Relaxed approach to mindful eating

Seattle’s Retreat offers healthy options that nourish both body and mind

Taylor VanLanduyt, Guest Writer

Retreat Cafe’s activated charcoal latte and Mayan bowl. (Gabrialla Cockerell)

Nothing says Seattle more than string lights, brick wall exposures, hanging plants, and big chalkboards with little drawings. The chalkboard that once displayed the menu is now adorned with skateboarders, climbers and runners with blurbs saying “Experiencing the JOY” and “embracing the UNKNOWN.”

Retreat has been the self-professed heart-centered space in the Green Lake area since 2017. Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, Retreat’s drink menu offers an array of coffees, teas, smoothies, wellness lattes and kombuchas on tap. Food options include all day breakfast foods like egg sandwiches or omelets, superfood bowls, toast, sandwiches and soup.

For people over 21, they also offer spirits—wine, beer and cocktails. Their mimosas make a great pair with any breakfast item.

One could certainly go to Retreat everyday for a month and never get the same combination. However, repeat customers may find one item and never explore options outside of it.

In particular, the superfood bowl blends make it difficult for visitors to want to try anything else. For $14, the retreat bowl is a delicious combination of a sunny egg, brown rice, sweet potato, mushroom, arugula and pistachio pesto. Customers have the option of adding chicken and/or avocado for $2 each. The pesto brings the dish together perfectly. The arugula always tastes fresh, and the mild sweet potato brings up warm feelings of home.

For people concerned about overpricing, the portions are large and just as tasty after being reheated. It might not be an everyday stop if people want to have a meal, but the drinks are reasonably priced. Wellness lattes are $5.50, herbal teas are $3.25, and coffees range anywhere from $2.25 to $6.

Wellness lattes include adaptogen, a natural substance that allows the body to adapt to stress. The activated charcoal latte is a fun and adventurous option, including ginger, vanilla syrup and espresso. The grainy, strong, sweet taste is unlike any other blend of flavors..

Any option on the menu makes for a mouth-watering and guilt-free choice. Not only is it healthy, but it is also made with local and organically sourced ingredients.

Retreat’s menu makes it clear how much the company cares about its customers. Coffee shops are notorious study spots, and it feels great to find a place so close to campus whose menu caters to customers’ physical and mental well-being. The staff is warm, friendly and welcoming, making every customer feel fully attended to and cared for.

Thank goodness there are multiple seating options, because Retreat is always full of people visiting. Whether it be students studying, a couple on a first date, a girls get-together or a family night out, Retreat is perfect for any context.

Fall and winter quarters at Seattle Pacific University were full of ups and downs. Halfway through spring quarter, there has been an obvious positive difference in student well-being because the sun is out. Being mindful of eating and drinking habits makes a difference for stress and pressure. To maintain a healthy state of being and mindset, being outdoors and filling bodies with the right options are essential ingredients for making it through the final weeks of school.

After finishing a drink or meal at Retreat, the Green Lake neighborhood is the ideal place for a stroll or run —even in the rain. People could grab a kombucha and sit on a park bench to people-watch. There are endless dogs to pet and geese to watch playing. The entire atmosphere around the restaurant is cleansing for the soul.

Retreat is the perfect place to go. Bring some schoolwork. Take a journal. Get a latte. Sit outside. Let the steam fill your sinuses. And be grateful for supporting a company that believes the wellness journey starts from the inside out.