Cheesy Cool: Funny NYC Themed Restaurants Worth Splurging On (2023)

New York City has a wide range of fun themed restaurants - a mix of indie spots and big biz, each offering a unique dining experience for the whole family. They're cheesy, they're clever, and they're fun, fun, fun! To get in on the action, check out our list of fun, interactive, and yes, fun restaurants in NYC. If you need more ideas on where to eat with the kids, think about itour favorite spots for brunch with kids in NYC, the best restaurants in Times Square, and for a quick bite,NYC's best pizza.

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Für Frrrozen Hot Chocolate & Oversized Everything

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Recently reopened, everything about Serendipity3 is a little extra: the decor (stained glass lamps, disco balls, an Andy Warhol puppet - a fan - hanging from the ceiling), the menu, huge both literally and figuratively, and the food. From foot-long hot dogs to giant sundaes and of course the famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which draws fans from far and wide. Make a reservation before heading out. Note: if you're a fan of Christmas decorations, this is one place to hit during the holidays - they go all out! (Naturally.)

225 Ost 60. St.
Upper east side

Zum „Vergeuden“ am Times Square: Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville Times Square NYC

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Yes, you can "waste" in the center of Times Square! Located in the Margaritaville Resort Times Square (a hotel with the only year-round heated outdoor pool in NYC, FYI), this spacious mashup of Key West culture and NYC kitsch offers a massive menu (both literally and figuratively) with beachy inspired dishes, lavish apps and even a cheeseburger in paradise. And of course margaritas of all kinds, which you can sip under the almost life-size Lady Liberty – who, of course, will be raising her own glass.

560 Seventh Avenue in der 40th St.
Times Square

For a patron of iconic donuts: Krispy Kreme Times Square

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We don't know if you could really call this mega donut mecca a meccaRestaurant, but if you're looking for over-the-top dining experiences, this probably qualifies. Head to Times Square to visit a massive Krispy Kreme store that sells soft and warm classic glazed donuts on a conveyor belt (there's actually a "frosting" waterfall you can see) as well as specialty flavors like "The Big Apple " to be produced. (Cream filled with sugar apple icing.) If you're crazy about Krispy Kreme merch, there's plenty to choose from, including pajama bottoms, umbrellas, tote bags, coffee mugs, and more.

1601 Broadway
Times Square


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If you love Oreos, you might want to take a trip to the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where you can visit the first-ever Oreo Cafe! As well as serving up decadent desserts featuring the iconic cookie, the store also sells Oreo-branded clothing and accessories (any Oreo-scented candle?), as well as every type of Oreo under the sun, including gluten-free Oreos and specialty flavors like mint, java chip, Birthday cake and MEGA filled!

stage three
American Dream Mall
1 American Dream Trail
East Rutherford, New Jersey

For all-round magic: the cauldron

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The owners of The Cauldron (who also run similar establishments in the UK, Ireland and Scotland) go straight out by saying that the "molecular cocktail bar and gastropub" is inno waywith J.K. connected or by J.K. Rowling, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, etc. (The name obviously resembles a pub in the blockbuster book series.) They also name Game of Thrones, Dune, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and more. say, "We're just fans and geeks." So you can expect a general mix of fantasy, but the Rowling influence is definitely felt here. (The bar specializes in mixing potions that fizz and "smoke," and you can even sign up for a class to learn how to make it yourself. You can also "check out" a wand that activates taps to get your brew of choice.. (though apparently not Butterbeer.) You can eat here though. The menu is themed British home cooking with a "fantastic interactive twist", featuring burgers, fish and chips, meat and vegetable pies etc. Be sure to make reservations by calling 212-480-8142 or emailing

The cauldron
Steinstr. 47
financial district

For free video games and sci-fi: Action Burger

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We can pretty much guarantee that you've never been to a place quite like Action Burger. It's an extreme burger joint (mac and cheese burgers, Nutella burgers, etc.), a superhero, sci-fi, and comic book haven, and a retro arcade where you can play more than 50,000 video games from the 80's and 90's can place for free. The pandemic dictated that co-owner Vlane Carter (himself a sci-fi writer) got creative, and customers can now book al fresco tables and play through windows via Bluetooth controllers! (All equipment is sanitized after use.) You can also host an affordable small birthday party here, with rentals starting at $30 for two hours for four people.

