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6 Seattle Playgrounds near Kid (and Parent) Approved Lunch Spots

Photo: Vios/Facebook


Finding a place to grab lunch with a picky eater can be daunting, but if you know where to look Seattle has some fantastic spots to fuel yourself and your kid — and even get some time on the playground before naptime. We've picked six awesome playgrounds a short drive from equally delicious lunch spots.


Vios Cafe Third Place Ravenna and Ravenna Park

Lunch at Vios in Ravenna's Third Place Books is all about traditional Mediterranean fare: dips, Greek salads, mezze plates, falafel, gyros and extra crispy fries. Just to the south find Ravenna Park, a wooded ravine that has a fine playground, trails, whimsical animal art, and a wading pool. Vios Cafe: 6504 20th Ave NE, inside Third Place Books. Ravenna Park: 5520 Ravenna Ave NE.


El Quetzal and Jefferson Park

El Quetzal bills itself as a family restaurant. Seattle foodies know it as one of the best Mexican joints in town. Tacos, tortas, pambazos and breakfast offerings are some of the highlights. Nearby Jefferson Park, one of the jewels of the Seattle Parks system, has a huge, stylishly designed playground called Beacon Mountain, built into a hillside, with many things to climb and explore. There's also a spray park, a skate park, and stunning views of downtown and the Duwamish. El Quetzal: 3211 Beacon Ave S. Jefferson Park: 3801 Beacon Ave S.


Barn & Field Kitchen and Carkeek Park Playground

Tucked inside Swanson’s Nursery next to a hidden koi pond is the light-filled Barn & Field Kitchen & Bakery. Barn & Field offers a lunch menu of kid-approved sandwiches, salads and soups in a greenhouse setting. Head just north to Carkeek park where your kids can play on the salmon slide while you admire the spectacular views of the Olympics. Barn & Field: 9701 15th Ave NW. Carkeek: 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.


Volunteer Park Cafe and Volunteer Park Playground

Volunteer Park is one big beautiful playground for all ages, with stunning views of downtown, Lake Union and the Cascade mountains,  the verdant Volunteer Park Conservatory (lovely place to warm up on a cold day), impeccable gardens and the Seattle Asian Art Museum, sculptures that invite climbing,  a gigantic wading pool and in the northeastern corner, an  excellent, if somewhat compact, playground that was remodeled in 2015.  (If your group is up for the long climb up the 100 winding stairs of the water tower at the western end of the park, you'll get a breath-taking (literally) look in all directions from the unique vantage point of the grated windows at the top).   When hunger strikes, walk a few blocks east to Volunteer Park Cafe, a charming, neighborhood spot serving some of the most scrumptious baked goods, as well as breakfast, lunch (and dinner) dishes, found anywhere in town. Volunteer Park Cafe: 1501 17th Ave E. Volunteer Park: 1247 15th Ave E.


Marination Ma Kai and Alki Playground

Marination’s brick-and-mortar at Alki sits directly on the waterfront, offering fantastic views of container ships and sailboats floating near downtown. Their Hawaiian-Korean fusion menu is decidedly kid-friendly: pulled pork sliders and quesadillas appeal to younger palates while the spicy kimchi fried rice bowl satisfies grown-up cravings. Swing by the Alki Playground after lunch to climb on the nautical-themed play structures. Marination Ma Kai: 1660 Harbor Ave SW. Alki Playground:  5817 SW Lander St.


Homegrown and Luther Burbank Park 

With Homegrown’s amazing array of sandwiches, you’ll be able to find something to please even the pickiest eater. Homegrown’s simple ingredients make for hearty sandwiches with generous portions; you can easily split a grilled cheese or go for a sandwich-soup combo. Better yet, take lunch to go and head to the picnic tables at Luther Burbank Park. The large play area with swings and a zipline will keep your kids occupied all afternoon long. Homegrown: 3016 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island. Luther Burbank Park: 2040 84th Avenue SE, Mercer Island.


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