College Students, please excuse this interruption from your last weeks of summer! The first day of fall quarter at the University of Washington is just around the corner on September 28th, and you’ll be finalizing your back-to-school details any day now. On move-in day, the last thing you want to be thinking about is where to get some post-move-in food, and since Mom and Dad are likely to be tagging along, you’ll need a restaurant that they’ll enjoy, too.
Here are the Where to Eat Guide’s parent-worthy spots for back-to-school dining, in order by proximity to the UW...
Cedar’s Restaurant | 4759 Brooklyn Ave NE | 206-527-4000
Since 1974, Cedar’s has been serving authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine from a historic Seattle Heritage Home site on Brooklyn Avenue in the University District. If any local restaurant has been a decades’ old staple for UW students, this is it. Since it’s family-owned and operated, the family-friendly vibe is a sure thing. Introduce Mom and Dad to the exotic flavors of tandoori, tabboleh, samosas, shish kabab, tikka masala… there are lots of options to choose from. Cedar’s servings are also pretty large, which makes for tasty leftovers to stock your dorm room mini fridge!
Mamma Melina Ristorante & Pizzeria | 5101 25th Ave NE | 206-632-2271
Traditional Italian fare is a crowd favorite, which is an important consideration when dining with family. Although Mamma Melina hasn’t been in business nearly as long as Cedar’s, 20 years is nothing to shake a stick at. Nibble from the wide range of seasonal antipasti options, savor the rich housemade pastas (prepared daily), enjoy a flavorful selection of apple wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, and relish the authentic meat and seafood entrees. If the parents are treating you to a special meal to move you back-to-school, Mamma Melina’s is the place to go.
Elemental Pizza in University Village | 2634 NE University Village St | 206-524-4930
Casual and delicious, Elemental Pizza offers 12-inch individual wood fired pizzas that are made to order with fresh, almost exclusively locally-sourced ingredients. From classics like the Margherita or Quattro Formaggi, to veggie-only and meaty pies, Elemental Pizza gets down to the basics of what makes wood-fired pizza absolutely amazing. Plus, they offer an option to make any pizza with a gluten-free crust if you or a family member needs or prefers.
Julia’s of Wallingford | 4401 Wallingford Ave N | 206-633-1175
Unlike Julia’s Capitol Hill location (which we definitely recommend for their weekly weekend drag performances), Julia’s of Wallingford is a bit more like your comfortable small-town neighborhood diner, with an upgrade on the quality of food and drink. Enjoy a delicious family brunch (served until 3 p.m.) of breakfast classics, huevos rancheros, omelets or burritos. Or, stop by for dinner to fill up on traditional salads, burgers and sandwiches, and delicious Pacific Northwest inspired entrees. There’s something for everybody, and the desserts are fantastic (they have a bakery on-site for all baked goods)!
Duke’s Chowder House at Green Lake | 7850 Green Lake Dr. N. | 206-522-4908
Give your parents a look at all of the fun outdoor activities you’ll be enjoying at nearby Green Lake, and introduce them to the delicious seafood dishes at Duke’s Chowder House on the north end of the lake. Duke’s is a local favorite, with locations at Alki, South Lake Union, Kent Station, Southcenter and Tacoma in addition to the Green Lake spot. Their menu features a wide range of favorite seafood dishes, sumptuous salads, gourmet sandwiches and burgers, and five different chowders! If your parents are in from out of town, Duke’s Chowder House is a great stop to showcase the seafood bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
Uneeda Burger | 4302 Fremont Ave N | 206-547-2600
For the casual, satisfying lunch on move-in day, Uneeda Burger in north Fremont will hit the spot. Over the past 6+ years, this roadside-style burger shack has been grilling up some amazing burgers, making it a prime destination for those craving a big, juicy meal. The joint uses all-natural beef from Painted Hills, but you can substitute with 100% pasture-raised beef from Gleason Ranch for a small surcharge. Go classic, or enjoy one of their signature ⅓-pound burgers like the Philly Smash (charred peppers and onions, gruyere, and special sauce). Sandwiches, soups, salads and sides are also available. Add a float or shake, made with Snoqualmie gourmet ice cream, to wash it down!
Blue Moon Burgers in Fremont | 703 N 34th St, Fremont | 206-547-1907
For more variety and additional vegetarian burger options, best head to Blue Moon Burgers in Fremont. In addition to offering 8 signature burgers (with musts like The Code Blue: two patties with four slices of cherrywood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, peanut butter, sweet red onions and the special Blue Moon sauce), you can build your own burger creation! Vegetarian or gluten-free? Go for the spicy black bean patty, which is amazing, or their falafel patty. Blue Moon’s Paleo Burger is pretty delicious as well, with ⅓-pound patty, bacon, a fried egg, red onions and Blue Moon sauce in a lettuce wrap - and it’s gluten-free. Looking for something new? Blue Moon rotates a Burger of the Month with a featured monthly side and shake to keep your taste buds guessing.