Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Restaurants with outdoor eating

Agua Verde Cafe Chef Rogelio Reynoso shows off a family favorite. Photo by Joshua Huston

Great places for outdoor eating

Dining al fresco is all about fresh air and great fare

Outdoor dining has always been a good option for families. Parents can relax a bit without worrying if their little ones are bothering the fine diners. The outdoor setting often offers more freedom for kids to roam, and eating al fresco just makes some meals taste better. As spring rolls into summer, these ten restaurants offer it all: kid-friendliness, good food, and outside seating. Call ahead to ensure outdoor areas are open.


This place is all about a fun family time and good food, from its colorful paint job and grass awnings to its backyard-style Caribbean cuisine to its sandpit with shovels and buckets. It’s like stepping onto a beach in the city. You’re sure to find kid-pleasers among the chicken dishes, po’boys, or burgers. But the simple beans and rice is a sure bet. 6501 Aurora Ave. N, Seattle. 

The Spot

Yes, you can get burgers and other tasty fare at The Spot West Seattle. But go for the waffles, sweet or savory, served all day and accompanied by free live all-ages music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This “community hangout” is for all ages, so pick your family’s spot on the patio and tuck in. 2920 SW Avalon Way, Seattle.

Agua Verde Café

The burritos are big, as are the restaurant’s awesome views of Portage Bay. Kids’ fare is simple: bean and cheese burritos, quesadilla, or their famous “mangodilla,” a mango, and your choice of meat-filled quesadilla, are usually hits. Warning: it’s crowded during the summer. Grab a basket of chips and wait for your table at the adjacent waterfront park. Got time? Rent single and double kayaks and paddleboards from Agua Verde Paddle Club, just below the restaurant, March through October. 1303 NE Boat St., Seattle.

Humble Pie

Humble Pie is an unassuming pizza joint just off Rainier Avenue. It offers outdoor dining with infrared heaters at picnic tables beneath a solar panel roof, as well as an indoor dining room.  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.

Half of their pizzas are vegetarian-friendly. Kids should check out the chicken coop, which helps supply those egg pies. 525 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle.

Anthony’s Beach Café

The Beach Café is a lovely spot for outdoor dining while enjoying the splendid view of boat activity on Puget Sound. There’s solid food and a large sandbox for the kiddos in the outdoor dining area in warm weather months. Feeling adventuresome? Walk on the nearby Edmonds/Kingston ferry for a short, scenic ride. 456 Admiral Way, Edmonds.

Elemental Pizza

U-Village is a popular hangout for Seattle families: There’s shopping, a playground, fun water fountains, and outdoor dining on the patio at Elemental Pizza, where pies are made from fresh ingredients in an open wood-fired oven. The grassy play area nearby is a great place for kids to cavort before the pizza arrives. 2634 NE University Village St., Seattle. 

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 are only two items on the kids’ menu – a grilled cheese with a side and a kid-sized pancake with fresh fruit during brunch hours. But the regular menu has lots of options, and they’re plenty big to share with your littles. Kids will love the motorcycles on display and more garage-themed décor. Dogs welcome. 626 SW 152 St., Burien.

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. There are two restaurants here: inside with full-service menus and a large collection of Native American art, and the walk-up fish bar on the sidewalk.  Both offer seating on the barge, where kids will enjoy watching the seaplanes take off, and the water taxis drop off passengers at the restaurant dock. 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle.

** Writer Jennifer Mortenson contributed to this article.

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