Tanking Up Those Tykes: We’ll tell you where to take even your food-phobic kid.
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Westchester Italian Cultural Center
1 Generoso Pope Pl, Tuckahoe (914) 771-8700
This Tuckahoe society, housed in the former town hall, features a professional demonstration kitchen complete with flat-screen TVs. Look for all sorts of kids programs aimed at teaching Italian culture, with recurring themed cooking classes like the recent “Gelato Extravaganza.”
These child-friendly local restaurants accommodate many dietary restrictions—plus, they all offer tasty, non-punitive, gluten-free options.
Eastchester (914) 779-4646
Not only does this bustling, family friendly Italian offer lumps of dough for junior pizzaioli to form and stretch, it also offers gluten-free versions of its popular pizzas and pastas.
Hastings-on-Hudson (914) 478-0666
Hastings’s mostly organic, kid-friendly joint slings gluten-free chicken fingers, and all of Comfort’s pastas can be ordered gluten-free, too. For total follow-through, look for chocolaty, moist, gluten-free brownies for dessert.
Hastings-on-Hudson (914) 478-2326
This relaxed, cheerful neighborhood joint offers eight gluten-free starters (including sans-crouton onion soup), followed by a whopping 13 gluten-free entrées. Look for kid-pleasers like burgers and chili, all served safely gluten-free.
Big Night Out
Tarry Temple at Tarry Lodge
Port Chester (914) 939-3111
Do you remember the dressed-up dinners of your childhood, when your parents celebrated with steaks as you sucked maraschino-laced Shirley Temples? Tarry Lodge doesn’t quite have bathroom attendants, but it does have retro glamour in spades. For special occasions, look for tot-friendly Tarry Temples. This mixture of seasonal fresh fruit juices—often including cranberry and passion fruit—Sprite, and ginger ale also features Amarene cherry syrup, a thick, dark, imported Italian syrup made with wild sour cherries foraged near Bologna.
Okay, sometimes you just have to yield. These “sometimes foods”—candy, ice cream, and cupcakes—may not be found in your food pyramid, but they’re surely close to your heart. Here are some local favorites.
Rocnroe’s Pop Shop
Pleasantville, (914) 747-9797
Sporting a colorful, retro-Jetson’s décor and a rack of hard-to-find vintage candies, this nirvana for sweet-teeth also scoops Longford’s ice cream.
Rye Brook, (914) 315-6687
Scarsdale, (914) 725-5932
Armonk, (914) 273-3551
A self-styled “sports bars for kids,” this local chain offers sports-themed memorabilia, celebrity signings, and more baseball than you can shake a bat at. Washing it all down is loads of ice cream, scooped into themed creations like “Lickey Mantle,” a tall pile of ice cream, whipped cream, M&Ms, and a cherry.
Port Chester, (914) 939-3694
Westchester’s premier paleta shop offers a kaleidoscope of ingeniously flavored popsicles, all house-made from naturally occurring ingredients. Look for spicy pico de gallo (salsa), creamy horchata (rice pudding), and exotic guanabana (soursop).
Main Street Sweets
Tarrytown, (914) 332-5757
A Tarrytown favorite, this small, Norman Rockwellian parlor scoops fresh and creamy American-style ice cream right in the thick of Main Street; it’s the perfect punctuation for an after-dinner stroll.
Flour & Sun Bakery
Pleasantville, (914) 495-3232
Who doesn’t love cupcakes? These colorful cakes come piled high with sinful buttercream—we defy even the most devout yoga hounds to avoid emerging without several.
Blue Pig Ice Cream
Croton-on-Hudson, (914) 271-3850
Saturday afternoons at his azure ode to ice cream are usually jammed with families, who flock to this colorful nook for high-quality house-made ice cream. Look for fanciful mix-ins, trippy colors, and hand-scooped sandwiches made with Westchester-baked chocolate-chip cookies and brownies.