6th Ave Tacoma
Part hipster haven, part happy-hour hangout, this North End commercial corridor is one quirky, cool drag. Stroll Sixth Avenue by day to spot yarn-bombed bike racks, or wait until the sun sets to bar hop with friendly locals. It's the high-energy district of the young and eclectic; of the caffeinated and creative.
Starting, as all things should, with the caffeinated, two of Tacoma's oldest and best coffee roasters - Valhalla Coffee Co. and Bluebeard Coffee Roasters - both serve up their spectacular blends and signature drinks. The Mexican Molé Mocha at Bluebeard is the kind of spicy that reminds you it's there long after the coffee is gone. Between the two sits Catffeinated, the region's first and only cat cafe, where you can friend a feline while you consume your catpuccino*.
If you find yourself on 6th Ave during lunchtime, a sandwich at MSM Deli is a local secret that we're willing to take the flack to tell you about. Just utter these two magical words to the guy or gal at the deli counter, and it's like showing a driver's license that identifies you as a local: "Mike's Deluxe." For more international flair with your noontime repast, La Cà is top-tier Vietnamese cuisine, and their pork bánh mì will change everything you think you know about Vietnamese sandwiches.
If you're into something more savory or maltier, head to The Red Hot for their gourmet and inventive hot dogs and cold beers. With 24 rotating taps and creative hot dog flavor combinations (the Hound Dog is peanut butter and bacon on a hot dog, which is just one fine example of just how far off the rails the menu goes), this is where you’ll find the locals.
For a night out on the town, start off with dinner on the sophisticated side at Asado for Argentine-inspired cuisine, or The Table for handcrafted fare from locally sourced ingredients. Then head over to E9 (short for Engine House 9) for some craft beer in one of Tacoma’s first engine houses or Dirty Oscar’s Annex – featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for their Parmesan Tots (they also do a can’t-miss brunch!).
* We have been unable to confirm or refute that this is an actual drink, but if it isn't, please mention it by name and request the fine folks at Catffeinated make it one.