Linking In - Places Worth Your Visit
A Quick Guide to Tacoma's Link Light Rail Train
Maps & Information at:
IMPORTANT NOTE: An additional station now exists between the Convention Center / So 15th St. and Theater District stations: The nearest place of interest to it is the Mad Hat Tea Company, so until it has a better name, we’re calling it Mad Hat Station.
Tacoma's Light Rail is downtown’s main transportation artery, it’s FREE, and it connects you to other public transportation and places of interest throughout Downtown and the Theatre District. You have more or less ready access to our main music venues, coffee & tea, shopping, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, the UW Tacoma campus, book stores, cupcakes, sushi, independent cinema and more . .
Notable Places Along the Link (by station)
(Click here for places downtown by category)
TACOMA DOME STATION
New Frontier Lounge
301 E 25th St Tacoma, WA 98421
(253) 572-4020 http://thenewfrontierlounge.com
Music in Tacoma literally starts at The New Frontier. Our generation’s benchmark for live, independent music, the NFL is a quintessential Northwest music venue that inspires respect from every corner of Northwest music culture. On any given night you can expect everything from flamenco to metal to indie rock to a cello project. Check their website for show dates, times and details. Google the bands, see what you like, and attend (enjoy tasty vittles like burritos and crispy tots, and cocktails including Tacoma’s “Best White Russian”).
Tacoma Book Center
324 E. 26th Tacoma, WA 98421
Open 10a-6p Seven days a week
On the corner of E. 26th & E. D St.
between Freighthouse Square and the Tacoma Dome
Locally owned and operated, TBC is one of Tacoma's largest used book stores, and one of the few remaining bookstores that is both very large with a wide selection of titles and still truly independent. TBC has been serving the Tacoma area for the last 20 years. Great language section.
SO. 25th St. STATION
There’s not really a whole lot at this station - some of us wonder why it’s here.
UNION / SO. 19th ST. STATION
Univerisity of Washington Campus & Bookstore
1754 Pacific Ave; Tacoma, WA 98402
Go here for Husky gear, books, iPods, art supplies and (a good selection of) writing supplies, including pens, sketch books and note pads.
Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St.; Tacoma, WA 98402
Experience contemporary glass art made live - feel the heat as you watch a team of artists create masterpieces from molten glass in the world's largest Hot Shop, housed inside its iconic 90-foot stainless steel cone, and visit edgy and inspiring exhibitions of glass in the galleries. Striking architecture and the remarkable Chihuly Bridge of Glass are also worthy of your eyes.
See complete listing under Museums & Exhibitions
Tacoma Art Museum
1701 Pacific Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-4258 www.tacomaartmuseum.org
See listing under Museums & Exhibitions
The Harmon Brewery & Eatery
1938 Pacific Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 383-2739 http://harmonbrewingco.com
This 15 barrel microbrewery and restaurant is a perfect place for large groups and families to gather and is a favorite place for locals and tourists alike. The comfortable nature and coziness of the historic building, decorated to look and feel like a mountain lodge, features a fabulous sampling of northwest food, and of course you will always find Harmon's 5 flagship ales, along with several seasonal ales, on draught.
1740 Pacific Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 383-7772 www.hello-cupcake.com
Need we say more ? Baked from scratch daily. Tasty and ~$2 rocks your mouth.
Urban Xchange (& Tahoma Tea & Co.)
1932 Pacific Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 572-2280 http://urbanxchangetacoma.tumblr.com
With a fashionable selection of pre-owned clothes and apparel for men and women, Urban Xchange is the place to go downtown for inexpensive, artist-chosen clothing, shoes and accessories appropriate to any budget. In the back of the store, enjoy fresh made loose leaf tea and (really good) vegan pastries made fresh. Tahoma Tea & Co also doubles as an intimate music venue that regularly hosts independent musicians and bands.
1924 Pacific Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-8200 http://indochinedowntown.com
Amazing asian dining in a beautiful, well lit atmosphere, just about every artist or person of taste in Tacoma appreciates this place. Up for fine, affordable Asian cuisine? Indochine is among our local, family-owned finest.
1904 Jefferson Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 572-2821 www.theswisspub.com
Just up the steps from the University, The Swiss is Tacoma’s version of nightlife Americana. Independent and locally owned, you’ll enjoy food, beers on tap and 6, 9’ pool tables if you want to get your cue on. Music most weekends.
1901 Jefferson Ave # B Tacoma, WA 98402-1611
The most immediate cup of Valhalla Coffee (Tacoma’s original coffee roaster) in the downtown area. Just up the University steps, a little more than halfway up on your left, go here for bold without the bitter, instead of your usual corporate cup.
University Place Gyro
1914 Pacific Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
Inexpensive Gyros loaded how you like, quick lunch specials, tasty fries.
CONVENTION CENTER STATION
TwoKoi Japanese Cuisine
1552 Commerce Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402
The Finest Sake selection Tacoma knows, TwoKoi brings traditional and fusion Japanese cuisine to life. In one of the most spritely atmospheres in the Downtown area, overlooking Tollefson Plaza’s waterfalls and the Tacoma Art Museum, TwoKoi’s sushi rolls and fun admixture with sensate simplicity will delight all that venture here.
1502 Pacific Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 627-3535 www.pacificgrilltacoma.com
Tacoma’s only Monterey Bay approved seafood house, you will absolutely understand why the Tacoma community loves this place. Great lamb, seafood, and duck sliders. Good for business lunches, dinner dates and Happy Hour.
