The Independent Pizzeria + The Beach = Summer

There are three reasons why Madison Park's Independent Pizzeria is the last place anyone should eat with children. First, there are only a handful of tables, so expect a wait. Second, the service may be friendly, but it can be slow. Third, there is little room to roam, so unless your kids enjoy staying strapped to their seat or glued to their iPad, things are going to get messy.

Now that that's out of the way, there are two reasons why those first few don't matter in the slightest. First, it's nearly summer in Madison Park, and the beach is a stone's throw from said pizza shop's front door. Second, Independent's pizza is a cheesy balm that can soothe toddler crankiness, teen poutiness, and general parental exasperation.

While you can risk a wait or order pies to go anytime of the year, Seattle's warmish months allow Independent's eat-in diners to kill time with antsy kin down by the water. The atmosphere is pure leisure--a glassy, triangular corner space with dangling Mason jar lights, mismatched plates, and tiny jars filled with salt and pepper flakes.

For four bucks, the simple green salad with torn bits of herbs and house vinaigrette offsets the carbs to come. The Independent's hearty Neapolitan-meets-NYC crust holds the weight of toppings like soft boiled egg, rocket, and Genoa salami. A kid pick, the Mama's Boy is covered with a bright red pepper cream sauce, then sprinkled with fresh chives, sliced Italian sausage, and chevre. There's plenty of pizzas that will let kids eat veggies, too, like the Beta, covered with red sauce, provolone, chard, and pieces of tomato. Pizzas are sized for one hungry adult or two hungry children, so order aplenty.

The Independent stocks a few craft beers and wines, including a sparkling rosé that's a little too easy to gulp down in the months of May through September. Kids will say the same about on tap Crater Lake root beer and Bluebird ice cream for dessert. Note that Independent is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. It's also closed this Sunday, May 27 for Memorial Day.

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