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Central Study Spot: El Lugar

Between Boylston and Belmont at 606 E Pine St. is El Lugar, a neighborhood market, bar, and cafe. When you’ve got so much homework, but so little time, all you want is somewhere to relax for a get-it-done mindset. El Lugar is the place. It is both comfy and vibrant and separates you from Seattle’s sad indie music and overpriced burnt coffee. Instead, you’re working on your discussion questions and drinking a horchata latte while listening to Bad Bunny.

White wall frames in El Lugar.
Haylee Jarrett White wall frames in El Lugar.

Sometimes when I study in the library, I get so drained. I feel like I ran a mind marathon but only did one or two Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) assignments. El Lugar is more than just a study spot. It’s a place that makes the transition from work to play easier. Its location is prime for meeting friends or going to a concert after a homework session, and its jubilance is refreshing. Seems like a win-win situation to me. 

Small trinket wall with Frida Kahlo.
Haylee Jarrett Small trinket wall with Frida Kahlo.

I mentioned the horchata latte, but there are also regular horchatas and horchata cocktails, with all of the socially acceptable and different mediums of milk. Have a snack like tamales or Hot Cheetos if you’re not super hungry. We’re in the middle of January, but have a mango-paleta if you want. Get nachos in a whimsical chip bag if you woke up late to class and didn’t have breakfast. You can even eat a whole pulled pork sandwich. Go crazy.

Horchata at El Lugar.
Haylee Jarrett Horchata at El Lugar.

However, the hours are unconventional for a cafe. With it being open from 12 p.m. into the late evenings, it’s better as a midday or late afternoon pick-up; we don’t want to be those people lingering right up until close.  If you have a lot of work to do, the earlier the better, as there’s not a ton of seating. That being said, the times that I’ve gone there were at least four tables available, but they are a touch small. If you’re doing math homework, this might not be the place for you.

Salsa on shelves.
Haylee Jarrett Salsa on shelves.

El Lugar has only been around for four months, but so far the horchata has proven to me that it is here to stay.

Colorful chairs at El Lugar.
Haylee Jarrett Colorful chairs at El Lugar.

Price: $-$$

Ambiance: Casual, Fun, Laid-back

Music: Reggaeton, Pop

Best Time: Noon, Afternoon

Best Assignments: Discussion Questions, Essays, Pre-Lab Assignments, Anything with Research


Haylee Jarret
Staff Writer

Meet Haylee, a writer with a passion for the unique and the strange. When she's not writing for The Collegian, you can find her binge-watching Real Housewives or getting lost in the world of plane documentaries. When she's not in front of a screen, she's either tide-pooling or sipping on an oat milk latte, both of which provide her with a sense of peace and calm as a chihuahua dog mom. With a unique perspective and an eye for detail, Haylee uses journalism as a way to understand the world and the people that make it special.

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