13 *Actually* Cool Restaurants in NYC for Teenagers [2024 Update]

Planning a summer break trip with your friends and trying to find the best places to go in NYC? Well, here’s a list of exciting spots you’ll love!

New York City. One of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world! People from all over the globe fly there to experience the sights, see Broadway shows, pursue their biggest dreams, and much much more. The city is known for their constant 24/7 go go go, from morning to night, there’s a lot to note, and that’s not even including their stellar restaurants! 

Some of the very best restaurants in the country can be found in NYC, and if you’re visiting with family, planning your own vacation with friends, or looking for something new in your hometown, these fun restaurants in NYC for teenagers are ready to serve you the very best The Big Apple has to provide! 

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1. Hard Rock Cafe

A rock n’ roll themed restaurant chain serving American classics!

Buy a Hard Rock Cafe gift card

1501 Broadway | New York | hardrockcafe.com 

In the heart of New York City, Hard Rock Cafe is the place to “rock your senses with delicious food, drinks, and classic music that will have you grooving in your seat”! With 708 seats, a recently opened 1,800 square foot Rock Shop®, an outdoor space available to host parties, and plenty more, Hard Rock Cafe is well known throughout the country for being a…rockin' good time. Music from artists like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Billy Joel, Elvis, and plenty more iconic bands, (even some more contemporary ones like Gwen Stafani), are all featured here!

On the Hard Rock Cafe menu, they’ve stated that their food is bold, the drinks cold, and the music loud since its conception in 1971. So with that, you are already getting a feel for what to expect when you head on down to this popular fun restaurant. Some of the food you can expect to see on the menu is Classic Nachos, Pepperoni Flatbread, Wings, the Legendary Steak Burger, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, New York Strip Steak, and their Homemade Apple Cobbler! Hard Rock Cafe is here to house people of all ages and ties with good food and good music!

“Fast service, reasonable prices, a good selection of food items, generous portions (including drinks), a clean restaurant and restrooms, and the rock 'n roll ambience made for a great meal with the "Wow factor"--We'll be back!” -Yelp Review

Buy a Hard Rock Cafe gift card

2. The Blue Box Café ®

Have Breakfast or Brunch at Tiffany’s for an Unforgettable Experience

The Blue Box Cafe in Tiffinay’s 5th Avenue store is a fun and luxurious NYC restaurant for teenagers
The Blue Box Cafe takes the joy of seeing Tiffany’s signature color to a whole new level. Image courtesy Tiffany’s.

727 5th Ave | Midtown East | blueboxcafenyc.com

Can’t get over the charm of Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Whether your teen read the Truman Capote classic for school this year or they have a slight obsession with Audrey Hepbern, they’re sure to have a great time at The Blue Box Cafe ®.

Located on the 6th floor of the iconic Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue, The Blue Box Cafe ® “evokes the timeless glamor of Breakfast at Tiffany’s with light, seasonal cuisine.” Chef Daniel Boulud serves up tasty French-inspired dishes for breakfast, brunch, and tea.

Don’t miss out on this exquisite fine dining experience! Reservations are a must.

“Absolute floor to ceiling luxury from the moment you enter; all is glistening, sparkling and shiny. Customer service on all floors is impeccable; you are treated like VIP! Everything was so pretty. Everything was good. Overall, you must do Tiffanys!” – Yelp Review

3. SERRA by Birreria at Eataly Flatiron

Cozy Italian Garden Vibes on the 14th Floor of an NYC Skyscraper

200 5th Ave | Flatiron | eataly.com

Eataly might already be a stop on your list – a whole Italian shopping experience contained within one sprawling building. But once you pick up your fresh papardelle and cold-pressed olive oil (or maybe even a customized goat milk cannoli) head up to the 14th floor for a rooftop dining experience you’ll never forget.

Drawing inspiration from Southern Italy, Serra by Birreria offers a variety of sensational, seasonal sips and bites. Enjoy shareable dishes, showstopping desserts, and mom or dad can sip on a creative cocktail, too.

Do not miss out on the Panna Cotta!

