Bite of Seattle

SPU students’ favorite places to eat, revealed

Hailey Echan, Features Editor

Knowledge and secrets of the best places to go to around campus have been passed down from student to student. Although on-campus places hardly ever fail to provide quality food, getting off campus to experience a variety of food, drinks, and sweets is a great way to take advantage of Seattle Pacific University’s location.

The city of Seattle is full of noteworthy places to eat. A bountiful amount of these places are within arms reach of Seattle Pacific University’s campus.

a green map with icons marking student voted favorite spots to eat
Seattle Pacific students have a number of beloved places to grab a bite. (Marissa Lordahl)

This summer the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL) at SPU hosted a competition via social media that involved the popular places to eat and grab coffee around campus. Yikhwan Dillard, Assistant Director of OSIL, conducted and oversaw the voting competition on Instagram.

“We wanted to highlight opportunities near SPU to our incoming students and/or our students that haven’t tried one of these businesses,” Dillard said via email.

The competition was divided into five sections: favorite coffee shops, favorite late night eats, favorite sweet shops, favorite bubble tea, and favorite bakeries.

To start off the tournament, a stand-off between staple coffee shops around Seattle took place. Miir and Milstead represented the neighborhood of Fremont, located across the canal. Starbucks, Cafe Ladro, El Diablo, and La Marzocco represented Queen Anne. After SPU students voted passionately, it came down to the final two: El Diablo and Milstead.

El Diablo came out on top as students’ favorite coffee shop near campus. For over 20 years El Diablo has served their famous Mexican Mochas and breakfast burritos.

Although it beat out the rest of the coffee shops, due to COVID-19, El Diablo has made the hard decision to close. A great option in place of El Diablo would be the runner up, Milstead Coffee Co. in Fremont.

Students not only appreciate the coffee Milstead serves, but also cherish the memories made there. Junior computer science major, Ethan Meyer, holds a special memory at that coffee shop.

“I had my first date with my girlfriend of almost two years at Milstead. Turns out we both don’t like coffee but their cider hit the spot. We ended up staying ‘til closing. It’s a great place for conversation, hanging out, and getting to know people better,” Meyer said.

Early morning coffee–or cider–is always appreciated, but students also enjoy the occasional late night bite.

Landing in first place in front of Oasis Tea Zone and Tacos Chukis, Dick’s Drive-In won the hearts of SPU students.

On a cold rainy night, students flock to Dick’s Drive-In for a milkshake, fries, and often a classic Dick’s cheeseburger. This burger joint has been known to be a great stop for study-breaks, sustenance after a campus event, or just a place to grab food at a low price when the C-store closes down for the night.

Dick’s is open until 2am and has many locations in Seattle, with the closest ones being located in the neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Wallingford.

After grabbing some fries and a burger, if students feel a sweets craving coming on, the preferred place to go is Molly Moons.

In the OSIL Instagram tournament, Molly Moon’s out dueled Salt & Straw, Frankie and Jo’s, Hot Cakes, and Cupcake Royal. Students like senior ecology major, Morgan Jenney, appreciate the employees, their energy, and of course, their ice cream.

“Molly Moon’s is my favorite ice cream in Seattle first and foremost because they are committed to being a nut-free company, which is great for a gal like myself with a severe nut allergy!” Jenney said. “There are also vegan and gluten-free options. The scoopers are so kind and the stores have really happy energies. If you aren’t vegan or dairy free, the absolute best flavor is the Yeti!”

Ice cream is not always what students crave, but there are plenty of other options. Continuing in the competition, the next up was the best place for bubble tea.

There are several local businesses that serve up bubble tea in the surrounding Seattle area, but as students began to vote it became clear that Oasis Tea Zone is the favorite.

Claiming victory over Moo Bar, 20 oz Tea, Young Boba, and Sharetea, Oasis welcomes in students most frequently in Capitol Hill and U-District. Oasis offers their renowned popcorn chicken alongside a variety of bubble tea flavors late into the night.

Bakeries surrounding campus were pinned against each other in the last round of OSIL’s tournament.

Byen Bakeri, an SPU student staple, takes it home with their famous Scandinavian pastries and desserts. Beating out seven other local bakeries, Byen proudly serves SPU students on a daily basis.

Conveniently located on Nickerson, just a short walk from campus, it is often a spot for students to meet professors and other students in between classes. Luckily, Byen has stayed open through the pandemic and as for now, will continue to stay open during the school year.

Conducting this competition in the summer in a time where most students had been living off campus for a while created opportunities for planning future hang-outs off campus as well as staying in contact while students were scattered across the globe.

“We wanted students to continue to engage and remember those special places where they’ve built meaningful moments,” Dillard said.

Follow @spu_osil on Instagram for more tournaments, giveaways, and information on events throughout the year.