We waited a long time for Seattle’s beautiful summer days to get here. So why not take advantage of them and plan an alfresco dining experience with your crew? When it comes to family-friendly outdoor dining spots, our choices have only grown over the last few years. So grab the sunscreen, and pack a few extra snacks into your diaper bag, these restaurants offer more than a chance to eat outside—many have views that will make you want to sit and stay awhile. Read on to find your new favorite outdoor dining patio.
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Pike Place Market
Pick up your favorite Market food, we’re talking Honest Biscuits, Matt’s in the Market, Shug’s Soda Fountain and more, and enjoy them at one of over 20 outdoor patios throughout the Market. Market restaurants have been leaning in, and you'll find more outdoor spots for dinning here than ever before. Copacabana, Falafel King and Miss Cafe are great casual spots to stop and grab a bite. And you can't go wrong with a trip to Shug's. You'll find all the Market's fantastic eateries along the cobblestone walkways, in the Secret Garden, in Post Alley and along First Avenue and Western Avenue. Sound and city views? It doesn’t get any better than this in the summer.
Pike Place Market
Pasta and plane lovers will love Mezzanotte's spacious outdoor patio in the heart of Georgetown. Stop in after a trip to the Seattle Drum School, Fantagraphics or the eclectic Georgetown Trailer Park Mall for a dish of homemade pasta and plate of roasted carrots (trust us, they're worth it) on a sunny day. Although there isn't a kid's menu, the pasta dishes are simple, so even the pickiest of eaters can find something to fill their tummies. And the planes overhead (they're on the Boeing Field flight path) will keep the kids entertained throughout the meal. Our tip? Bring coloring pages or a few table games to keep the kids busy so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the meal.
1210 S. Bailey St.
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When it comes to inspired vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine, families can count on Café Flora to serve it. Using locally sourced ingredients and a menu that changes by season, they continue to serve up fresh takes on favorites like Oaxaca tacos and Portobello Wellington. But your Littles will go wild for classic children’s menu items like pita pizzas (psst.. if you’re there for brunch, don’t miss the animal-shaped pancakes and fresh fruit). Café Flora has expanded their outdoor patio and it welcoming folks to the table, first come, first serve for lunch, dinner and brunch.
Insider tip: The rooftop patio at the Flora Bakehouse is another worthwhile spot to check out. Hint: they'll be dishing up soft serve starting August 10, and we predict the Unicorn Kids Cup will be a hit with your crew on a hot summer day.
2901 E. Madison St.
Magnuson Cafe & Brewery
The shores of Lake Washington never looked so good as they do with a pint from this Magnuson brewhouse in hand. You’ll love sinking your teeth into this locally sourced pub fare that features burgers, tacos and salads as much as the kids do. And with plenty of umbrella-covered tables and these cute covered "houses" where families can gather no matter the weather, this outdoor dining spot makes grabbing a bite easy. Hint: it's also makes a wonderful lunch stop after your class at Arena Sports or when you need a break along the Burke Gilman.
7801 62nd Ave. N.E.
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Frelard Pizza Company
Won’t your kids be surprised when you tell them you’re going for takeout, but you end up on the outdoor patio at this favorite local pizza joint instead. That patio seating here is self-serve. All you have to do is order your favorite pie (we’re partial to the Veggie Bomb, but dig the Bianco too), wait for a text, then pull up a picnic bench and enjoy a slice with your crew.
1040 Leary Way N.W.
Marination Ma Kai
What started as a food truck has morphed into a successful mini-chain of local eateries for the folks at Marination Mobile, but Ma Kai is their shining star: a laid back restaurant perched on West Seattle’s shore with an unparalleled view of the city skyline. The menu is Hawaiian with Korean influence—tacos are a popular choice, though the fish and chips (only available at this location) are stellar. Kids may enjoy the salty Spam musubi, the perfect precursor to the sugary Hawaiian shave ice for dessert. Board the water taxi from downtown for a door-to-door adventure, complete with an outdoor dining experience.
