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Family Friendly Restaurants - Manhattan, NYC

Family Friendly Restaurants - Manhattan, NYC

Family and kid friendly restaurants in Manahattan, NYC, that will put some great big smiles on your kids faces.

Ellen's Stardust Diner - Times Square

There's a very cool vibe going down at this Times Square mainstay that has been captivating children of all ages for many years, now!

Both you and the kids will love the retro, 50s diner dιcor. A little bit over the top, the environs look as though Salvador Dali went a little crazy. The loud mixture of colors will make your eyes pop. But it's all in fun.

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You never know just what will go down at Ellen's, from one moment to the next. But whatever does happen, you can be sure it will be unforgettable.
Ellen's is world famous as the home of the singing wait staff. Every so often, a couple of the servers will break into song and ask you to join in! Don't be surprised if a rousing rendition of a classic rock and roll number ends with reams of confetti falling from the ceiling.

Since 1987, the kitchen prides itself on serving some of the best classic diner comfort food in the nation.

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Busy families on the go love the fact that Ellen's serves all day breakfast. They've got all your favorites!
The lunch and dinner portion of the menu is extensive and mouth-watering.

Your little rascals won't be able to get enough of the loaded tater tots, Brooklyn-style potato pancakes, mac and cheese bites or mozzarella triangles. Let them enjoy while you and your significant other kick off the proceedings with a bowl of chicken orzo soup or vegetarian lentil.

Salads range from a delightful chopped Greek salad and a bountiful Caprese to spinach with goat cheese and cranberries as well as a delicious calamari salad that just might convert your children into eating greens. The calamari is tossed with kale and green beans.

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In addition to a fantastic selection of burgers and sandwiches, Ellen's chefs are known for their old fashioned (generous portions) Blue Plate specials.
There's a lot to choose from including the mama mia meatloaf, Norman Rockwell's turkey dinner with all the trimmings, chicken and waffles, beef stew and a savory chicken pot pie that is so much fun to eat.

Location and Hours

1650 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 956-5151
www.ellensstardustdiner.com

Hours
Monday to Sunday  7 AM to 12 AM

Melt Shop - Times Square

Who doesn't love a gooey grilled cheese sandwich? Now, that's something that everyone in the family can agree on.

At Melt Shop, they have transformed the process of creating a grilled cheese on your favorite bread, into a work of art. Be forewarned, though, you won't have much time to admire this culinary masterpiece. The moment that the sandwich hits your table, you'll want to devour it.

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The grilled cheese sandwich is one of America's culinary wonders. You can't get much more Americana than this menu staple from the 1940's and 50s.

Founded by entrepreneur, sandwich junkie Spencer Rubin, along with Maryland transplant and foodie Josh Morgan, Melt Shop is a casual eatery with very hip dιcor. Both you and the kids will really enjoy the time that you spend here.

If you're a foodie, you will delight in the fact that, when you eat at Melt, you are in on something that's poised for tremendous success. As Spencer and Josh add even more restaurants to their brand, Melt Shop might very well rival Shake Shack, one day.

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The menu is rather limited but you will still be able to find a dish that delights.

Sandwiches range from the Classic (American and Cheddar on white bread), a Truffle melt that contains Muenster, Truffle oil and Arugula on Sourdough, the Wisco (with sharp cheddar, brick spread, bacon and sliced tomato) to the signature burger melt.
This tasty creation consists of the special Melt Shop burger blend, pepper jack cheese, pickles, caramelized onions, cheese sauce and a touch of their  secret sauce, all on fresh baked sourdough bread.

What's a grilled cheese sandwich without a nice, hot bowl of tomato soup. They've got the best tomato soup here at Melt .

You can wash it all down with a fresh house made lemonade, iced tea, half and half or a glass of Root beer from the Abita Brewing company.

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Grilled cheese, though, goes best with a thick shake. Melt's counter guys and gals have got you covered with flavors such as vanilla, Nutella and chocolate truffle.