“SERRA by Birreria at Eataly Flatiron is a culinary oasis that seamlessly blends ambiance, quality cuisine, and an immersive dining experience. The moment you step into this enchanting rooftop space, you're transported to a rustic, yet elegant, greenhouse setting, adorned with lush greenery and twinkling lights.” – Yelp Review

4. Cafe Du Soleil

Old-timey bistro decoration, French fare food, and outdoor seating make this a fun restaurant in NYC for teenagers!

With cozy seating and menu items like pancakes and fries, Cafe Du Soleil is a great restaurant for teenagers in NYC
Cafe Du Soleil has cozy options for indoor and outdoor dining all year round. Image courtesy Yelp.

2723 Broadway | New York | cafedusoleilny.com 

While you might not be able to take a plane ride to France immediately right now, you can still celebrate the country’s delicious cuisine right in NYC! Café Du Soleil is a popular French cafe located in Manhattan Valley that serves delicious cuisine and has a great ambience to compliment the menu! Guests can either dine inside or on their cozy patio overlooking the streets of NYC, (and for winter, Café Du Soleil has added extra equipment outside to help block that winter chill)! 

This charming bistro offers savory French dishes such as Merguez Grillées, La Choucroute De La Mer, Vegan Provençal, along with elegant steak and fish dishes served in this colorful and rustic restaurant! If you have a big day out on the town planned, Café Du Soleil also has delicious brunch options like the Bretonne Crêpe and Pancakes Aux Fruits Rouges. This restaurant has a fun vibe that’s perfect for any group of teens looking to try something different or get a taste of a future adventure to France!

“This place has one of the best outdoor dining set ups in the area. Each table has it's own bubble with a heater inside. I was so toasty and actually able to take off multiple layers after being seated. The food was pretty good as well. I'm basic, so I had to get the French onion soup. Will definitely be back for a date night!” -Yelp Review

5. Meow Parlour

Home is where the…cat is! Cuddly cats for pets, coffee, pastries, and WiFi!

46 Hester St | New York | meowparlour.com 

Welcome to the Meow Parlour, New York City’s first cat cafe! Whether you’re there for just 30 minutes or stay for 5 hours, this place is for cat-lovers and those who enjoy a quaint, calming, lovely little cafe! What’s even sweeter is that every cat you encounter at Meow Parlour is available for adoption, so if you happen to fall in love with one of those little guys, you may be able to help them home! 

Now you may be asking how all of this works, well, let’s give a quick little guide to help you understand what you need to know before you saunter on down to the Meow Parlour. At this cafe they allow a limited number of walk-ins, usually dependent on space availability, a group of one or two is the best when trying to walk in, large groups require a reservation. To make the most of your and your friends time, making a reservation through their website to claw out some cat time for your own is recommended!

Oh! One last thing, if you happen to get hungry while petting these furballs of fun, the Meow Parlour offers a variety of “cafe” like menu items. From coffee, tea, macaroons, pastries, and more! It’s definitely a great place for a light bite or simply a warm drink after walking through the streets of New York…the cats are a bonus of course.

“Where else can you go to get your kitty fix and have a delicious treat ???  The staff take great care to make sure all of these adoptable animals are well taken care of and happy.  The facility is very well organized and clean.  Love all the work they are doing to get homes for these animals!” -Yelp Review

6. Ellen's Stardust Diner

Vibrant 50’s-themed diner that will charm you with its troupe of singing servers!

Drag Brunch always makes for a better brunch! Image courtesy of Ellen's Stardust Diner on Instagram.

1650 Broadway | New York | ellensstardustdiner.com 

If you’re in the mood for something truly spectacular, you need to talk a walk down to Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This famous 50’s-style diner is known for its incredibly talented waitstaff. At any time during the day you’ll find someone singing their hearts out on the stage located right in the middle of the restaurant, (and you can even see some of them performing on stage in Broadway/Off Broadway productions)! Ellen’s Stardust Diner has events too, Drag Brunch is a favorite that many enjoy!

