Courtesy of the City of Vancouver

If you haven’t been across the Columbia to Vancouver, aka the Couve, lately, you’re in for a sweet family-friendly surprise. Vancouver has so much to offer from ooey-gooey waffles, local fish and chips to a NY-style vegan slice and pinball. These family food spots pair perfectly with summer fun.

3 Peaks Public House & Taproom and Pacific NW Best Fish Co. Cafe

Courtesy of 3Peaks Public House & Taproom

A taproom might sound strange as a family-friendly choice, but this location is so much more. 3 Peaks is the home of an amazing large fenced backyard where parents can enjoy a pint while the kids kick a soccer ball or toss bean bags. And if you’re hungry,the taproom shares the property with the Pacific NW Best Fish Co., home to a local favorite style of fish and chips too. The flavors don’t mirror my family’s British roots , but you’ll rarely see the walk-up window without a line. Additional food carts are on site including barbecue and hot dogs. There’s also an outdoor stage, where events happen throughout the year.

Syrup Trap Waffles and Coffee

Courtesy of Syrup Trap Waffles and Coffee

What family doesn’t want to choose from waffles, waffles, and more deliciously topped waffles? The Syrup Trap specializes in Liège waffles (pronounced lee-age) which is a yeast-leavened waffle topped with crispy Belgian sugar. Highlights of the waffle bar include your choice of sweet, savory, or build-your-own. Standout selections of this family favorite include treats such as Second Breakfast (brie, prosciutto ham, D’Anjou pear) and JG2 (blueberries, lemon curd, whipped cream).

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The Megabite

Courtesy of The Megabite

Much like one of my favorite science fiction series, Megabite is “bigger on the inside.” A local spot with a rather unassuming exterior, the inside shouts with retro love from collectibles to arcade games to your favorite ’80s and ’90s decor. My child’s favorite is the affordably-priced gaming system that allows him to spend quarters on a Goat Simulator while we dine on pizza and fish and chips. Our family also loves the giant Space Invaders arcade game. The location also features complimentary coloring pages, a fish tank with your favorite Spongebob-themed decor,  and a claw machine where “everyone wins.”

Hungry Sasquatch

Courtesy of the Hungry Sasquatch

Pizza by the slice and lots of pinball machines, too — what’s not to love? The Hungry Sasquatch is  a downtown restaurant in three parts: There’s the eatery serving slices and whole pies,, the game area with pinball machines, and the adult beverage section in a third connected-but-separate area called the Thirsty Sasquatch. The separation between areas is ideal for adults who want to do one thing at a time and keep kids focused until the food is gone. Both appetizers and New York-style pizzas also come in vegan and vegetarian options.

McMenamins on the Columbia

Courtesy of McMenamins on the Columbia

Portland families are no strangers to McMenamins, and this Vancouver location mirrors the brand’s namesake decor and food, including the kid’s menu and coloring pages. This Columbia riverfront location is a standout for families based on location alone. Overlooking the great river, you can watch ships pass or sea lions and seals stretch out during the season. Pro tip: For families who love bike rides, this makes an excellent end-of-the-road stop as the restaurant borders the long waterfront path connecting to Vancouver’s downtown. Grab that scooter, take a stroll, or pack up for this stop on a family day outside.

Kate Hagan Gallup
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