Location and Hours

135 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10019
www.meltshop.com
 
Hours Monday to Sunday  11 AM to 10 PM

Times Square Diner - Times Square

The traditional neighborhood Greek diner model has undergone a 180 degree transformation here at Times Square Diner.
There is nothing at all old-fashioned about this contemporary, sleek space with jazzy dιcor. Parents will like the way cool and comfortable surroundings. Kids will appreciate the fact that, for all of its' modern design, Times Square Diner is not stuffy or intimidating in any way.

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The place is run by a family (Greek-American, of course), who, for over thirty years, owned a traditional and very popular diner on the Upper East Side.
While they are proud to have revolutionized the concept of what a Greek Diner is, the family knows that it's not wise to completely abandon the old-school way, especially when it comes to food.
That's why you'll find long-time favorites like a  juicy Gyro platter, Greek-style meatballs and tzatziki spread with pita and cucumbers on the menu.

The entrιe portion of the menu features an updated version of pasta spinaka, a meal on a plate consisting of fresh pasta with bacon, spinach and fresh herbs tossed in a white wine garlic sauce. It's all topped with  bread crumbs for a little extra flavor.

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Dishes that are very kid friendly include an above average chicken Parm platter, bacon wrapped meatloaf, chicken bites with jalapenos and a delicious chipotle aioli dip and BBQ chicken ravioli.

Drink offerings range from chocolate milk to a thirst-quenching old fashioned cream soda.

Location and Hours

807 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 315-2400
www.timessquaredinerny.com

Hours
Monday to Sunday- open 24 hours.

Planet Hollywood - Times Square

This spectacular restaurant is almost a theme park in itself. When you and your family dines here, you'll be enveloped by hundreds of props, costumes and memorabilia from one blockbuster movie after another.
You will feel as though you're having a" lunch break " on an actual Hollywood sound stage. That's how realistic the cinematic experience is.

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If your children have never heard of Planet Hollywood, they will thank you endlessly for taking them there. And they'll be telling all their friends at  school the next day about their memorable day at Planet Hollywood. How often do you get the chance to be really cool in the eyes of your children?

Dad, when you see the planes from Top Gun and Independence Day, you'll feel like a kid again. In fact, your wife may just have to hold you back from trying to climb into the cockpit and do your best Tom Cruise imitation.

The menu here is surprisingly varied. Despite this restaurant's uber-popularity, the chefs don't take the easy way out. The kitchen puts on a full-court press that will delight your taste buds.

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The culinary theme here travels the world from all American comfort food to Mexican, Italian and  Asian dishes.

Kids and their parents cannot get enough of the sizzling Fajitas, Teriyaki salmon, Singapore Noodle dish or the Pineapple orange chicken.

Meat lovers will enjoy the kitchen's savory BBQ ribs, NY strip and chicken Marsala, which is as good as you'll find in any Italian restaurant.
Mom, get your fork ready for their signature spinach and peaches salad or the greens, tomatoes and cucumbers that are topped with turkey breast and avocado.

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Here's something delicious and different to look out for, the next time you eat at Planet Hollywood. We are talking about the OMG Burger!
Like you and the kids, the chef here loves a really good burger. So every week, he challenges himself to come up with an over the top burger  that will have you exclaiming OMG. The succulent Roast beef sandwich also hits all the right notes.

Here's a huge bonus. All smoothies and hand-dipped milk shakes are served in your very own take home souvenir glass. The most popular smoothies at Planet Hollywood are the frosted mint chocolate and peach melba. As far as the milk shakes go, the Creamsicle and Oreo cookies and cream take top prize.

Location and Hours

1540 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 333-7827
www.planethollywoodintl.com

Hours
Sunday to Thursday  11 AM to 12 AM
Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 1 AM

Guy's American Kitchen and Bar - Times Square

Welcome to flavor town! If you've watched the hit Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, then you are probably already familiar with one of chef Guy Fieri's many colorful catch phrases.

