Seattle has no shortage of neighborhood pizza spots that offer kids the comfort of gooey, chewy goodness. Flying Squirrel Pizza’s Maple Leaf location is a welcome new addition to the area’s pie-and-sauce scene. While pizza may never be truly healthy, parents can rejoice in knowing that many of the veggies, meats, and just about everything else Flying Squirrel serves is organic, hormone-free, locally sourced, and delicious.

The Eats
A focus on seasonal and fresh tastes is evident throughout the Flying Squirrel’s imaginative menu. Flying Squirrel tops its pies with proteins from Salumi in Pioneer Square and Zoe’s Meats. Dough and sauce are churned out in the kitchen each day, and pork and chicken sausages are stuffed in-house.

Appease grumbling bellies with an order of easy-to-share breadsticks served with lemony rosemary cannellini dip, or try the red and golden beet salad with Maytag blue cheese crumbles.

Without knowing it, picky little eaters might just fill up on “The Farm,” a vegetarian pizza loaded with zucchini and roasted red peppers wedged in melted goat and mozzarella cheeses. Other standout pies include the #5, topped with the tender pulled pork, lime, cilantro, cotija, and red onion, and the #8, smothered in organic free-range egg, shaved parmesan, and arugula.

Hand-tossed pizzas include inventive offerings, too. Around Thanksgiving, a special pizza was topped with mashed potatoes, turkey, and ripe cranberries. Most pies can be made half-and-half, so the fam can try more tastes. Vegan kiddos and parents can opt for a build-your-own pizza baked with Flying Squirrel’s always dairy-free crust.

In addition to offering Mexican Coke in the bottle, grown-ups can imbibe wine, seasonal beers, or Stumptown coffee. The Flying Squirrel scoops up dishes of Molly Moon’s ice cream for dessert, and sells to-go pints for six bucks.

The Scene 
Families and hipsters mingle in the warm, unpretentious storefront space. A seating area with about a dozen tables is easy to navigate, and there’s plenty of extra room to store strollers and gear. Kid-friendly service is efficient and accommodating.

The Flying Squirrel’s owner Bill Coury has created a lively, music-centric atmosphere. A former bassist for Seattle the band Visqueen, Coury and his staff rotate not-too-loud rock songs, so parents with extra-vocal kids can relax, and maybe even sing along.

The Details
The neighborhood around the restaurant offers plenty of easy and accessible street parking. Also, 66, 67, and 242 busses stop just one block away. For a bus timetable and transfer info, visit the King County Metro transit website.

Families opting for a movie and pizza night at home can order pies to go on the Flying Squirrel website.

8310 5th Avenue NE
(between 83rd Street & 84th Street)
Seattle, Wa 98115
206-524-6345
Open Mon. – Thu. and Sun., 5 pm – 9:30 pm; Fri. – Sat., 5 pm – 10 pm
Online: flyingsquirrelpizza.com

TIPS: With a newly remodeled kitchen, the original Seward Park Flying Squirrel location is also a best bet for families living in South Seattle.

–Sara Billups

Photo credit: Phidauex via Flikr