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The 10 Best Cocktail Bars and Speakeasies in Tacoma

The 10 Best Cocktail Bars and Speakeasies in Tacoma

Post created September 20, 2023

In line with the city’s diverse and quirky character, the Tacoma bar scene is home to an array of watering holes fit for every taste. It’s no surprise then, that this includes some amazing cocktail bars and speakeasies, each with its own unique character and selection of spirits. 

Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife or a cozy date night spot, Tacoma has it all. Let’s take a look at the 10 best speakeasies and cocktail bars in Tacoma, complete with themed décor, funky fusions, and masterfully crafted libations. 

Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar

Whether you’re a beef or whiskey connoisseur, or you simply enjoy good food and drinks in a lively waterfront shopping center, Stack 571 is a treat. Their abundant menu is packed with options, and their family-friendly environment makes this a great choice for all ages. 

This burger and whiskey bar located at Point Ruston is one of seven locations throughout Washington and Utah. Their carefully selected collection includes whiskeys from across the country, Ireland, and Scotland, including several options from right here in the evergreen state. 

Curious tasters will enjoy a flight, while cocktail enthusiasts can choose from a selection of classics. Several other classic cocktails and decadent shakes with a shot are also available, as are locally crafted beers and wines. 

So many amazing drink options deserve an equally impressive food menu, and Stack 571 has it all. Their selection of burgers covers every variation, while their sandwiches, salads, and starters ensure something for everyone. All food options are made with locally and sustainably grown produce, while the burger beef comes from RR Ranch in Texas.  

Stack 571 is open every day for lunch and dinner. A daily happy hour runs from 3 to 6 pm, as well as from 9 to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Bar Rosa

Pizza and cocktails on the bar counter
Image Credit: Seattle Travel

Bar Rosa is a quaint cocktail bar situated along 11th Street in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the drinks offer unique twists on classic libations. With indoor and outdoor seating, Bar Rosa is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. 

Known as much for their cocktails as they are for their Neapolitan-style pizzas, this Tacoma bar is great for groups and date nights. The large clay oven where the magic happens sits in the corner of the room, the beautiful exterior tiling work adding a decorative touch to the room. Across the way, a corner bar serves a curated selection of custom cocktails, Italian wines, and local beers. 

Popular beverage options include the refreshing signature For Rosa and the sophisticated El Jefe. They also carry a nice selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including the Best Day Brewing Non-alcoholic Kolsch and the Zentopia CBD Seltzer. The thick crust and fresh ingredients of their pizzas pair perfectly with any beverage, with favorites including the creamy Foraged Pie and the simple, yet tasty Margherita. 

Bar Rosa is open daily, with a happy hour that discounts select cocktails and small bites every Sunday through Thursday from 3-5 and 9-close.

The Vault

Dark, painted hallway with bathroom door on the left
Image Credit: Seattle Travel

Also known as “the secret bar” within the McMenamins Elks Temple in downtown Tacoma, the Vault plays up an authentic speakeasy atmosphere. The hidden entrance requires insider knowledge to find, while the dimly lit space and specialized menu draw inspiration from prohibition-era practices. 

The discreet door opens into a dusky den made cozy with a vintage-styled wooden bar and artwork adorning the walls. Ample table and booth seating fill the space, while the knowledgeable bartenders are ready to share their knowledge about the cocktails they prepare and the spirits used to make them. 

The Vault is open daily from 4 pm, with closing times ranging from 10 pm to midnight. They also have a great happy hour from 3 to 6 pm, as well as from 10 pm to close on weekends. While you’re there, don’t hesitate to also explore the rest of the bars at the McMenamins Elk’s Temple, including the Old Hangout tiki bar, the Spanish Bar and performance space, Doc’s Bar and billiards room, the McMenamins Pub and dining room, and the brewery tasting room and bottle shop. 

Doyle’s Public House

As the self-proclaimed best whiskey bar on the West Coast, Doyle’s Public House has established quite a reputation. Of course, the carefully curated selection of over 200 premium whiskey varieties with the catchphrase “Whiskey for the people!” does a great job of backing up this claim. 

