If you're looking for the best burger in Tacoma, you're in luck because this city is home to some fantastic burger spots. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about burgers in Tacoma - including the top 10 burger joints in town, the history of burgers in Tacoma, vegetarian and vegan options, the most unique burgers you can find, the best burger deals, how to make the perfect homemade burger, an expert review of the top 5 burgers in Tacoma, a guide to the different burger styles you can find, where to find the juiciest burgers, how to pair your burger with local beers and wines, a look at the secret menu items at popular Tacoma burger spots, the rise of gourmet burgers, burger challenges, and the ultimate guide to building your perfect burger at a restaurant in Tacoma.
Top 10 Burger Joints in Tacoma
If you're a burger lover in Tacoma, you won't be disappointed with the selection available. A few of the top spots include Shake Shake Shake, known for their juicy burgers and hand-cut fries, and Red Wagon Burgers, a popular local chain that offers classic burgers with a twist. Other favorites include the burger and beer pairings at Wingman Brewers, the burgers made with locally-sourced ingredients at Orange Door, and the creative offerings at The Forum, like the "Hot Bacon Jam" burger.
But there are even more great burger joints to explore in Tacoma. For a unique experience, head to The Spar, a historic tavern that serves up delicious burgers made with grass-fed beef and topped with local ingredients. If you're looking for a vegan option, try Quickie Too, which offers a variety of plant-based burgers and sides.
For those who want to take their burger game to the next level, check out Burger Seoul, a Korean-inspired burger joint that offers fusion flavors like the Bulgogi Burger and Kimchi Fries. And if you're in the mood for a burger and a view, head to Duke's Chowder House, which serves up delicious burgers alongside stunning waterfront views.
The History of Burgers in Tacoma
Burgers have been a staple in American cuisine for over a century, and Tacoma has been no exception. The city has a rich history of burger joints, dating back to the 1950s. One of the earliest and most iconic spots was Frisko Freeze, which opened in 1950 and is still serving up burgers and shakes today. Other notable historic burger spots include The Spar Tavern, another 1950s classic, along with Bob's Burgers and Brew and the former joint, Herfy's which was known for its giant burgers.
In recent years, Tacoma has seen a surge in new burger joints, offering unique twists on the classic burger. One such spot is Shake Shake Shake, which opened in 2011 and has quickly become a local favorite for its retro vibe and delicious burgers. Another popular spot is Red Wagon Burgers, which prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and offers a variety of creative burger options. Despite the influx of new burger joints, the historic spots continue to thrive and remain beloved by locals and visitors alike.
Vegetarian and Vegan Burger Options in Tacoma
If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, you can still enjoy a great burger in Tacoma. Many of the city's burger spots offer veggie burgers, made with ingredients like quinoa, lentils and mushrooms. A few great options include the vegan "Beyond Burger" at Red Robin, the veggie burger at Wolfie's, and the "Impossible Burger" at Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar.
But if you're looking for something a little different, there are also some unique vegetarian and vegan burger options in Tacoma. The "Black Bean Burger" at The Spar is a local favorite, made with black beans, corn, and spices. The "Falafel Burger" at Quickie Too is another great option, made with a crispy falafel patty and topped with fresh veggies and tahini sauce.
For those who prefer to make their own burgers at home, Tacoma also has several grocery stores that offer a variety of plant-based burger patties. The Tacoma Food Co-op, for example, carries a selection of vegan burgers made with ingredients like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. And for those who want to try making their own burgers from scratch, Marlene's Market and Deli has a bulk section with a variety of grains, beans, and spices to create your own unique veggie burger recipe.
The Most Unique Burgers in Tacoma
Looking for something a little more outside-the-box? Tacoma has some unique burger options to offer. One example is the signature "Roadhouse Burger" at Southern Kitchen, which features a hand patted ½ lb. all beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, fried pickles, and ranch dressing. Over at The Schooner Pub, you can try the "PB&J Burger," which is topped with - you guessed it - peanut butter and jelly.