On the menu you can expect a range of foods from Challah French Toast, Fruity Pebble Pancakes, Fresh Fruit Yogurt Parfait, Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, Philly Cheesesteak, Crispy Wings, Spinach Salad, Penne Alfredo, and much much more! Ellen’s Stardust Diner has plenty of fun to be had at any time of the day, so make sure to get ready to enjoy good tunes and good food!

“Great experience, so glad we went!  We waited about 25 min on a Monday night at 8pm, but it was worth it.  The food was good, but pricey (not more than other places in NYC).  Our whole family of 4 enjoyed it, including my 13 &19 yr old theater kids!” -Yelp Review 

7. Beetle House NYC

Tim Burton’s Spooky Movies Come to Life All Year Long

308 E 6th St | East Village | beetlehousenyc.com

Looking for a dining experience that’s spectacular and strange? It’s Halloween all year round at this Tim Burton themed dining experience in the East Village. Guests ages 12 and up can enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu, which allows them to pick one movie-themed appetizer, entree, side, and dessert. Characters wander the venue and interact with you as you dine.

So if you’re looking for a unique concept that’s an age-appropriate experience for your teen, this is it!

“It is an amazing place. The music, service and food were more than we expected. We enjoyed The Wednesday Show with Beetlejuice and the magic show. On the menu you find vegetarian and vegan options and the cocktails not only look cool, they are delicious too.” – Yelp Review

8. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Old-school soda shop housed in a 1920’s apothecary set right in Brooklyn!

513 Henry St | Brooklyn | brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com 

If you’re looking for a dessert spot on a nice afternoon sunny day or maybe something sweet after your meal, well let us introduce you to this unique hot spot in the city, Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain! This place is a whimsical dessert hub that is known for its creative ice cream dishes. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain has a rich history, with the original building being an Apothecary back in the 1920’s, there’s plenty more to the story, so if you’d like to learn a piece of history you can read it here

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain has specialty ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and much more! Are you a fan of caramel? Try the Sir Twix-A-Lot. This popular treat features chunks of shortcake crumbles topped with gooey caramel and a chocolate hard shell. Want something with a little more chocolate? The Brownie Sundae is filled with chunks of homemade brownie and your choice of ice cream inside a chocolate hard shell! Make sure to take a look at their whole menu so you can pick what you want ahead of time so you won’t have to spend too much time trying to decide!

“I really want to try everything they have on the menu, but I love their brownie sundae so much that I always end up getting it. Someday... I will be strong enough to say no to the brownie sundae so I can try other things they have which also look amazing:” -Yelp Review

9. Ladurée NYC

Delightful Taste of Paris Patisserie in the Heart of Soho

398 W Broadway | SoHo | laduree.us

The New York location of Maison Ladurée in Paris, Ladurée NYC is a patisserie and tea room perfect for an elegant breakfast, brunch, or lunch with your teen. Ask for a table in the garden to be seated under gorgeous flowering trees in the spring or summer, or grab a table inside to escape the winter chill amidst twinkling chandeliers, beautiful flower arrangements, damask curtains, and luxurious velvet seating.

Visitors can’t say enough good things about the macarons, smoked salmon lox, and french onion soup. If your favorite teenager is a big fan of Emily in Paris, this is the spot.

“Laduree is my one and only go-to place in NYC for macarons and rose croissants. I love their interior decorations and all the desserts are just too cute not to have!! Since the macaron flavors change from time to time, I always ask the staff for recommendations on the new flavors.” – Yelp Review

10. Sugar Factory

Making Sweets Designer Accessories in The World’s Biggest Cities

1991 Broadway | Lincoln Square | sugarfactory.com

American Brasserie food that’ll be a treat for any teen, Sugar Factory’s signature many has many fan favorites, like salads, burgers, stir fry, crepes, quesadillas, waffles, pizza, and of course, plenty of sweet treats. Fans of the one-of-a-kind dining experience love the rainbow sliders, mac and cheese lollipops, and turkey club.

But let’s talk sweets. Choose from a wide variety of tantalizing treats like cheesecake, cookie skillets, chocolate fondue, and rainbow cake. Plus, their cocktail and mocktail creations also get rave reviews.

