Seattle Travel Diary w/ a Toddler + Favorite Eats

seattle family baby friendly travel guide

SAM EDELMAN RUBBER BOOTS 5, FLEECE LINED TIGHTS S, BP ribbed TEE xxs, BR skirt (SIMILAR) // Nori is in T&T jacket and Stride Rite sneakers. Nick is in Sperry boots (updated version)

We love visiting Seattle to see family (and for the occasional hike), but also for the diverse food options! See our last Seattle travel diary during blossom season. This time of year, the foliage and scenes were gorgeous despite rain every single day of our trip. I know, I know it is Seattle but even the locals said it was more rainy than usual. Luckily it gave me the chance to get several raincoat recommendations (brands I saw the most around town were Patagonia, Lululemon, Arctyrex, North Face, Marmot) and I’ll be writing about the ones I tried in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

queen anne seattle fall foliage
seattle kerry park city views
Strolling around Queen Anne // Views at Kerry Park w/ NUNA PIPA carseat (REVIEW), COPPER PEARL COVERYOYO STROLLER (REVIEW)

Where we Ate & ViSited

best poke bowl sushi restaurant seattle fish guys
taco chukis seattle food guide

1. Seattle Fish Guys
This fish market is a little outside of downtown, but worth the detour if you like poke as it was by far my FAVE meal of the trip. It’s reminiscent of some of the markets in Hawaii we visited. Their poke was very fresh, their sashimi platters looked divine on other diners’ tables, and I could hardly believe the deal on their fresh, buttery uni – 3 whole uni in the shell for $10 (seasonal)! Bonus: their Hawaiian mac salad had smoked salmon in it which was surprising but delicious touch.

2. Taco Chukis (high chairs available)
We were in the neighborhood so decided to check out this local favorite which has expanded into a few newer locations. They’re known for their street-style tacos, and the house tacos with adobada is the specialty, which was really good if you like pork and pineapple!

filipino desserts hood bakeshop seattle food guide
ube filipino desserts hood bakeshop seattle food guide

3. Hood Famous Bakeshop
This little Filipino-inspired dessert shop has been on Nick’s must-visit list for over a year now (we didn’t make it last time we were out here), and so we might’ve overindulged juuuuust a little as we tried basically everything. They’re known for the ube (purple yam) cheesecake which has subtle ube flavor. We also enjoyed the calamansi bar (like a lemon bar), ube cookies, and if that wasn’t enough, the next day we stopped by their new Hood Famous Cafe + Bar location in Chinatown/ID, where we sat down and had a delicious longanisa quiche and pandan latte in their small but cute space.

Note the original bakeshop location is just a grab & go window. We stopped by en route to Ballard Farmers Market!

a la mode pies seattle food guide
best ramen noodles seattle food guide

4. A La Mode Pies
Didn’t realize pies were such a thing in Seattle. No complaining here (although our waistlines may have something to say about it). The popular Pie Bar was closed when we were in the area, so we walked to A La Mode after the zoo and got a slice of French apple (a la mode of course) which was delightful and chock full of buttery crumble topping. I might have to bring this tradition of coffee and pie on a rainy afternoon back with me to the east coast.

5. Ramen Danbo (high chairs available)
We’re not experts in the different styles of ramen, but what drew us to this spot in particular was that you could customize all aspects of your ramen: noodle width, texture, salt, spice and fat levels. We both got thick noodles (per the photo above, these would be considered thin at some other places) and loved the chew of those as well as the flavorful broth!

dough zone seattle asian food guide
chinese asian cafe desserts seattle food guide

6. Cafe O’Dessert
There’s a shortage of good Asian dessert places in New England, so we always try to hit up a few whenever we travel. This mom and pop shop had a wide range of everything from dessert soups to shaved ice to grass jelly and sago. But the real item of interest was their homemade milk tea jelly, which we had never tried before and tasted just like milk tea (they said they make all their grass jellies and puddings in house).

7. Dough Zone Dumpling House (high chairs available)
People have such strong opinions about their local food scenes, and this Seattle/Bellevue chain always gets a polarizing response when I story it. For us, it’s usually a solid spot for a casual family meal with less of a wait than at Din Tai Fung (we did a little comparison between the two in this post!).

seattle woodland zoo review toddler activities
baby girl rain jacket seattle toddler play ground
Fun at Woodland Zoo & the Kirkland Tot Lot (in Carter’s rain jacket 18m)

8. Woodland Park Zoo
Maybe it was due to the rain, but it felt like we had the zoo to ourselves and saw all the animals with no crowds! We caught feeding time with the grizzly bears, but the penguins and gorillas were Nori’s favorite. We appreciated how it felt less commercial than some other zoos, and more just like a nice, sprawled out park.

