Adventure, baby!

Midtown

Ellen’s Stardust Diner, New York

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is an iconic 1950s-themed diner with singing servers and a massive menu filled with American classics. Located in the heart of Times Square, your server at Ellen’s may be the next star on Broadway!

Ellen's Stardust Diner

While Ellen’s may be considered a bit of a tourist trap, it’s incredibly fun and we have been several times. The food is overpriced but adequate – it’s really the great singing and lively atmosphere that are the draw card here.

Our server, after introducing herself, hopped up on the tables to belt out a Broadway classic that left us speechless. The staff here truly have extraordinary talent.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner serves up plenty of options with an absolutely massive menu. It’s an extremely popular spot, especially with tourists and tour groups, and there is usually a queue to get in that runs around the block. My advice is to come for breakfast since they open at 7am.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Not only is this a great time to visit and get a table immediately, it will also save you a few dollars on your meal. While there is an all-day breakfast menu, their dedicated breakfast menu is a different menu entirely and is served between served from 7am to 11am. It features cheaper food choices, making this a great time to go for both crowds and cost saving.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

We ordered the plain Jane classic three egg omelette with tater tots ($13.50) and Joseph & The Technicolor Bagel (Yes! It’s a Rainbow Bagel, served w/ rainbow sprinkle cream cheese and tater tots, $10.50). The omelette was really flat whereas we prefer fluffy omelettes and the tater tots packed a bit of spice, which meant while I liked them, Cheese didn’t. She did however love her rainbow bagel.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

I do have to mention how excellent the service is from the singing waitstaff. Not only are they amazingly talented, they are also really great at their jobs. About 30 seconds after being given a massive glass of OJ, Cheese accidentally knocked it over. Our server dashed over, cleaned it up and replaced it with another in a spill proof cup, without being asked. Really great service.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

You can read about our previous experience at Ellen’s Starburst Diner here.

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Hours: Daily, 7am-12am
(212) 956-5151
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
ellensstardustdiner.com

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Tu-Tu Much: Ballet With Eloise At The Plaza

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

Ever since I arrived in New York, I’ve been dying to take my little girl to one of the special Eloise-themed  events at The Plaza Hotel. The Plaza pays homage to its most famous “resident” with a special Eloise suite, an Eloise afternoon tea at the Palm Court, and a series of special events run out of the Eloise Shop.

The Eloise shop is one of my favorite drop-ins when I’m in the area with my own E. It has the most adorable Eloise merchandise (that’s a given), but it also has a lovely Eloise tea room with tiny chairs and tables; and another room with a stage, surrounding mirrors, pint sized grand piano and dress up tutus, wands and shoes. (Needless to say, we are frequent visitors at the shop.)

I’ve always thought my E was too young for the events, but when I saw the special ballet event, Creative Ballet with an Eloise Twist (for ages 3-5), I just couldn’t resist. The events are on the pricey side (this one was $75 for adult and child, for a one hour event), but I thought it could be a special outing for us both. The ballet event included a 45 minute lesson followed by pink lemonade and treats, and a “mahvelous” ballet-inspired gift bag.

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

So on a rainy grey day, we dressed in our ballet finest (or one of us did, anyway), and joined other Eloise-loving ballet fans for a special class à la Eloise. The class was completely adorable: Two teachers led a bevy of ballerinas through stretches, tendues and twirls, encouraging their imaginations with a fantasy journey through Central Park and flying like a butterfly.

At a couple points during the class, my E had an attack of shyness (or nerves?) and freaked out a bit when she moved around the room and couldn’t see me anymore, which is so unlike her. The teachers couldn’t have been kinder or sweeter with her, gently encouraging her to join them, holding her hand, and including her in everything even when she was hiding in my lap.

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

Following the ballet class was snack time. Usually this is held in the tea room within the Eloise store, but today it was booked for a party so we had our snacks in the main restaurant in the hotel instead. The atmosphere was just not the same, sadly. The kids were seated at too-tall tables and large, uncomfortable chairs that were totally unsuitable for little kids. We were surrounded by adult diners enjoying their lunches, which meant that the kids had to sit still (uh-oh!), talk quietly, and stay put (which, frankly, is very un-Eloise-like).

The snacks were nice and simple, however: The menu included strawberry lemonade, fresh fruit skewers and sugar cookies. As we left, we were given our gift bag, which included a cute Eloise tee and water bottle.

