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Dining Out With Daddy…NYC Style.

Guest contributor Hip Mommy Lacy Pica Nugent throws down on all things Dining Out with Daddy in Manhattan:

It turns out nothing is quite the same once you become a Dad…your social circles, weekend activities, even the bars you used to frequent are forever different.  You might get stuck thinking “I don’t know the first thing about kid-friendly restaurants in NYC“ or “am I going to be judged if I bring my kid to a bar?” or “where should we all now eat?”

Fret not, there exists many judgment-free establishments in and around Manhattan that are friendly for the little ones and don’t completely strip you of your manhood.  You might not be able to frequent your old watering hole anymore (you wouldn’t dare bring your child there anyway), but we think the following suggestions are absolutely Hip Daddy Approved:

Burger and Barrel Wine Pub

This respectable restaurant isn’t completely meant for kids, but could be deemed kid-friendly because of the menu (whatever works, right?)  From the folks that bring us Lure Fishbar and El Toro Blanco, Burger and Barrel is the type of place where you can feed your kids a mouthwatering burger and enjoy a sophisticated cocktail or glass of wine in unison.  Any place where you can capitalize on a sommelier’s expertise and take your tykes to eat is Hip Daddy Approved.

Hill Country

Outdoor activities are important for the little ones and Madison Square Park is a full of things to do.  If you’re not quite ready to hang out at the playground all day, you and the kids can check out the well known, pop-up art installations or the dogs run free at the dog park. This place can keep your kids entertained for hours.  After some time at MSP, you will have worked up an appetite so skip the Shake Shack (although it’s awesome) and head to Hill Country.  It’s packed with good food, slow cooked BBQ, space for kids to run, live Americana tunes, and sports.  After all, you’ll be thirsty for a quality brew after all of that running around…#nodoubt.

Smith & Wollensky Grill

Every Hip Daddy likes a classic.  We would take a guess that habituating a sophisticated palette for your kids would be a priority for a Hip Daddy…especially if red meat, lobster or even oysters are on the docket for you on a monthly, weekly or nightly basis.  Teach your kids what good food is at Smith & Wollensky’s Grill.  The location lends itself well to the midtown sightseeing you swore off when you moved to the city, but have somehow adapted as a yearly holiday tradition with your children.

Gansevoort Market

If you haven’t noticed yet, the Meatpacking District is pretty popular.  And not in the “bridge and tunnel” kind of way (oops…our bad.)  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the Gansevoort Market, a food hall that sells all types of foods with areas to run, play and entertain. Channeling Old New York, the market pays homage to the historic Gansevoort “Farmers” Market in the 1800s, with its rustic, industrial build.  Good news: in a few months, the market plans to move a few blocks away, and with the new location comes a beer and wine license…could that deserve a Hip Hip Daddy Hooray? After the market, check out The Highline, The Whitney Museum, or go for a bike ride on the Hudson River promenade.

El Vez

Battery Park City gets a spicy addition with El Vez, the Ultimate Agave Experience.  The south-of-the-border, monster-size restaurant exhibits an eclectic, colorful décor and boasts a patio, four dining rooms, and a photo booth to boot.  Any space that can comfortably accommodate parties with small offspring ricocheting like bouncy balls is ‘A-ok’ with any Hip Daddy.  Yelp users cite the fantastic service, great people watching while dining on the patio, and superb slushy beer concoctions.  “Taco ‘bout” fun.

And let’s not forget our lovely Brooklyn friends (given our Hip Daddy readership), check out Greenwood Park and Habana Outpost.

About Our Contributor: 

Hip Mommy Lacy is a PR and marketing professional that has lived in NYC over 10 years (and originally from Baltimore…and a massive Ravens fan.)  Lacy just recently started navigating the new world of motherhood and has learned that the world is completely different once you’re inevitably morphed into a parent.  She and her husband are Modern Parents with full time jobs who rely on the more creative, not so traditional parenting blogs to tell them what’s relevant and cool.  Lacy also writes for Oh Mama, an interactive community for moms.