Believe it or not, budtenders—like stars—are just like us. They love their work, they enjoy helping people find the perfect cannabis for their needs…and they love searching for the best places to eat in Tacoma.
Fortunately, Mary Mart’s neighborhood—smack-dab between Central Tacoma and North End—hosts a wide variety of delicious eateries, running the gamut from funky all-night diner fare to hearty Italian to zingy Korean fried chicken.
To give you a little taste of what the Mary Mart staff love about their neighborhood restaurants, here’s a little sampler plate of their top dining options in the general vicinity of the dispensary.
Mary Mart’s Favorite Places to Eat in Tacoma
Liz (Budtender): KKO KKO Place
This low-key Korean joint is further proof that delicious fried chicken crosses all cultural borders. KKO KKO Place serves it up in no fewer than ten styles, ranging from the crisp-coated “standard” to an addictive spicy marinated version. Most memorably, it offers some very off-the-wall renditions, at least for American palates. But we insist: don’t knock fried chicken feet till you try them! The expansive list of Korean specialties is well worth your time, too, spanning everything from simple but filling fried rice dishes to pan-fried noodles and Korean barbecue, a must-try for lovers of grilled meat.
Misha (Marketing and PR Manager): Rosewood Cafe
Rosewood Cafe tops our list of the all-time best places to eat in Tacoma. This longtime favorite exemplifies the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. You’ll find comforting favorites like Caesar salads, Reubens, tuna melts and other classic sandwiches, and hearty entrees such as crunchy-topped baked mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken pot pie. It’s all served in a homey tile-floored dining room surrounded by paintings created by local artists. The warm and welcoming vibe makes this unpretentious little spot a star.
Laurie (Budtender Shift Leader): Pomodoro
For many of us, hearty, homestyle Italian food always tastes like home. When we can’t make it home, we get ourselves to Pomodoro instead. Think chicken marsala, eggplant parmesan, and pasta with sausage and sweet peppers and you’ll get the picture. It’s both elegant and quaint, and the practiced, friendly service is the icing on top.
John (Budtender): 13 Coins
A local favorite with a 50-year run (and counting), 13 Coins is the all-night diner of your dreams, serving an impossibly wide-ranging menu ranging from pork-belly sliders to meaty tacos callejero to classic French onion soup and jambalaya. The digs are comfy, fun, and always lively, demonstrating that “open all night” doesn’t have to mean “dreary, cold, and stale.”
Jaymz (Board Artist): Top of Tacoma
Tacoma is nothing if not down-to-earth, and this neighborhood bar and café may be the epitome of laid back. The humble digs might not suggest an outsize menu, but Top outdoes itself with a full spread of tacos—try house-cured pork belly or spicy prawns—plus a host of hearty salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes. They even have a fabulous shellfish spread on Fridays featuring steamer clams, Thai-style mussels, and fried oysters. It’s the perfect encapsulation of why we love Tacoma: it’s friendly, down to earth, and delicious, all at once!