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

Before leaving I let E have a run around the Eloise store. She adores the baby grand piano — as do a lot of aspiring Eloise’s!

#Eloise At The #Plaza Ballet Event #NYC #plazahotel via brunchwithmybaby.com

Eloise At The Plaza Hotel
1 W 58th St
Manhattan, NY
Phone: (212) 546 5460
Get Directions

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

A Rawther Fancy Tea Party With Eloise At The Plaza

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is take little E to an Eloise-themed Rawther Fancy Tea Party at the Plaza Hotel. The Rawther Fancy Tea Parties are part of the special events run under the Plaza Hotel in the Eloise store. I ADORE the Eloise character and have been so excited to share her with my own Miss E. So it happened on a steamy, rainy Friday that the Little One and I found ourselves at the pinkest tea party that ever might be.

Our host, Stephanie, made us feel extremely welcome. Stephanie ran the tea party for us, providing us with pink lemonade as well as real tea (E and I both had citrus chamomile). It was E’s first “real tea” and she flipped out when I gave it to her, because it made her feel like such a big girl to be drinking adult tea with mummy.

Our afternoon tea delights arrived on a three-tiered platter of illustrated Eloise plates. The bottom plate held fruit skewers, the middle plate had sandwiches (egg salad, cream cheese and cucumber and peanut butter and jelly), and the on the top plate, sweets (mini cup cakes, chocolate brownie and choc chip cookies). Please excuse the terrible photo of the tea platter. E was SO EXCITED when it was placed in front of her that she photobombed me and I laughed so hard the camera shook.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Rawther Fancy Tea Party was held in the party room in the Eloise Store, which is under the Plaza Hotel, next to the Plaza Food Hall. We’ve visited the store before on many occasions and E has always been attracted to the tiny chairs and tables — a perfect size for this little one to feel like a big girl, while at a very special tea party with kids her age in mind.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

E tried a little of everything, but particularly loved the mini cupcake and the fruit. I happily ate the sandwiches (LOVE me some tea sandwiches) and can report that they were delicious. The fruit was super fresh and tasty (they didn’t taste like the fruit had been sliced hours earlier, languishing in a fridge), and the baked goods were all kid-friendly crowd pleasers (it is hard to go wrong with cookies and brownies.) As often happens with me and tea, we couldn’t eat all the sweets so we had them boxed up to take home.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

Our fellow tea party goers were girls of similar age, along with their mum or mum plus an out of town friend. After our tea party we all wrote letters to Eloise. Stephanie told us that Eloise always writes back, so we’re very excited to receive a special letter in the mail. Miss E “wrote” her letter in some beautiful swirly drawings, at the end of which I added that we loved our tea party and wished Eloise had been able to make it.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

The letters were all posted in the appointed Eloise mail box, ready for delivery upstairs to the Plaza’s most famous resident. E loved posting the letter so much that she took out everyone else’s letters and reposted them all several times.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

Next came story time. Stephanie read two shorter Eloise books to the party in the back room of the Eloise store, while we lounged on the bright pink ottomans.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

And then the party was over! Each child received a gift bag containing an Eloise pencil, postcard, mints, gift voucher to the store, and a book.

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

We shopped around, said “hello!” to Eloise, and went home. We love, love, love a tea party! Thanks Eloise and The Plaza!

Rawther Fancy Tea Parties are held on Friday at 4pm at the Plaza Hotel. Cost is $100 for an adult and child pair. Reservations are required.

The Plaza Hotel
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South,
New York, NY 10019

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Burgers For Picky Eaters at The Counter: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Midtown, NY

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a picky eater. I’ve gotten a lot better as I’ve gotten older and have forced myself to keep trying new foods, but the fact remains that I am indeed annoyingly picky. So nothing makes me happier than to be able to choose every ingredient in my food (A.K.A. control freak syndrome).

Back in Sydney, I used to frequent The Counter, a choose-your-own-burger-adventure restaurant on Sydney’s North Shore. Delighted is an understatement to describe how I felt when I discovered The Counter also had a home in Times Square. I usually avoid Times Square like the G train, but I often end up in the area, starving after seeing a show, and The Counter is my go-to to escape the Times Square crazy and indulge my food OCD with a really fine burger.

