Bars, Dives & Drink
1/4 million Alcoholics Can’t be Wrong: So reads the Shirt. We’re hardy drinkers here, it’s true - from every color of collar we’re true blue imbibers of a very wide range of alcohol, Pabst to Pernod. Browse through and be warned: Sprinkled throughout are a fair share of Dives (we like ‘em).
One VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The bartenders in this town are not to be fu$ed with - we’re a blue collar town, and sooner kick a D-bag out than tolerate him for tips. Treat our gals and guys - and others - with the respect they deserve and you can expect some solid drinks in return. Below are some Bests of Us.
1022 South Hilltop
1022 S. J St; Tacoma, WA 98409
It is difficult to overstate the refined character and quintessential elegance of 1022 South, its masterpiece cocktails or its menu - the hundred last bars you visited do not compare to this. Nestled up in the Hilltop neighborhood, the owner and staff realize what the NY Times calls “home to some of the most fascinating apothecary cocktail work on the West Coast.”
The atmosphere here is refined yet ultimately approachable - 1022 is the exceptional example of highest grade Artesian fare made accessible to every kind of person, and typifies the Progressive nature of our city with an elegance and class beyond any familiar experience. Every mixer is made in house, more than 40 herbal liqueurs with 35 selections of whiskey are offered with a carefully chosen display of small-batch rums. Hand crafted infusions titillate; fine, simple foods satiate; the atmosphere befits the divine. Passer-through: Love yourself, and do not miss this place.
Crown Bar 6th Ave
2705 6th Avenue Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 272-4177 www.crownbartacoma.com
Great food and a generally festive atmosphere make the warm colors and hospitable lighting of this place all the more enjoyable. Big Bonus: They source most of their food locally, which means it’s much better quality than “bar” food you’re expecting - a great place to gather with friends.
The Top of Tacoma McKinley Hill
3529 Mckinley Ave; Tacoma, WA 98404-2162
(253) 272-1502 www.topoftacoma.com
“Best Bar in Tacoma” according to popular opinion via the Volcano Readers’ Poll, the Top is arguably our city’s most characteristically Tacoman bar. Food here is quality, it’s true, and the wide range of eclectic clientele and community faithfuls will vouch for it. The staff here is all star bullet-proof and are no bullshit real people; young and fun, they serve it strong, so you best be ready to feel it. There’s a covered beer garden, one of the best jukeboxes in town, a pool table, pinball, Big Buck Hunter Safari Edition, and old school video games to boot.
Bob’s (World Famous) Java Jive Southside
2102 South Tacoma Way; Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 475-9843 www.myspace.com/bobsjavajive
Tacoma's eternal dive paradise, Keanu Reeves is banned from the Jive for life. Rumor is he attempted to purchase the World Famous for an off-shore move to Hawaii: Hollywood subversion, FAIL. And the Jive continues indi rocking strong. Coffee here? Um, no, just don’t do it. But beer and hand made french fries make this historic cultural landmark worth the visit, especially if you catch it on a good rockin night. Shows here are rare - get in the loop.
For more lore go here
New Frontier Lounge Downtown
301 E 25th St; Tacoma, WA 98421
Music in Tacoma starts here. The menu is better-than-normal bar food, and good music food - pizza, great burritos, good crispy tots and more. 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. It's clean, has the city's only .25 cent pool table, and 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”).
Magoo’s Annex North End
2710 North 21st Street; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 759-0467 www.myspace.com/magoosannex
Classic, deep-Tacoma Bar / Dive. This is true local hangout ground, except on Thursdays - when it ritualistically melts down into a UPS College Coed hotspot. Good here Mondays for one of our favorite DJs spinning rarities you've probably never heard - he often pairs with local musicians that play kick-back sets to friends. Many memories at this space.
Marrow Kitchen & Bar 6th Ave
2717 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 267-5299 http://marrowtacoma.com/
See listing under “Restaurants & Eating Out”.