“We went here last year with my boys. Definitely pricey but everything tasted so good, even the drinks. I got the mac n cheese and it was really delicious. Then the desserts were fun and tasty. Everyone was so nice as well.” – Yelp Review

11. Barking Dog

A unique American eatery that’s dog friendly and an all around great time!

Fluffy dog sits in front of a breakfast spread from Barking Dog NYC
Barking dog gets two paws up. Image courtesy @moe_maison on Instagram.

1678 3rd Ave | New York | barkingdognyc.com 

Locates on the Upper East Side, the Barking Dog is a popular dog-friendly restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! This place is famous for their special doggy water fountains right outside for your lil pup to enjoy while you enjoy your own meal. Whenever you come to Barking Dog, you’re sure to spend some nice quality time with friends and your favorite four-legged friend, their goal is to make an atmosphere comfortable for everyone involved, not just the humans.

Offering brunch and dinner, the Barking Dog has a bunch of menu items to enjoy, including but not limited to:

  • Homemade Granola and Brunch Punch, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and the Eggs Florentine.
  • Beef Burger, Apple Cider Braised Pulled Pork, pancakes, french toast, salads, and baked goods are all available at this fun restaurant for teenagers in NYC!
“Couldn't ask for a better service. I wanted to order more stuff but I'm definitely coming back to try the rest. Restaurant looks good, i liked the appearance. The staff in general was very attentive.” -Yelp Review

12. Max Brenner New York

Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, that’s what you’re getting at this lovely little restaurant in NYC!

841 Broadway | Union Square | maxbrenner.com 

Right in Times Square, Max Brenner NYC Chocolate Restaurant is making exactly what it sounds like: chocolate, and lots of it! Sometimes you’re craving something sweet and savory. Chocolate is the perfect treat to satisfy that craving, and with how popular/acclaimed Max Brenner is, you won’t find a better place to grab a piece of that sweet treat than this restaurant. Now, this hotspot isn’t offering just chocolate, it also has a variety of menu items sure to delight all who stop on by!

Their menu is HUGE. So going through it all with you right now would take too long, so here’s a basic rundown of just some of the things you can expect to see on Max Brenner NYC Chocolate Restaurant’s menu: shareable starters like Max Coco Spiced Waffle Fries, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, waffles, Classic European Fondue, Pistachio Cookie Fudge, milkshakes, and hot chocolate!

“Chocolate chocolate and more chocolate! A fun little haven for a sweet time. My friends and I stop by for a quick treat... it is not a quick treat (I say as I order a million things off the menu) I will say if you come here, make sure you are a little hungry and well hydrated. It's a super tasty place. My friends and I enjoyed it quite a bit.” -Yelp Review

13. Krispy Kreme at Times Square

The world’s largest Krispy Kreme store is located right in Times Square!

Buy a Krispy Kreme Donuts gift card

1601 Broadway | New York | krispykreme.com 

If you’re looking for something extra sweet and something a little different, why not check out the largest Krispy Kreme retail store around? Located in Times Square, this first-of-its-kind store boasts about its 4,500 square feet of space that serves the hottest and freshest donuts in New York City! 

At this bustling donut store, you can find a wide selection of donut styles, such as the chocolate iced glazed donut with sprinkles, Oreo® cookies and cream donut, and of course the very popular classic glazed donut. Along with its extensive donut selection, Krispy Kreme in Times Square also serves coffee, lattes, hot chocolate, and other popular sweet breakfast beverages to brighten up your day!

If you need to stop by somewhere for a quick breakfast, Krispy Kreme in Times Square is the perfect spot for you! You can just grab a quick donut, drink, or both, then head on your way to the next spot in your New York City trip itinerary!

“Having the Hot Now Krispy Kreme is a real treat every once in a while. Stopped by while in Times Square and we each had one donut just under $2 each. It melts in your mouth.” -Yelp Review

Buy a Krispy Kreme Donuts gift card

That’s it for the best NYC restaurants for teenagers!

New York City is home to an exciting selection of trendy and unique restaurants. Whether you are visiting the city with your teen or they are taking a day trip with their friends, these fun restaurants in NYC for teenagers are great choices! Which ones do you plan on visiting next? Let us know in the comments!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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