Zoe’s Bookside Bagels: A Place For Everyone

photo taken by: Danika Miller

Western Washington University, located in Bellingham Washington is very known for its rain, relaxed, and of course its amazing coffee. Any where you go you will see yourself running into a coffee shop or stand. If you happen to be on campus you will at least be able to find 3 out of 5 places that serve coffee. The one place that you will be unable to forget because of it’s unique traits is Zoe’s Bookside Bagels.

Zoe’s Bookside Bagels is located in one of Western Washington Universities largest libraries; Wilson Library. As you enter and turn to the right you will find yourself walking into an old reading room that has been transformed in to an amazing coffee shop. This shop is one of the most popular places to go to as you can see when walking in. As a freshman I can tell you that I have never been to a shop like this. I am used to being shushed by the librarian and told not to eat in the library because it is rude. When walking into Zoe’s Bookside Bagels shop I was shocked that it was very loud and I was able to study in the library while eating my bagel and sipping on my coffee.

This room is full of loud noise, with a smell of coffee, and an amazing taste of bagels which are relatively really cheap. This is a place where some might go to if they want to escape from all the quietness around the library or just too simply have a bagel and socialize. This place not only serves to the people that go in and out but, also has so much history to it, which makes this place unique. Who would have imagined that this shop used to be a reading room. Unlike the other coffee shops Zoe’s Bookside Bagels place is more community based. The bagels are made with locally and sustain-ably produced Shepherd’s Grain flour and is a space for western students and community members.

Zoe’s Bookside Bagels also has a very welcoming atmosphere and just makes you want to stay and socialize or study. It is located in the perfect spot because during midterms or finals you can just grab a cup of coffee or something to eat without having to leave the library. The comfy couches in the shop just make you want to stay and read your new book you just started. The big tables in the middle just make you want to stay and socialize with a friend. This is the place where you see friends socializing while sipping on their latte and talking about what they did over the weekend. They are also open late compared to other coffee shops on campus. And sometimes you need a coffee late night or a bagel to help you stay awake.

This shop has a variety of different drinks and foods . You can order a chicken salad, salmon lox breakfast bagel, turkey on sourdough, toasted veggie sandwich, and many more. Their is a variety of bagel flavors so don’t worry they will have one just for you. As well as drinks, their is mocha's, lattes, and juice.

photo taken by: Charley
“Students need a variety of study spaces,” he said. “This gives them an informal gathering space to get together with other students and with faculty members.”

As Chris Cox, the WWU dean of libraries stated this place is a combination of everything ( Anderson,quoting Chris Cox). This place is very welcoming to the people who want a place to study, eat, and socialize. Zoe’s Bookside Bagels has a very welcoming atmosphere. Although there might be long lines sometimes you won’t hesitate to walk in because the workers are really friendly and sometimes you make new friends while waiting. And yes sometimes its very loud but, according to Oxford University Press journal they concluded that noise is not always bad and that it helps your creativity. They conducted an experiment by exploring exploring the effects of ambient noise such as the noise level in Zoe’s Bookside Bagels on creative cognition. So if you want to study there it won’t distract you but actually help you.

So, remember if you are in Belligham and around campus Zoe’s Bookside Bagels is the place to go and try one of their delicious bagels. Even if you don’t attend western and are visiting Belligham just walk in and grab a bite.


Matthew Anderson, Western Today: “Zoe’s Bookside Bagels now open in Wilson Library”, May 04, 2016.
Jasmine Martinez, what is something that you observe? How would you describe this place?, April 21, 2016
Mehta, R., Zhu, R. (Juliet), & Cheema, A. (2012). Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(4), 784–799. http://doi.org/10.1086/665048
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