Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Humble Pie's wood-Fired pizza is extraordinary and the chicken coop keeps kids amused.

12 family-friendly restaurants with outdoor dining

Pull up a chair (or highchair) and soak up the sun at these kid-approved Seattle restaurants with outdoor dining.

Outdoor dining at restaurants has always been a good option for families. Messy and noisy young kids are less bothersome to other diners when eating outside and there’s often distracting scenery that will keep a fast eater in their chair longer.  Patio season typically correlates to warm weather and boy are we ready for some of that sunshine.

The number of restaurants offering outdoor dining exploded during the pandemic when eating indoors was a health worry, and there are still many more options than there were 5 years ago, so finding that perfect combo of kid-friendly, good food and an outside eating area has gotten easier. Here are just 12 Seattle-area restaurants that have it all:

 

Agua Verde Cafe

Agua Verde Cafe/Facebook

Agua Verde Café

The burritos at Agua Verde are big; so are the restaurant’s awesome views of Portage Bay. Kids’ fare is simple: bean and cheese burritos or their famous “mangodilla,” a mango and your-choice-of-meat-filled quesadilla.

Tip: Agua Verde gets crowded during the summer. Grab a basket of chips and go wait for your table at the adjacent waterfront park.

Kids will love a paddle around Lake Union (older kids, anyway). Rent single and double kayaks and paddleboards from Agua Verde Paddle Club, just below the restaurant, March through October.

Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. daily

Phone: 206-545-8570

Address: 1303 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105

 

 

Leslie H./Yelp

 

Anthony’s Beach Café

Anthony’s main restaurant might be a bit sophisticated for a casual family meal but head downstairs to the Beach Café and you’ll find a lovely spot for outdoor dining while enjoying the splendid view of boat activity on Puget Sound.  The menu is basic, but that won’t matter when you’re sitting on a sun-soaked patio, sipping peach lemonade, chowing down on comfort food – clam chowder, fish tacos, and deep-fried calamari – and enjoying delicious marina views. A large sandbox for the kiddos is available in outdoor dining.

They don’t take reservations for the Beach Cafe but at least if you have to wait for a table it’s a fabulous place to do so on a warm day. Or you can always order to-go and head to the beach for a picnic. Or if you are feeling adventuresome, walk on the nearby Edmonds/Kingston ferry for a scenic, short ride.

Hours: Open every day beginning at 11 a.m.

Phone: 425-771-4400

Address: 456 Admiral Way, Edmonds, WA 98020

 

 

Elemental Pizza

Elemental Pizza/Facebook

Elemental Pizza 

U-Village is a popular hangout for Seattle families: There’s shopping, a playground, fun water fountains. When you need to refuel, enjoy outdoor dining on the patio at Elemental Pizza. Their pizzas are made from fresh ingredients, and you can watch them bake in the open wood-fired ovens.

Elemental has both indoor and outdoor seating available, and the new grassy play area nearby is a great place for kids to cavort before the pizza arrives. Call the restaurant to see if outdoor seating is open.

Hours: Open daily at 11:30 a.m.

Phone: 206-524-4930

Address: 2634 NE University Village St, Seattle, WA 98105

 

 

Humble Pie

Humble Pie/Facebook

Humble Pie

Humble Pie is an unassuming pizza joint right off Rainier Avenue. Long before the pandemic made outdoor dining a necessity, this place has offered only outdoor dining at picnic tables beneath a solar panel roof – no indoor seating.  It’s wonderful in the summer but even on a cold, rainy night it’s a great place to stay cozy and enjoy some of the best pizza in town.

Try the prosciutto, egg, and arugula pizza. If you want to hold the meat, no problem: Half of their pizzas are vegetarian-friendly. Pair your pizza with one of two flavors of local favorite Rachel’s Ginger Beer – original and blood orange.

Kids will love watching the chickens scratch and peck in the nearby coops. Be sure to check their Facebook page for latest updates.

Hours: Opens at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. on weekends

Phone: 206-329-5133

Address: 525 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

 

 

Ivar’s Salmon House/Facebook

Ivar’s Salmon House and Fish Bar

There are many Ivar’s restaurants around Seattle, but this one in the Northlake/Wallingford neighborhood sits right on the water with a patio offering up-close views of Lake Union boat traffic and the downtown Seattle skyline. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick, take-and-go lunch or sit-down dining, you have options: Order deliciously deep-fried seafood at the Fish Bar window, then take your pick of picnic tables around the corner on the patio barge. Half of the patio is reserved for guests of the Salmon House – a full-service restaurant with the same fried goodness, plus healthier options such as Portobello Caesar salad and grilled salmon.

Tip: Bring out-of-town guests here. The sweeping views and seafood menu will check off two items on every Seattle tourist’s bucket list.

Kids will love watching the seaplanes take off and the water taxis drop off passengers at the restaurant dock.

Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. every day.

Phone: 206-632-0767

Address: 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105

 

Chinook's

Chinook’s/Facebook

Little Chinook’s

Located at Fisherman’s Terminal, this place is a classic waterfront fish & chips bar with some of the best fried fish in town. Get your fish to go, grab a spot on the benches nearby and dig in.

Tip: There’s free parking right next to the restaurant.

Kids will love checking out the colorful fishing boats in the marina and reading about Seattle’s fishing industry.