Dirty Oscar’s Annex (D.O.A.) 6th Ave
2309 6th Ave; Tacoma, WA 98406
Check out their listing under "Restaurants & Dining."
O’Malley’s Irish Pub 6th Ave
2403 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 383-3144 www.myspace.com/omalleysirishpub
Doyle’s Public House Downtown
208 St Helens Ave; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-7468 www.doylespublichouse.com/
West End Bar & Grill 6th Ave / Proctor
3840 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 759-2896 www.westendpubandgrill.com
Knapp’s Restaurant (& Lounge) Proctor
2707 North Proctor St.; Tacoma, WA 98407
The Beach Tavern University Place
8612 6th Ave; Tacoma, WA 98465
(253) 564-9984 http://thebeachtaverninc.com/
Asado 6th Ave
2810 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 272-7770 http://asadotacoma.com/
Classy bar, fine atmosphere, pay a little more for drinks here.
Masa of Tacoma 6th Ave
2811 6th Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98406
(253) 254-0560 http://masatacoma.com/
Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub Downtown
815 Pacific Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-6963 http://paddycoynes.net/
721 Pacific Ave; Tacoma, WA 98402
Northwest-Mex food, excellent selection of Tequilas, good happy hour.
Puget Sound Pizza (& Bar) Downtown
317 South 7th Street; Tacoma, WA 98402
Unicorn Sports Bar Ruston
5302 North 49th Street; Tacoma, WA 98407
Goldfish Tavern Ruston
5310 North Pearl Street; Ruston, WA 98407
Nice Ruston dive bar, pool table, good local company. Within eye shot of Point Defiance.
The Silverstone Downtown
739 1/2 St Helens Avenue; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 404-0273 http://clubsilverstone.com/
This is one of Tacoma’s very few and maybe its most popular gay bar. Ladies: Great place for dancing, cheap drinks, laughs, & lots of character.
The Mix Downtown
635 St Helens Ave; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 383-4327 www.themixtacoma.com
A “Hate Free Zone,” The Mix is a great casual atmosphere to mix it up with friends. Karaoke and a pool table. GLBT friendly.
The Parkway North End
313 N I St Tacoma, WA 98403-3905
Great neighborhood, all beer and wine bar. Located in our historic Stadium neighborhood, The Parkway is this neighborhood's go-to place for a good pint of beer with friends. Pool table at back, Shuffle Board and Big Buck Shoot Out for those inclined, there are always good people here. Safe to take visiting family members.
Corner Bar Downtown
524 North K Street Tacoma, WA 98403
True Dive. Strong drink, popular spot for owls, but you’ve been warned . .
Wine by Glass & Bottle
628 St. Helens Ave.; Theater District, 98402
(253) 426-1347 www.stinktacoma.com
I believe they have (literally) the biggest bar in town - they have a fantastic beer and wine selection both. Enjoy a wide variety of small batch Northwest beers and a showcase of hand-selected wines by the bottle from all over the world.
606 N State St Tacoma, WA 98405
(253) 212-1492 www.corkwinebars.com
Cafe Divino Restaurant and Wine Bar
2112 N 30th St, Tacoma, WA
(253) 779-4226 http://cafedivinotacoma.com
Tacoma Wine Merchants
21 North Tacoma Avenue, Tacoma, WA
(253) 779-8258 http://tacomawinemerchants.com
4417 6th Avenue, Suite #1; Tacoma WA 98406
A family owned and operated winery in the heart of the Northwest, they walk you through how to make your own premium wines, or will do all the work for you. Partner with family and friends to make 30 bottles.
Azarra Salon & Wine
1944 Pacific Ave; Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 752-1519 www.azarra.com
Wine Crafted in Tacoma
2621 N. 21st St.; Tacoma, WA 98403
(253) 220-7752 http://21cellars.com/
Wine made right here in Tacoma, WA - stop by their N. 21st St. location for tastings.