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A bowl of dumplings with wooden chopsticks sitting on top, next to a bowl of green peas and leafy greens on a gray tablecloth
Indo Asian Street Eatery is known for its excellent dumplings
Indo Asian Steet Eatery [Official Photo]

27 Terrific Tacoma Restaurants to Know Right Now

Seattle’s southern neighbor has a wide selection of excellent dining options, from Korean fare to soul food to dumplings, and plenty more

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Indo Asian Street Eatery is known for its excellent dumplings
| Indo Asian Steet Eatery [Official Photo]

Tacoma’s dining scene has been thriving in recent years, with a diverse mix of wonderful restaurants. Some of that growth has been stymied by the pandemic (longtime favorites Pacific Grill and the Swiss Restaurant & Pub recently closed). But there are still plenty of great places hanging tough, from hole-in-the-walls, fine dining spots with fancy booze to go, dumpling stands, taquerias, soup emporiums, and top-notch soul food for omnivores and vegans alike. The options here are listed from north to south. Note that the list sticks to Tacoma with a few detours to Lakewood’s Korean dining district, because it’s one of Pierce County’s best food destinations.

Though all the restaurants on the list offer takeout, a handful have resumed limited dine-in service as well. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Pierce County public health department’s COVID information page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Peaks and Pints

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3816 N 26th St b
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 328-5621
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Tacoma’s beer guru Ron Swarner and sandwich gods Robby and Justin Peterson have paired up in the Proctor neighborhood with this brew emporium. The beer list is a brew geek’s dream, with broad choices in sours and a tap list that looks like the greatest hits of South Sound breweries. Melty sandwiches, like the ham and pesto grinder, are well crafted, but there are also solid vegan options, like the field roast sandwich and Chao cheese. Takeout is available over the phone or delivery through Uber Eats. The dining room recently reopened for in-person service.

2. Indo Asian Street Eatery

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110 N Tacoma Ave suite a
Tacoma, WA 98403
(253) 503-3527
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Vathunyu “Yu” Nanakornphanom and Buoy Ngov cover Southeast Asian street food at their Stadium neighborhood destination. Satay, yakitori, Thai sausage and shrimp-and-chive dumplings are local favorites, and the noodle dishes, rice bowls and soups travel well. The owners also run Moshi Moshi, the solid ramen restaurant next door, and there’s booze to go at both spots. Open for takeout and delivery, via Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

A bowl of dumplings with wooden chopsticks sitting on top, next to a bowl of green peas and leafy greens on a gray tablecloth
Indo Asian Steet Eatery has some of the best dumplings in Tacoma.
Indo Asian Steet Eatery [Official Photo]

3. Gilman House

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12 N Tacoma Ave
Tacoma, WA 98403

The Stadium neighborhood’s newest Sunday brunch destination serves buttery biscuits built for slathering with butter and jam on every flaky layer, like a biscuit hasselback (or topped with a wonderful vegetarian Impossible gravy). The dinner menu focuses on bistro and pub fare, including plant-based proteins, and a drinks menu that lists 25 gin cocktails, with 10 of those available in double portions to go. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

A closeup of apple cinnamon oatmeal pancakes with figs and pineapple on the side
Apple cinnamon oatmeal pancakes
Gilman House/Instagram

4. Infinite Soups

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445 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 274-0232

This soup destination by Tacoma’s County-City Building (with a second location downtown) offers more than 20 daily choices, with half for vegans and vegetarians. They’re known for big portions, low prices and fast service. The West African peanut soup is a local favorite, as is the gorgonzola tortellini and curried chicken and cauliflower, or anything with the word “bacon” in the description. Available for takeout, and only cash is accepted.

5. Wooden City

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714 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 503-0762
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Online ordering makes it easy to take home the re-imagined American pub fare from Abe Fox and Jon Green. Alongside chicken thigh sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas, find elevated pub fare made in house, such as lamb bolognese with tagliatelle, salmon gravlax and beet ravioli stuffed with goat cheese. Bottled cocktail six packs can mix-and-matched from a list that includes a rhubarb-mezcal-aperol Oaxacan and a Westland single malt flight.

