Tacoma is a city in Washington State, just south of Seattle. It is well known for its Museum of Glass that has exhibits from famed artists from around the world. This city has so much to offer.
With an edgy art scene, incredible museums, scenic parks, landmark eateries, shops and vintage stores, and bars, cafes and restaurants aplenty, you may be wondering where to go when you are in Tacoma.
If you are heading to Washington State, or perhaps you live in the area, we have 10 of the most amazing places to eat in Tacoma that are definitely worth your time and your money (see also “Amazing Places To Eat In Oahu“)!
We are going to kick start this list with one of the most popular seafood spots in town! Duke’s Seafood is found on Ruston Way in Tacoma, boasting waterfront dining and spectacular views for all to enjoy.
This restaurant does not just overlook Puget Sound, it is directly on it! At Duke’s Seafood, you can enjoy amazing cocktails and delicious food on the deck that hangs over the water.
Whether you want to visit for a special occasion, or for a quick bite to eat, this place will have all that you need.
This restaurant offers 100% sustainable seafood, with options such as shrimp tacos, scallop piccata pasta, Alaskan salmon bites, calamari, crab cakes, coconut prawns, halibut – you name it.
You can also find the staples such as filet mignon, lobster, seafood chowder, cheeseburgers, fish and chips and sumptuous salads to try.
There really is something for everyone at Duke’s Seafood, with lunch menus, dinner menus, chef specials, and our favorite- happy hour!
2. Wooden City
If you ask anyone who has been to Tacoma to name some of their favorite restaurants, then you are bound to hear someone say ‘Wooden City’.
This place offers American cuisine, great hospitality and a comforting atmosphere in the heart of downtown Tacoma.
At Wooden City, you can find wood fired pizzas, sandwiches and burgers, classic small plates like chicken wings, shrimp, caesar salads and house favorites like bolognese, ravioli, steak frites and pork chops.
3. En Rama
If you are a foodie, then you will have to try En Rama when you are in Tacoma. This is the newest project from Chris Kiel, known for his delicious foods and world renowned cocktails.
With a cozy interior, welcoming, intimate atmosphere, and an outdoor terrace, you can really savor the tasty offerings of En Rama. This place has homemade pasta, Spanish tapas, small plates and more.
You can expect dishes like risotto, pork ragu, mussels, meatballs, house salads, charcuterie and cheese boards and delicious affogato.
This trendy cocktail bar is the place to go, set in the historic Courthouse Square building. What we love about this one is that all of the food is based around local, seasonal ingredients, so the menu can change from time to time, but all dishes are handcrafted.
4. Lobster Shop
Lobster Shop is described as Tacoma’s premier waterfront restaurant, located just on Commencement Bay. This area is a decades long mainstay of the dining scene in Tacoma, and Lobster Shop does not disappoint.
Lobster Shop has been open since 1981, and continues to wow guests year after year. With friendly, helpful and wonderful staff, your dining experience will be great at this place.
What we love about this place is the scenic views of Mount Rainier and the Olympics that you can find at every table in the house. You can expect fresh Pacific Northwest style food, including premium dry aged steak and fresh seafood of course.
How could you go to Lobster Shop without sampling the lobster itself? You have to try it! You can also get a Seafood Sampler platter with lobster dip, calamari, tempura prawns, or perhaps try the crab cakes, ahi tuna, manila clams or the lobster crostini.
We personally love the New England Clam Chowder and Lobster Bisque, but they offer a range of soups and salads, seafood dishes such as clam linguini, crab legs, Alaskan King salmon, and scallops.
Lobster Shop should definitely be on your radar when in Tacoma.
We have offered you plenty of seafood options, but if you are a steak lover, then you have to try Asado Cucina. This place is an Argentina themed steakhouse and one of the staples of the Sixth Avenue district.
At this restaurant, you can watch the chefs sear your beef over a mesquite grill! The large chef’s table provides a social-style atmosphere where you can gather and watch the experts do their thing!
Menu offerings include beef and lamb empanadas, but they do offer veggie options too! You can try calamari steak, grilled prawns and steak tips, grilled Spanish chorizo, queso frito, crab cakes…and that is just to start.
Mains include rib steak, tenderloin steak, flat iron steaks, skirt steak, braised lamb shank, chicken breast, seared sea bass and so much more. The dishes here truly are made to perfection with an Argentinian twist- trust us, you will love them.
If you want to enjoy some Thai food in Tacoma, we have you covered. Loak Toung Thai is a really beloved Thai restaurant in the area.
The name can be translated to ‘the people of the rice fields’ which is where the owner and chef comes from, so you know that this Thai food is truly authentic.
This restaurant is influenced by Cambodia and Laos, which is infused into the dishes.
With options such as basil chicken, red curry, garlic chicken and more- there is something for all spice lovers and avoiders!
But you can also enjoy soups with coconut milk, sweet and sour flavors, or rice dishes served with all kinds of meats and veggie options! We do recommend the Thai style salads, but our personal favorite dish is the pineapple fried rice.
If you like a traditional, old-school steakhouse, then head to El Gaucho in Tacoma. This restaurant can be found on Pacific Avenue, and offers amazing service with food of exceptional quality.
At this restaurant, you can be served Steak Tartare at the tableside, or try the oysters and crab cakes to get started. For mains, you can find filet mignon, New York steak, top sirloin, bone-in ribeye, filet medallions, seafood, chicken or a rack of lamb.
El Gaucho can tickle anyone’s taste buds with a range of high quality, delicious dishes and fantastic service and atmosphere.
We just can’t get enough Italian food. Pomodoro Italian Restaurant and Bar offers a truly special experience. With lively staff, an open concept kitchen and a casual, friendly atmosphere, this place is a great option.
You can have cheese ravioli, calamari, caprese, stuffed mushrooms, or more to start, and some of the best Italian staples for your main. For instance, why not get a chicken parmesan, chicken piccata, pasta primavera, or tricolor tortellini!
Of course, you can find spaghetti and meatballs, along with freshly made lasagne at Pomodoro- with traditional Italian desserts to finish.
Over The Moon is located in the heart of the historic St. Helen’s part of the Historic Passages Building which was once an Opera House. Over The Moon is a small boutique style restaurant that offers a warm and welcoming experience.
The menus are updated every season to offer you the best food available.
Here, you can find old school traditional dishes, varying starters, wild salmon entrees or Black Angus steaks to tantalize your taste buds.
Looking for something a little different and unique? Head to The Church Cantina. This Cuban inspired bar is set in a dark, horror themed atmosphere.
The food is fantastic, with a range of salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers to choose from. If you are heading here, you have to try the Cuban Reuban sandwich served on sourdough!
To summarize, there are many great options when it comes to getting food in Tacoma. Tacoma has some of the best seafood restaurants around, but also some incredible steakhouses with beautifully seared steaks and house cocktails to wash them down!
Frequently Asked Questions
Tacoma is a great place to visit, known as Seattle’s neighbor. It is world renowned for its glass art, and is a vibrant, urban city with lots of culture, eateries, bars, cafes and shops to explore. Tacoma is also known for being a very friendly city.
Tacoma is considered an expensive city, with expenses reportedly around 37% higher than the national average. Food in Tacoma can be costly, but it is considerably cheaper than Seattle.
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