It's hard not to end up in either Times Square or near Rockefeller Center at some point during the holiday season given the number of seasonal attractions in these Midtown hot spots. But if your family is hungry after a day of shopping, ice skating or taking in the NYC holiday sights, you'll need to find a tasty, kid-friendly restaurant fast before the hangry sets in!
This is often no easy feat in Midtown, we know. While we've covered dining options near Rockefeller Center and Times Square in the past, we wanted to give you even more suggestions this year, especially those that don't require reservations, meaning you can pop right in. With a full belly, you'll be ready to start again, tackling a holiday show or maybe a tour of the holiday department store windows.
127 West 43rd Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Sure you could go to the Shake Shack, but why not skip the lines and head on over to HB Burger for quality burgers and craft beer (for the grown-ups, of course) in a cozy, relaxed setting? The menu also offers a wide variety of other types of pub food, including salads, sandwiches and soups. Kids will especially love the tater tots. Considering the neighborhood, prices are very reasonable. No reservations are necessary and service is fast and friendly.
Don Antonio Pizza by Starita
309 West 50th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Pizza is always a great option in a pinch though we all know that not all pizzerias are created equal! Sure, there's a pizza shop on nearly every corner in NYC, so the trick is finding one with quality cuisine. Don Antonio does not disappoint. Its Neapolitan-style, wood-fire pizza with a variety of toppings is top-notch. The pizza is hot and delicious, service is fast and the prices are good.
355 West 46th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Opened by celebrity-chef Lidia Bastianich, Becco serves authentic Italian cuisine at reasonable prices, often with pasta and lunch specials. It's a great option in Times Square for a pre-theater meal or a family lunch. You won't find a kid's menu, but portions are large and perfect for sharing. Becco takes reservations but walk-ins are always welcome.
321 West 51st Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
My kids love ramen. Luckily, ramen is usually quick, filling and easy on the wallet. Ippudo, one of the city's more notable ramen spots, opened up a location in the theater district, walking distance from Times Square in 2013, serving the same delicious, warm brothy noodles as its East Village shop. The appetizers are just as delicious, especially its famed pork buns. Kids get a kick from seeing how the noodles are made through a window into the kitchen downstairs. They don't take reservations and lines can be long and the volume loud as the office lunch crowd moves in. Try to get there during off-hours or just as it opens.
Stella 34 Trattoria
151 West 34th Street, 6th Floor (at Herald Square)
Located on the sixth floor of Macy's, this trattoria is a gem providing a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's my favorite place to go if we have to eat in Times Square, even though it's a few blocks south of all the action. The atmosphere is airy and light, owing to its sleek, modern decor and glass walls. The food is also excellent, with a large selection of modern Italian cuisine, as well as wood-fire pizzas. Reservations can be made but not necessary and service is friendly and fast. The restaurant also hosts a Santa brunch for the holidays!
RELATED: NYC Family-Friendly Dining Guide
The dazzling Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Photo by Angelo Amboldi via Flickr.
Wu Liang Ye
36 West 48th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
With its gilded decor and ornate chandeliers, Wu-Liang Ye is visually stunning and serves authentic Szechuan-style Chinese food smack in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The menu offers a vast array of dishes (some may be too spicy for sensitive palates), and there are a number of lunch specials. Highlights includes mapo tofu, Dan Dan noodles and pork dumplings. Prices are very reasonable and portions are perfect for sharing.
11 East 47th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues)
Businessmen, students, locals and tourists alike come to this Japanese restaurant to enjoy the pork tenderloin Katsu, a pork cutlet deep fried in homemade breadcrumbs. Served with rice, soup and salad, it's a whole meal that's easy on the wallet. And what kid doesn't love deep fried anything? If pork's not your thing, they also serve chicken or seafood katsu, as well as udon noodles. There are a number of lunch specials, as well as "lunch boxes," bento-style trays serving fish, katsu, rice, soup and salad. Service is relatively quick, and though they do take reservations, it isn't necessary.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, Third Floor (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Located on the third floor of Rockefeller Plaza next to an Equinox, you'll have a great view of the ice skating rink and the Christmas tree while gnoshing on delicious, healthy soups, salads and sandwiches at this Midtown spot. There is a formal dining area that serves lunch and dinner, as well as a separate cafe that makes any kind of smoothie you can imagine and serves a full menu. It's the perfect rest stop before or after ice skating, holiday shopping or sightseeing.
RELATED: NYC - The Best Things to Do with Kids in Just One Day
Bill's Bar & Burger
16 West 51st Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
This burger joint is a reliable place to grab a quick burger, some chili cheese fries and a shake. The atmosphere is lively, relaxed and perfect for families looking for a casual bite to eat in the midst of the holiday crush. Bill's also serves soups, sandwiches, tacos and hot dogs. You'll also find a kid's menu serving good ol' standbys.
1 Rockefeller Plaza (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
World-renowned chef Thomas Keller opened the second New York location of his signature Bouchon Bakery in the heart of Rockefeller Center. It's the perfect spot to grab the best grilled cheese sandwich, a croissant or a macaron while people watching. The menu also offers a wide selection of soups, salads and sandwiches and, of course, French pastries and sweets. There is seating inside and outside (if you're willing to brave the cold). Be prepared—crowds swell during peak hours so trying going either before or after the lunch crowd.
Check out Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide for more seasonal fun.
Top Photo by Robert Pittman via Flickr.