1660 Harbor Ave. S.W.
Agua Verde Café
Eating outdoors can’t get much cooler than this: at Agua Verde, you can nosh on a large outdoor deck that overlooks the kayak rental area. So as you and the kids share a basket of chips and fresh salsa from the serve-yourself bar, you can check out kayakers paddling in and out of the dock. Don’t miss the mangodillas— quesadillas with fresh mango and melty cheese and are a hit with diners of all ages! Psst... bring your kayaks if you've got 'em for an afternoon paddle.
1303 N.E. Boat St.
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It’s hard to go wrong with a wood fired pizza for dinner with the kids. That’s one of the reasons Elemental Pizza’s U Village is a great outdoor dining spot for Seattle families. Enjoy the people watching while you dig into their creative pizza combos that are true crowd pleasers. If you’re looking for less crowded times, try going on a week day. But if pizza is how you roll on the weekends, you’ll probably get a table quickly if you can avoid peak dining times. If all else fails, you can wander the Village, cell phone in hand and wait for them to call when your table’s ready.
2634 N.E. University Village. St.
Anthony’s HomePort – Everett
The views of the Everett waterfront are just as impressive as this popular restaurant. And with tables spaced for social distancing and increased sanitization practices, Anthony's is doing what they can to make families feel safe dining here. If you've got small kiddos, try snagging an outdoor table at lunch time. That’s because the menu prices are cheaper and the selection choices are more kid-friendly. Kids can choose from a variety of favorites including bay shrimp macaroni & cheese, clam chowder and fish tacos. Reservations are recommended.
Good to know: Next door to Anthony’s HomePort, Anthony's Woodfire Grill offers both surf and turf with the same views but cheaper prices. This restaurant also tends to be a little more relaxed and less busy too, making it a great choice for families.
1726 W. Marine View Dr.
Red Mill Burgers
Seattle icon Red Mill Burgers has been featured on Oprah and the Food Network. But to Seattle locals, it’s just a great place to grab a delicious burger and some onion rings with the family. Red Mill is known for cooking up a huge stack of bacon for topping burgers, hand-blending fresh milkshakes (try banana or peanut butter) and offering wonderful outdoor picnic tables for eating in the sun. It's casual-fast outdoor dining at its best.
312 N. 67th St.
1613 W. Dravus St.
The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar
Located on Pier 57, home of Seattle’s Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington, The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar features views of said Wheel, Puget Sound and downtown Seattle. In addition to standard, fresh fish dishes, you’ll find a collection of other unique plates including the west coast fish taco, wild citrus halibut taco, shrimp mac 'n' cheese and the PNW Captain’s Plate that includes portions of king salmon, halibut, Alaskan pollock, panko prawns and fried calamari steak strip. The patio (and the view) are open for dining, and reservations are recommended, especially on the weekends.
1301 Alaskan Way S.
The Spot West Seattle
You gotta love a spot that serves waffles until 4 p.m. and offers live music a few time a week. Whether you bring the kids for an early breakfast-for-dinner meal or to enjoy music on the patio, this new-ish spot on the accidental island won't disappoint. And if you can't find a spot here, you can rest assured, Luna Park Cafe is just next door so you've got options.
2920 S.W. Avalon Way
Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Lombardi’s features fresh and delicious true Italian dishes that will please the palates of those both young and old. In fact, while Mom and Dad dine on such dishes as Salmon Picacata, Roman Style Lasagna or Scampi Diavolo, the kids can have their own extensive menu of delights to choose from (at very reasonable prices) including spaghetti, cheese ravioli and pepperoni pizza. Lombardi’s is a great spot to dine on a hot summer night since it often gets a cool summer breeze.
1620 W. Marine View Dr.
—Jeffrey Totey, Chelsea Lin, Sara Billups & Katie Kavulla