A dynamic, larger than life personality, Guy Fieri has carved out a stellar career as both a widely-respected chef, restaurant owner and TV  star.
But it wasn't until a few short years ago that Guy thought that the time was right to bring his take on American comfort cuisine to New York City. After scouting dozens of potential locations for his NYC debut, Guy  decided that Times Square was the perfect setting .

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As Guy says "I have always lived my life by the motto, Go big or go home." So, when it came time to rev up the kitchen fire and get cookin' in NYC, I couldn't think of a better place than right in the heart of it all, Times Square. Great food and good times. That's what this place is all about."

From the moment that you walk through the door, you'll agree one hundred percent with Guy that this restaurant is something special.

There are several dining areas here as well as a humongous bar. One of the rooms is decorated with photos of rock and roll legends along with electric guitars that actually belonged to these superstars. A Bi-level restaurant, the spacious downstairs dining room has a cool industrial vibe. The walls are adorned with eye-catching posters and photos of classic cars,  as well as sports memorabilia. Guy is an avid collector of 50s and 60s models, particularly convertibles.

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The location is perfect if you and the family want to spend the day in the city. Guy's American Kitchen and Bar is in the center of all the action. Times Square, a show in itself, is right outside the door. And, Guy's restaurant is within walking distance of all the Broadway theaters as well as the Intrepid Sea and Air Museum.

However, in order to have the energy to do all that walking around, you've got to fuel up. Guy's varied menu contains everything you'll need to feel refreshed and energized.

The "winner, winner chicken dinner" portion of the menu features Guy's signature chicken dishes. All of their chickens are brined, dry-rubbed and slow-cooked over an open fire in their downstairs dining room rotisserie.

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Choose between the rotisserie roasted garlic-Rosemary half chicken with lemon sauce and mushrooms, accompanied by roasted potatoes and seasonal veggies or Guy's Hawaiian chicken, which is lacquered in a sweet Hawaiian BBQ sauce. This one of a kind dish is served with old school rice pilaf, crispy won ton strips, mango confetti and a lime wedge.

Other customer favorites include the grilled Margarita tuna, cedar plank salmon with Jalapeno apricot jam, a grilled 12 oz. filet mignon in a Cremini mushroom brandy sauce and the  indulgent bacon mac and cheese burger. Oh yes, don't forget the Motley Cue Ribs. Your  fall off the bone ribs are smoked St. Louis style and then glazed with Guy's signature BBQ sauce.

Guy's special kids meals are delicious and very affordable at only $12.50 each. Some of the dishes are also surprisingly nutritious, like the whole wheat spaghetti and lean, all natural Turkey meatballs.

Kids offerings range from pretzel-coated chicken tenders, a kids veggie burger, grilled chicken Quesadillas and macaroni in a three-cheese blend.

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Moms and Dads you will love the fact that all kid's meals include choice of all-natural fries, carrots and celery sticks or green apple wedges.

You've watched Guy Fieri whip up his dishes on TV for years now. Here is your chance to sample his cooking in person.

Location and Hours

220 West 44th Street
Between 7th and 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
(646) 532-guys
www.guysamerican.com

Hours
Monday to Wednesday  11:30 AM to 10 PM
Thursday to Saturday 11:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday               11:30 AM to 10 PM

Friedman's - Times Square

Located on Tenth Avenue, Friedman's is only a few blocks from the bright lights of Broadway and Times Square. It's no more than a hop, skip and a jump from the matinee show you were attending or a visit to the M&M candy store.

A family run business that started in Chelsea in 2009, Friedman's is all about healthy eating without sacrificing great taste. The owners believe that food should be enjoyed, pure and simple. Their philosophy and motto is "Be proud of the food that you serve."

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There is a very interesting back story as to how the business started. One of the founders, Vanessa, had always wanted to open her own restaurant. However, when she was diagnosed with celiac disease, Vanessa's whole world was turned upside down.  Vanessa had no choice but to go on a gluten-free diet.

However, Vanessa and her family were still determined to open a restaurant where everyone, no matter what allergies they had or food restrictions, could enjoy a great meal.