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

We ended up back at The Counter after taking Cheese to see a dance/theatre show for kids called Ballerina Swan that was playing in a theatre nearby. After an hour of watching some very athletic people on stage, we were all famished.

When you sit down at The Counter, you’re handed a massive menu. The top portion is for you to fill out with your burger requirements. Burgers start from $10.95. Choose your size and type of meat, bun type and toppings. Not eating carbs? Select the burger in a bowl, with salad instead. The Counter caters to lots of dietary restrictions, with gluten-free burger buns and a vegan veggie patty. The menu also serves as something for toddlers to scribble all over while you’re waiting for your meal.

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Counter makes amazing shakes. We always order one to share — this time it was Butterscotch with Malt ($6.50). There is no kids’ menu, so Cheese makes do with shake, fries and bites of our burgers.

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

I always order the same burger — I have it perfected finally, after multiple visits. I get the 1/3lb vegan veggie patty on a whole wheat bun, with baby spinach, tomato, carrot, pineapple and Tillamook cheddar cheese.

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Alec had the 1/3 lb beef burger (100% natural angus beef, hormone and antibiotic-free), on a ciabatta bun, with baby spinach, tomato, avocado, and Tillamook cheddar cheese.

The Counter: #Kid-Friendly #Restaurants #midtown, #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

It’s important to order fries at The Counter. We always get the Fifty-Fifty ($6) with half regular fries and half sweet potato fries. They are just so good. Trust me.

The atmosphere at The Counter is great for kids. Upbeat music playing, friendly staff and lots of chatting means you don’t have to stress over how your kid is behaving. It’s a low-key, great meal option in an area of NYC that’s devoid of really great places to eat.

Looking for somewhere nearby to play? If it’s cold, let the kids roam around the Disney or Toys R Us stores — endless (warm!) fun.

Last Bite: Build your own burger at this kid-friendly restaurant in Times Square. The Counter delivers on great food and a no-stress attitude. 

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal – bring an umbrella stroller if possible.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

The Counter
7 Times Square (41st & Broadway)
New York NY 10036
Phone: (212) 997 6801
Prices: $$
Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thur 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-1am
Get directions

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Top 5 Fave Organic Eateries In NYC

Best #organic #eateries in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com
In a city as huge as NYC, it’s easy to find food to suit every dietary requirement. Delicious organic food is only a hop, skip and a Google away in most parts of the big city. As a major foodie (and vegetarian!) I’m all over restaurants and cafes where I can get fresh, locally-produced food to nourish my greens-craving body and introduce my toddler to healthy and delicious cuisine (Kale is delicious! Promise!).

Angelica Kitchen: #Organic #Restaurants in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com
Best dinner with friends: Angelica Kitchen (300 E 12th St, East Village, New York, NY)
Serving organic, plant-based food, Angelica is an East Village neighbourhood fave. They serve only top quality, organic fruits and vegetables (often served to diners less than 48 hours after being harvested). Note: Angelica Kitchen is vegan, and in addition to serving no meat, eggs, dairy or animal products, they also use no refined sugars or preservatives. Be sure to try their Southern Style Cornbread ($3.75), which Yelpers have written odes to. Gluten-intolerant diners are also well catered for at Angelica’s. No reservations, cash only. Bring kids on weekends – just be prepared to squish in, it’s tight quarters inside!

Cafe Blossom: #Organic #Restaurants in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Best weekend lunch: Cafe Blossom
The Blossom empire includes Blossom in Chelsea, Cafe Blossom on the UWS and West Village; V-Note, an organic wine bar and vegan bistro; Blossom Bakery in Chelsea; and Blossom Du Jour, open in three locations (67th st, Chelsea and Midtown West). My personal favorite is Cafe Blossom in the West Village, where I like to go for special occasions like Mother’s Day or a date lunch with my husband. Their fresh ingredients come from local farms and small distribution companies, and every dish is free of animal products. My favorite dishes are the Salt and Pepper Garlic Fries ($6, they keep the toddler happy), Fried Cashew Cheese Dumplings ($11), and the Avocado BLT with smoked tofu, sunflower sprouts, mayo, cashew cheese on toasted whole grain bread ($13). As an added bonus, they’re super kid-friendly – kind staff help diners with families feel right at home.

