University Zoka

The Green Lake mothership, housing its familial pack of adorably dressed patrons in a spacious, rustic sanctuary of wi-fi, gives this U-District condo-insert a bit to live up to. Surprisingly, Junior delivers. Although the coffee is imported from the Green Lake roastery, the sharp, almost acidic purity of flavor that Zokaites crave isn't lost. The caffeine shock wave's complemented (or if the jitters ensue, combated) by a superior selection of cafe food. Avoid the egg-heavy ham, cheese, and veggie quiche ($3.95) in favor of the chicken salad sandwich on an herbed baguette—sharp, grainy mustard stars in this chicken salad recipe, elevating it above the bland abyss of typical coffee shop food ($4.95). UZ's peach pie ($3.45) is underwhelmingly light on flavor but the Zoka bar ($2.15) makes up for it with a dynamic toffee-coconut-chocolate infusion. The space is only small in comparison to its Green Lake counterpart. Tables are often full by day as the families and business partners take five from the grind (the daily workforce grind, that is) and students caffeinate in droves by night. The music selection reflects the crowd so if you come after dinner, be prepared to feel the bass. 2901 N.E. Blakeley St. 206-527-0990. UNIVERSITY DISTRICT. 6 a.m.–midnight daily.

 
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