Lenox Hill
212-486-9200

Online: alicesteacup.com

Upper West Side

For Comfort Food Early: Good Enough To Eat

This Upper West Side mainstay (it opened its doors in 1981) starts serving yummy treats at 9 a.m. on weekends, so plan to join the line as early as 8:30 a.m. to score a table. (Brunch ends at 5 p.m.). While there’s no dedicated kids menu, the place is very kid-friendly and friendly waitstaff can provide your little ones with playmats and crayons. You can also opt to eat outside on the patio.

The menu has a ton of options to choose from, but if you're looking for a meal for a little one, the sides like macaroni & cheese are ample enough for a little one. If your family tends to have big appetites, the Banana Walnut Pancakes are sure to keep your kids full ‘til dinner.

Good Enough to Eat
520 Columbus Ave. (at 85th St.)
212-496-0163
Online: goodenoughtoeat.com

Bella Luna

For Sweet & Savory Faves: Bella Luna

The supremely family-friendly Bella Luna opens its doors for brunch at 11:30 a.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Upper West Siders frequent this local fave that has been in the neighborhood for over 30 years, thanks to such tasty options as Nutella stuffed French toast, omelets with a wide variety of fillings and even a strawberry Nutella pizza, featuring ricotta, strawberries and basil.

Bella Luna
574 Columbus Ave.
212-877-2267
Upper West Side 
Online: bellalunanyc.com

Erik Medsker/Tavern on the Green

For a Classic New York Brunch in Central Park: Tavern on the Green

No trip to Central Park is complete without a visit to the historic Tavern on the Green, a restaurant that has captured the spirit of New York City since 1934. In 2014, co-owners Jim Caiola and David Salama (previously of Beau Monde and L’Etage in Philadelphia) re-opened Tavern with a completely redesigned space and menu and here’s what’s cool: The duo live around the block from the restaurant with their own kids so you can bet they wanted to make the restaurant a welcoming and fun place for families. We approve of the fact that brunch service starts at 9 AM on both Saturdays and Sundays, just in time for that much-needed second or third cup of coffee for exhausted parents. Kids will love the Brioche French Toast with fresh strawberries and vanilla whipped cream. The restaurant also always offers custom kid’s prix fixe menu for all holiday meals.

Tavern on the Green
67th Street and Central Park West
212-877-8684
Upper West Side 
Online: tavernonthegreen.com

Midtown

American Girl Cafe

For Brunch with the Grandparents: American Girl Cafe 

Bring your little ones and their accompanying American Girl dolls on a brunch date at the American Girl Cafe. This is truly a treat for little kids — waitstaff are great at making kids feel welcome and special, and there are even special seating arrangements for the American Girl dolls. 

Though the meal is a full three-course lunch, you can definitely brunch it up at this special cafe. Meals include complimentary drinks, cinnamon buns, pretzel bites and veggies, kid-favorite main courses, and, of course, deserts a-plenty! Bring your sweet tooth, because you'll definitely want to try the cotton candy milkshake, scrumptious rainbow cakes, chocolate mousse flowerpot, and many more!

75 Rockefeller Plaza
Midtown
Online: americangirl.com

Junior's

For a High-Energy Times Square Treat: Junior’s Restaurant

Grits are fan faves at this citrus-orange spot—the newest of this mini-chain of deliciousness—perched right on the edge of Times Square. They’re authentically buttery and add a perfect accessory to omelets in endless varieties. And okay if you’re steering clear of eggs, you’ll find griddle cakes, cheese blintzes and oatmeal served in massive portions. Bonus: The griddles begin heating up at 6:30 AM seven days a week, which is perfect for parents who have forgotten what it’s like to sleep in!

Junior’s Restaurant
1626 Broadway
212-365-5900
Online: juniorscheesecake.com

For a Walk Back to Victorian Times: Lillie’s

There’s no shortage of atmosphere at Lillie’s, an inviting space that harkens back to Victorian times. We’re talking furnishings acquired from a Belfast mansion, stained glass from Milan and an antique marble bar. What’s on the ‘elevated American pub fare’ menu is equally appealing. Your kids will go nuts for the buttermilk pancakes (available without gluten, FYI) and you’ll love the eggs benny and guac toast.

Lillie's Victorian
249 West 49th St.
212-957-4530
Online: liliesnyc.com

Carnegie Diner

For Over-the-Top Milkshakes: Carnegie Diner

Who says milkshakes can’t be a brunch food? We think this should be considered a go-to at brunch and the chocolate pancake milkshake served at the Carnegie Diner does not disappoint. If that’s not enough to impress the entire family, consider such fun menu options as the pancake lollipops (mini silver dollar pancakes served on a lollipop stick). Located steps away from Carnegie Hall, your early birds will delight in the 7 a.m. start time for breakfast, too.

Carnegie Diner
205 West 57th St.
212-664-1001
Midtown
Online: carnegiediner.com 

Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen

For a Trip to Spain Without Leaving Town: Spanish Diner at Mercado Little Spain

One of the best ways to start your Hudson Yards exploration: Brunch at Spanish Diner at José Andrés Mercado Little Spain. The diner, which opens daily at seven a.m., is tucked right under the High Line and egg fans take note: Egg dishes are a specialty here with such offerings as classics like fried eggs served atop a bed of French fries. If your little ones prefer something sweet, the olive oil pancakes and Spanish-style French toast, soaked overnight in milk and then soaked in egg, are a must try. 