MAD HAT STATION
Mad Hat Tea Co.
1130 Commerce St.; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 441-2111 www.madhattea.com
The enchanted entryway into our city’s personable, accessible culture, it is impossible for your senses to be bored here. Enjoy our city’s widest variety of hand selected, internationally-sourced teas and house-made herbal blends. See full listing under “Tea & Coffee Culture”
1129 Broadway; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-3393 www.galangathai.com
Mon - Fri 11a - 9p; Sat 5p - 9p
Swimming Rama to Drunken noodles, soups to peanut sauce, Galanga Thai well represents quite the good meal our city has to offer. Many awards have been run by these folks, and for good reason. Great for lunch and dinner before an evening at the Grand, Pantages or Rialto. Just above Mad Hat Tea Co. Beer and wine served as well.
1125 Court C; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 627-5319 http://fujiyatacoma.com
1/2 block north of the Hotel Murano, Fujiya is on the 2nd floor of El Toro Restaurant. Enjoy simple, tasty Japanese cuisine and sushi.
THEATER DISTRICT STATION
The Grand Cinema
606 Fawcett Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402-2321
(253) 593-4474 www.grandcinema.com
Our beloved Grand Cinema is the downtown’s only independent movie theatre. Volunteer run and operated, the staff is here because it wants to be; cozy and inviting, you’ll love this place. Enjoy Corina, right next door. .
510 6th Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402-2312
(253) 627-5070 www.corinabakery.com
Mon-Fri 8a-7p; Sat 8a-6p; Sun 9p-4p
Downtown’s most celebrated bakery with a delicious cup of Tacoma’s own Valhalla coffee. Cakes, pastries, breads, puddings, cinnamon rolls and more.
See full listing under “Food & Nourishment - Tasties & Baked Goods”.
Sanford & Sons Antiques
743 Broadway; Tacoma, WA 98402-3709
(253) 272-0334 www.facebook.com/pages/Sanford-and-Son-Antiques-3-Floors-and-20-shops/277135255398
25,000 sq. feet of Retail Therapy with 3 floors and 20 different, all locally-owned shops, you can reach Sanford & Sons directly off Commerce Street: Their 744 Commerce address is directly across the street from the Link Light Rail Theater District Station. See full listing under “Antiques & Collectibles”.
625 Saint Helens Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 722-5373 http://amocatcafe.com
Super friendly, enjoy coffee, tea and a good selection of beer here. If you’re very fortunate, Morgan will have put together one of his music nights - don’t miss one of those if you have the chance to attend.
Puget Sound Pizza (& Karaoke)
317 South 7th Street; Tacoma, WA 98402
Hands down PSP is downtown’s favorite pizza joint. The downstairs bar is a favorite place for a wide cross section of our city’s population to meet later in the evening. A favorite place for karaoke, musicians from all over this city congregate here for stiff drinks and delicious, fresh made pies. So head on down- and get your rockstar on (you may well run into one). Try cheesy garlic bread.
Stink & Fudi
628 St. Helens Ave.; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 426-1347 www.stinktacoma.com
Also serving beer and wine, Stink is for those that cherish old world food and drink. The Europeans have always treated wine and beer as food - some of us do, too. These guys understand the relationship between good food and drink that goes beyond satisfying hunger – it facilitates a passion. Directly adjacent is Fudi, which continues in the same vein as Stink, offering a specialty variety of kitchen wares, along with a wide selection of small batch Northwest beers and a showcase of hand-selected wines by the bottle from all over the world. Worth a visit.
Info & Public Transporation
Train, Bus, Light Rail or Bicycle, Tacoma has your transportation needs covered. We even have Zip Cars.
Info & Public Transportation
The main arteries for many destinations in this Guide are reflected in the following Routes, and connect through 3 main Transportation Hubs that provide centralized access to Tacoma’s Public Transportation: Tacoma Dome, Commerce Street & TCC (Tacoma Community College) Transfer Stations.
For more thorough scheduling information and maps, visit the Pierce Transit website for public transportation in Tacoma and vicinity.
Other Public Transportation Informational Resources
Tacoma & Vicinity: http://www.piercetransit.org
Some Popular Routes:
Rte # Description
1 6th Ave & Pacific Ave Serves 6th Ave, Pearl & Downtown
2 So. 19th & Bridgeport Serves University Place
10 Pearl Street Serves Pearl St, from TCC to Pt. Defiance
11 Pt Defiance via 6th & Division, N. Union, N. Proctor & N. 45th
13 N. 30th from Tacoma Dome via Downtown, Stadium & Old Town
14 Proctor via Downtown, Museum of Glass & N. 15th
16 UPS & TCC via N. 21st, Alder, 11th & Mildred
28 S. 12th Street Downtown to Tacoma Community College
45 Yakima (& Thompson) Commerce to Parkland Transit Center
51 Union Ave from N. 30th to Lakewood Transit via Bridgeport
52 TCC to Tacoma Mall via Center St., So. Tacoma Way & Pine
53 University Place Commerce, S. 38th, Tac. Mall, Orchard to TCC
54 38th St. from Tacoma Mall Transit thru Portland & McKinley
56 56th St. Tacoma Mall Transit to 72nd St. Transit via S. 56th St.