Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Kid-friendly outdoor dining

Eitan and Nicolette Neumann, with their daughter, enjoy food from Off the Rez and beer from Stoup Brewing in Ballard. (Photo by Joshua Huston)

Kid-friendly outdoor dining places to visit after a nearby walk

Get some exercise, sit in a (well-ventilated) tent; how very 2021! Fun places to do that.

It may be winter in Seattle, but every so often we get a glorious day that just calls out for a family walk. (Or, like good Northwesterners, we bundle up and walk even on the days that aren’t so glorious.)

Let’s explore the lovely concept of a walk followed by a stop for sustenance at a place with kid-friendly outdoor dining. At this writing, indoor dining is not allowed under COVID-19 safety protocols, but have you seen how many dining tents have sprung up around town? Here we highlight a few of our favorite spots to stretch the legs, see some sights and then have a treat.

Be sure to wear masks and avoid crowds and, if tent and patio dining are not within your family’s comfort zone, maybe pack snacks that you can enjoy in a nearby park or in your car.

[ Read also: 15 kid-friendly Seattle restaurants with outdoor dining ]

Downtown Seattle: Lots of people seem to be staying away from the city. Go see what’s going on! Here are some ideas for walking routes. Parking and crowds probably won’t be the usual hassle. Sad but true: We walked through Pike Place Market before Christmas, and I didn’t cling to my daughter like I normally would while negotiating the crowds. And speaking of Pike Place Market, Old Stove Brewing is a sweet, sweet spot for sitting. The Seattle waterfront is always a fun walk, and Ivar’s Fish Bar is open for takeout.

Discovery Park is an expansive, diverse gem. The former military installation has history, wildlife, miles of trails — and beach access! You could spend days or weeks here. Dirty Couch Brewing is a fun spot to sit and relax afterward (outdoor seating is a bit limited).

Alki, West Seattle: With nice, wide sidewalks (and beaches!), families can keep a safe distance despite this being a very popular spot. Food and drink options are many. Just a few that come to mind: Pegasus Pizza, Spud Fish ‘N’ Chips, Cactus, plenty of coffee … (Don’t forget: The West Seattle Bridge is closed, so put that GPS to use.)

Burien: If you’re an urban-hiking type, start anywhere on Southwest 152nd Street and explore the streets of Burien. Also nearby: Seahurst Park (on the beach, plenty of room to roam), Eagle Landing Park (forested with a trail to the beach). Eats and drinks: Elliott Bay Brewhouse, Logan Brewing Co. (accepts reservations for heated outdoor tables). Two more popular restaurants with takeout but no inside seating: Burien Fish House and Bok a Bok fried chicken.

(Photo by Julie Hanson)

Des Moines Marina: Kids will love seeing the boats and wildlife in this working marina or playing in the adjacent Des Moines Beach Park (note: paid parking for both marina and park), which also connects to the Des Moines Creek Trail. Rest up afterward at Quarterdeck, a converted shipping container where drinks, snacks and some heartier fare are served (kid- and dog-friendly). Enjoy deckside views of the boats, the water and Vashon Island, or be cozy in the tent out back. At the marina’s south end, Anthony’s Homeport has pitched a tent on its second-floor balcony.

Kent: The outdoor shopping complex Kent Station has done a great job putting up heated but ventilated tents outside its restaurants, giving it lots of choices for kid-friendly outdoor dining. Stroll through the neighborhood or nearby downtown Kent, or go a bit further afield where you can find access points to the Interurban or Green River trails. Also not far from Kent Station: Airways Brewing Bistro & Beer Garden, with covered outdoor seating.

Renton: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is a great place to walk along Lake Washington. (In fact, the public docks let you feel as if you’re walking in or on Lake Washington!) Ivar’s and Kidd Valley are open for takeout, and there are places to eat right outside or elsewhere in the park.

Kenmore and Mount Vernon: 192 Brewing Co.: You can bike right up to this large outdoor dining spot and brewery that’s just off the Burke-Gilman Trail in Kenmore. It’s got a kids’ menu with a cheeseburger, a quesadilla and more, and a grownup menu with bratwurst, a barbecue pork sandwich, nachos and other classic brewpub grub. (Cider, too.) And if you’re near Mount Vernon, check out the second beer garden location there, too.

Beacon Hill: Perihelion is good for kids and dogs, with covered outdoor seating, heaters and fire pits. It’s serving up blue cheese truffle burgers, blackened salmon sandwiches and pot pies, among other options, as well as creative beers. (How about a pink guava basil saison or a Martian red IPA?)

Northeast Seattle: Walking in the ravine in Ravenna Park? Then Ravenna Brewing is your stop. It’s an outdoor, covered (but not enveloped) area where you can take along your baby and your dog and even older kids, who can get food from the featured truck of the day. You can also order from Krua Thai, just across the side street, or the nearby Kidd Valley. The truck lineup includes Kiss my Grits, Paraiso Filipino Fusion and Oskar’s Pizza. Adult perks: Hazy IPAs and ciders.

Green Lake: After walking (or rolling) around Green Lake, you can grab a meal at
Bongos Cafe, a casual, quirky stand in the sand. This outdoor Caribbean food stand with patio dining is a favorite for parents with (and without) kids. Standouts include all the spicy sandwiches, Cuban black beans and
jerk chicken. Kids’ meals available too.

Ballard: If you’re wandering or biking in Ballard, you can take a break at family-friendly Stoup Brewing. The big patio, always a great place to visit on a sunny day to grab a beer with a baby and a dog, is now covered and ready for COVID-era visitors. Featured trucks: Tat’s Truck (Philly cheesesteaks!), Kathmandu Momocha (Nepali momos!) and Off the Rez (Native American frybread!). 

This story was first published on Jan. 21, 2021.

Kid-friendly outdoor dining

The lawn at Quarterdeck. (Photo by Julie Hanson)