At Doyle’s Public House, you’ll find whiskeys from around the world, including Irish blends, Scotch, and Kentucky bourbon. Try them neat for the full taste or ask one of the expert bartenders for a cocktail that highlights the prominent flavors. Then, pair your beverage with a delicious selection of dishes such as the classic Shepperd’s Pie and Bangers & Mash to discover why Doyle’s Public House won the title of “One of the best bars in America” by Esquire magazine.

The dimly lit interior with a brick wall and wood furnishings creates an atmosphere typical for an Irish pub, and the activities are just as lively. Enjoy your drink while watching the latest international game, trying your wits in the weekly Geeks Who Drink night, or partaking in the monthly St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Doyle’s Public House is open until 2 am daily, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting at 9 am on weekdays and 7 am on weekends. They also have a private room named The Snug that can accommodate up to 20 people, as well as a party bus to carry patrons to local sporting events. 

Busy Body!

As one of the newest editions to Tacoma’s lively 6th Avenue, Busy Body! combines an eclectic vibe with a unique cocktail concept and food created by an award-winning chef. The idea came as an homage to the 60s punk era, with bright, funky walls and rock n’ roll memorabilia highlighting Tacoma’s musical history. 

One of the unique features of this Tacoma cocktail bar is its selection of premade cocktails on tap. Try the refreshing Tall Cool One made with vodka, Aperol, watermelon, ginger, lemon, and firewater, or go for something sweeter with the frozen purple Wildcat. Wine, beer, and ciders also come as drafts, while bartenders are happy to create their own Fun Shots for those feeling adventurous.  

Although the food menu at Busy Body! is not as abundant as that at some other Tacoma cocktail bars, the selection is certainly unique. Chef Melissa Miranda, owner of the Beacon Hill restaurant Musang and one of the nation’s best new chefs by Food & Wine, created the daughter company Musangtino’s to bring her tasty Filipino-inspired comfort foods to Tacoma. Popular options include the Spaghetti Mang and the Lumpia Shanghai, and several vegan and gluten-free options are also available.  

Busy Body! is open daily from 4 pm until 2 am. Come for the food and drinks, and stay for one of their growing rotation of DJ and live music nights. 

Bar Bistro

Campfire (Image Credit: Bar Bistro)

Exquisite culinary techniques and carefully crafted cocktails come together at Bar Bistro. Ideal for a casual lunch or a special occasion, they serve perfectly prepared beverages and New American Cuisine in an atmosphere that combines upscale dining with a casual neighborhood bar. 

Flavor and presentation are both at the forefront of all of Bar Bistro’s concoctions. Their cocktails are carefully crafted and beautifully garnished, with fresh fruits, berries, and herbs adorning the glasses. Their signature Campfire cocktail even includes two toasted marshmallows suspended across the rim for a special sweet treat. Also available is an impressive selection of beer and wine, as well as an extensive collection of whiskey made for connoisseurs. 

Not only are the drinks at this Tacoma cocktail bar breathtaking, but the dishes are just as unique and carefully prepared. The flavors are fresh and diverse, and the plates are meticulously arranged into beautiful works of art. Popular dishes include deep-fried Brie, crab bisque, and elk sliders. 

Block coloring, metallic accents, and straight, clean lines create a modern atmosphere at Bar Bistro. Colorful backlighting illuminates the selection of spirits along the back wall of the bar, and TVs are strategically placed to be visible throughout the dining area. 

Bar Bistro opens daily at 4 pm. They’re open until 8 pm Monday through Thursday, 9 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 8 pm Sundays. 

The Blue Rose

Nestled in Tacoma’s Theater District, The Blue Rose is a modern lounge with tasty cocktails and café-style plates. The space is bright and decorative, while the atmosphere is laid-back and relaxed. With both an all-ages café area and a 21+ lounge, this Tacoma cocktail bar is the ideal venue to hang out with friends or enjoy an after-work cocktail. 

True to its name, the interior of The Blue Rose features bright blue walls that are both vibrant and relaxing. Rail lighting and metal barstools give it a sleek modern edge, while wooden counters and ornamental Turkish-style hanging lamps warm the space. 

The Blue Rose carries a tasty signature cocktail menu with some unique combinations as well as classic concoctions. The Make Me Something Fruity is a tropical mix made with mango vodka, lychee, mango, and passionfruit, while the Nick’s Secret is made with the unique combination of pineapple, rootbeer, and vodka. Freshly made mocktails are also available, as is a curated collection of international wines and several select beers. 