Indoor seating, as well as outdoor seating, is also available at the very family-friendly restaurant Chinook’s at Salmon Bay right next door ( a great place to bring families visiting from out-of-town).

Hours: Open daily at 11:30 a.m.

Phone: 206-283-4665

Address: 1900 W Nickerson St #103, Seattle, WA 98119

 

 

Little Water Cantina

Little Water Cantina/Facebook

Little Water Cantina

This family-run Mexican restaurant in Eastlake has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel for its picture-perfect, mouthwatering food and knock-out view of Lake Union from the large outdoor seating area. It’s also known for its top-notch tequila bar and making the ‘Don Juan of margaritas so a popular place to grab a drink on a summer evening, but the food and setting are kid-friendly. Kids will love the made-fresh guacamole and chips; quesadillas; and the rice and beans with avocado skillet.

They serve local and organic food when feasible, use environmentally friendly cleaning products, compost their food waste and use green technologies to minimize water and energy use.

Tip: Kids like to roam around the patio, and that’s okay! It’s gated off with only one means of egress, so you won’t have to worry too much if the children are socializing while you’re sipping a margarita.

Hours: Open at 11:30 a.m. daily

Phone: 206-397-4152

Address: 2865 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

 

 

Marination ma kai

Marination Ma Kai/Facebook

Marination Ma Kai

Hawaiian food by the beach? Yes, please! You might be familiar with Marination’s big, blue food truck, which became popular for its melt-in-your-mouth Hawaiian-Korean cuisine. Marination Ma Kai is their brick-and-mortar restaurant in West Seattle. Sit on the patio for a great view of the Seattle skyline, and try their popular tacos or fish and chips with miso-infused tartar.

Tip: Take the King County Water Taxi from downtown extends the fun.

Kids will love the mac and spam and Hawaiian shaved ice for dessert.

Hours: Open at 11 a.m. on week days and 9 a.m. on weekends

Phone: 206-328-8226

Address: 1660 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

 

 

Red Mill Burgers/Facebook

Red Mill Burgers

Red Mill has long been on various culinary reviewers’ lists of “best burgers in Seattle.” GQ and the Oprah Show declared their Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese one of the “20 hamburgers you must eat before you die.” One Yelp reviewer said, “My kid just wolfed a blue cheese bacon burger wrapped in lettuce, no buns man… and she doesn’t even like any green leafy things. Needn’t say more.”

Tip: Red Mill used to be cash-only, but they now accept credit cards. They have two locations, both with outdoor seating: Phinney Ridge and Interbay. The outdoor setting isn’t anything special – picnic tables on a busy street – but the exceptional burgers make it worth it.

Or it’s easy to take your meals to a nearby park:

The park with a great playground that sits just north of Woodland Park Zoo – about 6 blocks south of Red Mill on Phinney Ridge – is a good place for a picnic.  Just west of the Interbay Red Mill there’s a field where you can picnic or better yet, drive up to on of the most spectacular parks in the Seattle area –  Discovery Park sitting on Puget Sound – about a 5-minute drive away..

Grown-ups will love that there’s a “no cell phones” policy.

Address: 

Phinney Ridge: 312 N 67th St, Seattle, WA 98103 / 206-783-6362

Interbay: 1613 W Dravus St, Seattle, WA 98119 / 206-284-6363

 

 

Smarty Pants Garage/Facebook

Smarty Pants Garage 

This motorcycle-themed American fare pub with “dang good sandwiches” is tucked in the alleyway behind Grand Central Bakery in Burien.  There’s only one item on the kids’ menu – a grilled cheese with a side. The regular menu has lots of options, and portions are plenty big to share with your littles. Their spacious patio welcomes dogs, too.

Tip: There’s no changing table in the bathroom (boo!). Speak up about that if you visit; maybe you’ll inspire change.

Kids will love the motorcycles on display and more garage-themed décor.

Hours: Open at 10 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends

Phone: 206-457-8181

Address: 626 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166

 

 

Uneeda Burger

Uneeda Burger/Facebook

Uneeda Burger

As the name suggests, you need this burger in your belly. The beefy, locally sourced burgers come in all sorts of worldly variations: Try the Monsieur, the Philly Smash or the Medi-terra lamb burger.  They also have hearty veggie burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

Kids will love: Hand-dipped shakes made with Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream.

Tip: All the tables at Uneeda are outside but about half are under cover so it is fine on a rainy day. If you want to picnic, Woodland Park is a 5-minute drive north and Green Lake is a 10-minutes away by car.

Hours: Open at 11 a.m. daily

Phone: 206-547-2600

Address: 4302 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

 

 

Woodshop BBQ

Photo credit to Joshua Huston

Woodshop BBQ

Nothing says summer like barbecue, and the Woodshop BBQ  has you covered with some of the best in town. Try the wood-smoked, Texas-style brisket with creamy mac and cheese on the side. Their spacious picnic table patio has plenty of room for the whole family – even the family dog.

Kids will love the fried mac-and-cheese balls and five different barbeque sauces to try.

Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Phone: 206-485-7381

Address: 2513 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144

 

More Seattle-area family dining

9 Kid-friendly breweries in Seattle

Six local, must-go ice cream shops 

About the Author

Jennifer Mortensen