More kid-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn that adults love, too


Sea Wolf is a fine choice for a family meal out, with frozen drinks for the grownups and outdoor seating and large murals to look at with fidgety kids. Photo: Sea Wolf

There comes a point during every restaurant meal with my kids when I ask myself, “Why do we bring these little drunks anywhere?” Seriously, I haven’t felt this exasperated by my dining companions since college-era Fajita-Rita Mondays at the off-campus Chili’s. If I can stop one kid from crawling under the table to rescue a fallen napkin/fork/crayon/French fry, then other is inevitably falling out of a chair, farting audibly, or demonstrating how to pick both nostrils at once.

We stand by our previously published kid-friendly restaurant picks, but as Brooklyn’s restaurant scene evolves with family-friendly dining in mind, we’ve got plenty more places to bring your favorite little weirdos.

Destination Pizza

Photo: Kara Zuaro

Pizza Moto, Gowanus

Every Brooklyn family ought to have a good relationship with their neighborhood slice joint. Once your kids can eat pizza without leaving a crime scene in their wake, reserve a table at Pizza Moto, a destination-worthy pizzeria tucked under the BQE on the border between Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. The kids split a mozzarella-only pie (no sauce, please) on their lightly charred, wood-fired crust and a serving of their killer mac and cheese, made with radiatori, sharp Cheddar, Fontina, and Pecorino. The adults share the impeccable jewel box carrot and citrus salad, the crisp and juicy boneless fried chicken, and the “eggs in hell” pie, topped with tomato, mozzarella, bacon, a just-runny-enough egg and a drizzle of chili oil. Pair it all with a super-fresh Other Half IPA (brewed just a few blocks away), a glass of rose, or their hit-the-spot cocktails. The over/under, a potent combo of rye, angostura bitters and Underberg, kissed with lemon rind, tastes like the pleasantly medicinal antidote to dining out with children. 338 Hamilton Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 834-6686

Beachy Vibes

The Guppies Menu at Seamore’s in Dumbo. Photo: Kara Zuaro

Seamore’s, DUMBO

Seamore’s has three locations in Manhattan, and this sustainable seafood spot has recently expanded to Dumbo. And when brunch kicks in at noon on weekends, almost every table is equipped with a highchair. The wide, whitewashed walls and playful colors feel welcoming to children, and the fresh-as-an-ocean-breeze seafood selections draw in the adults. We loved the poke bowl, studded with crunchy peanuts and creamy avocado, the delicately batter-fried squid with citrus aioli, and the crispy pollock taco, with cabbage, chipotle sauce and guacamole. The watermelon agua fresca bellini makes a perfect pairing, though it’s served in a little coup glass and you may want to drink 100. Pro tips: The fries are actually chunks of sweet potato— tasty but potentially tantrum-inducing for a child expecting something more traditional. Fortunately, their Guppies menu covers all the other basic kid cravings, including pasta with butter or red sauce, grilled cheese, burgers, and fish sticks. And if you support parental bribery to foster good behavior, keep in mind that this joint is steps from Jane’s Carousel and Jacques Torres Chocolate, home to the most delicious chocolate chip cookies in town. 66 Water St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 663-6550

Sea Wolf, Bushwick

For a more industrial feel and refreshing frozen cocktails, bring the kids to Sea Wolf. This Bushwick surf shack supports local fisheries and sustainable farming, plus they’ve got plenty of outdoor seating and some large-scale murals to walk around and look at with fidgety kids. 19 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237, (718) 366-3272

Latin Flavors

Fans of “Spirit” will appreciate the horse mural at Tacos El Branco. Photo: Edwin David Bolta

Tacos El Branco, Sunset Park

For a cheap family date, Tacos El Bronco in Sunset Park promises real-deal carnitas and tacos al pastor wrapped in double-corn tortillas, plus a user-friendly kids menu (think chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, cheese quesadillas, and mozzarella sticks) for kids who don’t fully appreciate Mexican food (yet). The huge horse murals that decorate El Bronco bolster the spot’s kid-appeal, and they even offer a fried cheese quesadilla, described by one regular customer as “the most decadent thing ever, it’s so good.” 4323 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (718) 788-2229

Zona Rosa, Williamsburg

Since my pre-kid days, I’ve been a fan of the great fresh-fruit margaritas and zempasuchitls (margaritas made with mezcal instead of tequila) at Williamsburg’s Zona Rosa. They’ve got rooftop seating, fresh, citrusy ceviche, tasty tacos, and a memorably delicious chicken mole. It’s a worthy spot for a grown-up night out, but one local family says they’d never go without their kid, who is obsessed with their beans. 571 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, (917) 324-7423

Cubana Café, Carroll Gardens

For a Cuban option, my three-year-old dreams of the strawberry batidos (milkshakes), black beans, and scrambled eggs (served all day long) at Cubana Café. I can’t resist their genius vegetarian sandwich, the molete, made with refried beans, melted cheddar cheese, roast garlic, and tomato salsa on toasty bread. 272 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (929) 337-6476

Consider yourself blessed if you ever happen upon Pig Beach as empty as this. Photo: Brandi Bailey

Extra-Credit for Well-Trained Kids

Veklers, Cobble Hill

Once you’ve made it through a bunch of kid-oriented spots, you take your kids to the next level of dining out. Veklers, a local favorite in Cobble Hill, combines Southern soul food with Asian night market fare, with specialties like crispy buttermilk-fried chicken on a bao bun and a garlicky rice and pork dish topped with a soft-boiled duck egg, greens, and house-made kimchi. The kids menu involves juicy chicken fingers that are more delicious than average (though maybe a little more challenging for kids who prefer them dry and bland) and sliders on brioche buns. 521 Hicks St, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 534-5498

Pig Beach, Gowanus

If you long for some weekend day-drinking, get to Pig Beach when it opens at noon, and ply your children with Karl Ehmer hot dogs, Goldfish-topped mac and cheese, and waffle fries. Sure, there are more serious barbecue joints in town, but their burgers and baby-back ribs go down easy with a cold beer in their giant backyard on the banks of the Gowanus. They’ve even got a solid veggie burger made with smoked pecans, chickpeas, and quinoa. 480 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Sushi Katsuei, Park Slope

If your kids are up for sushi (or at least some edamame, dumplings, and a bowl of rice), a pair of parents who take Japanese food seriously say that Park Slope’s Sushi Katsuei serves the best in Brooklyn and is friendly to children. 210 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718) 788-5338

Hibino, Cobble Hill

Finally, Cobble Hill’s Hibino serves standard sushi rolls but is known for their obanzai, Kyoto-style small plates, and Hako sushi, which is stacked and pressed instead of rolled. Local kids go for their house-made soft tofu, teriyaki chicken, and welcoming vibes. 333 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 260-8052

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