City Baby’s Top 20 Mother’s Day Restaurants – Downtown NYC

Hello lovelies!! As we're approaching closer and closer to Mother's Day this Sunday (only four days away!!!), we thought that it was high-time to put together a list of our favorite downtown dining sites to celebrate this very special occasion with your kiddos and loved ones.  Some have special Mother's Day offerings (because who deserves it more than mom?), and others are offering their usual menu, with a little extra tweak here and there.  Above all, and as with all restaurants we review, we wouldn't preview it unless we've personally gone and gave it the CBD stamp of approval!!

So enjoy this carefully curated list of downtown favorites in celebration of Mother's Day.  Reservations are going fast, so if you’re like us (procrastinating birds), then you better get on it soon.  Tell us how it went if you go!



1.       Acme

9 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012

Tel. 212-203-2121

We love this “fashionably rustic” dining spot with style (plus the chef has one of the founding chefs at Noma, enough said!).  This mother’s day, Acme offers a $40 Three course Prix Fixe for brunch/$32 Pot Roasted Sunday Supper for dinner.  Yum!  For more details you can find a quirky, post-Sandy review by Rockshic here.


2.       Bar Primi

325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-220-9100

Recently reviewed on CBD (see here), this place is packed with flavor and attitude.  There’s nothing on the menu apart from appetizers and pastas, and they are all delicious! According to the restaurant they’re serving up their regular dishes plus some Mother’s Day specials.  We don’t know quite what they are, but we are intrigued!


3.       Burger and Barrel

25 West Houston Street, New York, NY 11217

Tel. 212-334-7320

I know I know, you’re thinking, burgers, what?  But seriously, we recently sampled this place and it is lovely!  More gastropub/bistro than your average burger joint (inside is nicely laid-out, with friendly staff and delicious food).  Plus, burgers are all the rage these days, you really cannot go wrong!  B&B is serving up a $22 special brunch menu, which includes a bloody mary or a specialty brunch cocktail. In addition, they’re also hosting a 3-course menu for $35


4.       Gemma Restaurant at the Bowery Hotel

335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-505-7300

This stylish Bowery Hotel eatery has long been a local favorite for the fashionable stroller-wheeling set.  The food is classic Italian, and always delicious.  Brunch is generally our favorite time to go (the baked eggs with tomato and avocado is positively gorgeous).  It’s quite spacious inside; with a lovely sitting area outside if the weather’s nice.  They don’t take reservations unless you’re a hotel guest.  However, weekend brunch kicks off at 10:30am, so chances are good you’ll get a table if you get there early (which you invariably will, given that your rambunctious little ones will wake up at the crack of dawn!).


5.       Dinner on Ludlow

95 Delancey Street, New York, NY 10002

Tel. 212-228-0909

Another CBD certified favorite, this place is a little off the beaten path (in contrast to Gemma), and absolutely lovely.  Think comfort food with locally-sourced ingredients, mixed charming décor and loads of chandeliers.  (Note: downstairs is the restaurant and upstairs apparently offers quite the nigh scene, though we can’t really speak to that, given our general propensity of passing out by 10pm at night).


6.       DBGB

299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-933-5300

Another neighborhood gem, this stylish bistro brought to you by the ubiquitous master chef Daniel Boulud somehow manages to bring you the best from every angle.  Delicious food?  Check.  Baby-friendly staff?  Check.  Amenities? Check (read: high chairs AND changing tables).  There’s a gorgeous outdoor space prime for people watching on the Bowery, and tons of space inside the restaurant.  Plus, just for the occasion, DBGB is serving their “MAMA KNOWS BEST” specialty cocktail, made with gin, raspberry puree & bubbles!  Oh, and did we mention that eggs & caviar will also be served for the occasion? 


7.       EN Japanese Brasserie

435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Tel. 212-647-9196

This sleek West Village Japanese eatery is both spacious (rare for an izakaya) and delicious, serving home-style Japanese cooking.  They’ll be offering a Mother’s Day special menu with 9 different Kyoto appetizers for the occasion, plus private rooms available (yes, did we mention that space is no object?).


8.       Flinders Lane

162 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Tel. 212-228-6900

Offering upscale haute Australian cuisine (and no, that’s not an oxymoron!), this place has also got the CBD stamp of approval and is nestled within the heart of the East Village.  They’re open bright and early at 10am everyday (11am on weekends), and perfect a taste of the Melbourne essence in downtown NYC.