At Friedman's many of their dishes such as the waffles, pancakes and fried chicken are gluten-free.

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The culinary team works hand in hand with local farmers who provide the restaurant with antibiotic-free meats and garden fresh veggies.

In addition to cooking up some delicious food, the owners have a nice sense of humor. The place is named after Milton Friedman, the celebrated economist who popularized the phrase, "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

Everything on the menu is so tasty that your kids won't know that they are eating in a more healthy way. The flavors from the two bean turkey chili fairly burst from the plate.
All sandwiches are served with house-made potato chips that are fresh as can be. You have got to try the B.L.A.T. a sandwich that is heaped almost sky-high on toasted sourdough bread, with bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomatoes with herb aioli.

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If a nice bowl of greens are on your mind, you can order up an entrιe sized salad like the Mediterranean shrimp or the grilled salmon option.
Other popular items are the delicious fish tacos and their sterling selection of burgers like the NY State Lamb hamburger, Southwestern turkey and Friedman's all natural Angus beef  patty. All burgers come with hand-cut fries that are dressed in Rosemary, sage and thyme.

Parents, you realize that kids love brunch too, right?  Why not, then, take them to Friedman's. Experience brunch with a difference when you enjoy the egg white scramble, with market veggies, potato hash, avocado and whole wheat toast.

The wild mushroom toast is a beautifully presented blend of herb roasted wild mushrooms, sunny side -up eggs, local, creamy Burrata and Truffle butter over toasted ciabatta. Mixed greens complete your plate.

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No matter what your favorite meal is, the whole family will delight in this oasis of good taste amidst a sea of fast food chains.

Location and Hours

450  Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
(212) 268-1100
www.friedmansrestaurant.com
Hours
Monday to Friday 8 AM to 10 PM
Saturday         9 AM to 10 PM
Sunday           9 AM to 9 PM

Buca di Beppo - Times Square

Hanging out in front of the Good Morning America studios on Times Square and 45th Street has become the  trendy thing to do for born and bred New Yorkers as well as tourists. This busy corner has become celebrity central. You never know who will be appearing on the show.

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However, watching Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Michael Strahan and company interview guests and interact with the crowd outside the studio windows, can make you work up quite an appetite.
After standing outside the studios for a few hours, you will be more than ready for a good lunch. And if you are in the mood for Italian food, there's no better choice than Buca di Beppo.

The decor is a contemporary take on the traditional 60s and 70s, neighborhood Italian restaurant ambiance that you've seen in countless movies. But  the decor in the various dining rooms is not loud or cheesy in any way. Only the delicious baked ziti is, if you'll pardon the pun.

Buca di Beppo  serves all of its' dishes family style, so if you've got a hungry family to feed, you'll want to pay them a visit... soon.

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As it says on the menu, "our dishes are meant to be shared". Buca small feeds 2 to 3 people while the large option can feed up to 5 ravenous kids and parents. We're talking hearty portions, so you might even have some food left to box up and take home .

One of the highlights of any meal here is the scrumptious, house baked breads that you can order to accompany your meal.
You can select from an out of this world garlic loaf or upgrade things to a mozzarella and garlic combo. But the real masterpeice that will have your kids asking for seconds is the cheesy Florentine bread. Parmesan, provolone and mozzarella together with heaps of spinach, Roma tomatoes, Garlic and Alfredo sauce are  slathered onto Italian bread. When you are ravenous, it doesn't get any better than this.

Buca's antipasti (appetizer) stand-outs are the mussels marinara , fried mozzarella and the stuffed mushrooms.

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Kids love pizza, as do most adults and they've got some great pies here. Go for the supremo Italiano. It's got everything you love about pizza and more  including spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, yellow onions, red and green bell peppers,mozzarella, provolone cheese and a savory meat sauce.

Baked pasta options range from an excellent cannelloni that's stuffed with chicken and ricotta, cheese manicotti, an outrageous lasagna and stuffed shells. Guaranteed, when your family sees the waiter bearing a huge tray of any of these delicious dishes they will ooh and aah!

