Tacoma Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Tacoma

April 14, 2018 Darleen Reid

Sitting at the foot of Mount Rainier, from whose former name the city takes its name, Tacoma is the perfect base point for exploring Mount Rainier National Park and the spectacular landscape surrounding.
Things to do in Tacoma

1. Olive Branch Cafe

2501 E D St, Freighthouse Station, Tacoma, WA 98421-1338 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible American, Soups, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Brunch +1 253-330-6511
Excellent
88%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 142 reviews

Olive Branch Cafe

Currently moving to Freighthouse Station, Hoping to be open mid March or so, will update asap with dates and times :)

Reviewed By Millia J - Seattle, Washington

The pictures others have posted tell the story. This place is so beautiful and quaint it reminded me of going to my grandmothers, but it was so regal. Teri has put a lot of love and care into the design of this cafe and you can feel that as soon as you walk in. The food, tea and service was amazing. We're already planning for Mother's Day and tea party get togethers as this establishment has all the fixings for a grand time. I must say the Egg salad sandwich and Ruben are worth it. Everything is homemade and done well. A great place to visit if you're in the Tacoma area! Support small businesses! And this one is well worth it.

2. Marzano's Restaurant

516 Garfield St S, Tacoma, WA 98444-3628 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 22 - SGD 46 +1 253-537-4191
Excellent
82%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 269 reviews

Marzano's Restaurant

Reviewed By Arthur B - Kent, Washington

We are long-time Marzano's fans and have dined there on many occasions. Last night, there were some things previously handled perfectly that were not handled well. The waiter failed to mention the specials until we asked him what they were. He forgot my brother-in-law's Brussels sprouts. The bruschetta was not what it used to be - simply okay rather than delicious - also it was no longer on the menu. My pasta was served on a cold plate. Cold. The pasta itself (Cinghiale) was excellent, but as a result of the cold plate, cooled off too quickly. These are all details, but these things did not happen in the past. Maybe this was simply an "off" night - and I hope it's not a sign of tings to come.

3. Lobster Shop

4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402-5315 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 26 - SGD 52 +1 253-759-2165
Excellent
60%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 453 reviews

Lobster Shop

Reviewed By cbell_13 - Hingham, Massachusetts

We love the Lobster Shop in Tacoma. Happy Hour is always fun and lively. The bar/lounge area is a nice size and the service is fabulous. Great menu, from small bites to full meals. Go see Stacie and Holly, they will fix you up with your favorite drink and food and Honor and Jodie will take over if you are seated in the dining room.

4. Asado Cucina Argentina

2810 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406-6708 Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Takeout, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Latin, Argentinean, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 39 - SGD 39 +1 253-272-7770
Excellent
65%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 270 reviews

Asado Cucina Argentina

Sizzle and smoke define Asado Cucina Argentina, the South Sound's only Argentine-themed steakhouse and a staple restaurant of the trendy Sixth Avenue dining district. Heady smoke wafts from the display kitchen where chefs sear beef over a mesquite grill. Low lighting is moody by night, bright and beautiful by day because of the expansive garage doors that roll up in the summertime, spilling diners onto Sixth Avenue. A mural evokes pastoral Argentina. Metalwork and heavy doses of deep-hued wood create a rustic urban palette. Social by design, with a large chef's table straddling the display kitchen. Bench booth seating connects diners to neighbors, but without being overly intrusive. The word "asado" means a gathering of friends for a grill party - the Argentine equivalent of an American patio barbecue - and that theme translates into a convivial gathering spot for friends and family. A steakhouse with a flavor-forward menu with preparations licked with smoke and sophistication.

Reviewed By gdeakins - Des Moines, Washington

Casual, comfortable ambience. Excellent, attentive service. A menu which offers something for almost everyone. We had the three starter mix which allowed us to choose any three starters from the menu. All were very good. Entrees were also delicious and tasty, the exception being the mixed grill which two of our party ordered. We agreed that beef skewers were very good but the chorizo sausage seemed dry, possibly overdone and the grilled shrimp unremarkable. Others in our party raved about their choices (grilled pork belly and hanger steak). A bit odd that our veggie side was brought to the table several minutes before our entrees were served, thus getting cold. Still, I would not hesitate to recommend Asado to anyone who loves grilled food.

5. El Gaucho Tacoma

2119 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402-3003 Parking Available, Valet Parking, Serves Alcohol, Free Wifi, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Credit Cards American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 33 - SGD 131 +1 253-272-1510
Excellent
61%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 226 reviews

El Gaucho Tacoma

For years, discriminating diners have trusted the establishments of Paul Mackay to turn landmark occasions into lasting memories. At El Gaucho Tacoma, you and your guest will be treated to the ultimate dining experience, including the attentive tableside service that is the Mackay hallmark. Step back in time to an era of uncompromising service and total indulgence, where the smallest of details are considered the most basic ingredients of your visit. We set the stage for an extraordinary event that will exceed your every expectation.

