Family-Friendly Williamsburg Restaurants: Where to Eat with Kids in Brooklyn
Back in my single childless days, I lived in Williamsburg for a decade. I probably saw two strollers during that entire time. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration. Still, much has changed in Williamsburg over the past few years. These days the neighborhood is filled with baby boutiques, play spaces and other family attractions, including a slew of cool kid-friendly restaurants.
While it was hard to whittle down our list of favorites, our picks include menus that should please even picky eaters, and low-key or welcoming atmospheres. Here are our top ten places to eat with kids in Williamsburg.
173 Montrose Avenue between Humboldt Street and Graham Avenue
Not for the carb-phobic, this restaurant offers unparalleled cheesy goodness. The menu features a dozen varieties of macaroni and cheese (including veggie and meat options) all named after Brooklyn neighborhoods, plus wraps, salads and soups. There's even a small kids' menu in case crispy-top combos like Carroll Gardens (caramelized apples and brie) and Brooklyn Heights (marinated skirt steak and cheddar) are too exotic. You can also make your own mac 'n' cheese from the long list of toppings, and then name it after any nabe you want.
261 Moore Street between Bogart and White Streets
Housed in a former garage, this pizzeria serves up tasty Neapolitan-style pies at big tables in an airy, wood-paneled room. Pizzas include kid-friendly standards like Margherita (tomato, mozzarella and basil) as well as less conventional options such as the Axl Rosenberg (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, mushroom, garlic and jalapeño) and the Fennel Frontier (Pawlet cheese, pork sausage, fennel, red onion, chili and lemon). Or you can create your own pie from the long list of toppings. There are also calzones and lunchtime sandwiches. If the weather's nice, ask to be seated on the back patio so you can check out the awesome rusty Mercedes-Benz covered with potted plants.
Unfortunately this restaurant has closed 177 Bedford Avenue between North 7th and North 8th Streets
Whether you perch on the tall window stools and watch the passersby on busy Bedford Avenue or opt to chill in the wood-paneled garden, this easygoing spot offers tasty and healthy dishes for every meal of the day. My family's favorites include the sirloin burger, pancakes with apple and strawberry compote, and blueberry-flax granola with yogurt.
133 Wythe Avenue between North 7th and North 8th Streets
Even if your kids aren't into Middle Eastern food, they should find something that satisfies at this spacious Williamsburg outpost of the family-owned East Village mainstay. The lunch, brunch and dinner menus feature a variety of options, from basic bagels to more lively fare like ful mudammas, a protein-rich snack of hummus, fava beans and hard-boiled egg. Main course dishes include variations on grilled chicken and lamb as well as yummy couscous platters.
236 North 12th Street at Union Avenue
This family-friendly spot is equal parts cafe and locavore grocery store stocked with everything from pickled curried squash to Fat Toad Farm caramel. Items include fresh soups, salads and sandwiches, plus a kids' menu featuring a choice of grilled cheese or PB&J. The perfect pre- or post-McCarren Park refueling stop.
555 Driggs Avenue at North 7th Street
A must for all hot-dog loving families, Crif serves the basic New Yorker dog as well as more complex combos like the Tsunami, which comes bacon-wrapped and topped with teriyaki, pineapple and green onions, or the Jon-Jon Deragon with cream cheese, scallions and everything bagel seeds. Warning: Your kid will never accept a street vendor frank again.
Waffle & Wolf
413 Graham Avenue at Withers Street
Although there are a few seats at this eatery, it's more of a take-out spot. Luckily, the sweet and savory waffles are folded up sandwich-style, which makes them a great to-go meal. Enjoy them on a shady bench at McCarren Park, which is four blocks away. Just writing about the options makes my mouth water: bacon (baked in), peanut butter, banana and caramel, or cinnamon cream cheese, roasted apple, currants (baked in) and walnuts. Who says waffles are just for breakfast?
85 Broadway at Berry Street
The name may be generic but this isn't your run-of-the-mill hash house. This restaurant's set in a renovated 1926 dining car and the menu changes daily. Selections include pastas, sandwiches, salads and burgers, plus eggs and pancakes for weekend brunch.
Roebling Tea Room
143 Roebling Street at Metropolitan Avenue
With a rotating comfort food menu, tons of teas and a friendly atmosphere, Roebling Tea Room is fun to check out with kids for lunch or an early dinner. (Weekend brunch is way too crowded for our taste and the post-8pm atmosphere is definitely adult-oriented.) Even if your kids aren't into exotic teas, they should enjoy the delicious mac and cheese, the smoked salmon plate and simple noshes like baguettes with jam. There's also a nice yard and lots of couch space for spreading out.
61 Wythe Avenue between North 11th and North 12th Streets
Yes, we realize this is a bowling alley, not a restaurant. However, if you're looking for a playful option for weekend brunch, you won't strike out here. Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm are family days when you can enjoy a few games and eats by Blue Ribbon. In addition to the finger-food-heavy menu, there are extensive kids' options like burgers, French bread pizza, Blue Ribbon's famous fried chicken, a hummus and veggie platter, shakes, floats and malteds. For adults, there's also beer on tap. Score!
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