6. Primo Grill

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2701 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 383-7000
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For those looking for low-contact takeout, this Sixth Avenue restaurant brings fancy pants handmade pasta, substantial pizzas, grilled prime rib, smoked pork chop, and roasted Brussels sprouts right to one’s car. The to-go Oaxaca margarita for two would make a fine addition to any dinner order, and there are also growlers and bottles of wine available. Takeout available via phone or online. Dine-in service also offered.

7. Sushi Tama

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3919 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 761-1014
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This mom-and-pop sushi restaurant has operated in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood for more than 20 years. No flaming rolls or splashy sauces here. Just sushi with a simple aesthetic that showcases the freshest fish, and the menu features some of the best agedashi tofu in the city. DIners can order takeout via phone, online, or through apps like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates.

A selection of sushi and sashimi on a wooden board at Sushi Tama in Tacoma
Sushi Tama has been a Sixth Avenue mainstay for more than 20 years.
Sushi Tama [Official Photo]

8. Crisp Greens

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4312 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 301-3807
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Chef-owner Corie Cameron knows a thing or two about healthy eating as a chef who built her career as a private chef advising clients on nutrition. Everything can be customized at this specialty salad and grain bowl joint in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood. The veggie, dip, and grains list goes 35 deep (and then some), plus lean proteins and excellent dressings. Order online for takeout, curbside pickup, and self-delivery.

9. The Red Hot

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2914 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 779-0229
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This is one of the best-priced spots in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood, with a hot dog and sausage menu that has plenty of topping choices, such as salsa verde, Carolina-style barbecue sauce, and customized spice blends. It’s also got great takes on a Chicago and a Coney and an epic brew list available to go as four-packs, six-packs, and draft crowlers. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

10. En Rama

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1102 A St #220
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 223-7184
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Barkeep-owner Chris Keil blurs the lines between kitchen and bar with his expertly composed to-go cocktails, including saffron-cardamom whiskey old fashioneds and margaritas goosed with pear brandy. The food menu features excellent burgers for vegans or omnivores, handmade pastas, an ever-changing menu of house pickles, and the best pimento cheese in Tacoma. There’s takeout and Saturday-only brunch delivery available through Tock.

11. Bob's Bar-B-Q Pit

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911 S 11th St
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 627-4899
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Bob and Elizabeth Littles founded Bob’s downtown in 1948. Their daughter Carolyn Littles moved the restaurant to the Hilltop 30 years ago and now runs it with her sons, who still cook with granddad’s Texas pit recipes. Sloppy sandwiches, tender ribs, supple pulled pork, hot wings, and chopped beef are served with a choice of three sauces carrying varying levels of heat. Diners should save room for Tacoma’s best peach cobbler. Available for takeout or delivery at Uber Eats and GrubHub.

Several large hunks of meat roasting on a barbecue
Bob’s Bar-B-Q has been around for decades, slinging excellent Texas pit dishes.
Bob’s Bar-B-Q/Facebook

12. Happy Belly

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1122 Market St
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 365-6706
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Jennifer Johnson’s red pepper kale soup will turn a blah day magnificent. As will her vegan kimchi, bacon Caesar salad, and sesame avocado wrap, paired with a long list of fresh juices, all-day breakfast, and healthy drinks that skip dairy and animal-based ingredients at this veg-friendly healthy-food stop. Available for pick-up through online ordering, or delivery through Uber Eats and Postmates.

13. Quickie Too

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1324 M.L.K. Jr Way
Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 572-4549
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The Hilltop is home to Tacoma’s oldest vegan restaurant with soul food as a focus. The mac and yease is a go-to for long timers, but newcomers should steer to the Crazy Jamaican Burger with jerk-spiked tofu, or the restaurant’s take on a “loose meat” sandwich, the Mama Africa Burger built with a millet-quinoa blend. Available for takeout via the website or delivery from Uber Eats, DoorDash or Postmates.

