Going to a restaurant to enjoy a made-for-you meal may sound like a dream to some new parents — but it can also feel overwhelming. I know. I am currently one of those parents.
Where do you go to find delicious fare, a little ambience and a level of baby-friendliness that means you needn’t stress if your colicky baby erupts mid-meal? My newborn daughter and I went on a scouting mission around Seattle and the Eastside to find out. Here are our picks for eateries with excellent accommodations for even the fussiest babies.
Portage Bay Cafe (South Lake Union)
Portage Bay Cafe is well known for its kid-friendliness and excellent brunch fare. With its relaxed vibe, it’s a perfect first outing for tired parents in need of a little pampering. As a new mom to a colicky baby, I appreciated that the staff was understanding and the overall noise level in the restaurant provided excellent white noise and a little cushion when my baby started fussing.
They cater to food allergies, you can bring strollers or car seats to the table, there are changing tables in bathrooms and the staff is happy to accommodate children. The only trick for this location is parking. Take advantage of street parking on the weekend, or visit one of the local garages. We also recommend the Ballard location.
DERU Market (Kirkland)
It’s cozy. The food is delicious with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. An most importantly, they love babies at this Eastside eatery. And they’ve been known to treat new parents like the special people they are. Not to mention that DERU cake slices are often the same size as newborns. Plenty of people have taken photos of a piece with their baby!
Ghostfish Brewing (SoDo)
With a super-relaxed atmosphere and tasty pub food, this is an excellent lunch or early dinner destination for new parents. We love the beer tasting flights and anyone avoiding alcohol will surely want a second glass of the non-alcoholic GhostFizz hopped seltzer that tastes a lot like beer! I recommend picking lunch or off-peak times so there is plenty of room to maneuver and care for your little one. High chairs and booster seats are available and free street parking is easy at off-peak times. I’ve never needed to go more than a couple of blocks. All the pub-style mains are excellent, but don’t skip the super crispy onion rings and churros even as the healthier fare, like the tasty chili and veggie pasta, call your name.
Agua Verde (University District waterfront)
An old Seattle favorite, Agua Verde offers a fresh take on Mexican cuisine that we call “Northwest-Mex” in our house. The breakfast burritos and salsa bar are my favorites. Have friends or family visiting the new baby? We love bringing our guests here to watch the boats go by and marvel at the houseboats.
A parking lot is located across the street and there’s metered street parking in front. Agua Verde does not have changing tables in the restrooms, so we changed our little one before arriving and in the car before we left. While they recommend visiting at a less busy time to accommodate strollers, they assured me that they will work with you to meet your needs anytime you visit.
Razzi’s is a relaxed Italian restaurant with specialty pizzas and dietary-friendly paninis, salads, pastas and other options. They offer vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free substitutions in many of their dishes and have cross-contact protocols for the most sensitive eaters. True to Italian culture, they are always welcoming to families and have a little play area for toddlers. At this kid-friendly location you’ll find a changing station in the bathroom and stroller and car seats come to the table. There is plenty of room, especially at off-peak times.
A few parking spots are out back, there is some street parking, and a paid lot is less than a block away. My favorite items on the menu are the Gasping Goat and Prosciutto and Spuds pizzas.
Serious Pie (Totem Lake Village)
True to its name, Serious Pie takes their pizzas seriously. The location at Totem Lake Village is my pick for baby-friendly pizza on the East Side. There is indoor and outdoor seating, and you have Salt and Straw right next door for ice cream afterward. The parking garage on the east side of the village is very close, there is a changing table in the restrooms, and high chairs for older babies. Call ahead or visit at a less busy time for the best experience.
If you were avoiding sushi for the duration of a pregnancy, then run (don’t walk) to this Seattle sushi favorite! Tucked into the quaint micro-neighborhood known as Tangletown in Wallingford, they are very welcoming to babies, strollers and children of all ages. They love having children and babies here. There’s a changing table in the women’s bathroom. Pro Tip: Make a reservation ahead of time so they are ready with stroller space or a high chair.
Ivar’s Salmon House (Northlake)
This Seattle classic is extra fun if you want to wow visitors (or yourself) with the waterfront. The Northlake location is well known for catering to families and having ample space to maneuver. I recommend Ivar’s Famous White Clam Chowder and alder-smoked salmon. Parking is nearby along Northlake Way, and there is room for strollers and car seats and a diaper-changing station by the bathrooms.