First stop back

Scene Staff

Going home over winter break can be a great way to unwind, get some sleep and recuperate from a long semester. But after a few weeks with friends and family, it’s hard not to start craving your favorite St. Louis establishments. Sometimes the hometown Subway and the Dillard’s at the mall just don’t cut it. From Delmar Loop classics to campus necessities, here are a few of Scene’s first stops when we get back in town.

Vintage Vinyl

With its large selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and music books, Vintage Vinyl is always my first stop when I get back to town. I can’t go to the Delmar Loop without going to Vintage Vinyl and I can’t go to Vintage Vinyl without spending at least 45 minutes there. It might bother some of my friends and family; I don’t really care. I love browsing the bins, searching every genre and walking out with some great music. Vintage Vinyl contradicts every rumor you’ve heard about snooty, hipster record-store workers. The staff has great recommendations and there’s always something interesting playing over the speakers. The store also has bins full of old 45s on the floor for those willing to get their hands dirty looking for rarities. Even if you’re not a music fan, Vintage Vinyl is worth the trip to check out some of the ridiculous record covers in the used section. I recently found a fantastic Bruce Willis (yes, that Bruce Willis) album called “The Return of Bruno.” I’m sure it would make a great dorm decoration if anyone were interested. Just pick up some good music while you’re there, too. –Noah Jodice

Kayak’s

As anyone who knows me will tell you, there is about a 75-percent chance that if I’m not on campus or at some planned function, I am at Kayak’s. The atmosphere, the food, the coffee and just the overall vibe of the place are not only conducive to studying and reading (I enjoy background noise) but also are perfect for a casual group project meeting, a tasty weekday breakfast or an indulgent Sunday brunch. Egg sandwiches are really my jam, so if you haven’t tried the Sicilian yet, you’re definitely missing out.  Kayak’s is just far enough away that going there offers a nice walk, even though I’ll admit that the current weather may not exactly be conducive to walking. While there are cute local coffee shops in hundreds of places throughout the U.S., I haven’t found any others that offer such a variety of cafe-type foods alongside a delicious selection of local coffees and coffee drinks all in a cozy ski-lodge-type atmosphere. It’s always the first spot I hit up once I get back to Washington University. –Erica Sloan

Salt + Smoke

Although yes, I usually end up spending my first bit of free time waiting in line in the mail room or bookstore, my first stop back is Salt and Smoke. The warmth of the Texas-style barbecue makes me feel like I’m still at home (or it at least provides a smoother transition to the cafeteria-style food at the Danforth University Center). The heavy meats provide a nice hearty escape from the frozen tundra that has replaced what was known as St. Louis. The delicious sides (I love the White Cheddar Cracker Mac) add to the feast and further emphasize the hospitable and homey atmosphere. The size of the restaurant makes it optimal for dinner whether you’re with a couple of friends or an entire executive board. In this winter season, I’m making Salt and Smoke my first stop back; hope to see you there! –Tyler Friedman

1NJ Fu | Student Life

Campus Bookstore

After spending four hellish weeks following a rigorous schedule of napping, sleeping and resting my eyes, there’s only one place that can soothe my restless soul: the campus bookstore. Located so close to the Mallinckrodt Center Subway that you can smell the chemicals wafting off the government-issued Definitely Edible Brand “Bread,” the campus bookstore has everything you need to get back into the swing of things. Looking for a birthday gift for your weird suitemate who smells like glue? The bookstore always keeps plenty of “Big Bang Theory” meme posters in stock. Need the “Fifty Shades of Grey” box set with limited edition whip and ball gag free with every purchase? They can hook you up. Ran out of shampoo? You can bet your bottom dollar that they have a shampoo-like product! If you’re worried about the long lines brought on by panicked freshmen purchasing the suggested textbooks, channel my girl Lindsay Lohan circa 2011 and steal. You deserve that 30-percent-off copy of “Portnoy’s Complaint.” –Becca Christman

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