As the holidays approach, many families are planning visits to the city. While there are restaurants on every corner, not all are truly family friendly — and nobody wants to deal with a meltdown in the middle of a meal. If you want to have a good time without worrying about your kids getting fussy, give these places a whirl.
Ellen's Stardust Diner (1650 Broadway)
Many of the talented waitstaff at Ellen's are working until they get their big break, and practice their stagecraft while bringing your order. The atmosphere is loud, friendly and entertaining — you could be serenaded by the next Idina Menzel. Sandwiches and salads start at $15 and the kids menu is $10.50. Adult milkshakes with alcohol are $10.95 like the Mudslide with ice cream and Kahlua. There is so much going on your kids won’t have time to misbehave.
Bierhaus (712 Third Ave.)
Kids under 10 eat free on Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. and families get 10 percent off the bill. Monday through Thursday, groups of eight or more also get 10 percent off their total. Weekend brunch (Saturdays noon-3 p.m., Sundays all day) is $15.95 and includes a half-liter of beer or unlimited mimosas. The kids menu is $4.99 every day. They usually have live music to add to the festivities, so no one will hear the kids yelling!
Big Daddy's (three locations)
This place delivers awesome burgers, shakes and tater tots with a 1950's diner vibe. Appetizers are $6-$10 and burgers start at $12. Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. beer, wine and specialty cocktails are half-price; on Thursdays beer is half-price all day. The $10 kids menu includes a drink and fries. Big Daddy’s is a great choice for a casual dinner with your family.
Monica DiNatale is a deals expert, food host and author of “365 Guide New York City,” a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and Craft Beer Week festivals. She dines out eight days a week in search of the best deals in the Big Apple. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.