Whether you're in town for big brother's soccer tournament or a local just figuring out how to navigate the food scene with a little one, it's always nice to get an inside scoop on where to take young ones out to eat with minimal stress. Below are a few of my tried-and-true spots in the Wenatchee Valley where my family of three has enjoyed a meal from start to finish with ease.The Pybus Public Market (3 N. Worthen St., Wenatchee) offers several great options for parents dining with small children. The secret—dining al fresco! There’s something about eating in the fresh air that takes the stuffiness and stress out of feeding your children in public. Also, if you do end up eating inside, the hustle and bustle of the market will drown out any sudden meltdowns or tantrums. Here are a few of my go-to spots at Pybus:
- South- It’s one of my favorite sights—a fistful of “Wikki Stix” being set down in front of my three-year-old while a freshly-made basil margarita is placed in front of me. These magical little plastic sticks will keep your kids entertained long enough for your fresh Latin American entrees to arrive. Even the kids’ menu offers some simple yet tasty Latin options, but don’t worry—your trusty quesadilla is on there, too.
- Café Columbia- Three out of the four seasons out on Café Columbia’s patio are perfect for enjoying a coffee or tea and one of their many delicious baked goods or breakfast wraps. There is chalk for you little Picassos to decorate the patio with and the shortbread cookies rotate through fun seasonal shapes which always entice little eyes. They offer a fabulous soup, salad and sandwich selection for lunch, too. You can enjoy a sophisticated specialty sandwich while your tot pokes holes in his grilled cheese to make a mask—it’s a win-win.
- Fire- We often choose Fire because as an Italian restaurant they offer two things my son loves the most: carbohydrates and cheese. They provide children with a coloring page and a special menu that is every picky eater's dream while grown-ups can enjoy an authentic selection of wood-fired pizzas, pastas and salads, all made from fresh local ingredients. With plenty of room on the patio to not feel like you’re sitting on the next family’s lap, Fire is a fantastic choice for all.
Saddlerock Pub & Brewery (25 N. Wenatchee Ave., inside the Grand Central Building)- Outside of Pybus is another favorite—nestled slightly off the beaten path in downtown Wenatchee, the Saddlerock Pub & Brewery is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner with small ones. There are two large tables surrounded by comfy couches that provide plenty of room for kids to belly up and use the crayons, coloring books and games made available by the pub.For whatever reason, my toddler is more eager to eat here when he can stand at the tables. Maybe it keeps him more focused, I'm not sure, but I do know that I enjoy getting to sit on a plush leather couch and eat my own meal while easily keeping him within arm's reach. Can we all agree it takes the pressure off when kids aren’t expected to stay seated in the first place?The Saddlerock Pub & Brewery has a great selection of appetizers that are kid-friendly. They offer some tasty pizza choices, from the ever-popular plain cheese to my personal favorite, the Wenatchee (smoked bacon and apple). The beer line-up never disappoints and the friendly “Beer Ninjas” (wait staff) are always welcoming and attentive. When Momma just needs a beer, keep Saddlerock in mind.