Volunteer Park Café
1501 17th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
I went here with fellow cohorts Laura Schick and Stefanie Graen. First of all, the atmosphere is absolutely charming. Set at the edge of Volunteer Park (hence the name), the café was originally a home, contributing to the cozy feeling. We were seated at a small table by the window with a bench full of fluffy cushions to lean against. There is a large table in the center of the room for large parties or they will seat smaller parties there for a more European feeling. We sampled a *wide* variety of items and loved them all. We wished that our stomachs would expand so that we could eat even more. The salad with candied walnuts, pears and blue cheese; the macaroni and cheese with gruyere; the pizza with pesto and sundried-tomatoes; the antipasto platter with cheese and hummus and roasted veggies; and warm bread. Our favorite, however, was the chocolate lava cake served warm with the central well of dripping hot fudge. Everything served there is made with fresh local and regional items. In addition, the menu changes seasonally. Bring friends, bring your family, bring your partner – and bring your credit card. We spent close to $150 for the 3 of us, although that did include wine, appetizers, and desserts.
500 NW Market St., Seattle WA 98107
If you like thin crust, wood-fired pizza, then this is the place for you! Grab the 44 bus from campus and head into Ballard for some fabulous pizza. I tried the “earth pie” with roasted garlic olive oil, fresh mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese. It is often crowded, so be prepared to wait if you want a table. However, you can also buy it by the slice. They strive to use local ingredients whenever possible. You can also find them at the Ballard farmers market on Sundays. A word of warning – they are closed on Tuesdays. Average price = $20 per pie.
2366 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
If you are looking for good Italian food, look no further. As a further bonus, they stay open late and are not all that far from campus! For starters, try the tomato cream soup. Even if you do not normally like tomato soup, you will probably like this one. I did. Any of the pastas are also highly recommended. I particularly like the linguine con pesto di peperone rosso (red pepper pesto). They also serve tapas, so it is fun to go with a small group and try many different items. Average tapas price = $7-10, average entrée price = $15-20.