Satisfying everyone’s food cravings with one takeout order is tough. Fortunately, these budget-friendly restaurants have mastered the perfect family menu — with both healthy and kid-friendly options, and everything yummy in between.
Dobbs Ferry; broccolisdf.com
Scott Broccoli, who grew up in Dobbs Ferry and worked at almost every restaurant in town as a kid, opened Broccoli’s Luncheonette in November 2021. The luncheonette is a small takeout shop next door to his gastropub, The Bit. The spot was born from COVID, when families were stuck at home and desperate for cooking relief. “The town didn’t need another pizza place or nail salon. I have an 11- and 8-year-old, and nephews and nieces, and they said they couldn’t go anywhere to get a burger, chicken strips, or mac ’n’ cheese at a reasonable price,” he says.
Popular menu items for children include the 4-oz burger and chicken strips made from unprocessed breasts (a burger and fries can be had for less than $10). Dads often order Broccoli’s take on a Big Mac, chicken tikka masala (English-style), jambalaya, jerk chicken sandwiches, and the best-selling fried chicken. Moms can be healthier, with build-your-own salads, falafel, and wraps. Broccoli’s closes at 5 p.m., so place your orders in time.
Michael Glick was planning his next NYC steakhouse when he stepped into Stars Bagels & Café in Ardsley, the day he moved to the neighborhood. Glick fell in love with the space instantly. In 2020, he took a chance when the space became available, turning it into The Shop Ardsley.
“Every night, [my wife and I] got into the same argument: ‘What are we going to do for dinner?’ ‘I don’t know.’ It was the same six places every time,” says Glick. “So, the idea was we would take this space over, fix the daytime and open this family-driven menu at night.”
The lunchtime menu is basic, with egg sandwiches, deli sandwiches, bagels, wraps, soups, and salads. At night, The Shop’s menu transforms, adding sophisticated dishes like yellowfin tuna, whole-grilled branzino, Atlantic salmon, a high-quality rotisserie chicken, and steaks. Burgers are top sellers, and the kids’ menu includes an entrée, side, and dessert for $12. There are sides to share too.
Families travel from as far as Brooklyn for a sandwich at Mason, which opened six years ago. Some contend that brothers Louis and Jordan Brindley have crafted the most delicious and sloppy gourmet sandwiches in the county.
“We wanted to create a high-end sandwich experience, not your average deli,” says Louis. “Everyone in the family can come together over a sandwich. There may be toppings and fillings inside that are more adventurous for some, but who doesn’t like a good sandwich?”
Popular items include a French onion sandwich, which includes beef short rib, caramelized onion, Gruyere cheese, and black truffle aioli on a ciabatta. The steak-and-cheese sandwich is made with whole top-round beef and house-made pimento cheese. They also offer a take on a Big Mac. Chicken fans should experience the 53rd & 6th, slathered in white yogurt sauce and harissa, or the maple-laden Chickwich. For non-meat-eaters, the crispy eggplant sandwich is a fave; it’s their take on a Mexican cemita, with a sesame seed bun and stuffed with eggplant, Oaxaca, avocado, house-made chipotle hot sauce, and house-made chipotle mayo. There are also gluten-free bowls and salads. The children’s menu includes a turkey sandwich on white, grilled cheese, PB&J, mac ’n’ cheese, and chicken nuggets.
Before Mason, Louis worked at the Metropolitan Opera House, where he did fine-dining courses during the intermissions of shows.
Sleepy Hollow; grassroots.kitchen
David Starkey has three children with different tastes, but those kids are also conscious eaters — meaning they’re interested in food that is good for their health and the environment. They inspired him to launch Grass Roots Kitchen in 2018, a casual-dining/takeout spot based on his Sweet Grass Grill restaurant’s menu in Tarrytown.
Initially, Grass Roots was to be a commissary kitchen to support Sweet Grass, but they found a retail space that worked and quickly attracted new, hungry customers. “There was a need for people coming for lunch who didn’t have much time and didn’t want to drop $25 for lunch but liked the Sweet Grass Grill food,” Starkey says.
The menu is broad, with myriad vegan selections. There’s a variety of burgers, including ones with beet and quinoa, grass-fed beef, salmon, falafel, grilled seitan, and a veggie combo of pintos, shiitakes, shallots, and lentils. The regular fries are top sellers, but they also offer root-vegetable fries with beet ketchup that any child or parent might love while getting some vitamins. Kids enjoy the vegan mac ’n’ cheese; cauliflower bites also are a crowd-pleaser. Everything is GMO-free and organic when possible.
Multiple Westchester locations; thetacoproject.com
With good taste and messy hands, most kids will devour a good quesadilla, chips, and guac — some of the hottest items on Taco Project’s menu. The Mexican-inspired takeout/dine-in restaurant had its Westchester debut in Tarrytown on October 4, 2014 — National Taco Day. (There are additional locations now, in Yonkers, Bronxville, and Pleasantville.)
Owner Nick Mesce, who partnered with Sebastian Aliberti and Carmelo Milio, says, “Mexican food was exploding onto the scene, becoming a mainstream cuisine, like Chinese and Italian. We came across this cute little spot in Tarrytown and thought of opening a taqueria. I also got some inspiration on a trip to California, with its Baha-style tacos and street food.”
The tacos are made with everything from chicken, chorizo, and pulled pork to Cajun salmon and beef. Other faves include their signature burritos, packed with rice, beans, cotija cheese, sour cream, and steak, chicken, shrimp, or veggies.
They offer a taco-bar family package for $12.95–$15.50 per person where you can build your own; pick a tortilla, protein, and add different sauces and toppings, along with rice and beans. Grown-ups can enjoy a full bar; indoor and outdoor seating are always available.