ah the joy/chaos of hosting your entire family at once. we know how it goes here at RGB, to keep your clan busy and your sanity intact we’ve made a list of our favorite large-group-friendly eats, activities, and places for you to hide when it’s overwhelming. have fun friends and just remember, the holidays don’t last forever… just long enough to drive us all a little crazy.
(stop by our flagship location in Pike Place Market and meet the newest member of our family: mango maté!)
just remember, someone else can always feed you.
there is zero shame in not wanting to do dishes for ten. you already made breakfast, seriously, zero shame. hey, why don’t you guys just go out to eat? when it’s time to feed the whole team we look for communal tables, large spaces, and warm, bustling spaces. the kitchen table at Boat Street Café is awesome for big groups, plus have you eaten at the Boat Street Café? it’s lovely, whether you’re a master epicurean or have proudly eaten steak in over 30 of our united states. and speaking of meat. if your family is into a good burger, take them to Palace Kitchen especially if you’ve got a few different kinds of eaters in your group (vegetarian, carnivore, everyone is going to be happy).
the Corson Building is what it would be like if the secret garden were a restaurant that had chickens and only serves delicious, fresh, locally oriented food. make a reservation so you know they aren’t having a special event, this is a perfect spot for a warm holiday gathering but it is off the beaten path so if they’re already booked up it’s a bummer. if you’re in need of a little sun (and dinner that’s closer to home) take them to Oddfellows on Capitol Hill. the space is huge with super tall windows, and they serve food from breakfast ‘til you need a late night dinner. Oddfellows is euro-style café food, so there is always something for those super picky eaters (every family has one), even if it’s only baguette with jam and coffee.
take out: the humane option
feeding your entire family can be a serious task, and when the work week is still going but your people are hungry, say it with us: take out.
the best thing you can do for your holiday experience is acknowledge that you don’t always have time to cook a wholesome meal for everyone or bake a dozen cupcakes. but hey, if you do, kick ass and more power to you. while most restaurants technically offer take out, some are really built for it. Marination Station (or Marination Ma Kai if you’re in West Seattle) and their tangy Nunya Sauce is the Hawaiian-Korean bomb.com. and they don’t close until 5pm on Christmas Eve, which is just late enough to save the day with sliders, kimchi, and spam for the whole family if things go south with Christmas Eve Dinner.
Little Uncle is a god among thai take out. they post their daily menus online, including all crucial info you need when ordering food at both capitol hill and pioneer square (which is only open for lunch, btw). did they freak out over Little Uncle? okay, now they’re ready. blow some minds with Kedai Maken. (see those ribs? so good.) you can feed the whole bunch and guaranteed once the take out boxes open your Ohioan parents will forget that they have no idea what the heck they’re eating (it’s probably not potatoes, but they’ll try it). worst case scenario you can always grab a friendly drink at a local bar while you wait.
got vegans? grab your take out from Wayward Vegan Café in the university district. Wayward serves food all day, so you can wake up to vegan biscuits and gravy, grab dinner on the way home or even order it from Caviar (as if you had time to pick up food). bonus points if you don’t tell dad it’s vegan, he’ll never know.
oh hey, don’t forget about dessert (and drinks!). we’ve got so many killer options in Seattle but at RGB we especially love the cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. bring home a dozen and wait for the calm. cupcakes can smooth over a surprising number of disagreements. it’s a lot harder for your mother to take issue with your curtains when she’s stuffing cupcakes in her face…
wow, we need a drink.
up the ante on your holiday Bellini by combining white peach rgb and Molly Moon’s riesling sorbet with some bubbles. when it comes to making good things better, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream is where it’s at. their salted caramel ice cream is also available vegan this winter, tell your vegans it’ll revive even their driest pie. and don’t forget Crumble and Flake for pastries, your early rising relatives would happily go pick up some scones for breakfast.