9.       Hearth

403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

Tel. 646-602-1300

This long-standing East Village/Union Square restaurant has been pleasing locals and adding pizzazz to the Sty-town crowd for as long as we can remember.  The reason for their longevity?  Damn good food, Tuscan-cuisine style.  Chef Marco Canora cooks up the widest range of his seasonally-inspired dishes here, and you too can get a sampling this Sunday for an extended brunch menu from 11am to 4pm. 


10.   Hotel Chantelle

92 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002


Another Lower East Side favorite – this place is fabulous for rooftop dining (it’s all glass green-house like ceilings make you feel both at once protected and glamorous).  Just make sure to leave the strollers parked downstairs!  A jam-packed Mother’s Day brunch features  Executive Chef Seth Levine's Banana Foster Waffles, Smores French Toast, Lobster Benedict, Egg Crostini & more.  Oh, and did we mention that there’ll be live Jazz?


11.   Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

53 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012

Tel. 212-837-2622

We love this Mediterranean/Italian café serving delectable house-cured meats, homemade bread, and amazing cocktails (note that this description doesn’t quite do the restaurant justice as they provide so much more).  The vibe is excellent and fashions itself after “communal-chic.”  If the weather’s nice, do grab one of those little tables outside for street-watching.  A specialty-three course Mother’s Day brunch will be served from 11am to 4pm.  A la care Dinner follows from 5pm to 11pm. 


12.   Lafayette

380 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-533-3000

This sprawling brasserie, brought to you by the food industry darling Andrew Carmellini, is one of our favorite downtown go-to’s.  See recent review here.  We love the bakery and the downhome French cooking.  Trust us when we say this – make sure to offer their famous brisket burger! 


13.   Le Philosophe

55 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

Tel. 212-388-0038

Another fan favorite note too far from Lafayette, this casually stylish French restaurant serves up some of the most delightful and (surprisingly) inventive dishes we’ve had to date.  Executive chef Matthew Aita trained with Daniel Boulud, and is really quite talented!  You can select between the lovely outdoor seating or the indoor décor, which includes famous philosophers on the walls.  For more CBD tips, see here. 


14.   The Lion

62 West 9th Street, New York, NY 10011

Tel. 212-353-8400

We stumbled upon this Greenwich Village spot quite haphazardly – and were surprised to learn that they were so lively and baby-friendly inside!  The main dining room is gorgeous in a Great Gatsby kind of way, and they do a mean Jazz brunch every Sunday from 11am to 3pm. The Lion will be serving a special Mother’s Day prixe fixe ($45 per person), with a complimentary Prosecco or Mimosa for the moms!


15.   Narcissa

25 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-228-3344

Located inside the Standard Hotel in the East Village/Noho area, Narcissa has really come into its own over the past year or so.  It’s farm-to-table cooking with a twist, simple fare mixed with attitude, with roots tied to the Hudson Valley.  The outdoor seating is fantastic, as is their famous carrots (yes, you heard us, the carrots are amazing!).


16.   Monument Lane

103 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10014

Tel. 212-255-0155

This upscale Colonial Tavern stole our hearts and had us at hello (by the hostess).  CBD visited, reviewed, and fell in love.  The food is a blend of seasonal comfort fare mixed with traditional American (think grass-fed burgers, breakfast radish, and bacon bloody marys).  The décor is rustic ramshackle glam.  Mom will love it and you will too.


17.   Osteria Morini

218 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

Tel. 212-965-8777

This one of SoHo’s reigning Italian champions, and for good reason.  The restaurant offers pure authentic Italian cooking by Emilia-Romagna in a rather basic but charming setting set off by 1700’s era Italian accents.  If you come here early, as we are want to do, you’ll see droves of families much like yourselves.  It straddles a nice middle-ground between baby-friendliness and foodie lovers.


18.   Russ and Daughters Café

127 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

Tel. 212-475-4881

If you happen to be in the Lower East Side, and cured fish is your jam – then this is the place for you!  Seriously, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend your Mother’s Day Sunday.  The restaurant itself is sleek and beautiful, and the food stays true to the original spirit of the mother ship, whilst sprinkling in some modern twists of its own.  For more details read our full review here.


