Out and About: Dining Out in Tacoma, WA
Often, when people think of urban dining in Washington State, Seattle is the city that comes to mind - complete with visions of the Space Needle. Sky City (the restaurant in the Space Needle) admittedly a decent place to eat, and a unique experience. However, in the face of Seattle, people often overlook the city just to the south - Tacoma.
The following are my five recommended restaurants worth visiting (though there are several other great restaurants in Tacoma, too).
Located in central Tacoma, just off of I-5 and Pacific Avenue, Stanley & Seafort is a terrific steak and seafood house. The prices are mid-range to high, and this is not a "kid-friendly" restaurant. It is a great place for a date night, and the food is great. With a periodic seasonal menu, a list of scrumptous appetizers, and terrific entrees, Stanley & Seafort is a nice place to go if what you crave is steak and seafood. Their oysters options are limited to Rockefeller and raw on the half-shell, and are really great.
The Cliff House is located on a hill over Commencement Bay with a spectacular panoramic view of Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier. Their menu boasts popular northwest fare, which is predominately steak, fish, and seafood. The price range is on the high end, so this is really more of a date or office dinner party kind of place rather than a family-friendly location. That said, for an office dinner party, it is a really great place to set a reservation (well in advance).
Another restaurant where the prices are on the high end, Pacific Grill is a really fun place to go out to dinner. It is located in downtown Tacoma on Restaurant Row, and is just really a cool place to meet up for lunch or dinner. In the evenings there is often live music and a full bar, so it is also a place to meet and hang out with friends from time to time. Another restaurant that I would not classify as kid- or family-friendly.
4. Johnny's Greek Cafe
There is no Web link I can offer, but the City Pages information is here. Located in Lakewood (just south of Tacoma), Johnny's is THE place to go for decent Greek food. The building does not look like much (almost like an old converted Taco Bell), but do not let the appearance fool you. The food is excellent, it's fast, and it's inexpensive. This is a great place to take the kids, since it's set up like a fast food place - but the food is definitely not franchise-style, greasy fast food. Their gyros are the very best in the area.
Farrelli's, along with Johnny's Greek, is my other favorite place to eat in and around Tacoma. There are five locations - two in Tacoma specifically (with one on Restaurant Row). My preferred location, though is outside of Tacoma - to the south in Dupont. The first time I went there, I was very skeptical. They boast the best gourmet wood fire pizzas anywhere, so of course I had to try them. I have had good pizza in a few different places - but for true wood fired pizza, Farrelli's is the best. My favorites (and I highly recommend them) are the Great Greek and the Margherita pizzas.