If you're in the mood for something spicy, head over to Shake Shake Shake and try their "Spicy Jalapeno Burger," which is topped with jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo. For a vegetarian option, check out the "Impossible Burger" at Red Robin, which is made entirely from plant-based ingredients but still packs a flavorful punch.
If you're feeling adventurous, head to the "Burger Challenge" at Blazing Onion. This challenge involves eating a 28 oz. burger with all the fixings, plus a side of fries and a milkshake, in under 30 minutes. If you succeed, you'll get your picture on the wall and a free t-shirt.
The Best Burger Deals in Town
Who doesn't love a great deal? Tacoma offers plenty of specials on burgers, especially during happy hour. Check out Getaway Taproom's "$5 Burger and Beer" happy hour deal, or the "$10 Burger, Fries and a Pint" deal at Peaks and Pints. The "Burger Battle" at Meconi's Pub and Eatery offers up a different burger special every day of the week for $10.
But the deals don't stop there! If you're looking for a unique twist on a classic burger, head over to Shake Shake Shake for their "PB&J Burger" - a juicy patty topped with peanut butter, bacon, and raspberry jam. Or, try the "Kimchi Burger" at MSM Deli, featuring a Korean-style beef patty topped with spicy kimchi and a fried egg. No matter what your taste buds are craving, Tacoma has a burger deal for you.
How to Make the Perfect Homemade Burger Inspired by Tacoma
If you're feeling inspired to make your own Tacoma-inspired burger, we've got you covered. Start with a juicy beef patty, seasoned with a blend of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add some locally-produced bacon, smoked cheddar cheese, and a smear of red pepper aioli. Top it off with some fresh, local lettuce and tomato, and you've got yourself a delicious burger that reflects the flavors and ingredients of Tacoma.
But what if you're looking for a vegetarian option? Fear not, Tacoma has plenty of options for you too. Swap out the beef patty for a grilled portobello mushroom, and add some roasted red peppers and caramelized onions for extra flavor. Top it off with some creamy avocado and a dollop of tangy salsa, and you've got yourself a vegetarian burger that's just as delicious as the meaty version.
And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try adding some unique Tacoma-inspired toppings to your burger? How about some crispy fried oysters, a drizzle of local honey, or even some pickled herring? Get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations to make your own signature Tacoma burger.
An Expert Review of the Top 5 Burgers in Tacoma
Looking for a more in-depth review of Tacoma's best burgers? Our expert food critic tried and tested the top 5 burgers in town and has the scoop. Coming in at number one is the "Classic Burger" at Shake Shake Shake, which features a perfectly-cooked patty, fresh lettuce and tomato, and their signature "fancy sauce." In second place is the "Cheeseburger" at Red Wagon Burgers, which features a hand-formed patty and a unique sourdough bun. The rest of the top 5 includes offerings from Getaway Taproom, Dirty Oscars Annex, and Orange Door.
But what makes a great burger? Our food critic looked for a few key factors when evaluating each burger. First, the quality of the meat was crucial - a dry or overcooked patty can ruin even the best toppings. Second, the bun had to be sturdy enough to hold up to the juicy burger and any additional toppings. Finally, the overall flavor profile had to be balanced and delicious.
While the top 5 burgers in Tacoma all had their unique strengths, there were a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut. The "Bacon Cheeseburger" at The Forum was a close contender, with its thick-cut bacon and melty cheese. And the "Patty Melt" at Frisko Freeze was a nostalgic favorite, with its grilled onions and rye bread.
A Guide to the Different Burger Styles Available in Tacoma
There are many different styles of burgers available in Tacoma, so it's important to know what you're in the mood for. Classic burgers are always popular, but you can also find unique styles like the "Mac & Cheese Burger" at Ice Cream Social, the "Pretzel Burger" at Friesenburger's, or the "Taco Burger" at Garnish Kitchen. If you're really feeling adventurous, try the "Messy Monster Burger" at The Spar, which comes topped with pastrami, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and their signature fry sauce.
For those looking for a healthier option, many restaurants in Tacoma offer veggie burgers made with black beans, quinoa, or other plant-based ingredients. The "Southwest Veggie Burger" at The Red Hot is a popular choice, topped with avocado, salsa, and chipotle mayo. Another great option is the "Mushroom Swiss Veggie Burger" at The Hub, which features a savory mushroom patty and melted Swiss cheese. Don't be afraid to try something new and different, as Tacoma has a burger for every taste and preference.
