Best Restaurants Near Museums in New York
Rain or shine, but especially rain, museums are a great place to head with the kids to let them run around and learn something new. But we know how fast it goes from screaming with delight to screaming tantrum if the little ones (or hangry-prone parents) aren’t fed quickly. Below is our list of great places to eat with kids around family-friendly New York museums, including some right inside the museum and many within a ten minute walk or less.
American Museum of Natural History
After dinosaurs, animals and a planetarium show, you are sure to work up quite an appetite, we recommend —
Feeling in the mood for flavorful, gourmet Chinese food? Head to the Upper West side outpost of this funky restaurant.
What to order? They have a dozen types of really delectable dumplings! Go for that as well as vegetable fried rice and key lime pie.
Excellent food and fun atmosphere, it’s no wonder Newsweek called these Italian-American eateries one of the 101 best places to eat in North America.
What to order The particular classic dish that makes you feel nostalgic for your childhood.
Pipsqueak tip There are 3 locations in Manhattan and 1 in Brooklyn but the best ones to bring kids to are on the Upper West Side or Battery Park City.
Visiting a Jewish deli that’s been rated one of the best in the city for years and years is on your culinary bucket list.
What to order? The original owner was nicknamed The Sturgeon King so you know what to do. We also suggest lox and bagels or one of the egg dishes on the ‘Specialties’ section of their menu.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
You could spend days exploring the Met’s collection of everything from ancient artifacts to classic paintings, and of course its Egyptian temple, which is why it is best to keep it bite size, and afterwards, get a bite at —
This authentic Viennese cafe in the Neue Gallery will leave you feeling like you are in another time and place, certainly apart from the hustle of The Met across the street. It’s casual and relaxed, but still refined and elegant. You’ll feel as if you could stay all day sipping and enjoying the atmosphere.
What to eat: Go for an elegant soup like their roasted chestnut cream, or keep it simple with their Bratwurst or Organic Chicken Paprika with spätzle. They are open early for a hearty breakfast to fuel your museum visits too. Whatever time you come, leave room for a specialty coffee or hot chocolate, and one of their famous cakes.
Pipsqueak tip If you time your visit right, you may be treated to a piano or chambers music concert while you eat.
The Whitney brings a welcome dash of art to the hip Meatpacking District, and flush against the High Line park. You can eat great right in the museum, or venture to some of the great restaurants nearby —
You’ll find American contemporary art on the walls of the attached Whitney museum, and similar for the food on your plate at the Danny Meyer run Untitled. The space and the menu are both bright and fresh and an ideal place to eat whether you are visiting the museum or wandering the adjacent High Line park and bustling Meat Packing District.
What to eat? The seasonal menu and fresh ingredients provides a rotating, and tasty selection of small and large plates that always deliver.
It earned a Bib Gourmand from Michelin for good value. Also, we don’t know quite how they accomplish it but we always feel completely relaxed sitting in this all-day cafe, all the more surprising now that the High Line nearby has brought even more tourists to the neighborhood.
What to order? One of their superlative breakfast sandwiches in the morning, grilled cheese at lunch and pasta at dinner.
The halls of this former Nabisco factory are filled to the brim at almost any hour with tourists and locals alike, but it is still worth a visit for any food-obsessed family. Whether you are loading up shopping bags with meat, fish, bread, wine, cheese or produce to cook at home, or just dropping in for a quick bite before a walk on the Highline, you won’t be disappointed in the variety on offer, if you can wind your way through the well-worn halls.
What to eat: We usually can’t resist a taco –or three — at Los Tacos No. 1, but equally Dizengoff’s Za’atar Chicken or a warm bowl from Very Fresh Noodles vie for our attention. The Lobster Place has great soups and fresh sushi, and if you are packing up for home don’t miss the cheeses, handmade pasta, and other Italian Specialties at Bounitalia.
Pipsqueak tip Seating everywhere in the market is super-limited, and the restrooms can have long lines, but are equipped with a changing table in both the men’s and women’s rooms. The Highline, though close, is also short on seating, but there’s a small park across the road on the 10th avenue side which is convenient for picnicking.
MoMA – Museum of Modern Art
Everybody knows seeing modern art can work up an appetite, check out —
This upscale Indian is a surprisingly great option for families looking for a lunch near Columbus Circle. Attached to the Parker Meridien hotel, this branch of the New Delhi fine dining restaurant will delight taste buds and imaginations at all ages
What to eat? Delicate papas and chutney, or hearty soy keema to start, and don’t miss a taste of pastrami kulcha — NY fusion comfort food, followed by makhan malai for dessert.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t need a proper sit-down meal, we recommend some of the tastiest fast food in the city. It’s also one of the few chains where you can buy beer!
What to order The Liang Pi noodles and lamb burgers. (The “S” in burgers is not a typo. You can eat more than one.)
Pipsqueak tip Toddlers will give the cold noodles and soups a big thumbs up. Also, you can control the spice level, if necessary. Just ask for zero spice.
Much like the Morgan Library in which it resides, the Morgan Dining Room is a compact, but refreshing affair in a relative dining and cultural desert. It gives off an air of refinement, housed in the former family dining room of the J. P. Morgan mansion. The tight space means the Morgan Cafe in the bright atrium is a better bet with kids. Note it is lunch only.
What to eat: Both menus claim inspiration from early 20th century cuisine. And both are short, focused on nice salads and a few mains in the dining Room and a burger in the Cafe. The afternoon tea with an assortment of sandwiches and sweets is always a fun family option.
Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)
As a family of discerning taste, head out to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and check out the compact, interactive and informative Museum of Food and Drink, and then choose from some of the best restaurants in New York to dine at —
Obviously everyone knows Brooklyn is a culinary destination, but Lilia has taken the borough, and Italian food, to a whole new level. It deserves all the critical acclaim it has received with incredible pastas and delicious small dishes of antipasti and fish. Although be warned, once you or your child tries the ruffled mafaldini pasta with pink peppercorn and Parmigiano cheese, you’ll dismissively throw any other pasta on the floor and demand to eat only Lilia’s.
Pipsqueak tip If you go early, or reserve in advance, try to snag the dining alcove to the left of the entrance to reduce the chance of disturbing other diners. Or better yet, when it’s nice out, eat al fresco and run around and scream to your hearts content!
If you are looking for a petting zoo you will be severely disappointed, but if you want inspired Peruvian food in a bright, modern space then Llama Inn at the edge of Williamsburg is for you. The food pops with bright, crisp flavors. The ceviches and tiradito are delicious. It’s mostly small-plate dishes so get a bunch and have your little one pick out the corn here, the quinoa there that she craves. Rumor has it that the yarn art on the wall is actually llama llama’s deconstructed red pajamas.
Pipsqueak tip You can walk up to the bar and watch the chefs at work, calming and entertaining for young and old alike.