Sweetgreen: #Organic #Restaurants in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Best working lunch: Sweetgreen (1164 Broadway)
This salad transplant from DC recently opened in the NoMad Hotel. It’s the hotspot for local business folks to hit up during their lunch break, so if you go during the week expect a long line (which moves pretty quickly). Sweetgreen is all about salads made with with local and organic ingredients. Choose a seasonal monthly special (September’s salad is organic arugula,  shredded kale with local watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, organic mint, local feta, spicy sunflower seeds, champagne vinaigrette) or build-your-own (choose from bases like shredded kale or warm grains). With your kid? Go on a weekend to avoid the queues, and take your salad to nearby Madison Square park to let the kids run around while you enjoy your sweet Sweetgreen salad.

Candle 79: #Organic #Restaurants in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Best date night: Candle 79 (154 E 79th St)
The quiet, elegant atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date night. Diners enjoy vegan, seasonal and organic cuisine. Everything served is free of pesticides, chemicals, and hormones, and doesn’t include any genetically modified foods. Try the Live Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ($24, with broccoli, cauliflower, corn, crunchy sprouts, cashew vegetable cheese, avocado sauce, pico de gallo) or the chef’s daily hand-cut pasta. Candle 79 is also a great place to take the family for a special early dinner out. The staff are friendly and accommodating to children.

Whole Foods: #Organic #Restaurants in #NYC via brunchwithmybaby.com

Best food on-the-go: Whole Foods
As well as being a super-expensive supermarket that stocks produce and ingredients for every possible dietary requirement, Whole Foods also has an amazing selection of prepared foods and a salad bar to die for. All ingredients are natural or organic and as many as possible are locally grown. This means no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives or trans fats. I love to grab a salad from Whole Foods in the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle and take it to sit in Central Park for a delicious, reasonably-priced lunch. Whole Foods is an especially good respite when you’re out with kids. Great food and a casual dining area make for an easy, tasty place to eat, without the stress of going to a fancier restaurant.

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Plaza Food Hall: Kid-Friendly Dining, Midtown, New York

Plaza Food Court - FP Patisserie by Francois Payard
Some of the best croissants you’ll ever get in NYC. FP Patisserie by Francois Payard

The Plaza Food Hall beneath the famous Plaza Hotel is our secret go-to place when we’re in midtown and need to eat something good in a hurry. For some magical reason, tourists haven’t yet discovered it, so it’s never crazy busy, even on weekends at peak brunch or lunch times. This could be due to its relative newness—while the more well-known The Plaza Food Hall By Todd English opened under the Plaza in 2010, the expanded (and more reasonably priced) food hall with the smaller vendors only opened in May 2012.

Plaza Food Court
Spreading out the delights.

The food court consists of stalls from some of New York’s finest (and most famous) restaurants and bakeries. Current vendors in the Food Hall: Billy’s Bakery, FP Patisserie by Francois Payard, Kusmi Tea, La Maison du Chocolat, Lady M, Luke’s Lobster, No 7 Sub, Pain d’Avignon, Sushi of Gari, Tartinery, Three Tarts, William Greenberg and Yoart.

Plaza Food Court
Open dining area with lots of room.

Give yourself time to do a lap and get acquainted with your huge amount of choice. This will be the most difficult part of your time at the Plaza Food Hall. Honest. Some vendors offer ready-made food that you can simply grab and chow down, you can also get made-to-order cooked food if you’re planning to hang around a bit longer.

Plaza Food Court
Pain d’Avignon vegetarian quiche.

I chose a vegetarian quiche from Pain d’Avignon. It was heated up for me in their little toaster oven, and came with a separate side salad, delicately topped with lemon dressing. Cheese, of course, devoured most of my quiche (anyone else have a hard time keeping track of how much they eat with a toddler stealing half of their food?).

Plaza Food Court
Salmon salad from FP Patisserie by Francois Payard.

Alec chose a salmon salad from FP Patisserie by Francois Payard, plus a few croissants for us to share. Tip: the croissants by Francois Payard are some of the best croissants you’ll find in New York City, so grab a few when you get the chance, even if you’re not feeling particularly hungry at that moment. You’ll be thanking yourself (and, hopefully, us!) a few hours later for your forethought.

One of the reasons the food court is so family-friendly is the large seating area they have. Plenty of room for strollers, lots of high chairs, and a casual, yet upmarket, ambience lending itself to the feeling of finer dining, without the pressure of trying to ensure that your little kids don’t make a peep while you’re eating.