Where to Find the Juiciest Burgers in Tacoma
When it comes to burgers, juiciness is key. If you're looking for the juiciest burgers in Tacoma, head to Red Wagon Burgers or Shake Shake Shake, both of which are known for their succulent patties. You can also find juicy options at Getaway Taproom, Meconi's Pub and Eatery, and The Social Bar and Grill.
But if you're looking for something a little different, try out the burgers at The Table, where they offer unique toppings like fried egg and avocado. Another great option is the burgers at The Spar, which are made with locally sourced beef and served on a brioche bun. No matter where you go, Tacoma has plenty of juicy burger options to satisfy your cravings.
How to Pair Your Burger with Local Beers and Wines in Tacoma
No burger is complete without the perfect drink pairing. In Tacoma, there are plenty of local beer and wine options that can complement your burger. Try the "Steady as She Gose" from Wingman Brewers with your Shake Shake Shake burger, or the "Huckleberry White" from Puyallup River Brewing Co. with your Orange Door burger. For wine lovers, consider pairing your burger with a glass of "Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel" from Treos Wine Bar and just enjoy.
Another great beer option to pair with your burger in Tacoma is the "Tacoma Brew" from Pacific Brewing and Malting Co. This amber ale has a smooth, malty flavor that pairs well with a classic cheeseburger. If you're feeling adventurous, try the "Sour Suzie" from Odd Otter Brewing Company with your burger. This sour beer has a tangy, fruity flavor that can cut through the richness of a burger.
If you prefer wine, consider trying the "Cabernet Sauvignon" from Stina's Cellars with your burger. This full-bodied red wine has notes of black cherry and vanilla that can complement the flavors of a juicy burger. Another great wine option is the "Chardonnay" from Davenport Cellars. This crisp white wine has hints of green apple and pear that can balance out the richness of a burger.
A Look at the Secret Menu Items at Popular Tacoma Burger Spots
Sometimes the best things are hidden in plain sight. Many popular burger spots in Tacoma have secret menu items that are only available to those in the know. One example is Shake Shake Shake's "Protein Style Burger," which swaps the bun for lettuce leaves for a low-carb option. At Red Wagon Burgers, ask for the "Tweeter and the Monkey Man," a tribute to a famous song by The Traveling Wilburys that features a burger topped with pastrami and Swiss cheese. At Orange Door, ask for the "Frisky Pete," which is a burger topped with jalapeño-cilantro mayo, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg.
The Rise of Gourmet Burgers in Tacoma
Burgers have come a long way from their humble beginnings as cheap fast food. In Tacoma, you can find gourmet burgers that feature artisanal ingredients and complex flavor profiles. Examples include the "Lamb Burger" at Pacific Grill, which features a lamb patty, finished with lemon, mint and feta, and the "Wild Boar Burger" at The Table, which is topped with wild boar sausage, applewood bacon, and a fried egg.
Burger Challenges: Can You Finish These Massive Burgers in Tacoma?
If you're feeling up for a challenge, Tacoma has some burger challenges that will test your limits. Meconi's Pub and Eatery offers the "Big John Burger Challenge," which consists of a 1 lb. patty, a pound of fries, and a pint of beer. The Spar's "Giant Burger" challenge includes a 2.5 lb. burger and fries, and you have to finish it all in under an hour. If you can beat the challenge, you'll earn a spot on their wall of fame.
The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Perfect Burger at a Restaurant in Tacoma
Finally, if you're looking to build your own perfect burger at a restaurant in Tacoma, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Start with a good foundation - a quality beef patty - and then choose your cheese and toppings wisely. Don't be afraid to mix and match flavors, like adding bacon jam or Sriracha mayo. And of course, don't forget to pair your burger with the perfect beer, wine or cocktail.
Whether you're a burger aficionado or just looking for a delicious meal, Tacoma has something to offer. We hope this guide helps you find your perfect burger in the city and Bon appetite!