What To Do With a Kid

Kid-Friendly Restaurants (That Don't Feel Like Kid-Friendly Restaurants)

Plus: A few things we think would make Seattle parents' lives a little easier.

By Allecia Vermillion March 20, 2017 Published in the April 2017 issue of Seattle Met

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Jack's BBQ and fixin's. 

Image: Olivia Brent

Jack’s BBQ

The Georgetown roadhouse doesn’t have special accommodations for kids, per se, except that it’s already kinda loud, kinda worn, and the superlative brisket, pulled pork, hush puppies, and mac and cheese appeal to both parents and offspring. When high-chair diners get fussy, owner Jack Timmons plants a giant stuffed giraffe at the table, which serves as a handy distraction while the adults stuff their faces between sips of Shiner Bock. 

Frelard Pizza Company

Ethan and Angela Stowell became Seattle parenting folk heroes when they built a pizzeria with legitimately tasty food, ample amounts of local beer, easy-drinking wine, and a low-walled kid pit full of toys. Parents keep watch, in between sips and snippets of actual grownup conversation, from the surrounding seats. Frelard’s ample patio, complete with child-­mesmerizing fire pit, is just gravy. 

Rhein Haus

Its rep is more tipsy postcollegiates, but before nightfall this stylish 12th Avenue beer hall is surprisingly great for the (way) underage crowd: plenty of room, plenty of ambient noise, a solid kids menu of sausages, spaetzle, and schnitzel, and bocce courts for hours of distraction. If your group isn’t old enough for the intricacies of bocce, ask for the cornhole set. ­

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Rhein Haus

Image: Brandon Hill 


Edouardo Jordan’s adventurous menu is upscale enough to merit a babysitter, but warmly welcoming to little folk with kid options that are equal parts sophisticated and realistic, like the creamiest three-cheese rigatoni with bread crumbs (aka mac and cheese). Between the kids menu and the Ravenna address, there are enough families earlier in the night (and definitely at brunch) so you won’t feel like the lone party of food droppers and squeal emitters.

Mean Sandwich

When two parents of a toddler open a sandwich shop in Ballard, you best believe the kids’ menu grilled cheese will be on point. Meanwhile, adult creations are things of open-jawed beauty, like Mean’s signature combination of corned beef and pickled cabbage with maple syrup and an unexpected yet welcome pop of mint. Booths are spacious, high chairs are plentiful, and diners young and old can get behind the side dish known as skins and ins—aka chunks of deep-fried baked potato—and the bread pudding made with day-old buns.

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Image: Lauren Kelly

A Seattle Parent's Wishlist

1. Minors at Flatstick Pub

It just seems cruel to build a miniature golf course in the heart of Pioneer Square—complete with a light-up replica Space Needle that would make my son lose his ever-loving mind—and restrict it to people of legal drinking age. 

2. A BabyFood CSA

Seattle breeds certain expectations about feeding your baby fresh, organic, seasonal produce. There must be an entrepreneurial chef out there willing to make batches of fruit and vegetable purees on a weekly basis. 

3. A Playground…with Beer

Bars and restaurants with toy-filled play areas are great, but if someone could snap up a warehouse-type building, install some basic playground apparatus (nothing crazy dangerous, maybe a slide and some stuff to climb on), so parents can sit at nearby tables, drinks in hand, the citizenry of Seattle would be eternally grateful.

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