A diner holds up a slice of vegetarian pizza at Quickie Too in Tacoma
Veggie pizza at Quickie Too
Quickie Too/Instagram

14. Mediterranean Palace

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430 E 25th St
Tacoma, WA 98421
(253) 272-0845
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Since 1989, Tacomans have flocked to any restaurant from Ammar and Sorada Mannaa for their thinly-shaved gyros, fries threaded with feta, hand-rolled dolmas, and the city’s best baklava, goosed with orange blossom water. This spot located in the Freighthouse Square food court alongside other budget-friendly options has all those items as well as an excellent, vegetarian meze list. Takeout and delivery available from Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates. Dine-in allowed in the food court.

The neon lit sign of Mediterranean Palace, which says “Authentic Greek Mediterranean Cuisine Since 1989”
Mediterranean Palace specializes in gyros and other Greek dishes.
Mediterranean Palace/Facebook

15. Loak Toung Thai

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3807 Center St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 248-9813
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This Thai restaurant in the Oakland neighborhood has Laotian and Cambodian influences as well. The Isaan grilled sour pork is best paired with khai jiao, the sticky rice omelet. There are also excellent curries, phad Thai, larb, and more at affordable prices. Diners can phone in orders or get delivery from GrubHub and Postmates.

Strips of meat drizzled with sesame seeds and a selection of sides in small bowls, with a green dipping sauce and a cabbage leaf, on a colorful plate
Loak Toung Thai is a gem in the Oakland neighborhood.
Loak Toung Thai/Facebook

16. Melon Seed Deli & Frozen Yogurt

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3807 Center St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 279-0029
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At this Oakland deli, owner Mario Charles boasts a robust sandwich list, which includes a fantastic tuna melt with a three-cheese blend and a slider menu for vegetarians. Diners shouldn’t forget about the frozen yogurt, which is topped with fresh fruit. Available for takeout, but the deli doesn’t always answer the phone, so it’s best to just stop by.

A vegetable-stuffed sandwich on two buns, with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and yellow pepper
Melon Seed Deli has built a reputation for excellent sandwiches.
Melon Seed Deli & Frozen Yogurt/Instagram

17. Uncle Thurms Soul Food

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3709 S G St
Tacoma, WA 98418
(253) 475-1881
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Chef Thurmond Brokenbrough is the mastermind behind the satisfying soul food at this Lincoln neighborhood restaurant decorated like grandma’s dining room. Delectable items include crispy fried chicken, smoky ribs, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese and candied yams. The Soul Food Medley gives a taste of all of the above. Takeout available via phone or delivery through Uber Eats and DoorDash.

A plate of ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and candied yams
Ribs, fried chicken, and sides at Uncle Thurms
Uncle Thurms/Facebook

18. Vien Dong

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3801 S Yakima Ave
Tacoma, WA 98418
(253) 472-6668
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Tacoma’s Lincoln neighborhood is the city’s epicenter for Vietnamese dining, and this long-tenured spot is a great example why, serving steaming hot bowls of pho that travel well, plus abundant bún noodle bowls, stir fry, and more. Phnom Penh noodles topped with a raft of cilantro are a must. Takeout orders by phone only; no delivery.

Spring rolls on a platter spread out like a bouquet with dipping sauce at the center
Spring rolls at Vien Dong
Vien Dong/Facebook

19. The Church Cantina

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5240 S Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 292-0544
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Chef-owner Nicole De La Paz pays homage to her family’s roots with Cuban and Latin American bar food, including messy Cuban sandwiches, chimichurri churrasco, mojo pork bowls, and a decadent chicken mole boosted with cherries. There’s also an all-day brunch submenu, that includes an ethereal fried egg biscuit sandwich with chorizo gravy, and boozy slush cocktails and margaritas to go, too. Available for takeout or delivery through GrubHub.