292 Graham Avenue.

For boogie down at brunch: Beatstro

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Perhaps the latest addition to New York's themed restaurant scene, Beatstro is special for a number of reasons. The first (Hello): It's a restaurant dedicated to celebrating hip-hop in the birthplace of the art form itself, the Bronx. (And the name? Great.) Second, it pays homage to the many artists the genre has spawned: breakdancers, graffiti artists, MCs and DJs, with murals, music and more. Brained out by Bronx locals, the Beatstro is a local effort through and through, with regional businesses and artists providing the source for the work on the walls, eclectic furnishings and even selections of classic LPs from the likes of Tupac, Biggie and others are sizes. The food stays true to the theme, mixing dishes from African, Latino and Caribbean cultures, and you can take a seat at the bar and watch the action in the kitchen if you like. Offerings range from kid-friendly avocado toast, mac and cheese and a boogie down burger to upscale rotisserie chicken, lowland shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes. Check out the popular Brunch & Beats, which has a live DJ and unlimited mimosas and sangria (for 90 minutes, folks; reservations are recommended).

135 Alexander Blvd.
Towards the Sea

Traveling to Victorian Times: Lillie's Victorian Establishment

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There's no shortage of atmosphere at Lillie's, a welcoming space reminiscent of the Victorian era. We're talking furniture from a mansion in Belfast, stained glass from Milan and an antique marble bar. What's on the menu of "elevated American pub fare" is equally appealing. Your kids will go crazy for the buttermilk pancakes (available gluten-free, FYI) and you'll love the egg benny and guac toast. (It's also one of our favorite NYC restaurants dressing up for the holidays!)

Lillie is Victorian
249 West 49thSt.

13 E. 17. Str.
Union Square

Travels to Eleventh-Century Spain: Middle Ages

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Editor's Note: Medieval Times is open, with advanced ticket sales and reduced capacity.Get tickets here.

You may be shocked at how much fun you and the kids have in this over the top experience. A tiny corner of Lyndhurst, New Jersey has been transformed into (admittedly tidy) 11th-century Spain. A real hawk flies overhead, horses dance, and yes, knights (specially trained performers/stuntmen) actually compete in a sand-filled arena.

Of course, each seat has its own knight to cheer on, and the knightly boys pause at one point to present flowers to the ladies in the audience. Kids will love eating with their hands like the castle dwellers of yore, as well as the real sparks that magically fly when swords clash during ring battles. If you are coming for a special occasion, the guest of honor can be included in the king's proclamations. Full price tickets are $62.95 for adults and $36.95 for children under 12, but Medieval Times runs regular ticket specials throughout the week and for public holidays, school vacations, etc.

middle Ages
149 Polito-Allee.

For old-school sweets: Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

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Your kids may not appreciate the nostalgic appeal of this old-fashioned lemonade shop, but they'll quickly learn how novel it is to perch on a stool, place an order with a friendly Farmacy "jerk," and sip an artisan custard . Originally a pharmacy, the popular Farm neighborhood has retained its apothecary roots, so this vintage vibe is distinctive and authentic. The menu features plenty of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, as well as classic soda shop confections like banana splits, milkshakes, root beer floats, and even a cherry-lime Rickey. PS It's one of us tooFavorite hot chocolate spots in town!

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda-Brunnen
513 Heinrichstr.
Caroll Gardens

For a Spooky Good Time: Beetle House NYC

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Fearless kids and teens will love the sight of Beetle Juice running through this dark and haunted restaurant. It's Halloween, it's horror, and it's a Tim Burton extravaganza. Decor is pure movie memorabilia, think Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd and more. And it's just as creepy and spooky as any movie. If you like the idea of ​​dining alongside spooky characters, then Beetle House is for you. There is a super cool cocktail menu and a fixed price dinner menu that changes seasonally. The menu always includes a meat, vegetarian and vegan option and costs $30-$50 per person.

Good to know: The restaurant is very small and reservation is required.

Käferhaus NYC
306 east 6thSt.

Petting a Puppy: Barking Dog

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Whether you have a dog or love cute little puppies, the Barking Dog on the Upper East Side is your spot. It's a full-service restaurant that caters to dogs with a dog-friendly vibe. Adorable dog photos cover the walls, there's a water fountain outside for dogs to socialize with other dogs, and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. If that doesn't make you want to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with dogs there, the delicious breakfast menu and American classics like grilled cheese, meatloaf, mac 'n' cheese, ribs, and burgers might.

Good to know: Lines can be long at weekend brunch, try to get there as early as possible if you don't have a reservation.

Barking dog
1678 Third Avenue in der 94th St.
Upper east side

Eating With Puppy Dogs: Boris & Horton

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When you literally need dogsInThe Boris & Horton restaurant - named after two canines, of course - is the place to be. Approved by the Department of Health, this cafe has a separate food prep area where things stay coded. The menu at this cafe includes light fare such as a variety of avocado toasts, grilled cheese sandwiches, and many libations from coffee and tea to wine and bubbly. You'll also find a shop with toys and treats for four-legged friends and events ranging from quiz nights and bingo to adoption contests. (Read our full report here.)

