A night in Downtown Olympia: what to do and what to eat

Mia Rollins, Staff Writer


Living on the small university campus of Saint Martin’s can sometimes become too familiar and occasionally boring. This guide for night time local activities and bites can hopefully can remedy your case of boredom and need for adventure.

Like most students on campus, the small funds students have goes towards tuition and other needs. Instead of planning out a big and expensive trip to Seattle or Tacoma, take a 12-minute drive or bus ride to downtown Olympia to explore some new spots that might have gone under the radar.

To start the night, pick a main activity to work around. One idea could be catching a new indie film or old classic at the Capitol theatre located in the heart of downtown Olympia. If movies aren’t appealing, there are little art galleries filled with pieces from local artists, and other shops where customers can practice their own artistic skills at places such as the Painted Plate.

It’s recommended to arrive a couple hours early before your showtime or schedule in a couple hours after the designated activity to have the opportunity to explore shops and dine.

One place that is just a block away from the theatre is Rainy Day Records. This quaint punk vinyl shop allows you to listen to albums, pick through fun buttons and stickers, and shop through the rest of their quirky knick-knacks. Those who like window shopping can appreciate Rainy Day Records.

If collecting albums isn’t your hobby, stop by Browsers Bookshop for new, and used books to choose from. Browsers doesn’t resemble the typical bookstore. The hipster bookshop has a modern and cozy vibe that keeps guests in longer than they would expect. To keep things interesting, the bookshop also sells cute vintage postcards, journals, and fun art prints to pick through.

As your stomach begins to growl, head over to a local fan favorite, Le Vouyer for some great sandwiches and homemade seasoned fries. When walking into Le Vouyer don’t be frightened by the grunge decor and graffiti bathrooms, the chef and waiters are welcoming to newbies.

Not in the mood for sandwiches? Visit The Gyro Spot for yummy gyro and falafel wraps with hummus or stop in The Creperie for savory and sweet crepes.

Still hungry and in the mood for something creamy and delicious? Right before the show time for the movie, pop into Hawley’s Gelato and Coffee to try as many flavors of gelato as you’d like before making your final decision. No need to rush and eat the cold gelato right before movie guests go inside, the Capitol is chill with letting visitors bring in their own snacks.

As you make your way back to the Capitol Theatre make sure to visit the outside of the building that homes a colorful street art piece spelling out Olympia. After buying tickets and grabbing your your seats don’t forget to admire the classic and retro red interior while you enjoy the film.

End the night right with some coffee or tea. Directly across from the theatre, dare to enter into Burial Grounds coffeehouse for some late-night drinks. The coffee shop doesn’t close till 12:00 a.m. so don’t be afraid to chat with the baristas and sip on your coffee as you sit surrounded by gothic adornment.

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