Our Favorite Family-Friendly Food & Wine Best Chef Winners

Our guide to enjoying some of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chef Winners with your kids

We are so excited to read Food & Wine’s 2018 Best New Chef winners — it gives us so many great suggestions on places we have to visit, and a few ideas for where to host future Nibble+squeak events…

You will find below some our favorite restaurants from current and past-winning chefs that we highly recommend visiting, and of course our tips for navigating with your kids.

Diana Davila, 2018: Mi Tocaya Antojeria (Chicago)

Chef Diana Davila is a fellow traveler, “as a mother, my philosophy is kids should eat what we eat.” Mi Tocaya Antojeria serves up bright, fresh flavors that is a must for tacos and Mexican food.

Pipsqueak tip Crayons and activities are on tap to help ensure everyone enjoys the delicious food.

Source: Mi Tocaya Antojería

Dan Kluger, 2012: Loring Place (New York)

Chef Dan Kluger’s farm-to-table oasis is also surprisingly kid-friendly. Tots are treated to a hilarious coloring book with famous chefs and the veggie-forward menu means it’s easier than ever to sneak your kids some greens. That being said, don’t miss dessert: the chocolate shortbread candy bar is addictive.

What to eat?  Kinda everything… start with a crudo, get the grain salad, a grandma style pizza, a bunch of veggies, and then maybe a large plate for sharing. And let them get funky with the wines for you.

Pipsqueak tip Chef Dan Kluger is a dad (check out our interview) and there’s no question that this menu will please all ages.  Note that the bathrooms are located downstairs.

Missy Robbins, 2010: Lilia (Brooklyn)

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.

Source: Evan Sung Photography 

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 move around and squeak until bedtime approaches!

Gabriel Kreuther , 2003: Gabriel Kreuther (New York)

Dining decadence for you or tarte flambée for the picky eater, Gabriel Kreuther offers both a rich tasting menu in a luxurious dining room, or merely refined elegance on the bar menu served up front. Chef Kreuther shows off his Alsatian roots and classic French training with superb and imaginative dishes, and love for foie gras that cannot be missed. If dining with the toddler (or impatient partner), the bar area seating and menu is the way to go, but if you have a sitter and looking for that very, very special date night, then take the time to enjoy the Gabriel Kreuther experience.

Pipsqueak tip  The bar menu, including its section of Alsatian Classics, offers dishes that could be arguably the nicest kids menu in the world with squid ink orecchiette for the pasta-obsessed, country sausage for the hot dog eaters, and of course tarte flambée for the pizza lovers.

Source: Gabriel Kreuther

Andrew Carmellini, 2000: The Dutch (New York)

What’s not to love about a lively American restaurant, whose goal is to make everyone feel a littler happier because of cheerful service, really tasty food and serious cocktails?

What to order The Little oyster sandwich, fried chicken or the double-decker burger (which, sadly, is not available for dinner).

Pipsqueak tip Reliable sources tell us that the chef whips up a mean grilled cheese for little kids, if they’re not willing to order anything else from the menu.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/thedutchnyc/


Suzanne Goin, 1999: AOC (Los Angeles)

Tasty Tapas that are the perfect meal for you, and great for picking at for young, fussy eaters. And, of course, outdoor seating is available for enjoying the LA weather.

Nancy Silverton, 1990: Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles)

California on a pizza! We always go for the squash blossom, tomato and burrata pizza; and the fried chickpeas are a great snack.

Source: Pizzeria Mozza


Rick Bayless, 1988 Frontera Grill (Chicago)

Mexican food is always popular in Chi-town, but if you want to roll out for some high end Mexican, Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill is your place to go.

What to eat? Simple yet complex flavors is the theme here with guacamole, ceviche trio, en frigolados, fried sweet plantains, flan, or anything that has mole sauce in their dish.

Pipsqueak tip The big space and lots of different seating areas makes it fairly easy to safely dine out and not worry about disturbing others.