Find Posts By Topic

Would you like an outdoor table? More al fresco dining spots are on its way to Seattle!

Streatery outside Lost Lake on Capitol Hill

Sidewalk cafes are spaces on the sidewalk used for outdoor dining.


It’s a space for you to enjoy a drink or food outside. Not only are they fun for everyone around Seattle to enjoy, but they provide economic support to businesses and activate our streets. Businesses who are interested in having a sidewalk café will need a permit with us. We’ve managed the sidewalk café program for nearly ten years.


~400 restaurants have permits for sidewalk cafes, & the popularity of the program is growing.


As the program expands, we’ve heard your feedback and identified opportunities to make it even better.


We’ve spent the last year reviewing our existing requirements to develop a legislative proposal to improve the program. Here’re some of the key aspects that we’ve identified.


  • Allow cafés in more locations around Seattle.
  • Formalize pilot programs to allow fence free cafes and cafes in the curb space of the street (these are known as streateries).
  • Update design standards to make it easier to walk on sidewalks.


Skillet’s sidewalk cafe on 6th Ave

These new standards will apply to all new café applications. If you already have a sidewalk cafe permit, you will not be directly impacted. However, when a business with an existing café permit changes ownership, the new owner will have the choice to apply for either a permit transfer of the existing café (keeping the same café design) or to apply for a new café permit (which would follow the new standards).


We’re all ears, Seattle. Tell us what you think.


Read up on the details on our fact sheet. The full documents of the ordinance and draft Director’s Rule are also available on our webpage. You’re invited to provide comments on the Determination of Non-Significance. Comments are accepted in any of the following ways:


Seattle Department of Transportation

Street Use – Public Space Management

P.O. Box 34996

Seattle, WA  98124-4996


Comments must be provided no later than 5 PM on Monday, April 22, 2019.  Appeals must be submitted no later than 5 PM on Monday, April 29, 2019. Details about the appeals process can be found in the Determination of Non-Significance posted on our webpage.


Gif via


Thanks for sharing your thoughts as we support businesses in providing more outdoor seating across Seattle!