At first glance, South Park might seem more like an industrial corridor than a place for kids. But this tiny riverfront enclave is home to lots of families (kids outnumber grownups 3:1) and is officially the most diverse neighborhood in Seattle, with over 30 languages spoken. And in just one square mile, it’s where you’ll find cool parks, authentic Mexican food, the city’s only working farm and three family-friendly breweries. Welcome to the 98108!

south.park.collage

photos: Helen Walker Green

Parks & Playgrounds

Gateway Park South
Follow the old trolley tracks down 8th Ave. toward the Duwamish River and you’ll come to this park and wildlife habitat. It’s a great spot to perch on a driftwood log – or on one of the two huge red gears (from the old Fremont Bridge) – and watch the comings and goings on the river. Back in the early 20th century, a trolley bridge used to run from this point across the river to Georgetown. Psst! Bring your bike. You and your crew can get on the Duwamish Bikeway here and ride along the river.

8th Ave. S. and S. Portland St.
Seattle, Wa 98108
Online: map it

south.park.gateway.park

photo: Helen Walker Green

Duwamish Waterway Park
Follow the river further south to this peaceful park which boasts a small beach, benches, picnic tables and a BBQ pit. There’s a nice lawn to spread out on and toss a ball or enjoy a picnic. And if you visit in the fall or early winter, you may be able to spot sea lions and osprey fishing for salmon.

7900 10th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
Online: seattle.gov/parks or map it

south.park.duwamish.waterway

photo: Helen Walker Green

Cesar Chavez Park
There’s music in the air at this spirited park. Cesar Chavez Park includes three basalt xylophones called Musical Steles, donated to South Park by granite sculptor Jesus Bautista Moroles. Pick up a rock and play some tunes or take advantage of the amphitheater for an impromptu performance.

S. Cloverdale St. & 7th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa, 98108
Online: seattle.gov/parks or map it

south.park.chavez.park

photo: Helen Walker Green

South Park Community Center & Park
The local South Park Community Center has lots of programs for all ages from Indoor Toddler Playtime to Junior Basketball. There’s a great little playground with big and little kids’ swings, slides and climbing structures, plus a wading pool (just right for hot summer days) and tennis and basketball courts. Psst! The park has picnic tables, BBQ grills and a fire pit, so you can make an afternoon of it.

8319 8th Ave. S.,
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-684-7451
Online: seattle.gov/parks/centers/southpark.htm or map it

south.park.community.center

photo: Helen Walker Green

Places to Explore

Marra Farm
Looking for the perfect place for urban farmers and curious kiddos who love to go down on the farm? Marra Farm is a community farm promoting sustainable agriculture and is open for everyone to enjoy. You and your little farmers are welcome to wander around, check out the Children’s Garden, pick apples from the community orchard and visit with the resident chickens. Psst! Marra Farm produces tons of organic produce every year – not just for the families who farm here but also for local food banks, meal programs and Concord Elementary School.

9026 4th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-694-6746 ext. 3
Online: solid-ground.org/programs/nutrition/marra/ or map it

south.park.marra.farm

photo: Helen Walker Green

South Park Library
The South Park Branch of the Seattle Public Library is a haven for local bookworms and anyone seeking information or access to the internet. With the largest collection of Spanish language kids’ books of all SPL branches, it’s a welcoming spot for families. Plus, the library staff are friendly and knowledgeable and their programs include ¡Hora de Cuentos! (Spanish family story time) and drop-in homework help.

8604 8th Ave. S.,
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-615-1688
Online: spl.org/locations/south-park-branch or map it

south.park.library

photo: Helen Walker Green

South Park Bridge
Just under the new South Park Bridge, you’ll find a little walking trail which makes for a great spot to watch the boats passing by. And the bridge itself has some pretty cool artwork for you and the kiddos to check out, too. Psst! See if you can spot where gears from the old South Park Bridge have been incorporated into the new one in a unique way.