Two plates side by side: chorizo chili and cheesy jalapeño corn bread in honey butter
Chorizo chili and cheesy jalapeño corn bread in honey butter
The Church Cantina/Facebook

20. Garden's Gourmet

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1623 E 72nd St #300
Tacoma, WA 98404
(253) 433-3736
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Nyesha Jones previously created luscious desserts at downtown Tacoma’s Pacific Grill (now closed), but has since ditched her life as a pastry chef and opened a more health-focused casual spot in East Tacoma. The menu highlights salads, no-sugar-added fruit smoothies, wraps and other simple and nutritious quick bites. There’s takeout and delivery on Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and Seamless.

A salad with tomatoes, olives, and hot peppers, drizzled with dressing
Garden’s Gourmet emphasizes salads and fruit smoothies on its menu.
Garden’s Gourmet/Facebook

21. Los Tamales

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1018 72nd St E
Tacoma, WA 98404
(253) 301-0849
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Some of the city’s best tamales can be found at this East Tacoma spot, from the same family that operates El Jalapeno grocery store next door. In addition to the rotating tamale list (which typically includes chicken and pork), there’s also a long list of antojitos, plus barbacoa tacos with consomme, pizza-coas, and quesabirria. And corn tortillas are made fresh on site. Takeout is easy with a call-in order or delivery through DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub.

A tray of enchiladas, next to tacos and sauces in containers at Los Tamales in Tacoma
In addition to its namesake dish, Los Tamales has a wide selection of excellent tacos and other Mexican specialties.
Los Tamales/Facebook

22. T-Town Cafe

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8515 S Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98499
(253) 584-1524

Diners can find Korean desserts built for sharing at this Lakewood cafe with a handsome dining room. Made-to-order taiyaki waffles brim with Nutella, ube soft serve, and more. Fresh fruit toppings, boba and jiggly rainbow jellies perch atop snowflake (bingsu-style) shaved ice. There’s also a wide range of Korean street snacks, such as bulgogi fries, Korean elote dogs, honey toast, and hotteok, and it’s all available to go or delivery through Postmates.

23. Tacoma Szechuan

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9701 S Tacoma Way Unit 102
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 581-0102
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Super spiced cuisine is the specialty at this Lakewood restaurant. Diners can assemble a full meal just from the appetizer menu, which includes wontons in chile oil, Chongqing slobbering chicken, tofu, and cold noodles. Built for fall are braised beef noodle soup or hand shaved dan dan noodles. Available for takeout or delivery via Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

A shredded Chinese pork dish with spices and vegetables atop a bed of rice
Tacoma Szechuan has a menu full of tongue-numbing dishes.
Joe McDonald/Google Maps

24. Cho Dang Tofu

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9701 S Tacoma Way #101
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 682-1968

Pillowy clouds of soft tofu give this spicy Korean soondubu soup its signature silken texture. From the list of 14 soondubu, first timers should order the bacon tofu soup and ask for extra yellow croaker banchan if available. There’s limited dine-in service, but the soups are also packaged to travel well for those who prefer takeout.

25. Nakwon Korean Restaurant

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Market Inside Food Court, 9701 S Tacoma Way
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 682-2880

Two stalls down from House of Mandoo, this Paldo World food court spot offers bowls of bibimbap and myeon noodles, plus steamy pots of kimchi stew, bean paste soup, and kalbi-tahng. Banchan is plentiful and grilled meats are bargain priced compared to nearby competition. There’s cafeteria-style at the food court, or delivery via GrubHub.

26. House of Mandoo

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9701 S Tacoma Way
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 267-0609
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This niche food stand inside Paldo World offers the cheapest and most satisfying meal in Lakewood with softball-sized buns under three bucks, filled with peppery kimchi, fat-laced pork or sludgy sweetened red beans. Extra housemade dipping sauce is a must. Takeout and delivery available through Uber Eats and Postmates.

Two stuffed Korean buns at House of Mandoo in Tacoma
House of Mandoo has great meals at wallet-friendly prices.
House of Mandoo/Facebook

27. Cham Garden Korean BBQ

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10518 S Tacoma Way #5400
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 584-2287
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This tiny tabletop Korean barbecue spot comes with a long dine-in wait. A better option may be to purchase the restaurant’s marinated meats by-the-pound for takeout, grill Cham’s signature smoked pork jowl and tender bulgogi at home, and eat it alongside the restaurant’s prepared banchan, japchae or kimchi fried rice. KBBQ bowls are ready to eat right away and can be preordered online.