9. Local Playgrounds
We love searching for local playgrounds when traveling, and our favorites this trip were the Tot Lot in Kirkland (wonderful, serene and enclosed neighborhood park scaled down for toddlers!) and the more expansive Imagination Park near the well stocked Bellevue Square Mall.

Added from our January 2020 visit:

Seattle best sushi japonessa omakase10. Japonessa (2 locations)
Popular happy hour spot, but we went specifically to get the omakase platter to share with our family and really loved it. The platters are different every time depending on which chefs make it and the ingredients of the day, and you can ask for your nigiri either with or without toppings and to be made for the number of diners (for example, the above platter was the $100 one made in sets for 3 diners at their Bellevue location). We went back to get the “Lucky 7” omakase during their happy hour and that assortment (again, different each time) was yummy as well!

Where we stayed

If you’re new to Airbnb, here’s a referral code to save on a first stay. We got lucky and loved our clean, family-friendly home rental! It was also very easy to Uber around the region.

Seattle Apartment Rental (sleeps 8 adults with sofa bed; ideal for 6 adults or less)
A super family-friendly townhouse rental on a quiet residential street that’s still close to downtown Seattle. We never had to see the host but he was SUPER responsive and helpful. He had baby safety gates set up prior to arrival, a pack n play, both a high chair and booster chair (which we brought to restaurants that didn’t have high chairs), toddler dishware, as well as other safety gadgets like cabinet locks and outlet plugs. We took Nori to the nearby children’s museum and space needle playground (both walkable). Multiple grocery stores, cafes, and restaurants are also all in walking distance. But the area does feel a little more spread out and the streets felt a little too quiet/dark at night for walking alone.

Seattle-ites – what’s your favorite neighborhood in the area? Any ones especially good for young families with tots?



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Leave a Comment


  1. Lauren wrote:

    Hi Jean! Do you have a post somewhere on ways to keep toddler busy and happy during plane ride?

    Posted 11.13.19 Reply
  2. Ohh so much yummy food 🙂 Thank you for the recommendations! Hahaha definitely need to go to Seattle one of these days!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

    Posted 11.5.19 Reply
  3. Diana wrote:

    Didn’t realize Seattle has such beautiful foliage in the Fall! It’s making me want to visit again 🙂 Thanks for sharing this travel guide.


    Posted 10.26.19 Reply
  4. Rachel I Johnson wrote:

    Beautiful pictures Jean, glad you all had a nice visit.

    Posted 10.25.19 Reply
  5. Michelle wrote:

    Seattle also has tons of kid (& dog) friendly breweries with a rotating schedules of food trucks to enjoy along with the beer. Definitely worth a visit to one the next time you guys are in town. The Kids Quest Museum in Bellevue is also a hit with our two year old.

    Posted 10.25.19 Reply
  6. That ramen looks so delicious!


    Posted 10.25.19 Reply
    • Michelle wrote:

      I live in Seattle in Ballard and I’m so glad you stopped by this neighborhood! The Farmers’ Market is definitely a highlight here, and a lot of the food places you visited are also our favorites (Tacos Chukis, Hood Famous Bake Shop, Ramen Danbo, Dough Zone). If you like poke, I highly recommend Fob Poke. This is my favorite poke place in Seattle + has great bang for your buck (unlimited toppings!). Also recommend stopping by Cafe Besalu (very good French bakery opened by a chef who learned the art of French pastry-making in France) and the Ballard Locks (beautiful gardens, ship locks, and a salmon ladder in the summer months). I’m glad you and your family had a fun visit—and I agree with the other locals that the past few weeks have been rainier than usual! 😀 Cheers!

      Posted 10.25.19 Reply
  7. Raven wrote:

    Happy to see this! I just moved away after spending my whole life in Seattle — zero regrets about leaving, but I do miss some spots like Dough Zone and those views of downtown from Queen Anne. 😍

    Posted 10.24.19 Reply
    • Kate wrote:

      I love visiting Seattle! Thanks for sharing all the yummy food destinations can’t wait to get a chance to try some of them. Hope you had a lovely trip wish your family!

      Posted 10.24.19 Reply
      • Anonymous wrote:

        I live in Seattle and glad you were able to make a visit to the other coast =) If you haven’t made a trip to the south side, there are some beautiful and toddler friendly parks- Seward Park are Gene Coulon Park are personal favorites of mine and my two toddlers.

        Posted 10.25.19 Reply
        • Maria wrote:

          Agree about the south end of Seattle. It’s a great place! 🙂

          Posted 10.26.19 Reply

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