Don’t fill up too much on savouries—be sure to leave room for a treat of the chocolate, cupcake, slice of cake or yogurt variety. Take dessert to go if you can’t squeeze in another bite.

Plaza Food Court - No 7 Sub
No 7 Sub.
Plaza Food Court
La Maison Du Chocolat
Plaza Food Court - Three Tarts Bakery
Three Tarts Bakery.
Plaza Food Court - Luke's Lobster
Luke’s Lobster.
Plaza Food Court - Tartinery
Tartinery.
Plaza Food Court - Lady M
Lady M.
Plaza Food Court - FP Patisserie by Francois Payard
Delish – FP Patisserie by Francois Payard.
Plaza Food Court - Billy's Bakery
Billy’s Bakery cupcakes.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes. Enter via 58th st and take the elevator down.
Change tables: Yes.
Kids’ menu: Not a specific menu for kids, but a lot of places to choose from, so there’s sure to be something kids will like.

The Plaza Food Hall
1 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 986 9260
Prices: $$$
Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-9:30pm Sun 11am-6pm

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Smorgas Chef @ Scandinavia House; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Midtown Manhattan, New York

With the weather so cold and foul, I planned a lunch with friends at Smorgas Chef @ Scandinavia House purely because they also have a playroom in the building, and because they take reservations for brunch. Smorgas is known for its Scandinavian food, which makes most people think of meatballs. Being vegetarian, obviously meatballs are out for us – thankfully their brunch menu is full of traditional brunchy fare that everyone will like, including picky toddlers.

Are you sure I like waffles?
Tree in the middle of the dining room.
Multitasking.

On arriving, we were met by a friendly hostess who immediately offered us a high chair and kids menu with crayons, and directed us to the stroller parking area. Immediate score! Between the waffles we ordered for the Cheese off the kid’s menu and the crayons, our cheesy little friend was having a ball.

Our server was a bit slow to take our order – and we had some really annoying screw ups with my order in the kitchen. Take note – do not try and make changes to any items on the menu, or you’ll be sorry! Also, if you’re a vegetarian, check your dish carefully for meat as you eat it.

Waffles – glorious.

The food was pretty good – the Cheese loved her waffles (which came with a little milk box).

Stroller and high chair parking.

After lunch we made our way to the Heimbold Family Children’s Playing and Learning Center upstairs. It was a pretty cute little area – lots of engaging things for kids to play with, like a slide, train table, play kitchen and mushroom house. It was also completely packed with parents and kids, so it wasn’t the best experience – toddlers all wanting to play with the same toys … cue all kinds of excitement!

Upstairs in the play space.
Moomin!

Would we be back? Probably not to the restaurant, unless we wanted to go to the play space again. When the weather is nasty out, it’s definitely a really good option for a Saturday afternoon.

Highchairs: Yes. Stokke of course!
Stroller storage: Lots – bring your giant stroller if needs be.
Easy access: Yes. They have elevator access.
Change tables: Yes – although you have to get the elevator down to the floor below to use the restrooms, which is a bit odd.
Kids’ menu: Yes.
Baby-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Smorgas Chef @ Scandinavia House
58 Park Ave
(between 37th St & 38th St)
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 847 9745

Hours:
DINNER: Mon-Sat 5pm-9:30pm
Brunch: Sat-Sun 11am-5pm
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am-5pm

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&q=smorgas+chef+scandinavia+house&fb=1&gl=us&hq=smorgas+chef+scandinavia+house&cid=0,0,6926579723310192245&ll=40.749427,-73.979924&spn=0.006295,0.006295&t=m&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=425&h=350%5D

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Norma's; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Manhattan, New York

With Restaurant Week hitting New York, I was excited to try out Norma’s for their all-day breakfast. The Restaurant Week deal was pretty sweet ($25pp for continental bread basket, entree and smoothie), and made the over-the-top prices seem more reasonable. We booked a table for 9am on a Thursday since I thought it would be a good time with Cheese’s naps. Sadly, when we arrived, we found out that the Restaurant Week promotion was only in effect from midday, despite this not being written anywhere on the Restaurant Week promotional material. Since we’d come so far and we already being led to our table, we felt like we had to sit down and order a ridiculously expensive breakfast. So disappointing.

