When we moved to Peekskill in 2006, only three places on the following list even existed! So to say that Peekskill has experienced a restaurant boom in the past decade is an understatement. There is a restaurant for nearly every palate, and many of them are extremely family-friendly.
As we continue our focus on Peekskill this month, we’ve rounded up some of the best family dining the city has to offer. Our list includes a range of culinary options, traditional kid-pleasers to more exotic fare, long-time local favorites to new-on-the-block eateries worth checking out. Read on to find out where to dine with kids in Peekskill.
970 Main Street
Just about everyone I know has been surprised by how incredibly kid-friendly Birdsall House is. Located in a newer building built on the site of the former Birdsall House (used as headquarters by General George Washington during the American Revolution!), this restaurant has a separate kids menu and ample outdoor seating in warm weather. Grownups will love the eclectic beers on tap and the amazing food. Kids will love being treated like one of the grownups and looking at all of the cool décor. A word to the wise: if you’re going to try to make it for brunch, as a lot of young families seem to do, either show up on the earlier side or make a reservation—it fills up fast!
The Peekskill Brewery
47-53 South Water Street
A brewery might not be the first place you think of when you’re wondering where to take the kids for dinner, but The Peekskill Brewery is actually a place the whole family can enjoy. If your child is a pickier eater, look to the “sides” and “add-ons” for meal ideas—we’ve cobbled together dinners consisting of a cheese platter, scrambled eggs or a pretzel for our less than adventurous eater (if it's not on the menu that day, ask if they can make you the chicken fingers--they are AMAZING). The dining room overlooks the water and is right across the street from the Riverfront Green, an excellent playground spot!
1843 East Main Street
If you’re looking to get in, get great food and get going, Nonna’s is the place to go. Their pizza is the traditional best in Peekskill (get the Grandma Slice!) and the small restaurant in the back serves up heaping plates of Italian food in laid-back, kid friendly atmosphere. This was the first place we took our daughter for dinner when she was old enough to sit up in a high chair and get food from the table to her mouth. If you’d like take-out or delivery, they can do that too. Everything on the menu is available to go.
The Peekskill Coffee House
101 South Division Street
Over the past few years The Peekskill Coffee House has transitioned from a coffeehouse with bagels and muffins to a full service café with delicious crepes, paninis and grab-and-go sandwiches. There is extra seating in a newly expanded alcove at the back of the restaurant and families with kids are frequent customers. The service is fast-paced and the coffeehouse often hosts entertainment and art exhibits, so there is always something to look at or listen too. If you’re lucky enough to snag the couches near the bookshelf, there are plenty of child friendly books and games. Ask for the free Wi-Fi password, hand your child a device and eat your Berry Bomb crepe in peace.
911 South Street
Looking for creative artisan pizza? This is where you go. Owned by the same people as Birdsall House, Gleason’s is named for former nearby resident Jackie Gleason) and lives up to its steadily growing reputation. For less adventurous eaters there is a standard Margherita or Four Cheese Pizza that can be passed off as “regular pizza” while diners who have no fear can order the Octopus pizza or choose something from the ever changing list of specials. This is also a great place to go for drinks and cocktails. I’m not sure where else you can get 'beer cocktails' in Westchester.
The Quiet Man
15 North Division Street
Named for the stunning John Wayne movie filmed in 1950s Ireland, The Quiet Man Public House is an Irish Pub located on what has become known as “restaurant row” in downtown Peekskill. The food here is authentic Irish with an international twist; order the Irish Spring Rolls for corned beef, melted swiss and sauerkraut all wrapped up in a traditional spring roll wrapper. This is a great place to take kids for a family lunch (ask for a children’s menu--they don’t always present it, but there is mac and cheese, hamburgers and other kids items to be had). However, particularly on weekends, you may find it a bit too rowdy for children at dinner time.
Ruben's Mexican Cafe
5 North Division Street
Just up the street from The Quiet Man is Peekskill’s best Mexican Restaurant, Reuben's. The interior is brightly decorated and the staff often fawn over children making them feel welcome and excited to visit. They’ve also been known to let them wear the decorative sombreros. While my daughter prefers to fill up on multi-colored tortilla chips there are also standard kid pleasers like tacos and cheese enchiladas. Though it isn’t on the menu, a simple cheese quesadilla can always be ordered without any red or green stuff.
1008 Main Street
Very casual and laid back, this small raman-centered restaurant is a relative new kid to the Peekskill scene. Their menu is small but stocked with simple, fresh foods for sushi and raman lovers with plenty of options for vegetarians and even vegans. Kids will love slurping long noodles our of gigantic bowls and trying the new flavors of ice cream. You don’t see the whole space when you walk in—be sure to take a peek in the back for more seating and lounge space. Ramanesque also does great take-out. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of Raman on a cold damp night.
And for dessert…
Homestyle Desserts Bakery
24 South Water Street
Plan ahead and pick up dessert at Peekskill’s landmark Homestyle Bakery. Nothing in the area rivals their cakes, cookies and desserts. For a real treat, invest in one of the angel wing platters with cannoli dip. There are no words for the deliciousness.
1877 East Main Street
Tucked away in the Beach Shopping Center, Rita’s has the most delicious frozen custard I’ve ever tasted, hands down. You'll find the staff very friendly and always ready to hand out stickers and samples to children. Rita's also hosts great fundraisers with the local community and offers fantastic discounts if you sign up for “Cool Alerts.” Not in the mood for custard? No problem. Their ices are also fantastic.