Spanish Diner
10 Hudson Yards
646-495-1242
Hudson Yards
Online: littlespain.com/restaurant/spanish-diner/

East Village

For an Indoor Garden That Can’t Be Beat: Gnocco

East Village locals know all about the bliss that can be found at Gnocco, an Italian restaurant that has been serving meals to neighborhood families for 20 years. Do whatever you can to book a table in the plant-filled, covered garden out back. The heated retreat is the perfect place to sip a cappuccino and watch as your kids relish their plate of fluffy pancakes or a Roman-style margherita pizza.

Gnocco
337 East 10th St.
East Village 
212-677-1913
Online: gnocco.com

West Village

For a Little Country in the City: Cowgirl

For 31 years, this West Village favorite has flung open its doors for brunch every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. There’s so much here to love—and cherish—including the restaurant’s western-themed lounge in the back with two pinball machines and a photo booth—a perfect place for the kids to hang out while you wait for your table or sip a frozen margarita. Or, you can head outdoors to the covered seating for some al-fresco brunching.

Once you arrive at your table, crayons and a kids menu featuring pancakes, scrambled eggs and, yes, the ice cream baked potato. This dessert looks like a baked potato but tastes like a hot fudge sundae. What could be better!

519 Hudson St.
West Village
212-633-1133
Online: cowgirlnyc.com

Soho

For a Stylish Soho Scene: Soho Diner

The people-watching is epic at the Soho Diner tucked right in the Soho Grand Hotel. But there’s one more reason we love this place lots: It oozes classic diner vibes, cranks the ’80s tunes and is open 24/7, which means that you can arrive here at the crack of dawn and snag a table. And, while you delight in a tasty avocado toast, your littles will go bananas for the malted waffle or buttermilk pancakes with whipped butter and real maple syrup.

Soho Diner
320 West Broadway
212-965-3011
Soho
Online: sohodinernyc.com

Tribeca

Bubby's

For a Friendly Family: Bubby's 

Bubby's is a haven for families, well-known for being very welcoming to kids and having a delectable menu to match. Bubby's serves up homemade brunch on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., complete with pancakes with a plethora of toppings to choose from. The spot has a special menu for kids, with favorites like Mac 'n Cheese, Grilled Cheese sandwiches, a junior burger and chicken strips. And don't forget to leave some room for the delectable seasonal pies that the restaurant is known for! 

High chairs are also available for the smallest patrons. Plus, head downstairs for a vintage photo booth that takes black and white photos! Some limited outdoor seating is available, though eating in is a real treat. 

120 Hudson St.
Tribeca
212-219-0666
Online: bubbys.com

Queens

For Down-home Comfort Food: Mom's Kitchen and Bar

With two locations, in Astoria and Midtown, Mom's Kitchen and Bar is a must-stop if you're craving some delicious food. The vibe is fun (don't miss the Golden Girls prayer candles) and portions are absolutely huge. Heated outdoor seating is an option if you want to enjoy your brunch outdoors.

There's a great selection of pancakes that kids are sure to love, like mac 'n cheese, Bedrock (which are made with Fruity Pebbles, topped with mixed berries, whipped cream and berry syrup), and apple cobbler. A kid favorite is Big Mouth Shakes! If that weren't enough, there's an all-day kids menu where every meal is $10 and comes with a soda or juice. Plus, the back of the menu has a super fun space for kids to create their own comics. 

There are also heartier and less sweet options, like the revamped avocado toast (made with eggs, tomato, cucumber, pickled onions and house Hollandaise sauce on sourdough), shrimp and cheesy grits, and plenty more. Brunch is served seven days a week, all day long! That means you can grab brunch until midnight on some days, if the craving strikes. 

3301 31st Ave.
Astoria
718-267-0142
Online: momsastoria.com

701 9th Ave. at 48th St.
Midtown
646-657-0080
Online: momsmidtown.com

For a Hearty Meal: The Queensboro 

The Queensboro is a popular neighborhood brunch spot for families. Serving up brunch on Saturdays from 11 to 3 and Sundays from 10:30 to 3, this is the place to go if you want a hearty meal. Whether you're in the mood for some eggs or a burger, the Queensboro has it. There's also a children's menu for younger visitors to choose from, with a selection of smaller kid portions of popular brunch dishes. 

The space has many highchairs, so there's always one on hand when it's needed. The restaurant also keeps some coloring books for young patrons. The restaurant recently added more space in their heated outdoor seating, which is perfect if you're looking for an outside eating experience with the family. When in doubt, ask a staff member: Waitstaff are happy to help parents choose the best dishes for all the family members. 

 80-02 Northern Blvd
Jackson Heights
929-296-0038
Online: thequeensboro.com

Staten Island

For a Sugary Treat: Project Brunch

S'mores and oreo pancakes! Frozen coffee and hot chocolate in a jar! Project Brunch is every sweet brunch enthusiast's dream. The dishes really hit the sweet spot — literally! Served with sugary toppings like cream cheese frosting and marshmallows, nuts and fruits, and plenty more. It might not be a healthy choice, but it sure is a delicious one.

Although this brunch specialty spot is a fairly small space, it has a welcoming environment as well as indoor and outdoor seating, and is well worth a visit. If you're concerned about having to wait for a seat, use the special "No Wait" app to ensure there will be seats waiting for your family when you arrive. 

4553 Arthur Kill Rd.
Charleston
Staten Island
718-605-9866
Online: projectbrunch.com

—Yuliya Geikhman

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