Back To School 2016
Whether you're fleeing a shitty frat party at 2 a.m., grabbing a bite between classes, or just needing a break from the standard cafeteria fare, Seattle's hoods have plenty of food offerings that won't break the bank.
The University District is laden with affordable food options at any time of day. Hangry after class? Get a gyro. Stoned out of your mind? Get a gyro. It's practically a neighborhood requirement for Huskies to go to Aladdin's Gyro-cery and Deli (4143 University Way NE) at least once during their university career. This cash-only hole-in-the-wall has plenty of options for veggies and carnivores alike. Their falafel is never dry, their service is always friendly, and their baklava is always stupidly delicious.
For a sweet-tooth fix, head up the street to Mee Sum Pastry (4343 University Way NE). Pick up warm and fluffy pineapple and custard buns alongside your favorite type of bubble tea. (Pro tip: Get custard, not tapioca balls.) Fellow California transplants can satisfy their In-N-Out fix at CaliBurger (4509 University Way NE), a strangely accurate imitation of the CA-based chain. Their "Cali fries," aka animal-style fries, make for the best drunchies (that's drunk munchies, y'all).
Because Capitol Hill has evolved into the city's bar district, it has a ton of great spaces to grab a bite. Vegans and bacon lovers alike can find something to drool about at Freddy Junior's (1513 Broadway). The burger joint has quick, friendly service and, unlike most fast-food joints, has mo'fucking delicious vegan Field Roast patties. Indecisive folks can mix and match sliders and hot dogs, too.
If burgers aren't your thing, look no further than Rancho Bravo (1001 E Pine St) and Bimbo's Cantina (1013 E Pike St), both Mexican food stops with very different vibes—one is housed in a former KFC and more suited for a quick bite, and the other is darkly lit with big booths for lounging. Need to shove as many carbs into your mouth-hole as possible? Grab a burrito bowl from Rancho Bravo and slather it in sour cream and cilantro-heavy salsas. (Make sure not to skip out on their pickled peppers and carrots!) If you have time to wait, get an order of Bimbo's fish tacos or swing by for happy hour (all day on Mondays!) for snack-size bean burritos or a half-order of nachos.
And what would any college rec list be without pizza? For 'za that will satisfy all your hip friends' dietary restrictions, head to Sizzle Pie (1009 E Union St) for vegan, gluten-free, and/or meat-laden slices. Not full enough? No prob. Order up a "cut," a half-slice of pizza for $2.
Folks living on the south end have the whole International District to explore including fried shrimp dumplings from Jade Garden’s (424 7th Ave S) dim sum carts, custard and pear pastries at Fuji Bakery (526 S. King St.), and steaming banh mi sandwiches and frosty avocado shakes at Seattle Deli (225 12th Ave S). Head to local gems Thai Curry Simple (406 5th Ave S) and Szechuan Noodle Bowl (420 8th Ave S) for some of the city’s best thai green curry and bowls of ropy noodles and crispy scallion pancakes ($2.50). Nearby, find Taco Bus, aka: Tacos El Asadero (3513 Rainier Ave S) for delicious shrimp ceviche tostadas ($2.50) and food coma-inducing burritos ($4).
For those of you on the North End, don't skip over Tiko Riko (10410 Greenwood Ave N) for some of the best pupusas you've ever eaten. Be sure to wash those down with a glass of agua de jamaica.