The butchers at AA Meats foster an old-school atmosphere in their meat market, serving up quality cuts the same way they have since 1955. Their selection encompasses traditional cuts such as flat iron steaks, boneless chicken thighs, and pork chops as well as more exotic items including ostrich patties, frog legs, and alligator. On top of their fresh cuts, the shop also boasts several types of jerky, pepperoni, and cheese to toss on burgers. Aside from buying a meat inspector costume, the best way to sample the shop's smorgasbord is with one of its locker packs, which range from simple breakfast packs all the way up to a 100-pound assortment made up of more than a dozen different types of meat.
Situated right in Tacoma’s downtown university-and-museum district, Harmon Brewery and Eatery buzzes with out-of-towners and locals alike, all in search of hearty food and frothy microbrews. With a 15-barrel brewery on site, Harmon maintains a steady flow of signature ales, including seasonal varieties, such as a black IPA brewed from five malted barleys and the One Hop Wonder IPA laced with melted Right Said Fred tapes. To complement the pints and the warm, cozy atmosphere—modeled after a ski lodge—the kitchen churns out belly-warming food, such as burgers topped with blue cheese and bacon, homemade stone-baked pizzas, and panko-crusted fish and chips.
Completed in 1869 with the final blow upon the golden spike, the first transcontinental railroad made nationwide travel commonplace, introducing passengers to seldom-experienced regions of their country. The Boxcar Grill’s traditional American fare gives diners the chance to taste transcontinental standards without leaving their seats. Using the locomotive as its logo, the restaurant celebrates the tradition of travel by featuring popular local dishes from across the United States. Avocados and wine make their way up from California, and chipotle peppers give dishes a southwestern kick without the need for spurs. Northeastern chowders bring East Coast flair, along with tastes of Philly in the form of the city’s popular cheesesteak.
The culinary team at The Office Bar & Grill pairs a stock of well drinks and tap and bottled beers with gourmet American-style pub food. Their eclectic menu includes spinach and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips, a chicken breast and pineapple burger drizzled with homemade teriyaki sauce, and fried-cheesecake bites topped with sweet raspberry sauce. While a jukebox spins customers’ favorite tunes, six high-definition flat-screen televisions keep patrons abreast of the latest sports scores. The Office Bar & Grill also entices clientele with a spacious outdoor courtyard and an arcade with sports-themed games such as Golden Tee, Silver Strike Bowling, and Extreme Referee Coin Toss!.
Shakabrah Java's short-order wizards whisk together a menu of meaty, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly breakfasts, earning the diner the 2011 award for Best Breakfast from Tacoma Weekly. During morning hours, veggie skillets brim with a kaleidoscopic harvest of yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes; chefs can accommodate vegans by replacing the eggs with marinated tofu. Between bites, diners can sip cups of MarketSpice tea that come directly from Pike Place Market, or mimosas, beers from taps and bottles, and wine.
Paddy Coyne's shares its name with a sister pub on the west coast of Ireland, but patrons don't need to compare menus to be assured of the bar's Irish bona fides: the menu boasts corned beef with cabbage, fish 'n' chips, and traditional soda bread. Along with the classic eats, patrons can enjoy freshly pulled pints and engage their brains in trivia nights, where participants can win prizes.