Heading out to dinner with the kids in tow doesn’t have to mean defaulting to fast food. Seattle has many cool family-friendly restaurants, equipped with healthy and exciting menus, play areas, and toy boxes. Here are a few suggestions (there are also guides for ice cream shops and bakeries for sweeter options).Read More
Seattle’s Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants
Where to dine with the whole family
1. The Dane
The Dane in Crown Hill aims to be all things to all people. The extensive draft selection, simple but satisfying menu of Scandinavian sandwiches, slick espresso setup, and WiFi are perfect for adults, who also have plenty of reasons to bring kids: a separate nook with toys, books, and games, story time on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, family bingo, kids’ trivia nights, and often kid-friendly live music.
2. Cafe Racer
U District classic Cafe Racer has a new owner who made it less of an adults-only haunt and more of a neighborhood lunch and brunch spot during the day. The Official Bad Art Museum of Art (OBAMA) room is still here, the back rooms are loaded with books and board games, there’s an actual cafe racer motorcycle in the dining room that kids can sit on, and the space is packed with all kinds of zany kitsch to delight and distract.
3. Eden Hill Provisions
This casual new bistro in Upper Queen Anne from chef Maximillian Petty of fancy Eden Hill fame features toy boxes, rocking chairs, and thoughtful kids’ dinner and brunch menus. Items include twists on familiar options, like a cheeseburger with gouda on challah bread and butter noodles with seasonal vegetables, and French toast sticks with sea buckthorn and curd for more adventurous young eaters. Petty — who has two young kids of his own — also boasts that the restaurant has “perfected the chicken nugget.”
4. Vios Cafe and Marketplace
Founded by a single dad to be a community gathering place on Capitol Hill, Vios is packed with families, who dig the huge kiddie corner (separated from the dining room by a glass partition), the family-style Mediterranean menus (the souvlaki is a highlight), the quick service, and the kind and patient waitstaff. Vios is self-service during lunch; traditional table service starts in the evening.
5. Cafe Flora
Cafe Flora has a simple, classic children’s menu, which includes pita pizzas, cinnamon rolls, and coconut tofu dippers. There’s also a centrally located play area, crayon cups, and even step stools in the bathrooms to help the littles wash their hands. Standouts on the grownup menu include the Oaxacan tacos and portobello Wellington, and everyone can appreciate the pretty indoor fountain and the lovely, leafy, sunlight-filled space in general.
6. Portage Bay Cafe
Portage Bay’s four locations all have breakfast bars, where kids (and adults) can bury their pancakes or waffles in a dazzling array of seasonal fruit, nuts, and whipped cream, as well as terrific kids’ menus, gluten-free options, and lots of local ingredients. It’s gonna be crowded on weekends in particular, but brunch is served all day at the Roosevelt and Ballard locations, which means diners can go later in the day without needing reservations.
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7. Café Nordstrom
The downtown Nordstrom has a few different restaurants, but the sleek top-floor bistro, Café Nordstrom, is specifically designed to accommodate shopping families, with super-fast counter service, coloring pages, high chairs, and lots of room for strollers. The salads, pizzas, and pastas are made to order and reliably beautiful, and the tomato soup and grilled cheese combo is an established kid fave.
8. San Juan Seltzery
Many breweries in Seattle are kid-friendly now (for better or worse), but this low-key spot for spiked seltzer fans has leaned into the family vibes. There’s a designated play area for kids, situated well in the spacious taproom, with bright colors, games, and a tent. Adults can enjoy flights of San Juan’s fruity, bubbly beverages and a seafood heavy menu from Ethan Stowell that includes crab rolls and salt cod hushpuppies that the little ones may want to munch on as well.
9. Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe
The West Seattle outpost of vegetarian coffeehouse Chaco Canyon has a half-wall contained area for toddlers, stocked with books and a wooden train set, so they can romp while diners enjoy coconut milk Stumptown lattes. The food menu is also enormous, and everything’s super fresh; smoothies, particularly the Blueberry Monster (blueberries, banana, and a few greens hidden in there), are popular with the kids.
10. El Sombrero
This family-owned spot in Columbia City right on Rainier Avenue is relaxed, with tolerable noise levels and usually low wait times for tables. The service is lightning-fast and friendly, they have sturdy high chairs and plenty of crayons, and the portions are generous (the enchiladas are particularly wonderful). It also doesn’t hurt that they keep the free chips and salsa flowing.
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11. Proletariat Pizza
This cheerful White Center pizzeria offers thin-crust pies with occasional weird toppings (like Spam), arcade games, a photo booth, and a cheerful family vibe. Service is blindingly fast. The fact that the kids’ area is right next to a table, so diners can actually eat their food while keeping an eye on the children, is a major bonus.