Seattle may be well known as a gourmet paradise, but there’s no reason to stay within city limits when you’re in search of great food—even with kiddos in tow. Head to one of these restaurants east of the city to find family-friendly eats that will appeal to even the littlest foodies.
photo: Chelsea Lin
High ceilings and colorful tabletops give this Redmond restaurant, owned by local catering legend Lisa Dupar, a modern appeal; pretty, composed plates add to the upscale feel. But the menu is accessible and the service friendly, and the huge window into the production kitchen keeps the Littles busy while they’re waiting. Kids’ dishes are set up like TV dinners on compartmental trays, with choices like wood-fired flatbreads or creamy mac ‘n’ cheese (no Kraft here), plus carrots, house-made fruit salad, and even a cookie for dessert.
Grown-ups should order… The fried chicken—ultra juicy, dredged in saltine cracker crumbs, and fried to golden perfection—is among the best around. You may end up having to share.
18005 N.E. 68th St.
Redmond, Wa 98052
Online: duparandcompany.com/pomegranate-bistro or on Facebook
Hours: Mon., 7 a.m.-2p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
photo: Chelsea Lin
Dumplings are made for tiny hands, so the menu at this Bellevue dim sum joint is particularly pleasing. And rather than the cart-style joints that offer too much temptation for tiny hands, Dough Zone makes your dumplings to order—you can even see them folding the tiny pockets in the open kitchen setup—and brings them still-steaming to the table. Hungry tummies will appreciate the assortment of pan-fried and steamed dumplings; the flaky, salty green onion pancake is always a big hit, too.
Grown-ups should order… The jian buns, a house specialty (and regional Chinese dish you can’t find just anywhere), are kind of like a cross between bao stuffed buns and soup dumplings: soft and pillowy on the outside with a molten core of broth and meat. Your little globe trotter will love these, too, just make sure to let them cool for awhile first.
15920 N.E. 8th St.
Bellevue, Wa 98008
Hours: Mon., Wed.-Fri, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
photo: Jeanie C. via Yelp
Conveyor-belt (or kaiten) sushi is the perfect meal out for kids’ willing to dine on California rolls and edamame: You get to eat immediately upon sitting down, the food is fairly simple and generally inexpensive, and the round-and-round parade of a million tiny dishes acts like a hypnotizing dinner show for restless restaurant goers. Grab tiny plates of avocado roll, calamari tempura, and yakisoba—all three will only run you about $6.
Grown-ups should order… The raw-fish nigiri (don’t miss the toro, or fatty tuna) is a steal compared to fancier sushi joints. And dare we say you deserve a little sake at the end of a long day?
205 105th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
photo: Sue E. via Yelp
One of Seattle’s most popular pizzerias—particularly with the young family set—also has an outpost in Issaquah, perfectly situated for Eastsiders looking for a casual lunch or dinner out. The menu includes more than just pizzas, though little ones love the simple margherita dressed with tomato and fresh mozzarella or the eponymous Tutta Bella with Italian sausage and mushroom. Bonus: Happy hour prices daily from 3 p.m.-6 p.m.! Sneak in at 5 or 5:30 p.m. and grab an early dinner of 9” pizzettes for less dough, so to speak.
Grown-ups should order… The Gioia is a breakfast pizza of sorts, with prosciutto and arugula and fresh eggs cracked on top. The coffee is excellent as well—particularly the Nutella latte.
photo: Jane C. via Yelp
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
Downtown Woodinville has plenty of kid-friendly options for lunch after perusing the Hanna Andersson outlet, but Teddy’s Bigger Burgers takes the cake—er, patty. This Hawaii-based franchise offers a kids’ combo like any fast food joint, complete with burger (or corn dog, or chicken tenders), fries, and a drink, though here the quality is immeasurably better, and you won’t have some silly plastic toy to step on later.
Grown-ups should order… The volcano burger, with pepperjack cheese and jalapenos, may be a tad spicy for the average kiddo, but the heat makes for a fiery burger bomb that many adults will adore. Also try: tater tots. Lots and lots of tater tots! And a milkshake. You only live once, right?
Where do you go for quality food with your tiniest gourmands on the Eastside? Tell us in the Comments.
— Chelsea Lin