Tacoma Defiance

Defiantly Tacoma’s Guide to Innovation in Food

If being stuck at home over the last three months and counting has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is an unheralded virtue. Our homes became offices, our loved ones became coworkers, and in an ever-changing scenario, we’ve had to make some big moves outside of our comfort zones to adapt. Drinking has helped too. Check out our Guide to Defiantly Tacoma: Peaks and Pints featuring Co-Owner Ron Swarner’s Top 5 Beers to grab from their to-go section.

Businesses and restaurants have done the same, and as we make phase by phase strides to get to the promised land of normalcy, we’re excited to highlight a few innovative restaurants that are thinking outside the box to keep us fed, quench our thirsts, and entertain us in the coming months.

Campfire Coffee Co.: These newcomers to the Tacoma coffee scene aren’t just cupping delicious roasts, they’re also all about the great outdoors. Their storefront is only open for to-go/delivery orders, but their whole bean campfire coffee calls to be enjoyed in open air anyway. Their line of apparel, drinkware, and more speak to the importance of all people getting out and enjoying nature’s healing properties, which is a message our Earth-loving team can get all the way behind. As they plant their roots in this city’s business community, their mission to bring environmental equity and opportunities to all is something the whole South Sound should learn more about and support.

The Camp Bar: Tucked on the upper hills of downtown, The Camp Bar has been a getaway for South Sound bar-goers since it replaced Acme Tavern in 2018. The whole setting is throwback summer camp from floor to ceiling, with a dive bar feel that screams Tacoma. Now, forced to make changes to stay open safely, the owners have added futuristic domes to their indoor seating that provide a fun and sterile place to enjoy the ambience. Cooking s’mores at your seat inside of the see-through plastic tents will have you feel like you’re camping in a scene from Blade Runner. Come for boozy concoctions, stay for the experience.

The Mule Tavern: With a revamped menu and an outdoor patio that rocked before the pandemic, we can’t think of anything that could cure the COVID blues like one of those Moscow Mules and a little South Tacoma Way Sunshine. Stepping their game up in the absence of a packed bar hall, the Mule Tavern staff have perfected the carryout cocktail game by packaging up necessary ingredients to make some of their classic drinks with a rustic bow. They’ve also been providing step by step tutorials on the ins and outs of making drinks on their social media pages. We’re looking forward to a little patio time in the coming months, but vow to leave with a few cocktail kits to enjoy at home.

Cooks Tavern: They’ve already taken us all over the world one menu at a time. Now they’re doing it two-fold (Hawaiian & BBQ) all from the safety of their vast glass windows. In the absence of traditional seating in its always fascinatingly decorated dining room, the worldly staff have turned their sidewalk in to a cultural experience that nods to several corners of the globe. G & H Pig Palace is their new walk up window barbecue spot and Popoki Nani is their purveyor of Hawaiian cuisine, but we call the walk-up their sidewalk breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Takeout never traveled so well.

Hamhock Jones Soul Shack: Have you seen some of the fabulous commercials for soul food served out of Lakewood? There’s this one here. Then there’s this one. Something magical is happening down at Hamhock Jones Soul Shack, and all we know is we want a bite of the action. Outrageously down-home dishes dealt with a dash of humor are the catch of the day. This welcoming outdoor BBQ pit food truck’s also served with a side of live music throughout the summer months, so what’s the wait? The smell of fried catfish and a funky bass-line call us down south to the altar of Hamhock Jones.

Got any other spots you’re blown away by in their quest to bring food and beverage to the masses in a time where efforts like this are a welcome dose of sunshine? Send hot tips, links, and pictures of food to ccatherwood@wertacoma.com.

Defiantly Tacoma

About Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance is the USL Championship affiliate of reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC. You can follow The Future of Champions on Twitter (@TACDefiance)Facebook, and Instagram (@tacdefiance). We are #DefiantlyTacoma.

We R Tacoma Team Store

The We R Tacoma Team Store is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT and we are fulfilling online purchases. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.

COVID-19 Information

More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.

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