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May 14, 2008 03:53 AM

Seattle w/ a toddler

My wife and I are going to be in Seattle for a week with our one and half year old daughter. We will be staying at the Westin (near downtown) and will not have a car. Knowing this information, can folks suggest any good places for all meals. Not looking for a kid restaurant, but also wouldn't take the baby into finer dining places. Good ethnic and breakfast suggestions particularly welcome. Thanks, in advance.

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  1. The Westin is very close to the Westlake Center. Underneath the Westlake Center, is the Seattle Metro Bus Tunnel. During the day, probably 7am to 7pm, it is a free ride zone. You can hop on it to easily get into Pioneer Square and, even better, the International District. I'd believe that nearly any of the places in the ID would be a good spot for eating with a toddler. Green Leaf is great Vietnamese. Samurai Noodle has good ramen. My other favorites for Chinese in the area include the Hing Loon and the Sea Garden. Be sure to search the board for other ID recs.

    Also, you can take the monorail from the westlake center into the Seattle Center, which opens up a lot of the lower queen anne area. Other people may have some recs there.

    1. Agree with the ID as a good place to go. Also Cafe Presse on Capitol Hill gives you good French food in a very casual atmosphere with reasonable prices--possibly a bus could get you within walking distance. The market is also a good place for casual snacks or lunch--try the piroshky place or the Turkish place for filled pastries.. The Seattle Art Museum's outdoor sculpture garden also has a cafe.

      1. Here's another vote for the Pike Place Market and for the International District. Also check out Boom Noodle on East Pike St. on Capitol Hill, an easy and direct bus ride from downtown. They're very family friendly and serve contemporary urban Japanese food, if that makes any sense (google for their website, which includes a menu).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Erika L

          Thanks for the suggestions so far, particularly the piroshky's whcih I love. Does the Market have any good breakfast places worth recommending? Otherwise, I'll look up posts on the ID.

          1. re: jwoodcanyon

            you can get hot breakfast sandwiches in the Market at New York Deli, which is in the hallway between the newstand on the SW corner of Pike and 1st (across from deLaurenti's market) and the fish market/brass pig which are more towards the water. As you might guess, pastrami and corned beef are specialties there. Across the st from the Westin (on Virginia between 6th and 7th) is Barolo which is an option for N Italian, lunch or dinner (it's loud enough that even a fussy kid shouldn't be a problem).

            1. re: jwoodcanyon

              The Athenian in the Market is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. The food is greasy diner crossed with some unusual "ethnic" dishes that reflect the history of the Market (e.g., kedgeree, adobo). The upsides of the Athenian have to do with its sense of place: (1) it's where the Market wakes up. If you go for breakfast, your companions will be the farmers, fish mongers, stall owners, and shop keepers of the Market. The earlier, the better to catch this ambience. (2) The view is spectacular, and you don't have to pay big bucks to get it. (3) It's very kid friendly. (4) It's old Seattle. Yes, there are other Market spots that get lots of mentions on these boards (e.g., Matt's) and I love them, but the Athenian oozes character and is quintessential Seattle.

              I regularly take out of town visitors there. They're initially taken back by the dive-y atmosphere but quickly "get it" and understand why I chose this place over many other, more renowned, ones.

              Other Market breakfasts worth checking out: Cafe Campagne, which offers bistro French in a cozy and kid-friendly space; Le Pichet, also French, but bar-style, including the tile floor and zinc bar; Lowell's, which is cafeteria style and next door to the Athenian (food is so-so but the view is spectacular); the Crumpet Shop.

              Or you could just wander through the Market and amass what looks interesting and make a picnic.

          2. I know you mentioned you wouldn't take your toddler to a fine dining restaurant but we just got back from Cascadia with our 2.5 yr old and they were extremely kid friendly. I'm always looking for good restaurants that I can take my daughter. The owners have 2 kids of their own. They even had a 3 course kids tasting menu. The first I've ever seen. By far the best kids menu around. My daughter just chose from one of the 5 kids entrees instead of going for the 3 courses. If you and your wife are interested in a nice Pacific Northwest dinner while in town I would definitely recommend going there. Great service, good food and nice atmosphere. We dined early, at 5:30 and the restaurant wasn't busy yet and the food came out very promptly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hollysea

              Kids tasting menu. You're killing me. That's fabulous. There are multiple unexpected master's theses available therein (though in which discipline is unclear - oh, the possibilities...).

            2. For breakfast you can also try The Shanty. It's just north of downtown - probably a $6-$8 cab ride. The place has been around since 1914 and is shabby chic. Comfort food for breakfast and lunch. Eggs Bene of all kinds are great. The have a hash brown, veggie, bacon and cheese dish thar sounds artery clogging, but good. Haven't had the nerve to try it yet. Service is fast and friendly. Fancy? Not at all. Good? You betcha!

              1 Reply
              1. re: firecracker

                That's about 2 miles. For a little broader view of Seattle, take the bus. According to the METRO TRANSIT trip planner (, the 24 leaves from 4th and stewart (right outside the door), and the 18 and the 15 leave from First and Pine, 3 blocks away, and the ride to the Shanty takes 6 minutes. If you'd like more information about the transit system hereabouts, step across the street to Macy's and visit the Transit Information station on the mezzanine of the downtown bus tunnel (check it out). To go really crazy, go up the escalator at Macy's and catch the (buck or two) Monorail to the Seattle Center, then wander across the Center to 1st and Queen Anne, where you will meet-up with those same buses (15,18,24), and can catch them down the hill to the Shanty (950 Elliott - 2 minutes, 0.76 miles).