Picnics galore

Students recommend their favorite parks and local restaurants for National Picnic Day

Micah Lim, Staff Reporter

Illustration by Micky Flores-Nieves

Seattle spring has sprung!

Compared to the grey gloom of long winter months, sunny forecasts and blooming tulips create a strong urge to go outside and enjoy the springtime air. As today is National Picnic Day, it seems appropriate to explore what places students prefer for picnic eats and views.

Sofia Struiksma, a junior nursing major, recognizes that SPU’s campus is conveniently near some of Seattle’s most popular parks.

“I’ve been on a picnic near Gasworks park. It’s right near the water, has lots of parking, and it’s a walkable distance from SPU,” said Struiksma. Kerry Park is also nice. It’s smaller, but the view is really great. Lastly, Discovery park is also great but you may need a car to get there.”

With each park comes a different experience, but parks are not the only option. Many beaches around the Seattle area offer the opportunity to enjoy a picnic off the coast. A water taxi to Alki or a bonfire at Golden Gardens are popular and inexpensive day trips.

Wherever the picnic may be, food is a must and students at SPU each have their preferred favorite. On The Falcon’s Instagram story, restaurants duked it out in a popularity contest. In the final four, Mod Pizza wiped the floor with Subway and Chipotle took out Lucky’s Pho. In a close race between 156 votes and 107 votes, MOD Pizza won the battle of the most popular picnic food.

Regardless of winners and losers, all the restaurants warrant themselves as convenient to-go options for outside dining.

Jamie Hoffman, a junior psychology major, nominated Stoneway Café for the contest and adamantly praises the restaurant for its food.

“One of my favorite places to get a to go meal would be Stoneway Café. They have amazing food with plenty of options,” said Hoffman. “It is close to Gasworks and has the best breakfast burritos and so many more delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

While Stoneway resides in the Fremont area, Struiksma recommends other places around Fremont and Queen Anne avenue.

“From PCC, they have a deli section with pizza, sandwiches, and salads. Going to Gasworks, I usually pick up their mozzarella caprese sandwich and a kombucha or tea,” said Struiksma. “Other places I’d recommend would be Homegrown and Sushi Samurai.”

With food and parks so easily accessible, a picnic offers a perfect outing without the need for intensive planning. Freshmen Andrew Richards, a business major, and James Goetz, a communications major, took a few hours of their freetime to have a simple picnic at Cal Anderson park in Capitol Hill.

“Me and James had a tote bag and we threw in a speaker, a beach towel, and took the bus to get some food,” said Richards.

For food to go, Goetz vouched for Lucky’s pho.

“If you’re ever in Fremont you can run in real quick. I know you’re probably going in for pho, but the bánh mì sandwiches are really good there,” said Goetz.

Richards also noted the possibility of having a picnic on SPU’s campus.

“If you wanted to find some place around here, by the canal seems like a cool place and definitely Tiffany Loop too. For on campus food, Bertona Street Grill is really slept on. The burgers there are delicious,” said Richards.

Even though the sun is out and picnics are possible, it is still important to mask up and social distance in public. Hoffman promotes picnics but more importantly, safety.

“If you decide to have a little picnic during COVID, I would try to go on days or hours that aren’t as popular to go out, then you can avoid the large crowds and have a nice quiet day,” said Hoffman.

All in all, continue to live safely and responsibly. Struiksma knows that despite vaccines and phase three, maintaining COVID-19 safety is important.

“Be mindful of people around you and again, if you’re going to be with your friends, being with roommates is best because you’re living together. Keep your mask on, wash your hands, and bring disinfecting wipes,” said Struiksma.