Boris & Horton
195 Allee A

For Kitty Cuddles: Meow Parlor

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NYC's original cat cafe, Meow Parlor, is back after the pandemic forced its closure in early 2020. Open to vaccinated visitors aged nine and over, Cat Paradise has grown from a cat cafe into its own full-fledged non-profit animal rescue advocacy group. (All cats that live in the Meow Parlor are available for adoption.)

Visits last 50 minutes and cost $16 per guest;Advance reservations are required. Meow Parlor plans to gradually bring back its popular special events, including cat yoga and drag queen bingo. The café is also available for private events such as birthday parties.

Opens at. & Sun., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m
Hesterstr. 46
Lower East Side

For a Purrrrr-fect meal: Connection

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Koneko is a newly opened cat cafe on the Lower East Side for all cat lovers. Hailed as America's first Japanese cat cafe, this light and airy space serves delicious coffee, pastries and light snacks alongside cute little kittens for adoption. The cafe and the cats are separated by a soundproof glass wall to provide peace and serenity for the cats. The "Cattery" page is filled with scratch pads, pillows and of course cats galore. You can choose to eat and watch the fun, or you can bring your food to the cattery and play. Time at the cattery, which can be reserved online, is $15 per person (limited to one hour when busy).

Good to know: the cattery closes daily from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. Reservations are a must.

26 Clintonstr.
Lower East Side

For Broadway's Finest: Ellen's Stardust Diner

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For the little Broadway lover, Ellen's Stardust is a must see. Ellen Hart, a former Miss Subway, had the idea of ​​combining a 1950s-style diner with singing waiters. After 30 years it is still a great success. Waiters are true Broadway hopefuls ("Stardusters") who will be on the tables, on the balcony and more belting out your favorite show tunes. Before you know it, you and your little ones will be singing along to everything from the Lion King to Aladdin.

Expect diner fare like burgers, American cheese sandwiches, and meatloaf (they also make salads), as well as classic ice cream creations and even specialty cakes like Frozen or Wicked.

Good to know: It is in the best area outside of the city/Broadway: Times Square. There is often a very long line to get in and reservations are not accepted.

Ellen's Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway
theater district

Satisfying a sweet tooth: Max Brenner

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Welcome to the ultimate dessert destination, complete with a coffee shop, gift shop and chocolate in squirts for true chocoholics. The restaurant's menu includes savory options, but it's hard to imagine ordering a sandwich or salad when you're surrounded by so much chocolate. The kids' menu offers decadent bites like melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow crepes filled with gummy bears and a chocolate pizza topped with an ice cream snowball. Or maybe you just want the fondue tower (complete withbananas, strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, fluffy chocolate sponge cake and waffles)from the regular menu. Prepare to get messy, prepare for a big sugar rush and prepare for a potential dentist appointment!

Max Brenner
841 Broadway
Union Square

For a girls day: American Girl Café

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This is where the little ladies of New York (with their dolls) have lunch. Nestled within the newly launched American Girl toy store, this adorable destination is aimed at little girls and their plastic friends. The restaurant serves brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Both the adult and children's menus are great, but the real reason you dine here is to see your little one's face light up as the restaurant staff provide a clip-on high chair and the right place setting for their doll. Forgot doll? No problem. During the meal you can borrow a rental car.

Good to know: Reservations are recommended.

American Girl Café
75 Rockefeller Plaza

For tea time: Alice's Tea Cup

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Are you ready to go from an imaginary tea party to the real deal? Take the kids to Alice's Tea Cup for English high tea service with a whimsical Mad Hatter twist. The small and cozy café is brightly painted and decorated with lines from Lewis Carroll's fairy tale. The menu offers sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and delicious scones with clotted cream, as well as a wide range of teas, all charmingly served on mismatched china. Younger guests can order grilled cheese, PB&J, homemade graham crackers with honey, and even pureed baby food for the little ones. A detour down the rabbit hole is definitely worth it!

Good to know: Alice's Tea Cup has three locations: Chapter i, Chapter ii, and a location in Brooklyn Heights; Reservations are recommended.

Alices to Theta
Chapter I
102 West 73rd St.
Upper West Side

Chapter II
156 Ost 64. St.
Lenox hill

Alice's takeaway teacup
43 Hicksstr.
Brooklyn Heights

—Danielle Krupa & Lambeth Hochwald


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