1. Peaks and Pints

3816 N 26th St b, Tacoma, WA 98407

Tacoma’s beer guru Ron Swarner and sandwich gods Robby and Justin Peterson have paired up in the Proctor neighborhood with this brew emporium. The beer list is a brew geek’s dream, with broad choices in sours and a tap list that looks like the greatest hits of South Sound breweries. Melty sandwiches, like the ham and pesto grinder, are well crafted, but there are also solid vegan options, like the field roast sandwich and Chao cheese. Takeout is available over the phone or delivery through Uber Eats. The dining room recently reopened for in-person service.

3816 N 26th St b
Tacoma, WA 98407

2. Indo Asian Street Eatery

110 N Tacoma Ave suite a, Tacoma, WA 98403
A bowl of dumplings with wooden chopsticks sitting on top, next to a bowl of green peas and leafy greens on a gray tablecloth
Indo Asian Steet Eatery has some of the best dumplings in Tacoma.
Indo Asian Steet Eatery [Official Photo]

Vathunyu “Yu” Nanakornphanom and Buoy Ngov cover Southeast Asian street food at their Stadium neighborhood destination. Satay, yakitori, Thai sausage and shrimp-and-chive dumplings are local favorites, and the noodle dishes, rice bowls and soups travel well. The owners also run Moshi Moshi, the solid ramen restaurant next door, and there’s booze to go at both spots. Open for takeout and delivery, via Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

110 N Tacoma Ave suite a
Tacoma, WA 98403

3. Gilman House

12 N Tacoma Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403
A closeup of apple cinnamon oatmeal pancakes with figs and pineapple on the side
Apple cinnamon oatmeal pancakes
Gilman House/Instagram

The Stadium neighborhood’s newest Sunday brunch destination serves buttery biscuits built for slathering with butter and jam on every flaky layer, like a biscuit hasselback (or topped with a wonderful vegetarian Impossible gravy). The dinner menu focuses on bistro and pub fare, including plant-based proteins, and a drinks menu that lists 25 gin cocktails, with 10 of those available in double portions to go. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

12 N Tacoma Ave
Tacoma, WA 98403

4. Infinite Soups

445 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402

This soup destination by Tacoma’s County-City Building (with a second location downtown) offers more than 20 daily choices, with half for vegans and vegetarians. They’re known for big portions, low prices and fast service. The West African peanut soup is a local favorite, as is the gorgonzola tortellini and curried chicken and cauliflower, or anything with the word “bacon” in the description. Available for takeout, and only cash is accepted.

445 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402

5. Wooden City

714 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402

Online ordering makes it easy to take home the re-imagined American pub fare from Abe Fox and Jon Green. Alongside chicken thigh sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas, find elevated pub fare made in house, such as lamb bolognese with tagliatelle, salmon gravlax and beet ravioli stuffed with goat cheese. Bottled cocktail six packs can mix-and-matched from a list that includes a rhubarb-mezcal-aperol Oaxacan and a Westland single malt flight.

714 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

6. Primo Grill

2701 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406

For those looking for low-contact takeout, this Sixth Avenue restaurant brings fancy pants handmade pasta, substantial pizzas, grilled prime rib, smoked pork chop, and roasted Brussels sprouts right to one’s car. The to-go Oaxaca margarita for two would make a fine addition to any dinner order, and there are also growlers and bottles of wine available. Takeout available via phone or online. Dine-in service also offered.

2701 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

7. Sushi Tama

3919 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406
A selection of sushi and sashimi on a wooden board at Sushi Tama in Tacoma
Sushi Tama has been a Sixth Avenue mainstay for more than 20 years.
Sushi Tama [Official Photo]

This mom-and-pop sushi restaurant has operated in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood for more than 20 years. No flaming rolls or splashy sauces here. Just sushi with a simple aesthetic that showcases the freshest fish, and the menu features some of the best agedashi tofu in the city. DIners can order takeout via phone, online, or through apps like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates.

