Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or tea—these restaurants serve a side of over-the-top décor that’ll wow your kids

To quote Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas, “This really brings Christmas close to a person.” Sure, he was talking about all of the colorful aluminum Christmas trees found on a tree lot, but he could have just as well be talking about the festive atmospheres found in some of Seattle’s best restaurants during this time of year. Some are simple and homey, while other are large and elegant. Some include Santa photo ops or reindeer experiences. And some serve as the perfect starting point for a major holiday odyssey downtown with the kids. But whichever Christmas decorated restaurants on your list you choose, all are sure to impress your kids and

Sit Down to Afternoon Tea During the Holidays

a christmas restuarnt in seattle is the fairmont olympic hotel with a huge christmas tree in the center
Jeff Totey

1. Fairmont Olympic Hotel

To find the most elegantly dressed Christmas decorations, head on over to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The lobby and stairwells are festooned with holiday cheer. Every weekend throughout the year, the hotel hosts an Afternoon Tea from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., but during the month of December, they go all out presenting a Festive Holiday Tea every day from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. The Fairmont offers an adult menu and children’s menu. While moms and dads can enjoy cranberry scones, tea sandwiches, and selection of pastries alongside a variety of teas, the kids can indulge in chocolate chip scones, kid-friendly tea sandwiches (ham and cheese on white bread, peanut butter and banana on a honey croissant), pastries, and cereal-flavored milk.

Festive Extras: Stop by the hotel’s Teddy Bear Suite for an ultimate photo opp with dozens of cuddly friends. Open through December 25 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the event is free but donations to Seattle Children’s Hospital are gladly accepted. The Fairmont is also open on Christmas and offers fantastic Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners as well.

411 University St.

Related: Your Guide to Seattle's Must-Do Downtown Holiday Attractions

2. Queen Mary Tea Room

For 34 years, the Queen Mary Tea Room has been an annual tradition for many families. In fact, it is the oldest independently-owned tea room in America. The space’s halls have been decked and will stay that way through January. This is a spot better suited for older children as highchairs are not available, but they do keep children in mind offering coloring sheets and crayons to keep the little ones engaged while sipping on room-temperature tea, cocoa, apple juice, or orange juice. The adult menu includes a fruit sorbet trio and Queen Mum’s shortbread, cranberry-orange scones with Chantilly cream, fresh fruit, a variety of tea sandwiches, quiche, and more. The children’s afternoon tea menu consists of shortbread, kid-friendly tea sandwiches (grilled cheese, peanut butter and jam), fresh fruit, royal chocolate fudge tea cake, and more. The afternoon tea is offered Wednesdays through Sundays.

Festive Extras: Queen Mary also offers brunch and lunch options. Walk-ins are welcome to enjoy tea and dessert, space permitting.

2912 N.E. 55th St.

courtesy Salish Lodge

3. Salish Lodge

The view of the Snoqualmie Falls never gets old and it is even better when you’re all snuggled in with a warm beverage. This time of year, the Salish Lodge is like stepping into a picture postcard. This year they are offering a Holiday Tea in the dining room on December 7-15 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. The adult menu includes Salish biscuits (with “honey from heaven”), Scallion White Cheddar Scones, and a selection of savory and sweet offerings. The children’s menu comes with English scones, French macrons, tea sandwiches (both “adult” and kid-friendly options like Peanut Butter & Jelly served on banana bread), veggies and ranch dressing, chocolate peppermint mousse cake, and more. All served with Salish loose-leaf teas.

Festive Extras: The dining room is also open for brunch, lunch, and dinner complete with kid's menu. Find a last-minute gift at the lodge’s gift shop on your way out.

6501 Railroad Ave. S.E.
Snoqualmie, WA

Festive Breakfast & Lunch Spots

a couple and a child browse food items at swanon's nursery in seattle a christmas decorated restuarant with their child
Swanson's Nursery

4. Swanson’s Nursery

One of the most festive places to enjoy a causal lunch is Swanson’s Nursery. They have a variety of light displays set up all around the nursery features thousands of lights including a model train. While there, you can explore Santa’s yurt and of course, browse through their gift shop to views tons of ornaments and gifts. You can even bring home a fresh-cut Christmas tree. The Swanson’s Café offers breakfast and lunch on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (The nursery is open until 7 p.m. every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas). They offer an array of breakfast bowls, French toast, specialty sandwiches, soups, salads, and a kid’s menu that is available to everyone. While the weather outside might be frightful, their gelato is still delightful. The Café is also open every day for holiday beverages including pumpkin spice lattes and cold brews (made with real pumpkin spice puree) and peppermint mochas and hot chocolate.

Festive Extras: Special music performances are scheduled throughout the season. Check out Swanson’s Holiday Traditions page to who is playing when.

9701 15th Ave. N.W.