Reviewed By Island04 - Tacoma, Washington

This is the best restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. The service is always spot on, warm & welcoming. We had Kelly as our server this time & she was wonderful. The food was delicious. Perfectly cooked, juicy, filet mignons and, even though we just shared a side of the au gratin potatoes, we couldn't finish it all. If you've never eaten here before, the added touch is the complementary fruit & nut bowl at the end of your meal. It just tops everything off. Can't wait for the next time!

6. Duke's Chowder House

3327 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402-5309 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Bar, Seafood, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks +1 253-752-5444
Excellent
57%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 791 reviews

Duke's Chowder House

Reviewed By RoamingTexan - Austin, TX

If you're looking for the best prawns prepared several different ways, check this place out. Their chowder is also excellent. We sat at a table on the lake and truly enjoyed our dining experience. It's a little expensive but they really serve excellent food.

7. Over the Moon Cafe

709 Opera Aly, Tacoma, WA 98402-3704 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 10 - SGD 42 +1 253-284-3722
Excellent
63%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 285 reviews

Over the Moon Cafe

We are a small family owned and operated boutique-style scratch kitchen restaurant. We serve northwest American style cuisine with European influence.

Reviewed By nancywim - United States

First time I have ever given a 5 star rating because of the service. We had a 4:30 reservation as we were on our way to the Tacoma Dome. Our server was so welcoming and helpful in answering our questions and what really struck us was how well she knew each dish. Lots of subtle observations. We ordered and while I really try not to substitute on a menu.. I do not mind requesting that an additional ingredient be "held" like Cilantro. However the table next to us actually requested that each dish be changed substantially. We could not help overhearing and I thought surely she will reach her limit as a very busy kitchen can only accommodate so much. She not only managed all the requests cheerfully she kept them all straight.
We really enjoyed the short rib ragu but thought the clam and mussel pasta was a bit too "tomato heavy"... blew away the delicate seafood. At the end of the dinner we learned that "Jennifer Ray" had been in touch with our daughter in Portland who was buying our dinner as a surprise gift. Our daughter said that her experience with Jennifer was a dream... how lucky for Over the Moon to have such a star on their staff.
We had a lovely dinner and look forward to coming back!

8. Pacific Grill

1502 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402-4202 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Private Dining, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Seafood, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Drinks SGD 20 - SGD 59 +1 253-627-3535
Excellent
60%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 831 reviews

Pacific Grill

Pacific Grill is Tacoma's Premier Dining Destination. Housed at the Historic Waddell Building in the heart of Downtown Tacoma, Pacific Grill is the perfect location for a delicious dinner, business lunch, Boozy Weekend Brunch or Happy Hour. Past Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef, Gordon Naccarato, brings Tacoma & the South Sound a creative mix of New American, Seafood, Steaks & more. Enjoy Western Washington's Best Happy Hour in our Bar & Lounge!

Reviewed By John G - Seattle, Washington, United States

I have been here a few times and have loved the food. Today was no exception. We had Brunch with 3 breakfast tacos and the Red Flannel hash. Both were to die for and As always the meat candy on the bloody mary was excellent. to top it all off the service was excellent. We were well taken care of in the bar by many of the talented staff. if you are looking for a place to enjoy evening appetizers or a meal and find yourself in Tacoma I recommend this place. Also be sure to check out the revitalized area with it's shops and Museums.

9. Dirty Oscar's Annex

2309 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403-1050 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Pub Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks 253-572-0588
Excellent
53%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 183 reviews

Dirty Oscar's Annex

Reviewed By barbaradW4367OF - Tacoma, United States

Affectionately known as DOA..it is one of those places in town, if someone says: "never been there" you will get the craziest look, followed by a chorus of " you have to go" "can't believe you've never been" etc. The food is unique and delicious. By unique, I mean, a new twist on old favorites. The vibe is fun, and if you go on a fri/sat night, you can expect the place to be packed with a broad assortment of ages and types. You will find everything from suits to hippies. Service is good, the food is excellent and vibe is friendly and fun. Down side.....parking. Strongly recommend if you are traveling, leave the rental car at the hotel, and grab an Uber. This spot is located in the 6th Ave restaurant district, which is immediately followed by a densely packed residential area. Parking is scarce, especially at peak times (fri/sat and dinner rush). I love this place, and rarely go, simply because of the parking. But love to make sure to take people here when they are in from out of town. Strongly recommend you start with loaded tots and bacon candy!

10. The Matador

721 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402-5207 Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Takeout Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 26 - SGD 33 +1 253-627-7100
Excellent
44%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 225 reviews

The Matador

Matador Restaurants offer fresh Tex-Mex cuisine & premium tequilas in an inviting, social atmosphere — visit us in Seattle, Tacoma, Redmond, Portland, & Boise.

Reviewed By publiussulla - Seattle, Washington

We walked in around 300 on a Saturday afternoon. The place was very busy and we informed there would be a short wait. While we waited we counted 10 empty tables and were wondering why we were waiting and were ready to leave and go elsewhere. That was when we were seated. The service was excellent and the food was amazing. Every bite dances across your tastebuds tantalizing flavors I had not tasted in some time. Most restaurants are afraid to play with spices. Not this place! Simply incredible! Highly recommended! And yes well worth the wait.

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