Sandwiches, soups, salads, and charcuterie boards pair perfectly with any choice of beverage. Favorites include The Full Monte and the Prosciutto and Brie sandwiches, as well as the Antipasti Plate and the Pub Pretzel with beer cheese and mustard. 

The Blue Rose is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hours start at noon on weekdays and 3 pm on Saturdays, operating until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. They also have a daily happy hour from 3 pm to 6 pm to discount beers, well drinks, and select food items. 

Devil’s Reef

Outside of the Devils Reef, street view looking at bar
Image Credit: Seattle Travel

Tacoma may not always be bright and sunny, but this Tacoma cocktail bar knows how to lighten up a dark space with a fun, tropical vibe. Tucked away in Tacoma’s Theater District, Devil’s Reef is an inconspicuous tiki bar with award-winning cocktails and a dusky, mysterious atmosphere. 

The bar enters into an elongated, dimly lit room with decorative elements everywhere you look. From bamboo rafters and ornate chandeliers to fishing nets and pirate skulls, the space is artfully adorned with fun tiki and nautical-themed trinkets. 

The menu at Devil’s Reef offers a spread of libations with creative names and even more creative backstories. Enjoy a slushie Antarctica Expedition for a refreshingly sweet treat or try the Voodoo Summoning for a new take on a classically fruity and rum-based tiki drink. 

Several food offerings are available to pair with the large selection of cocktails, most of which are Polynesian-style renditions of traditional bar bites. The dishes are made for sharing, with patron favorites including the pulled pork nachos and the jerk chicken.  

Devil’s Reef is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5 pm until midnight on weeknights and 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. With so much to offer, they do tend to get busy, so be prepared for a wait when visiting this popular Tacoma cocktail bar. 

Boom Boom Room

Those who enjoy speakeasies and craft cocktails will love the swanky vibes and carefully curated libations at the Boom Boom Room. This Tacoma cocktail bar is fashioned after a mid-century-style Vegas lounge, complete with Rat Pack vibes and specialty spirits. 

The dim interior features bold black and red walls and warm wood accents. The various chandeliers and hanging lights help to illuminate the otherwise dim venue, and the red bar backlighting and fluorescents fill the space with a forbidden glow. 

The Boom Boom Room prides itself on its selection of uncommon liquors and high-end whiskeys, including spirits from local distilleries and family-owned companies. Each spirit variety has its own menu, while the collection of scratch cocktails and rotating mixed drinks offer carefully curated recipes in which to enjoy your favorite liquor. Patron favorites include the Manifest Martini made with cold brew coffee and espresso liqueur and the fruity Shrubarbara Ann. 

In addition to its vast selection of beverages, the Boom Boom Room also features a scratch kitchen with a menu focused on shareable starters and decadent desserts. However, it also includes a few heartier handheld items like a 1/3 lb. burger and a Philly cheesesteak-style quesadilla. 

The Boom Boom Room opens daily at 4 pm. They close at 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 

En Rama 

Iced cocktail on bar counter
Image Credit: Seattle Travel

In the heart of downtown Tacoma, en Rama is the spot for classic cocktails and cozy date night vibes. Serving delicious libations that pair perfectly with house-made pasta, en Rama is just as popular for being one of the best downtown Tacoma restaurants as it is for its carefully crafted beverages. 

The cocktail menu at this Tacoma cocktail bar is carefully refined, yet does an excellent job of covering all bases. From a sweet White Russian or Pineapple Daiquiri to a classic Old-fashioned and pleasantly bitter Negroni, en Rama has perfected the art of mixology with something for every patron. Their menu also includes a curated list of wines, with full bottles available to take home. 

The food menu is just as refined, with pasta, seafood, and small plates made to complement the offered libations. The menu offerings change seasonally, with some customer favorites including the Tagliatelle pasta with pomegranate and cheese and the Risotto with house-made chorizo and Tajin. 

Wood details and soft, warm lighting create a cozy and welcoming space within the large, open space within the historic Courthouse Square. Large windows allow ample light during the day, while tabletop firepits heat the outdoor patio seating in the evenings and colder months. 

En Rama is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 3 pm to 10 pm. They also have a daily happy hour from 3 pm – 5 pm that discounts select beverages.  

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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