They've also got all of the old-time favorites that you remember so well from Sunday Dinner at Grandma's house such as eggplant parmigiana, chicken Marsala,fettuccine Alfredo and Ravioli.

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Finish up your lunch or dinner with a signature Buca di Beppo dessert. Everything on the sweet endings portion of the menu is good, but the highest notes are hit with the home made Tiramisu, a truly colossal brownie sundae, the chocolate chip  cannoli and  the dark chocolate cake.
If  someone in the family is celebrating a birthday, the pastry chef  will happily decorate  his or her special celebration cake, with the name of your child and a personal message from mom and dad.

Location and Hours

1540 Broadway
 New York, NY 10036
 (212) 764-6527
www.bucadibeppo.com

Hours
Sunday to Thursday  11 AM to 11 PM
Friday and Saturday 11 AM to  12 AM

Schnippers Quality Kitchen - Times Square

Located on the ground floor of the New York Times building, Schnippers is a favorite of tourists and local residents as well as the multitude of office workers in this busy and bustling neighborhood.

Schnippers has a magnificent, state of the art modern look to it. The restaurant is enclosed by futuristic, towering glass walls. In both Spring and Summer, you have the option to dine outdoors at their sidewalk cafe. On this stretch of Times Square there is no shortage of interesting people to watch, to pass the time while you're enjoying a delicious burger or sloppy Joe.

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The founders are Jonathan and Andrew Schnipper. These talented brothers are no strangers to the food industry. They founded Hale and Hearty Soups, back in 1995. After selling the company, Jon and Andrew wanted to embark on a new challenge. So, they traveled the country, sampling all kinds of regional comfort foods.
As the brothers visited cities as far afield as Chicago and San Diego, they began to piece together the menu for their new casual dining restaurant. Thus, Schnippers' Quality Kitchen was born.

The Times Square restaurant is the original location. It is big, to say the least, so long lines are kept at a minimum. But do try to avoid  coming here during lunch hour, especially if you have a child or two with you.

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As the brothers Schnipper put together the menu, there was a great deal of back and forth. Jon and Andrew each had their favorite dishes that they wanted to include. But the one item that they were totally in agreement on was the inclusion of Sloppy Joes.
This signature Schnipper dish was inspired by the sloppy Joes that their mom served the brothers every Saturday for lunch. A blend of ground beef with  sloppy Joe sauce and seasonings on a bun, this succulent sandwich  helped to put Schnippers' Quality Kitchen on the culinary map.

In addition to the Sloppy Joe, the restaurant is famous for their burgers (topped with a delightful Schnippers' sauce) and hot dogs. The green chili cheese dog is topped with house roasted Poblanos and home-made cheese sauce. It is not from a jar, package or can. This is authentic cheesier than even your mom's was, cheese sauce.

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In the mood to change things up? Not sure what you want? Then order their Mac and Joe dish. It's half mac n' cheese, half sloppy Joe with no bun.

The menu here is infinitely more extensive than you would imagine. The fish Tacos are inspired by the brothers visit to San Diego. These tacos are filled with grilled mahi, Guacamole and crema, pico di gallo  and napa cabbage. There is also a chicken version of this dish on the menu.

Other offerings include an old-school tuna fish sandwich a grilled chicken breast on whole wheat bread with Brie cheese, as well a classic turkey and Swiss with Russian dressing.
The sweet potato fries are the best. If you like salads, Schnippers has quite a few items that will tempt your palate. The fig and blue bowl consists of marinated dried figs, blue cheese, apples, toasted walnuts and croutons in a light vinaigrette.

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You will also love the beets with Goat cheese salad as well as their classic Cobb.

Schnippers home-style comfort food cooked up just right for you and your family.

Location and Hours

620 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
(212) 921-2400
www.schnippers.com

Hours
Monday to Friday 10:30 AM to 11 PM
Saturday         11  AM to   11 PM
Sunday           11 AM to 10 PM

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