Nibble Your Way Down 6th Ave

By John DeWeese

Tacoma’s 6th Avenue is well-known for both its eclectic local shops and vibrant nightlife. However, “The Ave.” is also the location of some of the tastiest food in the South Sound. Whether you are looking for the perfect location for a quick lunch, a family outing, or an intimate dinner date, 6th Ave. has an option for any budget, occasion or craving. Here are some of our favorite places to nosh.d in the South Sound. Whether you are looking for the perfect location for a quick lunch, a family outing, or an intimate dinner date, 6th Ave. has an option for any budget, occasion or craving. Here are some of our favorite places to nosh.

Photos by Ethan Chung and Jeff Hobson

Asado

2810 6th Ave. | 253.272.7770 | asadotacoma.com

It’s easy to imagine yourself in Buenos Aires when you visit Asado. This upscale Argentinean restaurant offers a romantic atmosphere and beef, chicken, pork and seafood dishes grilled to perfection. The “Espalda Asado” flat-iron steak ($26) with Peruvian purple mashed potatoes will satisfy any steak lover. If you’d rather try a little of everything, the Parrilla Mixta plate ($26) comes with steak skewers, jumbo prawns and chorizo sausage. Asado is known for delicious cocktails and for the largest collection of Argentinean wines in the Northwest. A favorite cocktail is the Madre Rita ($10), which is made with Herradura Silver Tequila, muddled lime, sweet & sour, cranberry and a Cointreau float.

Crown Bar

2705 6th Ave. | 253.272.4177 | crownbartacoma.com

Crown Bar is a Northwestern take on a traditional Irish pub and the décor is inspired by a famous bar in Belfast. The restaurant’s warm and inviting atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for happy hour or for a relaxing dinner. One dish that is sure to please is the gooey delicious Cougar Gold macaroni and cheese ($7). Crown Bar also offers a unique twist on traditional “street food” with currywurst sliders on pretzel buns and Cajun shrimp ($5-$8). There’s an impressive selection of Northwest and import brews on tap, as well as signature cocktails like the blood- orange cosmo ($8.50) – vodka, fresh blood orange juice, Cointreau and lime.

Gateway to India

2603 6th Ave. | 253.552.5022 | gatewaytoindiarestaurant.com

Gateway to India offers all the authentic flavor and atmosphere of Northern India. A signature dish is the tandoori murgha ($11.95), succulent marinated chicken barbecued in a traditional clay oven. If you’re looking for a little more spice, you can’t go wrong with the murgh vindaloo ($13.95): chicken cooked in a creamy sweet-and-sour sauce with potatoes. Vegetarians will fall in love with the creamy vegetable korma ($11.95) or the aloo mutter ($10.50) potatoes and green peas cooked with onions and tomatoes. The lunch buffet offers an excellent chance to enjoy several great Indian dishes while you sip on authentic Indian chai.

Masa

2811 6th Ave | 253.254.0560 | masatacoma.com

Masa is a perfect blend of trendy and affordable, where you can find delectable Mexican dishes at a decent price. The interior features a festive “Dia de Los Muertos” décor, and during nice weather the upstairs patio offers the best view of The Ave. Happy hour is the perfect time to enjoy delectable carne asada tacos, homemade tamales, or chipotle chicken empanadas served with ancho barbecue and pumpkin ranch ($3.29-$5.49). The Masa fries are hand-cut, tossed in roasted jalapeno butter and topped with queso and ground seasoned beef ($5.79). The house margarita is always a good choice, but for a unique cocktail experience try the Diablo margarita ($9.25) with Cazadores Blanco, mixed with muddled lime and fresh jalapeno and Cointreau.

Medi’s Pizza and Pasta

2710 6th Ave. | 253.272.2531

Medi’s is new to the 6th Ave. dining scene but is quickly becoming a friendly neighborhood pizzeria. It’s the perfect place to grab a pie and a Northwest microbrew with friends, or enjoy a night out with the family. The meatball calzone has a perfectly crisp crust and is stuffed with generous amounts of pork-and-beef meatballs and mozzarella. Pizza aficionados will enjoy the Sluggo combo ($7-$10), which comes with sausage, pepperoni, olives and onions. Pizza is also sold by the slice, which makes Medi’s a good bet for the lunch hour.

MSM (Magical Sandwich Makers) Deli

2220 6th Ave | 253.272.4814 | msmdeli.com

From the outside, MSM looks like just another convenience store. But regulars know that inside is one of the best sandwich shops in Tacoma. MSM serves both traditional East Coast- style sandwiches such as the Italian cold cut ($6.50) and more imaginative creations such as the catch-of-the-day shrimp sandwich ($6.50). Then there’s the ever-popular Mike’s deluxe ($6.50), a 9-inch French roll loaded with roast beef, turkey, ham, Swiss and cheddar cheese. MSM makes for a great lunch destination, but you’ll want to call ahead to avoid a long wait.

Primo Grill

601 S. Pine St. | 253.383.7000 | primogrilltacoma.com

If you’re looking for gourmet Mediterranean cuisine served in a posh setting, then Primo Grill is your destination. Not only will you enjoy a scrumptious meal, but you also will be entertained watching the chefs prepare your food in the open display kitchen. Definitely try the house-made fettuccine with succulent salmon in a lemon asparagus cream sauce ($13.95), or the roasted mushroom lasagna ($14.50). During lunch, you can enjoy delectable panini sandwiches ($9.50) with your choice of pepper or salami roasted in the apple wood grill and oven. The restaurant offers an extensive list of Italian and Northwest wines. You can also enjoy a dessert in a glass with the mocha martini ($10) – Godiva chocolate liquor, Stoli vanilla and Callebaut chocolate syrup.

The Red Hot

2914 6th Ave., Tacoma | 253.779.0229 | redhottacoma.com

The Red Hot has become a local favorite. Gourmet hot dogs for less than $5 and a plethora of incredible beer choices keep folks coming in for more. They’ve been voted “Best Hot Dog in Western Washington” by King 5’s “Evening Magazine.” The Red Hot even recently made its way onto The Food Network. Choose from the original namesake, The Red Hot (all- beef hot dog with yellow mustard, onions and relish) to more out-there creations like The Hosmer Hound Dog (all-beef dog with creamy peanut butter and two slices of crispy bacon). For the hungry discerning diner, don’t miss the Tideflats (two all-beef dogs on an open-faced bun piled with yellow mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, sport peppers, jalapeno peppers, sauerkraut, all-meat chili, coleslaw, nacho cheese, pickle spear and celery salt). It’s a true gut-buster worthy of a fork and knife. The Red Hot is a 21-and-over establishment.

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