Off-Campus Dining

Tacoma, WA
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Tacoma's "storied" history has left no good Chinese/Japanese restaurants here. Fast food relatively close. Mostly low quality.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are few restaurants close to campus that stay open very late, but getting a little farther than walking distance from campus and finding good places will really pay off.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I haven't been to many of the restaurants but the ones I have gone to are really great.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are actually a good variety of places to eat from ethnic cuisines to a good old burger place.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: For the most part, there are a lot of places pretty close to school. There are a few really quality Thai restaurants and sushi places. For the average Joe there are also other fast food places that are relatively close - McDonalds, Taco Bell, Dominos, etc. Quite a few of the restaurants and places have special student discounts for students who go to the university.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 179th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety
  • 924th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Juliette Witous
Sonoma, CA
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Tacoma has an eclectic blend of restaurants, most of which serve fresh, quality food. The most common place for Puget Sound students is an upper-end supermarket, Metropolitain Market, otherwise know as the "Met," where you can find fresh fruit, local cheeses, pre-made sandwhiches, and hot soups. For basic shopping needs, Safeway is the first choice. Most restaurants are in the same price range but often have a happy hour when prices are reduced dramatically. Usually students save such dining options for weekends, birthdays, special occasions, or when their parent come to visit.

Voted the best breakfast place in Washington, Babblin' Babs serves the most unique gourmet dishes that won't break your wallet. The delicious flavors are envigorating and inspirational. Metronome Coffee, a few blocks away from campus, usually has live music or open mic and is known for its panini sandwhiches. The macaroni and cheese at Rosewood Café is known by anyone who lives in the area. The Mandolin Café is a great place to study, with plenty of tables, walls decorated with art work, and often entertaiment by local musicians. Other popular restaurants include Silk Thai for those who love Thai food, Northern Fish Co. near the water (which has savory salmon candy and fresh chowder), and Argentinian steakhouse Asado. The chef at Pacific Grill is world-renowned, and if you're in the mood for a burger, this is the place to go. Whatever taste you desire, Tacoma will surely satiate. Cheaper options include the MSM Deli, the taco truck on Sixth Avenue, happy hour at any restaurant, Safeway, or fast food.

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
Metropolitan Market
Best Asian
  • Silk Thai Café
  • Wild Ginger
Best Breakfast
  • Knapp's Restaurant & Lounge
  • Rosewood Café
  • Southern Kitchen
Best Coffee
  • Mandolin Café
  • Metronome Coffee
Best Dessert
Gibson's Frozen Yogurt Shoppe
Best Healthy
Antique Sandwich Co.
Best Late-Night
Taco Bell
Best Mexican
Best Pizza
  • Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza
  • Pizza Time
Best Wings
  • Hooters
  • The Matador
Best Place to Take a Date
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Anthony's at Point Defiance
  • Babblin' Babs Bistro
  • Primo Grill
Other Places to Check Out
  • Asado Restaurant
  • Bento Teriyaki & Sushi
  • Bite
  • BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • CI Shenanigans
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Engine House No. 9
  • Frisko Freeze
  • Garlic Jim's
  • Gateway to India
  • Hello, Cupcake
  • Hob Nob
  • Indochina
  • Infinite Soups
  • Mad Hat Tea Co.
  • MSM Grocery & Deli
  • Northern Fish Co.
  • Pho Sweet Basil
  • Pomodoro Italian Restaurant & Bar
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Quiznos
  • Satellite Coffee
  • Shakbrah Java
  • Starbucks
  • Sweet Things Cupcakes
  • Tacos Guaymas
  • Taqueria El Guadalajara
  • Tony Roma's
  • Tully's Coffee
  • Zara Mediterranean Cuisine

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Metropolitan Market
2420 N. Proctor St.
(253) 761-3663
Daily 24 hours
2411 N. Proctor St.
(253) 752-5570
Daily 24 hours
Tacoma Boys Butcher Shop
5602 Sixth Ave.
(253) 756-0902
Daily 24 hours
Tacoma Food Co-Op
3002 Sixth Ave.
(253) 627-3344

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Anthony's at Point Defiance
Food: Seafood
5910 N. Waterfront Drive, Tacoma
(253) 752-9700
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Anthony's offers many seasonal items and also a few non-traditional seafood items, such as fish tacos.
Antique Sandwich Co.
Food: Sandwiches
5102 N. Pearl St., Ruston
(253) 752-4069
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This restaurant offers numerous vegetarian options for those who prefer meatless or healthier choices, but the menu is not strictly meatless.
Babblin' Babs Bistro
Food: American
2724 N. Proctor St., Tacoma
(253) 761-9099
Price: $8-$15
Europa Bistro
Food: Italian
2515 N. Proctor St., Tacoma
(253) 761-5660
Price: $10-$30
Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza
Food: Pizza
3518 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 759-1999
Price: $10-$20
Gibson's Frozen Yogurt Shoppe
Food: Frozen yogurt
8 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma
(253) 302-3856
Price: $3-$8
Food: Burgers, wings
6812 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma
(253) 476-9464
Price: $10-$20
Knapp's Restaurant & Lounge
Food: American
2707 N. Proctor St., Tacoma
(253) 759-9004
Price: $8-$15
Mandolin Café
Food: American
3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma
(253) 761-3482
Price: $5-$10
Food: Mexican
2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 254-0560
Price: $8-$15
The Matador
Food: Mexican
721 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
(253) 627-7100
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: $5 appetizers for happy hour
Metronome Coffee
Food: Coffee/tea
3518 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 301-2375
Price: $3-$8
Pacific Grill
Food: American
1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
(253) 627-3535
Price: $20-$40
Pizza Time
Food: Pizza
3906 S. 12th St., Tacoma
(253) 759-5711
Price: $8-$15
Primo Grill
Food: Mediterranean
601 S. Pine St., Tacoma
(253) 383-7000
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Primo Grill serves Mediterranean cuisine from an applewood grill and oven. Its menu features dishes with organic greens and vegetables, fresh breads, and a wine selection. Monday through Friday, it offers a fixed-price dinner from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Ram Restaurant & Brewery
Food: American
3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma
(253) 756-7886
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: The Ram is the home of the Big Horn Brewing Company, which features several beers, such as Buttface Amber Ale, Big Horn Soda, and Total Disorder Porter, which are brewed right there on site.
Rosewood Café
Food: American
3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma
(253) 752-7999
Price: $8-$15
Silk Thai Café
Food: Thai
3401 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 756-1737
Price: $8-$15
Southern Kitchen
Food: Southern
1716 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 627-4282
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: If you are in the mood for fried okra, catfish, collard greens, or black-eyed peas, you definitely want to eat here. And if you have never heard of these foods or have not tried them before, you should stop by.
Stanley & Seafort's
Food: American
115 E. 34th St., Tacoma
(253) 473-7300
Price: $20-$50
Taco Bell
Food: Fast food, Mexican
2902 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
(253) 627-2921
Price: $3-$8
Wild Ginger
Food: Asian
1401 Third Ave., Seattle
(206) 623-4450
Price: $15-$25

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 42 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 53 responses

  • 4% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 6% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 45% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 45% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
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