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Eaters may claim their favorite dessert is chocolate babka or lemon meringue pie, but milkshakes are the only sweets consistently endorsed by doctors. A milkshake is the recommended post-tonsillectomy snack, and when orthodontists snap braces on their patients' teeth, they suggest a milkshake diet to tide them over until their toothaches subside.
But you don't need a medical excuse to grab a spoon and straw. We present here 10 other good reasons to eat a milkshake. The milkshake makers are listed in no particular order (other than the winning shake, which is seated in the top spot), and Erin Thompson compiled our contributors' comments.
*See AlsoSeattle's Top 10 Burgers
The sheer variety of milkshakes on Pick-Quick Drive In's menu alone is worth the long-ish drive to either Auburn or Fife. (Fife, the original location, has been serving up burgers and shakes since 1949). There are two sections: Classic Flavors, comprised of your standard vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, plus a sweet and fruity peach, and some other flavors that we wouldn't call classic--have you ever had a lime or marshmallow milkshake? Special Flavors are $0.35 extra; the most special option is the Blisscotti, made with the Montreal gourmet cookies.
Smokey's in Burien has all the ambiance of a prison cell, but its burgers are good enough to be last-meal-worthy. That meal wouldn't be complete unless it was finished off with one of Smokey's ultra-thick milkshakes. There are a variety of fruity flavors--pineapple, banana, strawberry--as well as chocolate and butterscotch for the true sweet-tooths, and they're all as straightforward and satisfying as the burgers.
It's de rigueur for an American diner to serve milkshakes. Skillet allows its customer to put their own spins on the classic shake--order a chocolate or vanilla and, for $0.50 more, get them to add a swirl of nutella, banana, peanut butter, or malt. The peanut butter addition is a particular treat--they use chunky instead of smooth, giving the shake more texture and a bit of a salty kick. It'll cost a little more than $0.50, but a shot of bourbon takes the shake to an even higher level of deliciousness.
Hot Cakes is every kid's dream. The cake shop specializes in everything chocolate from crème brule and cakes to grilled chocolate sandwiches. But for the parents, there are also boozy milkshakes, which mix in rye whiskey or Mescal to your espresso or chocolate shake. The Drunken Sailor is a meld of peanut butter, caramel, and whiskey. A drunken sailor might also dig the Dark and Stormy, a strong, creamy combo of blackstrap rum and and local Rachel's Ginger Beer.
6. Katsu Burger
In the same way that the burgers at Katsu are given Japanese twists like tonkatsu sauce, wasabi mayo, and katsu breading, the all-American milkshake is Asian-ized here. The "Menu of Deliciousness" offers hand-dipped shakes in a popular green tea variety, as well as kinako (soybean flour) and black sesame. Chocolate and vanilla are also available--they're less interesting but just as thick and delicious.
A milkshake is the classic finish to a meal of burgers and fries, and at Red Mill, the shakes are thick, and the cooks will even make them malted. If you're feeling that classic vibe, strawberry, chocolate, coffee, boysenberry, and banana are all available; peanut butter plus raspberry jam is also a favorite. But if you're looking to shake things up, go for one of the richer options, like mandarin orange and chocolate, truffle mint, or sinfully sweet butterscotch.
8 Oz. Burger Bar on Broadway wisely caters to its late-night-loving Capitol Hill neighborhood by offering a variety of adult (read: liquor-soaked) shakes. The Mudslide combines Theo's chocolate ice cream with kahlua and and Bailey's; fruit lovers can indulge in the Berry Shake, with vanilla ice cream from Bluebird Microcreamery, blackberry compote, and Idaho's 44 North huckleberry vodka. If you're a teetotaler, the Maple Bacon Snickerdoodle Shake, which combines everything its name promises, has no liquor but is so rich it might make you drunk anyway.
3. Li'l Woody's
The most conspicuous item on the board at this Pine Street burger emporium is a dish called Crack, which consists of a basket of Dick's-esque French fries accompanied by a cup of the milkshake of your choice--to be used as dipping sauce. Try a shake made with Molly Moon's strawberry ice cream--it ranks but a notch below tartar sauce on the fry-accompaniment scale. If this sounds like a dish best enjoyed on a drunken late night, post-party, Li'l Woody's is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Is there anything better than slurping a gigantic milkshake while listening to Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel"? I don't think so. At a certain level, milkshakes are all about nostalgia, especially if you're an adult, making you think of dime stores, ponytails, and jukeboxes. At Luna Park Cafe, there actually are jukeboxes, offering all the old hits. As for the milkshakes themselves, they're so big that kids may not be able to finish even half of one. (Splitting a regular-sized milkshake is definitely a better deal than two smalls.) The variety of flavors is impressive, including pineapple, peanut butter, butterscotch, Oreo, and caramel. Better yet, you can make a combo out of as many flavors as you want, including the hot fudge on top.
It's a heroic feat to eat anything after taking down one of Lunchbox Laboratory's monstrous burgers. But if you can manage to squeeze in a milkshake, we promise you won't regret it. Lunchbox makes a luscious shake, with real milk and ice cream, served in a lab-themed glass beaker, and the flavors go above and beyond plain old chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry: candy-studded Whopper Malted Milk Balls, Almond Joy, silky-smooth Boston Creme Donut, and Banana Creme Pie, to name just a few. For $3.50, you can spike any shake with vodka, rum, or a number of other liquors. Or go straight for a customized Boozie Shake, the best of which is the Caramel Macchiato, an icy blend of chocolate, caramel, coffee, Bailey's, Kahlua, and caramel vodka--three tipsy shots more fun than Starbucks' drink of the same name.