Dining with Kids

South Sound bites to make everyone smile

When our boys were small, most of our dinners out involved the kind of place where you can order by number.

It just didn’t make sense to us to spend a lot of money on kids who only wanted food shaped like nuggets, and we certainly didn’t want to take them to a place with linen tablecloths and candlelight.

Happily, in recent years we’ve discovered a number of area spots that have eats or ambiance that appeal to grownups while still serving kid-friendly fare. Here are some of our favorite South Sound destinations for young foodies and their favorite grownups.

Brew Pubs and Bars

Yep, there are a number of area watering holes where you can take the kids. And, no, they won’t need fake ID.

Three Magnets Brewing Company, Olympia
This spot in downtown Olympia has a bar for adults and a restaurant space open to all ages. There’s plenty kids will like on the menu, along with interesting choices for grownups, including a variety of flat breads, and oysters on the half shell.

7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
You can bring your own food in, or purchase some from the food truck outside. Grownups can enjoy one of their craft beers in the large, casual space.

The Hub, Gig Harbor and Tacoma
The Gig Harbor location is at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, so kids have tons to look at. Food includes elevated pub grub, with lots of weekly specials. Kids 10 and under eat free on Fridays with the purchase of an adult meal. The Tacoma location offers the same deal on Wednesdays.

Odd Otter Brewing Company, Tacoma
This Pacific Avenue spot doesn’t serve its own food, but you’re welcome to bring in any you want — making this a great option for families with fussy eaters, and grownups who like to get their craft brew on. Kids are welcome until 8 p.m.

Other Spots to Check Out

Other spots worth trying include The Loose Wheel in Puyallup, Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma, and The Dog and Pony in Renton (featured on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible). Check for the kid-friendly hours before you go.

Surprisingly Kid Friendly Where to go for Grandma’s birthday dinner?

Anthony’s at Point Defiance is nice enough to impress but doesn’t feel pretentious. Big and little diners alike will enjoy the view, and skilled servers keep things running smoothly here — a must when dining with kids.

Adriatic Grill gives young diners balls of dough to play with, and serves Italian specialties that please the palates of kids and adults. Who doesn’t like meatballs?

Let’s Do Brunch! Breakfast and brunch-style food is always popular with kids, and maybe mom and dad can grab a mimosa!

The Buttered Biscuit in Sumner serves large mouthwatering portions of food, and proves they love families by keeping extra diapering supplies in the restrooms.

Café Brouseau in Tacoma’s North End offers espresso and wine for the grownups, and juice and soda for kids. Menu items include something for everyone, too, from paninis to grilled hot dogs. There also is a selection of toys, and gluten-free choices on the menu.

Take at trip with your taste buds. We’ve found our kids to be open to a surprising variety of ethnic cuisine.

Gateway To India on Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue has been a winner with area families for generations who rave about its tasty food and reasonable prices.

Peanut Sauce Thai near the Tacoma Mall wins applause for its friendly service and tasty renditions of traditional Thai favorites.

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