Cool and hip Dumbo is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where international families and old-time New Yorkers come together. And one thing this eclectic population does well is eat.
While there is a vibrant late-night scene in this bustling enclave, it is also increasingly home to children and their families and restaurants that like serving them. Dining with kids in Dumbo means scrumptious food, often with breathtaking, one-of-a kind views of Manhattan. Our favorite eateries fell into three essential-to-life-with-children categories: pizza, lunch or brunch and dessert.
So whether you're visiting the nabe to check out all that Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer like a carousel, destination-worthy playgrounds and wide-open green spaces, or recently transplanted to the hood, you'll want to try out these spots. Now our mouths are watering!
All of these restaurants have highchairs and changing tables, dessert shops excluded and some other noted exceptions.
Front Street Pizza
80 Front Street at Washington Street
When life dictates the need for an inexpensive and delicious slice, Front Street is our go-to spot. Kids love the straight-up cheese slices, while mom and dad can indulge in the eggplant pie. Leftovers are perfect for work. Front Street Pizza also serves salads, heroes, yummy calzones and gluten-free pasta and pizza options. Note: The bathroom is large, but has no changing table.
1 Front Street at Old Fulton Street
Be prepared to wait on very long lines to sample this famous coal-brick-oven pizzeria, which also has outposts in Manhattan and Queens. Grimaldi's only serves full pies, doesn't take reservations and only accepts cash. When you do get your pizza, be prepared to eat outside as indoor seating is thin.
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Juliana's Pizza frequently attracts crowds. Try to grab a seat or head to the nearby waterfront for a patch of grass in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr.
19 Old Fulton Street between Front and Water Streets
When our family has a commitment-free spring or summer afternoon, we head to Juliana’s and feast on the Margherita pizza. Made by the Grimaldi family, who sold their original restaurant and name, the food reflects their passion for pizza culture. Dining in is a great option—kids will love the jukebox and the people-watching—but alfresco or indoors, when you're done a ride on Jane's Carousel is a must.
Love & Dough
57B Pearl Street at Water Street
A 2016 newcomer to the Dumbo pizza scene that offers delicious food and rustic charm. Love & Dough specializes in Neapolitan style, thin-crust, brick-oven pizza. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, the Vegetariana pizza with beets, eggplant and mushrooms is out of the norm and yummy. Don't overlook the Pizza Nutella, conveniently served in thin slices. Note: No changing table in the restroom.
LUNCH / BRUNCH
111 Front Street
AlMar is a beautiful old-world Italian restaurant with tasty food and one of the best Sunday brunches in town. Homemade pancakes, egg toast—it's all yummy. The staff is lovely at this popular restaurant, which also has an excellent dinner menu. Note: Cash only and no changing table.
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There's a reason the cheeseburger and fries at Shake Shack are so popular. Photo by m01229 via Flickr.
1 Old Fulton Street at Water Street
Let’s be honest: Most kids love burgers. Shake Shack burgers and fries are a favorite and the space is large enough to handle strollers and busy bodies. The staff is warm, welcoming and ready to accommodate. Note: The frozen custard is not to be missed.
126 Front Street between Pearl and Jay Streets
This eatery serves an array of sandwiches and dishes, from steak au poivre to pizza and calamari. We love going for lunch as the dishes are always surprising. The staff is bubbly and loves kids. Superfine has a robust bar scene, complete with pool tables, so go early. Note: Brunch is only available on Sunday and there is no changing table.
Grab a cool drink or snack at the locally-founded Lizzmonade. Photo by Evan Eagleson/courtesy of Lizzmonade.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
If you're wandering the vibrant waterfront and don’t want to grab restaurant takeout, there are excellent seasonal concession stands here serving all sorts of goodies generally from spring through fall, including NYC-founded Luke’s Lobster (the owner hails from Maine; he knows his lobster and shrimp and crab); Lizzmonade (for something cool and fizzy); and No. 7 Sub kiosk (amazing sandwiches on daily-baked bread). Toward the Pier 6 playgrounds, you'll find Ample Hills Creamery (the salted caramel is otherworldly) and Fornino (pizza and sandwiches with outdoor and indoor seating—and a bathroom).
Stop by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory in the summer for a local scoop or hot chocolate in the winter. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr.
85 Water Street
Almondine is a tiny cafe that has such delicious treats. The selection is smaller at the end of the day. Pop in for an early lunch and feast on vegetarian sandwiches and quiche before enjoying the decadent treats. The pain au chocolat might be the best on this side of the East River, as are the almond croissants. Almondine staff are friendly but are not equipped to handle strollers, diaper changes or those in need of high chairs.
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
1 Water Street at Old Fulton Street
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 sweet stuff is made from fresh ingredients and comes in basic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butter pecan. Sundaes and milk shakes are also available. It gets crowded in the summer but is worth the wait.
Have some ice cream with your chocolate at Jacques Torres. Photo courtesy of the shop.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water Street between Main and Old Dock Streets
Yes, this is the original location of a not-to-be-missed high-end chocolatier. Enjoy amazing straight-up chocolate, chocolate-coated Cheerios and incredible hot chocolate (think allspice, cinnamon and ground ancho chili peppers). But this is also our favorite spot for ice cream in the summer. Jacques Torres has small marble-topped tables and all items are available to go and can be consumed at the waterfront around the corner.
Delectable whoopie pies from One Girl Cookies. Photo courtesy of One Girl.
One Girl Cookies
33 Main Street at Water Street
This popular local bakery and cafe has made an indelible impression on the neighborhood. Minutes from the waterfront, it offers tea and beautiful assortments of cookies perfectly sized for little ones, even the famous whoopie pies. Parents will enjoy the espresso or even a glass of wine. The restroom is clean and there is plenty of space for strollers.
Top image: The Margherita pizza at Julianna's is a winner. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.