Related: Say Cheese! The City's Best Places for Santa Photos

5. The Stone House Cafe

If you haven't had a chance to check out this spot in Rainier Valley, now is the time to go. In addition to the great food, breakfast-all-day menu, and Laina's ice cream you can get there every day, The Stone House Cafe really does it up for Christmas. Giant nutcrackers to greet you at the door will have your kids "oohing" and the floor-to-ceiling garlands, snowflakes, and holiday baubles that surround you will leave them wide-eyed and "ahhing." But the thing that'll get your kids the most excited for this restaurant trip is the chance to have photos taken with Santa Claus. The StoneHouse Bakery has been transformed into The Big Guy's workshop and he'll be there for free photos December 10, 11, 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

9701 Rainier Ave. S.

6. Sky Nursery

It only makes sense that a place that sells fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths, branches, and boughs would be decked out for Christmas. You’ll find seasonal plants, holiday arrangements, poinsettias ornaments, home décor, and gifts. Also located within, Sky Coffee is a causal café set inside the greenhouse and surrounded by holiday cheer. The café features a spinach and feta quiche, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, and a large selection of cookies, Danishes, mini scones, cinnamon rolls, bagels ,and more. Of course, Sky Coffee serves up a variety of holiday beverages (pumpkin pie lattes, eggnog chais, and peppermint mochas) made with local Fidalgo Coffee every day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

18528 Aurora Ave. N.
Shoreline, WA 

Don’t Miss These Christmas Dinner & Lunch Options


7. Ray’s Cafe

Tis the season at Ray’s Café, the more casual sister restaurant to Ray’s Boathouse but with the same quality of food. Located upstairs from the Boathouse, Ray’s Café is looking its holiday best, not that it really needs to. The café offers the same fantastic views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Warm up next to the fire at the fireplace and marvel at the wonders to be found on their Christmas tree. Seasonal dishes include Northwest salmon, true cod fish and chips, as well as their signature clam chowder—perfect on a cold, winter day. The food is not too stuffy for the kids either with pint-size portions of house-made chicken fingers, creamy chicken pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches. If your young one is wanting to try something a little more grown up, they just might enjoy the grilled wild Northwest king salmon or the grilled chicken breast, both served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Festive Extras: Both restaurants are open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. They also make a great destination for a date night sans kids.

6049 Seaview Ave. N.W.

Related: All the Merry Things to Do on Christmas Day in Seattle

a truck at Remlinger Farms sits outside the Christmas decorated restaurants in Seattle that includes a train
Remlinger Farms

8. Remlinger Farms

You may be familiar with Remlinger Farms as the place to go for u-pick berry-picking, but they are also home of the Railway Cafe and new-this-year Remlinger Farms Brewery. Decorated with holiday cheer, this is a great place to surprise the kids and enjoy a great meal. The restaurant features good, old-fashioned home cooking with their famous 17-Bean Soup, farm-sized sandwiches, deluxe hamburgers, fish & chips, salads, and homemade berry pies. The brewery offers a large variety of beers on tap served in a family-friendly environment. Both are open Thursdays through Sundays, from noon to 8 p.m.

Festive Extras: This year, Remlinger Farms is also offering Christmas events including carousel rides, steam train tours, s’mores, hot chocolate, Christmas movie viewings, and Christmas tree sales (through Dec. 18). Their huge marketplace is open as well.

32610 N.E. 32nd St.
Carnation, WA

Related: 14 Places to Cut Down Your Tree This Season

9. Space Needle

For a very special day, plan to spend lunch at the Space Needle. In addition to the revolving glass floor and breathtaking view of the city below, the Needle is dressed in holiday garb. On the weekends, find Santa aboard his all-glass sleigh and get your picture taken with the jolly old elf for free. Enjoy lunch in the clouds at the Atmos Café offering simple, kid-friendly meals like the Atmos Dog, chicken fingers, and smash burgers. For dessert, share a Pinkabella cupcake.

Festive Extra: For Parents looking for a date night, consider a night at the Loupe Lounge which serves up “showstopping mixology paired with tastes of the Pacific Northwest.”

400 Broad St.

Related: Your Guide to the New & Improved Space Needle

a mom gives a kid a kiss at a christmas decorated restaurant in seattle aromory

10. Seattle Center’s Armory Food & Event Hall

Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch, but in a good way. Instead of one restaurant, Seattle Center’s Armory Food & Event Hall offers a variety of fun food options including Matt’s Fish Basket, Cool Guy’s Fry Bar, Premier Meat Pies, and Skillet Counter (plus a lot more) and during Winterfest, the place is a jolly place to be. Here you’ll find the 19th century model train and village display, a tradition for over 40 years now. Stop here first, then go eat, then head back and participate in the scavenger hunt with items hidden all around the scene. On the weekends, enjoy live music or dance presentations while you enjoy your meal.

305 Harrison St.

11. The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar

The Seattle Great Wheel changes colors on a grand scale every night of the week and there isn’t another restaurant that offers the best view of this light “show” than The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar. Full of holiday cheer, this restaurant offers anything and everything seafood-related from the house-smoked salmon to the Alaskan snow crab. For those age 12 and under, they will enjoy Fried Shrimp Basket or the Fish & Chips. If seafood really isn’t their thing, you can’t go wrong with the grilled cheese sandwich, hamburger, chicken strips, or plate of pasta with noodles tossed in a butter sauce.

Festive Extra: Another parent date night idea: find another couple to join you for a private dining experience for four aboard the Seattle Great Wheel. Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s a memory-maker.

1301 Alaskan Way S.

Related: Dig In! Kid-Friendly Restaurants in the Seattle Area

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