5 Seattle Restaurants for Al Fresco Eating with Kids

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Agua Verde
On a warm spring day in Seattle, who wouldn't want to eat and drink on the slender terrace at Revel, sidewalk patio at Presse, or breezy rooftop deck at the Pink Door? But unless you're the parent of an atypically well-mannered child, those venues aren't going to cut it when the kids are coming to dinner. Alas, a few places in town offer alfresco eating options that placate hungry, stir-crazy diners. Especially kids. Here's the shortlist:

5. The stadium-sized prepared foods area, hot bar, meat carving station, pizza oven, sushi and noodle counter, and salad bar at Whole Foods Westlake can feel a little more like an overpriced carnival than viable dinner option. But throw the outdoor eating area into the mix and you can almost justify grabbing a quick bite at the equally adored and despised market. If you've got picky kids, go here. They will be happy. If you or you partner are mildly indecisive, don't go here. There are too many options. Coconut rice or fried rice? Chicken verde or stir fry beef? But if you can manage to get through the checkout and settle into a table outside, be thankful.

4. If you happen to find yourself in downtown Kirkland on a warm day, The Slip is one of a few viable places to eat outdoors with kids. It's reasonably priced with a standard 90s-inspired menu, including spinach artichoke dip, gorgonzola pear salad, and chili cheese fries. The reason to go? The outdoor tables overlooking Marina Park on Lake Washington are pretty fantastic. It may be the opposite of the Friday night parade of fresh faces in short-shorts moping around Capitol Hill, but when it's nice out, start-up dudes, streaming strollers, and glossy fashionistas are out in full force. It's fascinating entertainment.

3. If you have a child prone to sun poisoning or hay fever, the all-vegetarian Café Flora in Madison Valley is the closest thing to outdoor eating in Seattle that's fully protected from the elements. The restaurant's glassed-in garden atrium with indoor fountain is actually sort of magical, and it's bee and fly free. Hey kids, Café Flora is hosting a special brunch for Mother's Day, complete with sunny maternal foodstuffs like hummingbird muffins, a salad made with rainbow chard, and fruit skewers.

2. Ms. Raskin called it: Uneeda Burger is swarming with kids. At least that's the case if you head over before around 8 p.m. In the summer, the large deck holds picnic tables chock-full of families, and rightly so. There aren't many places in our fair city serving equally satisfying salted caramel shakes and a rotating list of microbrews. Order a shake for the kids, then steal a few strawfulls in between your Manny's. Uneeda's surprisingly addictive gluten free buns and veggie burgers mean GFers, vegans, and just about anybody else can eat here. And with a menu ranging from plain jane beef patties to downright schmancy toppings like watercress and black truffle salt, kid and adult palettes can come together.

1. When it comes to outdoor eating, no spot is more frequented than Agua Verde. If you have kids, before eating, you might want to rent kayaks to tucker them out. Chances are, they'll quietly chew mango quesadillas with a half-dazed expression, sitting at a table by the dock and staring out over the water. When you start eating, you'll probably be in a pretty good mood, too. After all, what goes down easier in the sun than a fish taco and salty margarita?

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