on day drinking
brunch, it’s a thing we’re expected to do, but if your clan has been around long enough, you’re probably thinking more about a drink come Sunday. real talk: Rachel (a veteran server/waiter) hates brunch. if we must brunch, can we not at least drink? if you’re looking to day drink, while also feeding your clan, we suggest Café Presse or Le Pichet in Pike Place Market. their white wine is inexpensive (keep it coming please) and their food is undeniably brunch that your family will enjoy consuming.plus sticking to wine and cheese is completely appropriate at both spots, now that’s brunch we can get down with. the patio at Linda’s Tavern is the place to day drink when it’s even slightly sunny out. your vegan family will love the tofu scramble but you’ll be there for the $20 pitcher of mimosas (if it’s really bad, start with an emergen-c elixer: vodka and emergen-c). if you’re being particularly healthy about it Ba Bar is definitely the best place to day drink, when you want to take good care of yourself while getting toasted at 11am. pho is a life elixir but pho x cocktails? you’re probably going to live forever.
send them on an adventure
as wonderful as your family is, life does not stop because the holidays are happening. there is plenty do in Seattle, whether you want to join them or send the crew off on their own.
there is always something to happening on capitol hill, and with this list of spots in hand they’ll be gone (happily) for hours. do some shopping: Totokaelo and Elliott Bay Books are right next door to each other and both very worth wandering. if you’ve got music buffs in your clan, just send them across the street to Everyday Music. Sugar Pill has great stocking stuffers and it’s full of interesting sweets, salts, herbs, and other apothecary items. if there’s a cold in your midst, make sure to mention it, they’ve got all kinds of things that’ll set them right. and the gift shop at the Frye Art Museum is full of beauty, plus entry to the museum is free.
“so, what’s the deal with these 'thrift shops' in Seattle we’ve been hearing about?” - says everyone’s relatives this year. the Lifelong Aids Alliance Thrift Store is a hidden gem, plus it supports a majorly good cause.
the food enthusiasts (because we don’t use that bad word ‘foodie’) in your clan will lose it over Melrose Market but with this one you really win too. see they’ll bring home cheese from Calf & Kid, charcuterie or maybe sausages they got at Rain Shadow Meats, wine, which was selected with loving hands at Bar Ferdinand, and if you’re super lucky, anything from Taylor Shellfish. of course, if they’re in need of a speedy meal, it’s all about grabbing a slice at Big Mario’s or bagel sandwiches at Eltana (bring home a dozen please! salt is the best).
is it cold outside?
not according to your family from Nebraska. many of Seattle’s farmers markets are open year around, everyone loves Pike Place Market, and so do we! but if you’ve got family over the weekend, why not check out on of our smaller, once a week markets. head out to the University District Farmers Market from 9am – 2pm on Saturday, or the Broadway Farmers Market on Sunday (11am ‘til 3pm).
sometimes the “go play” strategy is just not enough.
sign your whole team up for a cooking class at the Hot Stove Society. if you’ve got one of those majorly huge families you can sign up for a private class, it’s an incredible experience and suddenly there is no excuse for them not helping with dinner (hear that? it’s the sound of you winning). the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour is a super adventure. the only downside? your nieces and nephews will be disappointed to learn that snickers are not fair trade. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is a Seattle classic, but after 31 years, this is its final season. a great one for the kids, make sure they don’t miss their last chance to be mesmerized by the sheer spectacle of it, and mildly traumatized by those giant rats (it’s a tradition, they’ll live).
no but seriously, take care of yourself
hey friend, listen to RGB on this one. when family gets tough, the tough take care of themselves. your favorite cousin would love to go to dinner at Lark, for a drink and some chocolate at The Hideout, or pizza at Delancey, when it’s been one of those nights (start with cocktails at Essex while you wait for a table!)*. if you really need that good alone time (totally normal) book the most important “meeting” you’re going to have all week, and head to Banya 5 or Hothouse Spa for a long soak and a majorly relaxing massage.
Good luck, we’re rooting for you!
*unfortunately Delancey is closed from 12/22 until 1/7, but we honestly just couldn’t bare to omit them from this list because they are like family. yep their pizza is just that good!