3919 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

8. Crisp Greens

4312 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406

Chef-owner Corie Cameron knows a thing or two about healthy eating as a chef who built her career as a private chef advising clients on nutrition. Everything can be customized at this specialty salad and grain bowl joint in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood. The veggie, dip, and grains list goes 35 deep (and then some), plus lean proteins and excellent dressings. Order online for takeout, curbside pickup, and self-delivery.

4312 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

9. The Red Hot

2914 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406

This is one of the best-priced spots in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood, with a hot dog and sausage menu that has plenty of topping choices, such as salsa verde, Carolina-style barbecue sauce, and customized spice blends. It’s also got great takes on a Chicago and a Coney and an epic brew list available to go as four-packs, six-packs, and draft crowlers. Open for takeout and limited dine-in.

2914 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

10. En Rama

1102 A St #220, Tacoma, WA 98402

Barkeep-owner Chris Keil blurs the lines between kitchen and bar with his expertly composed to-go cocktails, including saffron-cardamom whiskey old fashioneds and margaritas goosed with pear brandy. The food menu features excellent burgers for vegans or omnivores, handmade pastas, an ever-changing menu of house pickles, and the best pimento cheese in Tacoma. There’s takeout and Saturday-only brunch delivery available through Tock.

1102 A St #220
Tacoma, WA 98402

11. Bob's Bar-B-Q Pit

911 S 11th St, Tacoma, WA 98405
Several large hunks of meat roasting on a barbecue
Bob’s Bar-B-Q has been around for decades, slinging excellent Texas pit dishes.
Bob’s Bar-B-Q/Facebook

Bob and Elizabeth Littles founded Bob’s downtown in 1948. Their daughter Carolyn Littles moved the restaurant to the Hilltop 30 years ago and now runs it with her sons, who still cook with granddad’s Texas pit recipes. Sloppy sandwiches, tender ribs, supple pulled pork, hot wings, and chopped beef are served with a choice of three sauces carrying varying levels of heat. Diners should save room for Tacoma’s best peach cobbler. Available for takeout or delivery at Uber Eats and GrubHub.

911 S 11th St
Tacoma, WA 98405

12. Happy Belly

1122 Market St, Tacoma, WA 98402

Jennifer Johnson’s red pepper kale soup will turn a blah day magnificent. As will her vegan kimchi, bacon Caesar salad, and sesame avocado wrap, paired with a long list of fresh juices, all-day breakfast, and healthy drinks that skip dairy and animal-based ingredients at this veg-friendly healthy-food stop. Available for pick-up through online ordering, or delivery through Uber Eats and Postmates.

1122 Market St
Tacoma, WA 98402

13. Quickie Too

1324 M.L.K. Jr Way, Tacoma, WA 98405
A diner holds up a slice of vegetarian pizza at Quickie Too in Tacoma
Veggie pizza at Quickie Too
Quickie Too/Instagram

The Hilltop is home to Tacoma’s oldest vegan restaurant with soul food as a focus. The mac and yease is a go-to for long timers, but newcomers should steer to the Crazy Jamaican Burger with jerk-spiked tofu, or the restaurant’s take on a “loose meat” sandwich, the Mama Africa Burger built with a millet-quinoa blend. Available for takeout via the website or delivery from Uber Eats, DoorDash or Postmates.

1324 M.L.K. Jr Way
Tacoma, WA 98405

14. Mediterranean Palace

430 E 25th St, Tacoma, WA 98421
The neon lit sign of Mediterranean Palace, which says “Authentic Greek Mediterranean Cuisine Since 1989”
Mediterranean Palace specializes in gyros and other Greek dishes.
Mediterranean Palace/Facebook

Since 1989, Tacomans have flocked to any restaurant from Ammar and Sorada Mannaa for their thinly-shaved gyros, fries threaded with feta, hand-rolled dolmas, and the city’s best baklava, goosed with orange blossom water. This spot located in the Freighthouse Square food court alongside other budget-friendly options has all those items as well as an excellent, vegetarian meze list. Takeout and delivery available from Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates. Dine-in allowed in the food court.

