Best Kid-Friendly Places
The Famished Frog
18 Washington St., Morristown
Slide into a booth at this neighborhood place and listen to live music Friday and Saturday evenings while you munch on a pretzel burger (American cheese, bacon, lettuce and Russian dressing, nestled between two pretzel buns). Kids will love the selection of smoothies, mac and cheese and mini hamburgers. The rest of the menu travels the globe and features flatbreads, Moroccan salmon, Pad Thai noodles and fish and chips (all delicious).
5 Bowling Green Pkwy., Lake Hopatcong
This diner is known locally for its big menu and even bigger portions—and the rest of the world has begun to take notice too. It’s been featured on both the Food Network’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives; and Unwrapped, focusing on its homemade moussaka and Monterey Skillet (baked in a cast iron skillet with eggs, green peppers, ham, cheese, onions and hash browns). Plus, wait until the kids get a load of the massive cakes and pies that fill the spinning dessert case—Oreo cheesecake and eclairs are always home runs.
At Forte, you can decide exactly how you like your crust—they’ve got pizzas coming out of both the regular and brick oven, so if you like your pie crispy, go with the brick. Try the 3-Alarm pie topped with peppers if you like spice, or a 16” regular pie, with unique toppings like taco, cheese steak or rigatoni vodka. The restaurant has two dining sections: a casual side for a quick bite or dinner with the kids, and a more formal side perfect-for-date night.
700 Speedwell Ave., Morris Plains
Come to this steakhouse and you’re going to see a crowd that cares immensely about burgers. Chow down on the giant, perfectly cooked Famous 10 oz. Burger with your choice of cheese and French fries, and leave happy. Make like a local and start your meal with a bowl of French onion soup.
Best Ice Cream
34 Broadway #A, Denville
Loved for its hard and soft flavors of creamy homemade ice cream, Denville Dairy specializes in unique flavors like Banana Freckle (aka banana and chocolate) and Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookie (a flavorful combo of oatmeal and chocolate chips). This hometown hub also has sugar-free and non-fat options (so the kids don’t get to have all the fun). If a great egg cream is what you’re after, no need to travel to Brooklyn—they’ve got an outstanding one right here. Don’t let the long lines dissuade you either—customers take a number and it goes fast.
20 Wall St., Rockaway
Taste some Cupcake Wars-winning treats here, including Ava’s famed Apple Pie and Banana Guava varieties. They’ve got a big menu to satisfy whatever you’re craving and one of the best gluten-free selections around. If Ava’s is far from you, never fear—just order something online (flavors like raspberry lemonade, root beer float and cotton candy) and have cupcakes delivered right to your door.