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Dining in Brooklyn with Toddlers


pidgey
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Despite hearing how family-friendly some parts of Brooklyn are, it seems that these actual restaurants are a secret, since I'm not finding much. If you've been to a restaurant in Brooklyn and thought to yourself, "Wow, look at all these kids in here!", please let me know what they are. We're heading there next month for a long weekend. Obviously, my baby bird eats out quite a bit now with us here in D.C., but the regular caveats apply (early dinner, varied menu but don't necessarily need a kids menu, not too hipster). Thanks!

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Geographically, Brooklyn is huge. Where in Brooklyn are you staying? If it's around Cobble Hill, then you'll find many, many places on Court St and Smith St where kids are a part of the scene. Same in Park Slope. However, if you're in Wmsburg or surrounding areas, it'll be a little more of a challenge. And, of course, there are many other areas with restaurants as well. So... where are you staying and I'll give you some places.

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Good question! We're staying in a B&B about a mile south of Prospect Park. I think the neighborhood is known as Victorian Flatbush. However, the Q train is pretty close, and we will have a car too.

Ok, that's pretty far from "downtown Brooklyn" (Bklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, etc) but, with a car, nothing is inaccessible. It is, in general, a beautiful residential area of Bklyn and there are several restaurants around Cortelyou Road that are very nice and child friendly. My favorite is The Farm on Adderley: http://thefarmonadderley.com/ but there are others. DiFara pizza is also very close by on Ave J and E.15th. No real seating area but one of the best pizzas in NYC and usually, for others, too far away to be accessible. But not for you.... 5 min car ride or the Q to Ave J (toward Coney Island by 4 or 5 stops). In addition to Franny's, mentioned by others, Park Slope (just on the other side of Prospect Park from you... 7th Ave and 5th Ave are the main streets... use map quest) is "stroller city" and almost all the good places are used to having kids around... enough to irritate the rest of us, but good for you. Applewood comes to mind as a real family oriented place with serious farm to table food -- http://www.applewoodny.com/

If you plan on being in Manhattan a lot, you've chosen a pretty inconvenient location. But, for exploring Brooklyn, you're dead center in the borough and you can easily get to all the ethnic neighborhoods (and Coney Island) by car from there. Park Slope is the best area to explore given the density of shops, restaurants, etc but Prospect Heights (where Franny's is) and other neighborhoods are close by as well. Don't worry about hipsters... Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Greenpoint, etc are pretty far away (north of Brooklyn Heights).

Have fun... hope this was helpful.

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I love difara but feel like I should mention that you should budget at least two hours for sitting around a dirty packed room. It's not everyone's cup of tea. I have a picture of dom and my 1 year old somewhere.

In a funny (well, to me at least) twist, Yogi Berra might actually be correct on this one: "no one goes there anymore.... it's too crowded".

With the proliferation of great places for other styles of pizza throughout Manhattan and Bklyn, Dom is not the only destination anymore and the lines have been almost nonexistent and the wait quite short the last several times I've been there. It's still a pain in the butt, but probably worth it especially with his advancing age.

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This is a bit off topic, but Steve R said that you plan on going to Manhattan a lot, this is not a great choice. What is a good part of Brooklin to stay in if one does plan on going to Manhattan a lot?

I sent you a pm in response. And it's Brooklyn (not Brooklin). B)

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Don't worry about hipsters... Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, Greenpoint, etc are pretty far away (north of Brooklyn Heights).

Guess what? People in Williamsburg have kids too. Plenty of them.

Brunch at Radegast is very baby- and kid-friendly. Communal seating, wide aisles, live music. Oh, and beer for the parents.

There are always a few kids and babies at Modca. It's one of the more spacious coffee shops.

Both are in central Williamsburg.

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We're back and had a great time! We tried going to Franny's on Saturday at 5 pm, only to be told that there would be an hour and a half wait. That was a little bit too much time, so we called Applewood and asked if there was a wait. They took a reservation for us, and we headed over. This was the highlight of our dining! Despite a high end menu, they were so wonderfully kid friendly. They had kid sized plastic plates at our table, and our little dude was not the youngest there by any means. After we ordered our much needed martinis, they brought out some wonderful bread with three spreads: regular butter, rutabaga butter and pate. The restaurant was small, but the ambiance in there was such that the occassional squeal blended in with the din. They did not have a kid's menu, but there was plenty on our dishes (I had the bass with sweet potatoes and my husband had the pork loin with duck confit and cannelini beans) that we could share with our little guy. However, he preferred to have a dinner of mostly milk and bread with rutabaga spread. The service was excellent, and this was by far one of the best dining experiences we have ever had with our little guy. On Sunday, we met some friends at Dizzy's diner, where there were tons of families there at 9:30 am. Its a small place, and we ended up sitting on the covered patio. They include 2 non-alcholic beverages (coffee or tea, plus juice) in the cost of the meals, which is fine, but it seems an unnecessary waste to keep offering people beverages when all they really want is water. The meal and the service were fine, but nothing too noteworthy. On Sunday night, we decided to pick up pizza from Franny's because we just weren't feeling that we could sit through dinner at another restaurant. They only do pizza for take out; no salumi, appetizers, or pasta, which was only slightly disappointing, as the pizza itself was delicious. We considered going to DiFara, but decided we just didn't have the energy for it.

Overall, an excellent trip with excellent dining.

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