Hip, hip, hooray! Seattle is buzzing with pride for Tom Douglas, who just won the 2012 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurateur. Tom Douglas and his fantastic restaurants (there are 12 of them!) are household names in Seattle… although for most parents, they fall under the “date night” category, rather than the “dining out with kids” category. We hope you don’t mind, but we’re going to suggest ditching the babysitter this time around and taking your kids to enjoy some of Tom Douglas’ restaurants with you. Most of them are surprisingly family-friendly and will bend over backwards to accommodate your children…after all, today’s kids are tomorrow’s foodies.

Let’s start with Lola, because oh, how we love Lola. Located downtown (1200 Fourth Avenue, Seattle), Lola is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant where Tom Douglas has put his own signature modern spin on the menu. They have a dedicated children’s menu that includes salmon or chicken kebabs, a classic grilled cheese, or the ever popular noodles with butter and cheese…all served with fries, of course. But, don’t hesitate to let them order off the adult menu, or just give them a sampling of whatever you order…if you’re willing to share, that is. The breakfast and weekend brunch at Lola are some of the hottest in the city, if you prefer to get your Tom Douglas fix in the morning.

For a more casual, but equally delicious Tom Douglas experience, The Dahlia Bakery (2001 Fourth Avenue, Seattle) is a family favorite. You may have heard rumors about their mouth-watering Triple Coconut Cream Pie and those rumors are true – it’s worth every single bite and even kids who typically turn their noses up at anything with coconut will be begging for one more bite. The Dahlia Bakery also serves lunch — Tom’s Tasty Tomato Soup for the kids and one of the sandwiches from their rotating daily menu for you.

Tucked down near Pikes Place Market, Etta’s (2020 Western Avenue, Seattle) is a cozy little Tom Douglas restaurant that features some of his best seafood creations. There is no specific kid’s menu at Etta’s, but you won’t need it, as there are options on the main menu that will take your child’s taste buds to the next level. Order the Cod & Chips or the Crab Cakes, which are both mild and delicious…But beware; you’ll never be able to heat up some frozen fish sticks for your kiddo again after they’ve had a taste of the good stuff. Etta’s in another Tom Douglas restaurant where Seattleites flock for weekend brunch – there’s usually a wait, but you can sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee and let the kids watch the market people traffic while you wait. Or, have one parent take them to the grassy area across the street to run off some pre-brunch energy.

No need to put on a serious face when you visit Serious Pie. Now with two locations in Seattle – one downtown (316 Virginia Street, Seattle) and one in South Lake Union (401 Westlake Avenue North at Harrison Street, Seattle), your family can indulge in Tom Douglas’ vision of pizza anytime! The pizza menu is small, but refined, and they always have the kid-friendly pizza option of mozzarella, red sauce, while you enjoy something a little more off-beat, like a pizza topped with Penn Cove clams, house pancetta and lemon thyme. Save room for a root beer float afterwards! Serious Pie keeps Big E Ales Root Beer on tap!

And, what goes better with a Serious Pie than a Serious Biscuit? Located in the same space as Serious Pie in South Lake Union (401 Westlake Avenue North at Harrison Street, Seattle), Serious Biscuit is the morning version, serving up breakfast, brunch and lunch that will make you rethinking your Paleo diet. For the kids, order a biscuit with homemade peanut butter, banana and honey, or just a plain biscuit with a side of whipped butter and fresh jam. For parents, the savory biscuit options are endless – ham, egg, Beecher’s Cheddar and apple mustard? Done. Fried chicken and Tabasco black pepper gravy? Sign us up.

Tell us your Tom Douglas obsession and what your kids order when you visit!

— Katie Kavulla

Photos courtesy of Tom Douglas Restaurants on Facebook