Published in the New York Family Magazine on Feb 26, 2020

Eating out with the kids is a challenge when everybody wants something different and you have to make sure that the whole family is fed and happy. Theater District and especially Times Square is the most colorful and exciting area in New York. So if you plan a trip to Times Square or to go to a show, you’ll probably spend most of the day in this area, and inevitably someone will get hungry. Whether you are in a hurry or looking for a nice spot to have a family meal, check out our list of the Best Kid-Friendly Bites in Times Square before getting lost in a million options available.

We included iconic New York eating spots, family-friendly favorites, and healthy, all-natural locations with several options that can accommodate the whole family. Indulge your cravings, and have fun!

Shake Shake
691 8th Ave.

On the corner of Eighth Avenue and 44th Street, Shake Shake is a local and tourist favorite. This fast-casual restaurant chain is New York-native and accommodates all big-city family needs. Burgers are made with 100% Angus beef that’s humanely raised, vegetarian-fed, and source-verified — even the crinkle-cut fries are made with zero trans fats. Treat your loved ones to burgers, fries, and frozen custard from the Shack!

Shake Shake

Los Tacos No.1.
229 West 43rd St.

They are No. 1 for real! If you happen to be on 43rd St and feeling hungry, swing by this place and you’ll find the best tacos on the go. When in the area, Mexican-food-lover families should always consider snagging a little snack before heading to the next city attraction. If you are a taco fan, try the Los Tacos flavorful “adobada” (marinated meat) served on a soft tortilla topped with guacamole sauce and fresh pineapple pieces. Disclaimer! These tacos are hot! Make sure to have a drink with your meal. You’ll need it!

Joju
555 5th Ave.

Do you want new earings? Joju is the best place to lure your husband to the Diamond District near Times Square. On 555 5th Ave, you’ll find various Vietnamese and Asian fusion options, including vegan meals. Besides the delicious food, you’ll also appreciate the clean and tidy food hall and a friendly atmosphere.

Best Quick Bites
Joju

City Kitchen
700 8th Ave at 44th St.

Are you picky about your food? If so, you’ll love the City Kitchen on 700 8th Ave at 44th St. Suchi, burgers, pizza, ramen, bao, lobster rolls, middle eastern, or tacos — you name it and they have it. This food court is full of different options that will indulge your senses and at a reasonable price. Besides, its location makes this spot perfect for a quick kid-friendly bite before a Broadway show.

Dig Inn
856 8th Ave.

If you want to have a quick kid-friendly bite in the city and not ruin your children’s healthy diet, Dig Inn is the restaurant to go to. Located at 856 8th Ave, this amazing place provides nutritious food for the whole family. It may be a little bit packed around lunch just because it’s a hit place for many professionals in the area. Don’t worry, the line moves fast, and your family will surely find a nice spot in the seating area. The food is always fresh thanks to Dig Inn’s policy of working one-on-one with 102 farmers to bring those recipes to life, planting crops specifically for Dig Inn’s menus. 

Best Quick Bites
Dig Inn

Melt Shop
135 W 50th St.

The only bad thing about this place is that you can’t make up your mind on what to order because you’ll want everything on the menu. Fresh ingredients, perfect size sandwiches, and an incredible ordering system that turns a scary long line into a few minutes wait. Most people are there for the sandwiches, but if you prefer a healthy salad, you won’t be disappointed. If you plan a busy day of city attractions, plan for 135 W 50th St as a quick stop in your schedule.

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles 2
648 9 Ave.

They are not kidding! These delicious noodles are always fresh and always handmade. It’s a great place for takeout or a quick kid-friendly bite near Times Square. You can see the cooks pulling the noodles behind the glass barrier of the kitchen. They fill your bowl with noodles, protein, and veggies, yet each piece has a chance to shine through. Meals come out steamy with a delicious broth. All meals on the menu are below $15.

Best Quick Bites
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles 2

Empanada Mama
765 9th Ave.

Fried, baked, veggie, and vegan empanadas — plenty of options to pick from! So no matter what you like, you will find it at Empanada Mama on 765 9th Ave. They also have a wide variety of Mexican, Argentinian, and Colombian specialties you can delight yourself with. The ambiance will teleport you to South America’s tropical cost for a very local feel and great for families eating out. Besides, the service is fast and personalized. It’s open 24/7, so you can order takeout at any time.