16th Ave. S.,
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-263-9979
Online: kingcounty.gov/transportation/SouthParkBridge.aspx or map it

 south.park.bridgephoto: Helen Walker Green

Places to Eat

Taqueria El Rincon
Residents of “The Park” claim their neighborhood has the best Mexican food in Seattle. And they will argue over which place to take you because they’re all muy beuno! Without a doubt though, everyone raves about Taqueria El Rincon, an unassuming taco truck at an unassuming 76 station. Stop by for the carnitas burrito or the legendary fish tacos. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

8819 14th Ave. S. (in the 76 Gas Station lot)
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-762-7227
Online: catchtheculture.com/taco or map it
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
south.park.taco.truck

photo: Helen Walker Green

More Mexican!
For more south of the border faire, any one of these South Park restaurants will hit the spot with the niños. All have delicious home-cooked Mexican recipes served in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Jalisco
8517 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-767-1943
Online: catchtheculture.com/jalisco or map it
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Juan Colorado
8709 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-764-9379
Online: catchtheculture.com/juan or map it
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

Muy Macho 
8515 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-763-3484
Online: catchtheculture.com/macho or map it
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

south.park.mexican.collage

photos: Helen Walker Green

Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante
Not in the mood for Mexican food? Don’t worry. Just across 14th Ave. is where you will find Napoli Pizzeria. This hot spot serves up super hand-tossed pizzas with homemade sauces as well as delish spaghetti, baked lasagna, Italian Hoagies and more. Benissimo!

8600 14th Ave. S. (corner of 14th & Cloverdale)
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-768-9615
Online: napolipizzeriasouthpark.com or map it 
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

south.park.napoli

photo: Helen Walker Green

Loretta’s Northwesterner
Loretta’s Northwesterner bar serves cold brews and down-home Northwest comfort food. From sockeye sandwiches and pork tenderloin to beet and black bean burgers and chili, you will find something yummy on the menu for everyone in your brood. Oh, and don’t miss the VBLT (vegan BLT). If you’ve got a hankering for American-style comfort food, this is the place to go!

8617 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-327-9649
Online: lorettasnorthwesterner.com or map it
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.); breakfast served Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

south.park.loretta's

photo: Helen Walker Green

Places for Sips & Snacks

Burdick and Lowercase Breweries
South Park is home to three family-friendly breweries: Lowercase and Burdick (right next door to each other) and Tin Dog, just up the road. Burdick offers artisan brews like the malty, sweet American Amber and the Whiskey Red (aged in used whiskey barrels for two months). And Lowercase serves up favorites like the Copper (a Northwest red ale) and the Mexican Lager. Psst! Burdick and Lowercase have a nice location where you can sit outside on a sunny day or watch the big game inside.

Burdick Brewery
8103 8th Ave S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-909-9632
Online: burdickbrewery.com or map it
Hours: Mon.–Thurs., 2 p.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. -6 p.m.

Lowercase Brewery & Taproom
8103 8th Ave S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
Online: lowercasebrewing.com or map it
Hours: Thurs.-Fri., 4 p.m.–9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon–8 p.m.

south.park.brewing

photos: Helen Walker Green

Tin Dog Brewing
If you’re looking for a spot to take the whole fam-damily, Tin Dog Brewing is both kid- and pooch-friendly. They have a toy box for tots and games and crayons for older kids, plus they will happily give tours of the brewery to those who ask. For dogs, they have a water bowl, treats and doggie birthday parties. Brews include the Saison (a French/Belgian farmhouse-style ale) and a Northwest Pale Ale.

309 S Cloverdale St.,
Suite A2,
Seattle, Wa 98108
Online: tindogbrewing.com or map it
Hours: Tues.-Fri. 4 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 3 p.m.–7 p.m.; Closed Mon.

south.park.Tin Dog Brewing via Facebook

photo: Tin Dog Brewing Facebook page

Via Vadi Caffé
This authentic Italian coffee shop is run by Maria (whose family owns Napoli Pizzeria right next door). Stop by for a cup of espresso, coffee or chai. And don’t forget to pick up some cookies, cakes and cannolis!

8600 14th Ave. S. (back of Napoli Pizzeria)
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-762-7519
Online: catchtheculture.com/caffe/ or map it
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

south.park.via.vadi

photo: Helen Walker Green

Pasteleria Y Panaderia La Ideal
Master Baker Fernando Marquez Galicia makes delicious Mexican pastries, fresh every morning. From Pan Dulce Banderillas and delish Churros to Pan de Muerto and Tres Leches, you’ll find it here seven days a week. Not to mention his gigantic cookies! Psst! If you’ve never tried Mexican pastries before, Fernando will happily help you choose.

8909 14th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
206-767-4002
Online: catchtheculture.com/laideal or map it
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

south.park.mexican.bakery

photo: Helen Walker Green

Have you visited South Park lately? What’s your favorite spot? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Helen Walker Green