19.   Sant Ambroeus Soho

265 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

Tel. 212-966-2770

If you’ve ever been to the San Ambroeus in the Hamptons, or better yet the one on the Upper East Side, you know that this is the place for the upscale modern family (see detailed CBD review here).  The Soho spot lends some downtown edge to the mix (cue graffiti art at the entrance).  The best time to go, in our humble opinion, is brunch – and what better time than Mother’s Day to seize the opportunity? Did we mention that they open bright and early, like at 8am?  With luck, you could even turn this into your Mother’s Day Breakfast spot!


20.   Tribeca Grand Hotel

2 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013

Tel. 212-519-6600

As with most things in life, we save the best for last!  This is your reward for scrolling this far down.  The Church Bar and Lounge at the luxury boutique Tribeca Grand hotel serves up a meal brunch on a weekly basis, and you better believe that they will turn it up for this Mother’s Day.  Live Jazz plus private Children’s film screening in the Grand Screen is on the agenda, plus so much more.  For more details see recent feature on CBD. 

City Baby’s Top 8 Ice Cream Shops in the East Village

Summer is on the horizon, and what better way to celebrate than with copious amounts of ice cream?  (Okay… so you may want to hit the treadmill straight afterwards, but the endeavor is well worth it!). As you know, yours truly equates ice cream cones with sunshine and rainbows, so you know that I have all the time in the world for scoping out the most delicious sort.  It just so happens that the East Village is a prime destination for fantastic ice cream – so read on, check these spots out out, and enjoy every last flavor!


1. Sunades and Cones

95 East 10th street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-979-9398


I stumbled upon this place quite haphazardly with my girlfriends a while back (the best kind of discovery in my book), and was immediately drawn.  It’s super cute inside, plenty spacious for the little kiddos, and what’s better, they have crazy flavors like wasabi ice cream, in case you want a kick in the tastebud.  The black seasame is another knock-out flavor. 


2. Odd Fellows Ice Creams Co.

75 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 917-475-1812


Gourmet ice cream, with a flagship shop in Williamsburg, offering 8 rotating flavors (all made in Brooklyn!).  Try the Thai ice cream variety, it is nom nom.


3.  Big Gay Ice Cream

125 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-533-9333


It all started with an ice cream truck, and is now a full-fledged phenomenon.  Besides, you really can’t go wrong anywhere that has a bedazzled unicorn on its wall.  Try the hand-dipped Salty Pimp, a cone of soft serve vanilla run through with Dulce de leche and subsequently dipped in a chocolate shell.  Simply beautiful. 


4. Davey's Ice Cream

137 1st Avenue, New York, NY, 10003

Tel. 212-228-8032


This Ice Cream jam is super cute and packed with retro-style, and we love the fireplace out on the back (perfect for babies and strollers!).  Go for the hardcore coffee flavor if you happen to be in the mood for a little pick-me-upper, or perhaps the Mexican Vanilla Bean.


5. Momofuku Milk Bar

251 East 13th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 347-577-9504


Who said that soft serve had to be conventional, by any stretch of the imagination?  How about some pea-nut soft serve?  It comprises a mix of pea and almonds, and all around fantastic.   If you’re a sweets lover, then you should not miss out on the almighty Cereal Milk.  While you’re at it, why not go for the “cornflake crunch” topping?  It’s fabulous.  (P.S.  Momofuku Milk Bar just recently opened up their SoHo outpost on Wooster, check it here).


6. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

48 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 718-715-0758


Like many fabulous artisanal ice cream shops, Ben Van Leeuwen’s ice cream franchise had its beginnings out of a truck, and the ridiculousness of the flavors and taste speak for itself.  In addition, they also have a solid line of vegan flavors just in case you’re off the dairy. 


7. Mikey Likes It Ice Cream

199 Avenue A, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 646-896-1836


Throwback themes, delicious flavors, great vibes and music – need we say more?  They have fun flavors like Foxy Brown (mocha ice cream, crushed Oreos, sea salt caramel swirl) and Ice Ice Baby (triple vanilla with Madagascan, Mexican, and Tahitian vanilla beans).  Plus, any place that has a flavor featuring Michael Jackson (old school style) is my kind of joint!


8. Snowdays Shavery

241 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-982-8881


Okay, so not quite ice cream, per se, more like artisanal shaved ice.  Though seriously, where else can you get something like the Seoul (an amalgamation of black sesame, green tea matcha, and shaved ice garnished with mangoes, mocha balls, red bean, and drizzled with condensed milk and crushed almond).  This combo alone should help motivate you!