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Essential Travel Tips: Top Family-Friendly Restaurants with Outside Seating

White clapboard buildings along a sidewalk

A San Juan Island vacation offers plenty of family-friendly activities, but as you plan your trip you may also want to know more about some of the restaurants that will satisfy your whole crew. We are here to give you the inside scoop on the most welcoming restaurants that offer true Pacific Northwest cuisine – from fresh local seafood dishes, fish and chips, and many other offerings. Our seaside town of Friday Harbor has something for everyone to enjoy.


A Family-Friendly Restaurant with a View: Downriggers

Locals love to come to Downriggers with their families and visiting guests. The restaurant offers true Pacific Northwest cuisine served alongside one of the best views of the harbor.

Downriggers first opened its doors in 1986 in the same spot where it sits today. However, the restaurant experienced a devastating fire that destroyed the building in 2013. They were able to reopen their doors in 2016 with a fully renovated and upgraded space.

Downriggers offers both a beautiful inside seating area and then of course the outside patio with memorable views. If you are traveling with a large party, they are more than happy to accommodate everyone. Downriggers is a from-scratch kitchen, producing homemade gnocchi dishes, pastas, fresh local seafood, and much more. Some favorites on the menu are the chicken gorgonzola salad, market fish specials, and the scallop gnocchi. If you are looking for a burger, no need to worry. They offer a 1/2 lb. Wagyu burger and a more traditional burger kicked up a notch with bacon jam. If you are traveling with smaller children, they offer a kid’s menu which they can color on as well. The staff here is always inviting and extremely friendly.

This is the spot to sit and take in the harbor views, all while enjoying your meal.

Family-Friendly Restaurants - Market Chef

The Perfect Lunch Spot: Market Chef

When visiting Market Chef, you will notice small children ogling over the case of fresh items they offer daily. A special hit with the kids is the shop’s housemade five cheese mac and cheese.

Market Chef is fully committed to being a from-scratch, farm-to-table lunch spot, and you will always find local produce being used. In the fresh case, they even tell you what farms produced the ingredients they used in making the product.

The quality of food that owners/chefs Laurie and Paul produce is one that cannot be beat. Everything they do is bursting with flavor. The only problem you will have here is not being able to decide what to get. They offer a variety of items, including artisanal deli sandwiches as well as sides to accompany your lunch, coffee drinks, salads, soups, and (oh my, yes!) extra large bakery-style cookies.

This is a must stop for lunch while you are staying in Friday Harbor. You can either eat your lunch outside at the restaurant in their back garden area and patio, or take it to go for a picnic at the beach.

Family-Friendly Restaurants - San Juan Island Brewery

You Deserve This One: San Juan Island Brewing Company

San Juan Island Brewing Company is the spot to sit back, eat some great pub food, enjoy a beer, and let the kids run around outside. The brewery has food for everyone to enjoy, including freshly baked pretzels, wood-fired pizzas, and much more. If you aren’t a fan of beer, they also offer a selection of hard ciders, as well as organic sodas to choose from.

The Brewery opened in 2017 with the idea of creating a space for great beer, good food, and a place that everyone in the community could enjoy. When visiting the brewery, you’ll notice kids playing large-scale Jenga and other games together in the grass and making new friends during their meal. This is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of hiking around the island. Your entire family will have a great time here.

We cannot wait to host you in our family-friendly accommodations at The Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites. We offer a phenomenal gourmet breakfast in the morning made from scratch by Breakfast Chef Jessica. You will be able to greet each morning by enjoying a hot entree delivered to your door, plus housemade yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. If you need help with restaurant reservations, just ask our friendly innkeepers. We are eager to meet you all!

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Recognized by Travel & Leisure Magazine

We have been humbly recognized by Travel & Leisure Magazine as the best place to stay when visiting Friday Harbor and San Juan Island.

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