Vanilla Gorilla Cafe
332 West 44th St.

With just five minutes away from the Port Authority fuss. Vanilla Gorilla Cafe is a cute, quiet spot on 332 West 44th St, aside from the craziness inside and surrounding Times Square. You can count on Vanilla Gorilla Cafe to be kind and friendly to your kids and advise you on the best options for them. The Golden chai latte is what they are famous for. Enjoy the rich taste and robust aroma that will help you relax in the middle of the rush. The Bananatella will be your kids’ new favorite! All meals are ready and served in five mins.

Best Quick Bites
Vanilla Gorilla Cafe

Applebee’s
234 West 42nd St.

Make Applebee’s at 234 W. 42nd St. in New York, your neighborhood bar and grill. Whether you’re looking for an affordable lunch meal with the family, Applebee’s offers dining options you’ll love. Salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, and “riblets” are among Applebee’s specials. Besides, they have a separate children’s menu, and kids love their piece-of-art desserts. Ask about happy hour and our wide selection of beverages to quench your thirst!

Westville Hell’s Kitchen
809 9th Ave.

There is something for everyone at Westville Hell’s Kitchen! Known for their excellent lean food with a great legume variety. Salads, burgers, omelets, tacos, salmon, and many more tasty options. This Breakfast & Brunch location on 809 9th Ave is where families love going. Whether you’re looking for a healthy meal, vegan, vegetarian dish, or a chance to indulge in a big fatty burger, Westville has you covered. Kids love their smoky mac & cheese, especially in the spring, when your family can enjoy the open-air area. 

Best Quick Bites
Westville Hell’s Kitchen

Red Poke
885 8th Ave.

Red Poke is the ultimate Asian fusion fast-casual food option. You have complete control over what goes in your children’s meal. First, you’ll fill out a form of what ingredients you want — vegan, veggies, chicken, beans, then turn it in when you pay. As you walk down the line, you can watch them assemble your bowl, and in the end, you’ll have a super tasty poke bowl in no time. Red Poke’s specials are the Salmon and Tuna bowls. 

Patzeria Perfect Pizza
231 West 46th St.

Pizza in New York means iconic food! Patzeria Perfect Pizza on 231 W 46th St is literally perfect. A traditional New York pizza slice for $4 is the quickest bite there is. If you have a walk around Midtown with the family, this place is definitely worth the ratings and reviews. Your kids will enjoy the variety of tasty pizza crust and sauce. They have many ready-made slices for serving, so your whole family will be served within five minutes. It’s no fancy place, but you can count on their fresh pizza and friendly staff. Spend a minute at Patzeria Perfect Pizza and enjoy some authentic New York pizza!

Best Quick Bites
Patzeria Perfect Pizza

Urbanspace Garment District
Broadway, from 39 – 40 Street

For over 30 years, UrbanSpace has created boutique gourmet pop-ups in the high-traffic streets of London and New York City. Located on Broadway 41St-39St, the Urbanspace Garment District is a great place to taste Peruvian, Latin, Asian, and German/Austrian recipes and get a sense of the local culture. Additionally, a variety of fun knitwear, handmade jewelry, decorations, toy shops, and souvenirs will feed your curiosity for some local goods shopping. The best part is that Urbanspace is in proximity to Bryant Park where children always have fun.

The Little Beet
135 W 50th St.

The Little Beet is committed to cooking up plant-inspired food. Its mission is to use all-natural ingredients, veggie-heavy food that gives people the nutrients they need to live well. The company gets its products from selected farmers and purveyors that guarantee that all of the food is gluten-free. The Little Beet Table on 135 W 50th St. is not the only location, but the closest to Times Square. At this family-friendly, veggie-friendly space, visitors pick a plate base (either tofu, chicken, beef, or salmon) and then add seasonal sides like cauliflower, quinoa, or roasted beets. Besides the amazing food, the seating area is cozy and the staff is super friendly.

Best Quick Bites
The Little Beet

Please note that some of these places have gluten-free options and some don’t. You should review their menus for details before ordering.