430 E 25th St
Tacoma, WA 98421

15. Loak Toung Thai

3807 Center St, Tacoma, WA 98409
Strips of meat drizzled with sesame seeds and a selection of sides in small bowls, with a green dipping sauce and a cabbage leaf, on a colorful plate
Loak Toung Thai is a gem in the Oakland neighborhood.
Loak Toung Thai/Facebook

This Thai restaurant in the Oakland neighborhood has Laotian and Cambodian influences as well. The Isaan grilled sour pork is best paired with khai jiao, the sticky rice omelet. There are also excellent curries, phad Thai, larb, and more at affordable prices. Diners can phone in orders or get delivery from GrubHub and Postmates.

3807 Center St
Tacoma, WA 98409

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16. Melon Seed Deli & Frozen Yogurt

3807 Center St, Tacoma, WA 98409
A vegetable-stuffed sandwich on two buns, with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and yellow pepper
Melon Seed Deli has built a reputation for excellent sandwiches.
Melon Seed Deli & Frozen Yogurt/Instagram

At this Oakland deli, owner Mario Charles boasts a robust sandwich list, which includes a fantastic tuna melt with a three-cheese blend and a slider menu for vegetarians. Diners shouldn’t forget about the frozen yogurt, which is topped with fresh fruit. Available for takeout, but the deli doesn’t always answer the phone, so it’s best to just stop by.

3807 Center St
Tacoma, WA 98409

17. Uncle Thurms Soul Food

3709 S G St, Tacoma, WA 98418
A plate of ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and candied yams
Ribs, fried chicken, and sides at Uncle Thurms
Uncle Thurms/Facebook

Chef Thurmond Brokenbrough is the mastermind behind the satisfying soul food at this Lincoln neighborhood restaurant decorated like grandma’s dining room. Delectable items include crispy fried chicken, smoky ribs, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese and candied yams. The Soul Food Medley gives a taste of all of the above. Takeout available via phone or delivery through Uber Eats and DoorDash.

3709 S G St
Tacoma, WA 98418

18. Vien Dong

3801 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98418
Spring rolls on a platter spread out like a bouquet with dipping sauce at the center
Spring rolls at Vien Dong
Vien Dong/Facebook

Tacoma’s Lincoln neighborhood is the city’s epicenter for Vietnamese dining, and this long-tenured spot is a great example why, serving steaming hot bowls of pho that travel well, plus abundant bún noodle bowls, stir fry, and more. Phnom Penh noodles topped with a raft of cilantro are a must. Takeout orders by phone only; no delivery.

3801 S Yakima Ave
Tacoma, WA 98418

19. The Church Cantina

5240 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409
Two plates side by side: chorizo chili and cheesy jalapeño corn bread in honey butter
Chorizo chili and cheesy jalapeño corn bread in honey butter
The Church Cantina/Facebook

Chef-owner Nicole De La Paz pays homage to her family’s roots with Cuban and Latin American bar food, including messy Cuban sandwiches, chimichurri churrasco, mojo pork bowls, and a decadent chicken mole boosted with cherries. There’s also an all-day brunch submenu, that includes an ethereal fried egg biscuit sandwich with chorizo gravy, and boozy slush cocktails and margaritas to go, too. Available for takeout or delivery through GrubHub.

5240 S Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409

20. Garden's Gourmet

1623 E 72nd St #300, Tacoma, WA 98404
A salad with tomatoes, olives, and hot peppers, drizzled with dressing
Garden’s Gourmet emphasizes salads and fruit smoothies on its menu.
Garden’s Gourmet/Facebook

Nyesha Jones previously created luscious desserts at downtown Tacoma’s Pacific Grill (now closed), but has since ditched her life as a pastry chef and opened a more health-focused casual spot in East Tacoma. The menu highlights salads, no-sugar-added fruit smoothies, wraps and other simple and nutritious quick bites. There’s takeout and delivery on Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and Seamless.

