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Family friendly dining

Meals are a family affair

Declan and Elle enjoy the food and fun at Shake Shake Shake. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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Sometimes it's nice to have a fun, family meal without having to go through the fuss of all the prep work, cooking, and worst of all, the dishes. Fortunately, there are plenty of family friendly restaurants around to remove the above stress. Grab the kids and hit up some of these local hot spots.

What family doesn't like pizza and video games? At Dorky's Arcade on Pacific Ave., parents can introduce their kids to many of the video games of our youth. You know, the ones that actually take quarters. From Pac Man to Centipede and everything in between, Dorky's offers families an energetic atmosphere with plenty of options for everyone at an affordable price. Add your choice of over a dozen toppings or a specialty pizza, including a double-stacked option, and this may become a family favorite of yours.

Dorky's Arcade, 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday; noon to 1 a.m., Sunday, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156

Sometimes a little cheesy is just what a family needs, and if so, Shake Shake Shake is a good place to start. Furnished with the fiberglass seats from the old Elks club bowling alley, parents and their kids can hang out in eclectic and colorful seats underneath the giant light bright-styled EAT sign. Kids can enjoy watching the staff make the hand-scooped shakes from the counter while enjoying an old-time burger, hot dog, or even a corn dog with some fries or crunchy tots.

Shake Shake Shake, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 124 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.507.4060,

Feeding the family in a casual atmosphere does not have to be unhealthy, and at the Antique Sandwich Shop located near Pt. Defiance, you can enjoy a relaxed breakfast or lunch with books, toys, games and even a stage for kids to put on an impromptu show. Additionally, you can rest assured that you are eating healthy with selections such as whole wheat waffles, housemade organic granola, or a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on the menu.

Antique Sandwich Shop, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 5102 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, 253.752.4069,

Nostalgic eats are a great and affordable way for families to dine away from home, and the Cascadia Grill in Olympia has housemade burgers, shakes and other favorites that fit that bill. In addition to steaks, bacon-wrapped kabobs, and fresh seafood choices for Mom and Dad, there is an extensive kids menu that includes mac ‘n cheese, corn dogs and even a pork chop all for just $8. Add a fully dressed shake for a few bucks more and we're talking parent-of-the-year honors.

Cascadia Grill, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 200 4th Ave. W., Olympia, 360.628.8731,

The Ram Restaurant and Brewery, located all across the South Sound, offers a rare family friendly pub environment. A large burger selection that includes a kids' version as well as creative main dishes, sandwiches and seasonal beers for the adults. All of which should be finished off with a giant Mile High Mud Pie for a shared dessert; though the kids may be more interested in the individual-sized ice cream cupcakes. Right now The Ram is offering crispy fried artichoke hearts for a limited time -- get ‘em while you can!

The Ram Restaurant and Brewery, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday-Sunday, Tacoma Waterfront, Lakewood, Puyallup, South Hill, Lacey,

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