Family-Friendly Restaurants in Dumbo: Where to Eat with Kids in Dumbo
So far this month we've shared our top 40 things to do in Dumbo with kids and the best places for kids' classes in Dumbo. Now our mouths are watering as we write about our favorite family-friendly Dumbo restaurants.
Families can enjoy a variety of cuisine in Dumbo, from kid pleasers like pizza and comfort food, to more sophisticated fare at swankier sit-down eateries. The atmosphere can't be beat: Many restaurants offer gorgeous views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, or you can grab a tasty chocolate or ice cream treat to go and indulge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Here are our 11 favorite places to eat in Dumbo with kids, including a few exceptional treat spots.
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
1 Water Street at Old Fulton Street
It may seem odd to start with dessert but this isn't your average ice cream spot. Located in an old fireboat house under the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a destination in itself. Order a scoop or two and sit by the river and watch the water taxis motor by. The parlor's sweet stuff is made from fresh ingredients (you'll taste the difference right away) and comes in basic flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butter pecan. Sundaes and milk shakes are also available.
Unfortunately, this restaurant closed in October 2012.
If you like the Tribeca outpost of this popular comfort food eatery you'll love the one in Dumbo. The Brooklyn branch boasts incredible views of the bridges and waterfront, locally sourced dishes and a children's menu with kid favorites like mac 'n' cheese and chicken fingers. Best of all: Bubby's serves brunch every day, so you can enjoy pancakes and eggs on weekdays. The spot's also very well known for its pies, which include apple and Florida Key Lime. Bubby's even hosts a pie social during the annual Dumbo Arts Festival in the fall.
Front Street Pizza
80 Front Street at Washington Street
And you thought we were going to say Grimaldi's. The truth is, as famous as Grimaldi's is, the line is always insane—not easy when you have antsy kids who are more interested in immediate gratification than lauded reputation. Front Street Pizza serves salads, heroes and pretty good slices. It also offers gluten-free pasta and pizza options.
1 Front Street at Old Fulton Street
If you absolutely must taste the pizza at this famous coal-brick-oven pizzeria (which also has outposts in Manhattan and Queens), be prepared to wait on a very, very long line—it usually snakes around the corner. Other things to note: Grimaldi's doesn't serve slices, only full pies, doesn't take reservations and only accepts cash. And once you do get your pizza, be prepared to eat it outside under the Brooklyn Bridge with tourists from all over the world since the indoor seating is practically nonexistent.
81 Washington Street near York Street
Situated in a soothing space with lovely Asian decor, Rice offers a healthy menu with fusion food that has Asian, European and Caribbean accents. While some items are quite exotic, kids can opt for more familiar fare like baked beans and lentil stew, Thai coconut curry and a wide variety of rice dishes. Sides include edamame and lotus root chips, and there are also lots of teas like green, ginger and mint.
126 Front Street between Pearl and Jay Streets
A local favorite, this eatery features Mediterranean-themed decor and serves all kinds of dishes, from steak au poivre to pizza to calamari. At night, the place is taken over by its bar scene and pool tables. But it's a kid-friendly option for lunch or brunch, and also hosts Jam on Dumbo's winter concert series for kids.
Water Street Restaurant and Lounge
This restaurant is supposedly temporarily closed for renovations but we suspect it may be permanently shuttered.
66 Water Street between Main and Old Dock Streets
Enjoy Southern food in a tavern-like atmosphere with tasty options like Cajun crawfish poppers, shrimp and grits, and a wide variety of pasta and burgers, including the bayou served with Andouille sausage, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese. Sunday brunch includes muffins and cocktails.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Why look at the view from inside a restaurant when you can just go eat (and play) in the waterfront park? It's one of our favorite places to picnic but if you don't want to bring your own food, there are excellent concessions, including Blue Marble Ice Cream, Calexico and Ditch Plains on Pier 1, and Bark Hot Dogs and Uncle Louie G a mile south on Pier 6.
And for dessert...
Dumbo has so many fantastic sweet spots we couldn't resist listing a few of our favorites. We already raved about The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, but here are some other places serving tasty treats.
One Girl Cookies
33 Main Street at Water Street
This popular Cobble Hill bakery and cafe opened its Dumbo outpost earlier this year. The well-designed space is larger than the original location and overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park. Snack on bite-sized cookies bearing women’s names or try one of its famous whoopie pies.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water Street between Main and Old Dock Streets
At the original location of this high-end chocolatier, you can sit at small marble-topped tables and sip incredible hot chocolate (classic or wicked, which contains allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers, and smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers). When it's too hot for cocoa, munch on chocolate chip cookies, delicacies like chocolate-coated Cheerios or straight-up chocolate. All items are available to go.
Dewey's Candy Store
141 Front Street at Pearl Street
We went to check out Dewey's the weekend it opened and the colorful candy emporium did not disappoint. Just looking at the eye-popping displays of old-school treats will remind you of your childhood. But don't worry, there are plenty of newfangled novelty sweets here, too, and since you can buy by the pound you can stock up for Halloween or another special occasion.
Read all of our posts about Dumbo, Brooklyn.