225 East 60th Street (2nd/3rd Avenues)
Neighborhood: Midtown East (Map)
Subways: 4, 5, or 6 to 59th Street; N or R to 60th Street
Price: $10 to $20
Reservations available only if you have dinner or lunch.
There's a reason that this restaurant nearly always has a line out the door -- it's famous with kids and parents alike, especially for its frozen hot chocolate. Portions are large, whether it's the foot-long hotdog($8.50) or the ice cream sundaes($9.50+). To avoid long waits (it can be 2 hours at peak times), have dinner and dessert and reserve well in advance.
Madison Square Park (Madison Avenue & East 23rd Street)
Neighborhood: Murray Hill (Map)
Subways: N, R, or 6 to 23rd Street
Price: under $10
Closed in winter (mid-Dec through mid-March)
If you're in New York City on a beautiful day and want to enjoy some time outdoors, Shake Shack offers suprisingly delicious food at reasonable prices. Have a seat at one of the many tables, or take up some space on the park's grassy lawns with your family and enjoy Chicago style hot dogs, burgers and concretes at this Madison Square Park burger stand operated by Danny Meyer (of Eleven Madison Park, Union Square Cafe, and Tabla fame). They have now expanded and have several locations, so you can experience Shake Shack year-round indoors on the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, the Theater District, Battery Park City, and Downtown Brooklyn (NYC Locations).
120 Essex Street (inside the Essex Street Market)
Neighborhood: Lower East Side (Map)
Subways: J, M and Z to Essex Street; F/V to Delancey Street
Price: $10 to $20
Closed Mondays, no groups larger than 4
For the family that can't agree on anything, Shopsin's is a great choice for dining. The menu at this New York legend features a ridiculously wide variety of foods -- from eggs and waffles (available all day) to graveyard stew and ying/yang bowls. Keep in mind, they won't seat parties larger than 4, even if you try to pose as 2 separate parties. Kid's menu for $3.95
Yeah Shanghai Deluxe
65 Bayard Street (at Mott)
Neighborhood: Chinatown (Map)
Subways: 6, J, M, N, Q, R, W, Z at Canal St.
Price: under $10 to $20
This Chinatown restaurant is a great choice for families -- children can enjoy their traditional favorites and parents can choose to have the more adventurous, delicious Shanghai dishes the restaurant is well-known for. Quick service and a bustling atmosphere ensure that the kids will be fed before they get bored.