Note to those visiting Norma’s for the first time. The dishes are all stupidly expensive. They average at about $21 an entree. They are huge however and will definitely fill you up for a while. Where you have to watch out is the extras that they they push on you. When we sat down, a waiter approached and gave us free samples of a smoothie (which we were supposed to receive as part of the Restaurant Week deal), and offered us glasses of juice from a pitcher instead of water. An unsuspecting diner might think this was either a) complimentary or b) reasonably priced. Just so you know, it’s neither. The orange juice is $9. Apparently you get unlimited refills, but still. $9. Be warned!

I was hoping that Norma’s would be really kid-friendly after I read their website. The whimsical, fun description of the restaurant is below:

“Breakfast for lunch? Always.
Will I still be hungry? You gotta be kidding.
Do we like kids? More than whipped cream.”

Sadly the reality was very different. While they did have a highchair, that was the extent of the baby-friendliness. The menu is so exorbitantly-priced that it’s way too pricey to order a kid their own meal, and there is no separate kid’s menu. Our waiter was aloof and made us feel unwelcome. The food took forever to come out. We had to break out the Cheddar Bunnies to keep Cheese amused while we were waiting.

Reading and snacking while waiting for food.
Sweet Suzy

Alec ordered the Sweet Suzy. He said it was amazing and was really happy with his dish.

Nutella Packed Jacks

I ordered Nutella Packed Jacks and while the fruit was really fresh and sweet, the pancakes were undercooked and doughy. Usually I’d send them back, but it had taken so long for us to get them that there wasn’t time before we had to leave and take Cheese home for a nap.

Ready for home.

I have to make a note here to say that we came on a weekday – the restaurant may be more kid-friendly on weekends. If you’re keen to give it a try, book a table to minimise your wait. They have long queues every day of the week as they have a restaurant that seats 100 and service the hotel they’re housed in, which has 700 rooms.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a folding stroller or carrier.
Easy access: Yes. They have elevator access.
Change tables: I didn’t get the chance to check out the restrooms, but there is ample space to change a baby on the benches in the foyer.
Kids’ menu: No, but lots of food kids can share with you. At an average of $21 per entree, you probably won’t want to buy them their own dish.
Baby-friendly rating: ♥—-

Norma’s
At Le Parker Meridien
119 W 56th St,
New York, NY 10019

Phone: (212) 708 7460

Reservations

Hours:
Mon-Fri 7am-3pm
Sat-Sun 7:30am-3pm

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Norma’s,+West+56th+Street,+New+York,+NY&aq=0&oq=normas&sll=40.697488,-73.979681&sspn=0.527874,1.321106&ie=UTF8&hq=Norma’s,+West+56th+Street,+New+York,+NY&t=m&ll=40.764177,-73.978645&spn=0.016902,0.032015&output=embed&w=425&h=350%5D

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The National

This chic little eatery is part of The National Hotel. No-fuss breakfast and brunch are their speciality. Babies are more than welcome, with staff especially friendly towards the young diners.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes (there is a special entrance for wheelchairs and strollers).
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.
Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥–

The National
557 Lexington Ave (at 50th st)
New York, NY 10022
Reservations: (212) 715 2400

Hours:
Open daily: 7am – 12am

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=The+National,+557+Lexington+Avenue,+New+York,+NY&aq=&sll=40.775692,-73.961201&sspn=0.071627,0.1684&ie=UTF8&hq=The+National,&hnear=557+Lexington+Ave,+New+York,+10022&t=m&ll=40.756664,-73.972069&spn=0.006295,0.006295&output=embed&w=425&h=350%5D

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Artisanal Bistro: Kid-friendly Restaurants, New York

Enjoy French cuisine with your kids at this Midtown bistro and fromagerie. Friendly staff make the babies and kids feel welcome. Fast service and delicious food keep the adults happy.

Little monkey across the table.
Baby’s lunch – parfait.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes. They can store small, folding strollers.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Artisanal Bistro
2 Park Ave (At 32nd St),
New York 10016
Phone: (212) 725 8585
Reservations

Hours:
Mon-Wed 11:30am–2:45pm, 5pm–9:45pm, Thur-Fri 11:30am–2:45pm, 5pm–10:45pm, Sat 10:30am–3:45pm, 5pm–10:45pm, Sun 10:30am–3:45pm, 5pm–8:45pm

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!