Whether you want to take your dad out for a Father’s Day meal that’ll make him forget the unfortunate tie you got him last year, or impress Mom with exotic new tastes she could never experience at home; whether you want a show-stopping culinary experience, or a warm, welcoming spot where the whole family can reconnect over family-style plates, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of parent-friendly restaurants sure to be a big hit with the ‘rents!
2450 Broadway New York, NY 1002
New Yorkers have been heading to this old-world Southern Italian red-sauce joint for decades, and for good reason. This family-style restaurant serves up huge plates of unabashedly rich, classic dishes from veal parmigiana to mussels marinara, antipasto platters to mozzarella-smothered lasagna, which are meant to be shared among your party. There’s a second branch in Times Square too, if the theater district is where you and your family will be roaming in search of good eats. Either location will leave your folks groaning with good food, and you in their good graces.
2. Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 1000
Another mainstay of parent-friendly eateries in the city is the legendary Gramercy Tavern, located in the Flatiron District. Straight up, it’s a classy, unfussy, yet elegant contemporary American restaurant with superb food for all palates. Under the stewardship of famed restaurateur Danny Meyer, diners can opt for a curated tasting menu to take them through their gustatory paces, or relax with a fixed-price meal, or go the a la carte route if they prefer. From simple yet stunning salads to lovely fresh fish dishes to unique sorbets and delectable desserts, the Gramercy is a flawless experience start to finish. For those who like a tipple before tucking in, the Tavern section at the Gramercy boasts a well-loved and justifiably famous bar.
181 Thompson St, New York, NY 1001
If your family has never had a taste of old New York, another great “red sauce” Italian restaurant is Carbone, down on Thompson Street in the Village. While you’ll taste old-world menu items like Linguine Vongole or Lobster Fra Diablo (or the heavenly Tortellini Bolognese), there’s nothing stale about this delectable restaurant, despite its nod to a mid-century aesthetic (which your folks may well appreciate). From Antipasti to Carne, from Prosecco to Grappa, you and your folks can relax and “mangia, mangia!” in authentic ambiance that appeals to everyone.
4. Capital Grille
120 W 51st St, New York, NY 10020
155 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
NYC doesn’t lack for steakhouses, but as meat-palaces go, Capital Grille is among the most impressive to take the folks for a night of fine dining. With three locations, each of which lives up to its reputation for excellent food, convivial atmosphere, and an extensive wine selection to pair with everything from a classic New York strip to a seared ahi tuna, everyone’s sure to have a memorable meal. (Or go for a dry martini or single malt scotch for that Mad Men vibe.) The Arlo staff especially like the fact that the background noise tends to be low enough to allow for great conversation so everyone can catch up properly, which can be hard to find in NYC sometimes! Elegance, consistency, and great service ensure that no matter how persnickety Mom or Dad might be, they’ll have nothing but praise for your choice of restaurant.
5. Tavern on the Green
Central Park West & 67th Street, New York, NY 10023
Whether your folks have seen that memorable scene from Ghostbusters or not, they’ll be wowed when you take them to one of New York’s most iconic restaurants, Tavern on the Green. Well known for celebrating anniversaries, weddings, graduations and other milestones, this magical glass-enclosed restaurant right in the middle of Central Park is a unique, not-to-be-missed experience for out-of-towners. While the food is absolutely scrumptious, with offerings from classic American weekend brunch dishes (hello, heavenly Eggs Benedict Florentine), to ocean-fresh raw bar selections, to filet mignon or lobster risotto, to the excellent wine list and desserts, it’s really the fairytale Central Park memories that will last for years to come.
194 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
No, we’re not commenting on your heritage! Peasant, located in Nolita, is a charmingly rustic restaurant with a completely up-to-the-minute artisanal aesthetic. When you’re looking to make your family feel warm and cozy, yet aware they’re in a foodie paradise, there’s no better spot than this Italian eatery with its wood-fired ovens, exposed-brick walls, and open kitchen where you can watch all the action while stuffing yourself on thin-crust pizzas, fresh-grilled fish, risotto, or even their famous suckling pig. The menu focuses on farm-to-table dishes and changes seasonally, allowing the chef to get creative and bring unique, authentic flavors from all over Italy. If your family is into fine wine, the wine room below the main restaurant is a real treat, with communal seating and an old-world ambiance that lets you linger over a glass or a bottle while feeling you might be in a village in Tuscany amongst old friends.
597 W 207th St, New York, NY 10034
Families argue over meals. It’s just gonna happen. But when it comes down to it, pretty much everyone can agree on Mexican, and everyone will agree that Guadalupe, way up in Inwood at the northern end of Manhattan, is worth the excursion (maybe combine it with a trip to the Cloisters, if you want to explore the area). With out-of-this-world margaritas of every imaginable stripe, sensuous sangria (try and get there for the happy hour special if you can), and a sports bar up front so you can take in the game over chips and salsa, it’s both casual and family friendly. The succulent steaks and fresh-off-the grill seafood are absolutely mouth-watering, especially the signature churrasco. Be prepared for a bit of a wait, however. This popular spot doesn’t accept reservations.