Back when we were little, going out for burgers probably meant grabbing, “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions‑all on a sesame seed bun.” But raising kids in the locally sourced, organically-minded city of Seattle means we have access to fresher burger ingredients that go beyond meat between bread. Even if burgers may never be elevated to health food status, we’ve found five area eateries serving mouthwatering variations on the classic hamburger, without the beef. We bet your kiddos will be too busy chowing down to notice they’re eating a nutburger!
Relish Burger Bistro
Relish launched last month inside the Westin in downtown Seattle. The clean, well-lit space is roomy and very welcoming of families, including tourists staying upstairs. The menu includes a Steelhead salmon burger on an airy bun delivered with a smear of dijon (hold the tartar sauce) a chicken Caprese burger stacked with roasted red pepper, mozzarella and arugula (hold the garlic aioli) and a black bean burger bursting with foraged mushrooms, Beecher’s Marco Polo cheese and a dab of guacamole. Sides go beyond the onion rings and fries, including charred Brussels sprouts and sautéed spinach with mushrooms. If your little ones aren’t in the mood for burgers, there’s also cheekily-named entrees like, “That is Using Your Noodles” (a.k.a. pasta, sauce and grilled chicken) and the Lone “Free Ranger” Chicken Sandwich served a side of fruit or carrot and celery sticks.
Relish Burger Bistro
Seattle, Wa 98101
The owners of the schmancy Restaurant Zoe and gastropub Quinn’s on Capitol Hill opened Uneeda in Fremont a few years back to much applause. Turns out, the food more than justified the hype. Eat indoors or on a covered patio that’s enclosed and heated in the winter and transformed into an al fresco picnic table paradise for families in the summer. While kids probably wouldn’t look at the menu and pick the crispy emmer veggie burger before a plan ol’ cheeseburger, odds are they’ll lick their fingers clean after taking a bite or two. It’s served with an addictive special sauce that mixes perfectly with a few squeezes of ketchup. Uneeda also offers a gluten-free bun for a couple of dollars more that tastes as good if not better than the house version.
4302 Fremont Avenue North
Seattle, Wa 98103
Capitol Hill’s Li’l Woody’s may look like a hipster hideout, but it tends to be packed with just as many families as single twenty-somethings on weekend afternoons. All patties are hand-formed here, including a mean veggie black mean burger. Now, families living in the Ballard-area have something to look forward to: Li’l Woody’s recently announced that they’re teaming up with Molly Moon’s ice cream shop to open a second location in the former Zak’s on Market Street. While a salted caramel kid’s cone might negate the health benefits from that black bean burger, it pretty much guarantees a happy car ride home.
1211 Pine Street
Seattle, Wa 98101
A broken-in, beloved neighborhood spot near Greenlake, the Sunlight Café serves an almost famous nutburger: It’s a round cake of rice, nuts and veggies bound together with melty cheddar on a hearty bun. The cheese covers all hints of the patty’s good-for-you innards, so kids won’t know they’re biting into something truly great. The menu also includes a grilled portobello with basil pesto and cheddar, but little hot heads will do better ordering the tempeh burger ladeled with a kicky roasted red pepper sauce.
6403 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, Wa 98115
With amazing views of Lake Washington, BeachHouse Bar+Grill sits near the Houghton Beach Park playground right outside of downtown Kirkland. In addition to a veggie burger with sweet balsamic rosemary marinade, the BeachHouse kid’s menu goes beyond mac and cheese and fish nuggets, offering grilled chicken and wild salmon with mashed potatoes and veggies.
6023 Lake Washington Boulevard NE
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Where is your favorite place to get a healthy burger? Share your burger hot spots with us in a comment below.
If you’re looking for a more meaty burger, check out our list of the most mouth-watering burgers and sliders in Seattle.
Photos courtesy dboy via Flickr, Amy Thewamy via Flickr, Relish Burger Bistro Facebook page, Sunlight Cafe Facebook page and the Li’l Woody’s website.