1623 E 72nd St #300
Tacoma, WA 98404

21. Los Tamales

1018 72nd St E, Tacoma, WA 98404
A tray of enchiladas, next to tacos and sauces in containers at Los Tamales in Tacoma
In addition to its namesake dish, Los Tamales has a wide selection of excellent tacos and other Mexican specialties.
Los Tamales/Facebook

Some of the city’s best tamales can be found at this East Tacoma spot, from the same family that operates El Jalapeno grocery store next door. In addition to the rotating tamale list (which typically includes chicken and pork), there’s also a long list of antojitos, plus barbacoa tacos with consomme, pizza-coas, and quesabirria. And corn tortillas are made fresh on site. Takeout is easy with a call-in order or delivery through DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub.

1018 72nd St E
Tacoma, WA 98404

22. T-Town Cafe

8515 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98499

Diners can find Korean desserts built for sharing at this Lakewood cafe with a handsome dining room. Made-to-order taiyaki waffles brim with Nutella, ube soft serve, and more. Fresh fruit toppings, boba and jiggly rainbow jellies perch atop snowflake (bingsu-style) shaved ice. There’s also a wide range of Korean street snacks, such as bulgogi fries, Korean elote dogs, honey toast, and hotteok, and it’s all available to go or delivery through Postmates.

8515 S Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98499

23. Tacoma Szechuan

9701 S Tacoma Way Unit 102, Lakewood, WA 98499
A shredded Chinese pork dish with spices and vegetables atop a bed of rice
Tacoma Szechuan has a menu full of tongue-numbing dishes.
Joe McDonald/Google Maps

Super spiced cuisine is the specialty at this Lakewood restaurant. Diners can assemble a full meal just from the appetizer menu, which includes wontons in chile oil, Chongqing slobbering chicken, tofu, and cold noodles. Built for fall are braised beef noodle soup or hand shaved dan dan noodles. Available for takeout or delivery via Postmates, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

9701 S Tacoma Way Unit 102
Lakewood, WA 98499

24. Cho Dang Tofu

9701 S Tacoma Way #101, Lakewood, WA 98499

Pillowy clouds of soft tofu give this spicy Korean soondubu soup its signature silken texture. From the list of 14 soondubu, first timers should order the bacon tofu soup and ask for extra yellow croaker banchan if available. There’s limited dine-in service, but the soups are also packaged to travel well for those who prefer takeout.

9701 S Tacoma Way #101
Lakewood, WA 98499

25. Nakwon Korean Restaurant

Market Inside Food Court, 9701 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499

Two stalls down from House of Mandoo, this Paldo World food court spot offers bowls of bibimbap and myeon noodles, plus steamy pots of kimchi stew, bean paste soup, and kalbi-tahng. Banchan is plentiful and grilled meats are bargain priced compared to nearby competition. There’s cafeteria-style at the food court, or delivery via GrubHub.

Market Inside Food Court, 9701 S Tacoma Way
Lakewood, WA 98499

26. House of Mandoo

9701 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499
Two stuffed Korean buns at House of Mandoo in Tacoma
House of Mandoo has great meals at wallet-friendly prices.
House of Mandoo/Facebook

This niche food stand inside Paldo World offers the cheapest and most satisfying meal in Lakewood with softball-sized buns under three bucks, filled with peppery kimchi, fat-laced pork or sludgy sweetened red beans. Extra housemade dipping sauce is a must. Takeout and delivery available through Uber Eats and Postmates.

9701 S Tacoma Way
Lakewood, WA 98499

27. Cham Garden Korean BBQ

10518 S Tacoma Way #5400, Lakewood, WA 98499

This tiny tabletop Korean barbecue spot comes with a long dine-in wait. A better option may be to purchase the restaurant’s marinated meats by-the-pound for takeout, grill Cham’s signature smoked pork jowl and tender bulgogi at home, and eat it alongside the restaurant’s prepared banchan, japchae or kimchi fried rice. KBBQ bowls are ready to eat right away and can be preordered online.

10518 S Tacoma Way #5400
Lakewood, WA 98499

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