Fresh latkes and matzoh ball soup within a ten minute drive from downtown Seattle? Until Stopsky’s Delicatessen opened its doors last May, Puget Sound families looking for an authentic Jewish deli experience were left scratching their heads. Now, Seattleites and Eastside residents ready to introduce kids to the wonders of a good reuben are in luck. Stopsky’s fills a badly needed niche, delivering homemade, updated deli fare with a hearty nod to the classics that kiddos will love.

The Setting
Situated on Mercer Island, a tiny, family-oriented community nestled on Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue, Stopsky’s occupies a storefront in an unassuming strip mall. Just inside Stopsky’s entrance you’ll find scratch pastries, an espresso machine, and a case filled with house-smoked meats and fresh cold salads available for carry-out treats.

Stopsky’s open, light-filled dining area has been impeccably transformed from the studs. Kids can gaze at dozens of black-and-white photographs of the owner’s family lining the main wall of the restaurant. Built-in benches line both sides of the room, with single tables seating couples and large joined tables easily accommodating larger groups. High chairs are plentiful and easily cap tables, allowing for roomy seating for wee ones.

The Eats
Stopsky’s serves up brunch, lunch, and dinner, including affordable kid favorites like pasta with veggies; scrambled eggs, house-made latkes, and a side of fruit; and a crowd-pleasing grilled cheese, all for $4. Part of the fun of taking children to a deli like Stopsky’s is sharing plates. Adults can dig into brisket-stuffed kreplach, or dumplings dressed up with fried kale and caramelized shallot aioli ($3/$6), that look so good kids will be tempted to try a forkful. The same goes for the pillowy “Mr. Paul’s Matzoh Balls” soup  ($3/$6), and the classic corned beef sandwich on rye bread ($10). While kids might squirm if dad orders the tongue on potato bread with horseradish slaw ($10), the tender, flavorful sandwich satisfies.

The Details
Stopsky’s is the spot for families looking for a new weekend brunch option or a Northwest-inspired deli experience. Mercer Island is only accessible from I-90, notorious for back-ups during rush hour, so plan accordingly. While orders are served quickly, grabbing a treat from the pastry case is a great way to curb grumbling bellies. And don’t forget to split a chocolate egg cream for dessert!

A warm, accommodating team of servers cater to kids and pass out witty “find your way to the pickle” paper mazes inside a coloring booklet with a crayon-ready Seder table line drawing. Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am—9:00 pm and Sunday from 8:00 am—3:00 pm.

Insider TIp: The deli is located next to the venerable Island Books. The imaginative children’s section in the back of the bookstore is a great place for kids to burn off extra energy while waiting for a table at Stopsky’s next door.

Getting there
The Metro Trip Planner will help find bus routes leading to Stopsky’s. Drivers will find ample parking in a large lot just outside of the restaurant.

3016 78th Avenue SE
Mercer Island, Wa
855-786-7759
Online: stopskysdelicatessen.com

–Sara Billups

Photo Credit: Stopskys