family restaurants in Seattle

Dine Around Seattle Sets the Table for Families

During the month of March, Sundays through Thursdays, many travelers and locals take advantage of “Dine Around Seattle.” Frugal foodies can choose from an appetizer, dinner and dessert at some of Seattle’s best restaurants – all for $30. Some restaurants also offer lunch, and the price drops to a sweet ‘n’ cheap $15.

I’d (foolishly) assumed that many of these refined restaurants wouldn’t welcome families.

So I called the participating restaurants and asked whether they could put out high chairs and children’s menus. All offered the former — although Chez Shea needs to borrow the high chair — and many also provided the latter.

This is a good sign. When restaurants offer baby seats or say things like “we’re happy to accommodate,” they probably won’t give you the royal stinkeye when you enter their establishment. Of course, you don’t have to order from the child’s menu. Many kids are happy to share with parents, eat an appetizer or select another dish.

It’s always possible that I’ve made a mistake – when you call to make reservations, tell the restaurant you’re bringing kids, especially so if you need a high chair (there may be a limited number of high chairs). Ask about the price points for the children’s menu, along what they define as “child” (Under 10? Under 12?).

When heading to these restaurants, I would observe the typical dining-with-kids etiquette. Go early or at lunchtime, bring quiet toys, expect good manners from your children (take them outside, if they’re crying or being loud), model gratitude, don’t leave your eating area a mess.

And of course, leave a well-deserved tip.

Then come back and tell us what you thought of your dining experience! I didn’t ask about items on the children’s menu; I’d love to hear if you discovered any unique picks.


Check the main Dine Around Seattle site for lunch and dinner times, restrictions and the address.

35th Street Bistro No children’s menu but can make kid-friendly food. When do kids eat here? “Not so much for dinner, more for lunch.”
Andaluca Children’s menu
ART Restaurant and Lounge Children’s menu
Artisanal Brasserie Children’s menu
Barking Frog Children’s menu
Barolo Ristorante No children’s menu, but can accommodate with small plates, simple meals and less salt.
Bastille Café & Bar Children’s menu for dinner.
Campagne No children’s menu. Items can be adapted to be more kid-friendly.
Chez Shea & Shea’s Lounge No high chairs, but can borrow one from restaurant next door.  Says that chidren “sometimes” eat there. No children’s menu, but kids can order from the ala carte menu.
Dahlia Lounge No children’s menu, but kid-friendly foods include buttered noodles, potstickers and sides. Pointed out that Etta’s has a children’s menu.
Earth & Ocean Children’s menu.
Etta’s Children’s menu
Eva Restaurant No children’s menu. Said children “occasionally” eat there. Can make something.
Hunt Club No children’s menu, but can “easily” make something.
Mama Melina No children’s menu, but can make something.
Monsoon No children’s menu but “we’re very family-friendly.” Waiter can offer suggestions for kids.
Monsoon East No children’s menu. Says most share with the parents. Asks that diners tell them how many children are coming.
Nell’s Restaurant No children’s menu but “happy to accommodate any way we can,” including pasta with parmesan or a simple steak.
Nishino No children’s menu, but kids like several items, including rice and teriyaki chicken skewers.
Palisade Waterfront Restaurant Children’s menu is “$12 for under 12.” Pasta with alfredo sauce, salmon and other items.
Ponti Seafood Grill Children’s menu.
Ray’s Boathouse Children’s menu.
Restaurant Zoë Children’s menu.
Salish Lodge & Spa The Dining Room Children’s menu.
Serafina Osteria and Enoteca No children’s menu, but can make simple pastas, cheese ravioli.
Steelhead Diner Children’s menu.
SZMANIA’S Children’s menu.
Twisted Cork Children’s menu AND children (under 10) eat free on Mondays.

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.