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PLL is in Tacoma. Let's Eat.

This week's PLL Food Guide comes from Matthew Krebs. Yes, same Krebs. Matthew has lived in the Tacoma area for the past five years, and has no shortage of excellent places to grab a bite or a beer. I couldn't make the trip to the PNW this summer, but I definitely want to visit in the near future, just based on some of these food options. If you're out in Tacoma for the PLL this weekend, hit a few of these up and enjoy. Also because I need to visit the house from 10 Things I Hate About You. - Dan

The PLL is returning to Seattle (actually Tacoma) again this year on August 18, 2023. Last year’s venue at the Tacoma Dome was a bit of a dud in my opinion. The fans were set back and high up above the field, and attendance was mediocre. There was not the level of rowdiness that is palpable on TV at venues like Albany, Columbus or Fairfield. I am very much looking forward to the league taking it outside this year to play at Cheney Stadium, home of the Mariners’ AAA affiliate Tacoma Rainiers. The Pacific Northwest in the summertime is the place to be. The stereotype of constant rain applies to October through June, but in August the sun should be shining.

I’m originally from NY, but have lived in Seattle for about 5 years, and I’ve spent a good amount of time in Tacoma while living out here. I figured there are plenty of food blogs, reviews, Yelps, Eater lists etc. for Seattle, so I wanted to focus on Tacoma to give it some shine. Tacoma is a great small city. Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound, there is a ton of natural beauty, but more importantly many solid options for eating and drinking. Please enjoy some recommendations here, and go Whips!


Not to say I don’t enjoy a crispy macro light lager at a sporting event, but for a special treat, a local IPA is very much welcome. The Pacific Northwest has a phenomenal array of craft breweries. Over 90% of the hops for the entire United States are grown in the Pacific Northwest, and brewers certainly take advantage of the bounty that is grown nearby.

  • 7 Seas Brewing - 2101 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Large taproom in downtown Tacoma

  • E9 Firehouse – 611 North Pine Street, Tacoma, WA 98406 -

    • Historic firehouse serving E9 Brewing Co. beers + bar food

  • Narrows Brewing – 9007 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 -

    • Located in a wharf side building on the Puget Sound underneath the famous Tacoma Narrows bridge

  • Odd Otter – 716 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Quaint little brewery at the end of Pacific Ave, surrounded by a few other restaurants if you need a drink before dinner

  • SIG – 2534 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Interesting brewery that mixes it up with a few fruited beers. They also have decent pizza and hard slushies

  • Locust Cider – 2805 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406 -

    • For the gluten fee among us, this cidery has several taprooms throughout the region, with the Tacoma location on the lively stretch of 6th Ave.


  • Le Sel Bistro – 229 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 –

    • French place for fancy brunch and cocktails. Reservation recommended.

  • Art House Café – 111 North Tacoma Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403 -

    • Farm to table vibe. Expect to wait to be seated on Saturday or Sunday morning. This one is popular


  • Salamone’s -24 North Tacoma Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403 -

    • Listen, I am from NY, so I am not going to pretend anything in the Seattle-Tacoma region comes close, but if you really need a slice, this place is the best you are going to find. No nonsense, small store with a few pies on display beneath the glass countertop. Spice shakers with garlic and red pepper flakes on the tables feel like home.

Dives/Beer Bars

  • Hank’s Bar and Pizza – 524 North K Street, Tacoma, WA 98403 – and Parkway Tavern – 313 N I St #1, Tacoma, WA 98403

    • &

    • I am grouping these two together for their similarities and proximity to each other in the Yakima neighborhood of Tacoma. Surrounded by historic Victorian and Craftsman homes, including the setting for late 90s hit movie, 10 Things I Hate About You (RIP Heath Ledger), these two bars each reside in their own house style setting, and each offers a solid draft list to sample the local beers.

  • O’Malley’s Irish Pub – 2403 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406 -

    • Dive bar on the lively stretch of 6th Ave. Good for cheap tall boys and pool tables. Likely to rub elbows with bikers. Think more Sons of Anarchy, less Tour de France.

  • Doyle’s Public House – 208 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Very solid standard Irish pub with bar fare. Ask for the “full set” to get a pint of Guinness and a shot of whiskey.

Other Restaurants

  • Cuerno Bravo – 616 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Upscale Mexican style steakhouse. Big cuts of beef with plenty of sides for sharing.

  • Duke’s Seafood – 3327 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • Seafood restaurant on Ruston Way. Great views on Commencement Bay while you enjoy local salmon or crab dishes.

  • McMenamin’s Elks Temple – 565 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402 -

    • The McMenamin’s Elks Temple in Tacoma has multiple bars/restaurants including a pub, hidden speakeasy and The Old Hangout in the basement serving tropical drinks. The owners refurbish historical buildings throughout the Northwest for unique dining experiences. The Elks Temple is no exception. It is also a boutique hotel if there is any interest in staying here.


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