You want to grab a bite out with the kids and Chuck E. Cheeses isn't going to cut it, but asking your wriggly, tired kids to sit quietly in a nice restaurant is like lighting a firecracker and then hoping it won't detonate.
Food courts are the perfect solution. In spite of their historic mall-culture reputation, the model of a casual hall with multiple food options is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and not just in suburbia. Right here in NYC, food halls are gaining major foodie clout with excellent vendors, artisan marketplaces, and appealing perks (and sweet treats) for families with kids. It's the perfect eatery for families: there's a food option for everyone, minimal wait times, multiple bathrooms, and no one notices if your kid tantrums or drops half their meal on the floor.
We've rounded up, and sampled 19 outstanding food halls that offer top-notch eats, spacious seating, and lots to do in the surrounding neighborhood, including Battery Park, Chelsea, the Theater District, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and more.
Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for even more family dining options in just about every neighborhood—and every finicky palate.