Tacoma Washington is a port city on Puget Sound that is roughly 32 miles southwest of Seattle. Like many towns and cities outside of Seattle, Tacoma is another gem of Washington that has completely changed in the past two decades. Residential and commercial development and growth have revitalized many areas in Tacoma and today we’ll be exploring what the city has to offer when it comes to the great American burger!
The 8 Best Burgers in Tacoma:
- Spanky Burger & Brew
- Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar
- Shake Shake Shake
- Frisko Freeze
- Burger Seoul
- Red Wagon Burgers
- Burger Broiler Tacoma
1. Spanky Burger & Brew
Address: 601 S Pine St, Tacoma, WA 98405
Spanky is serious when it comes to their burgers. What is “burger spanking”? According to Spanky Burger & Brew is, “flattening a piece of meat on a hot griddle by repeatedly moving a spatula up and down”. A large burger menu that’s made fresh to order boasts both classic and contemporary options. There’s chicken, turkey, salmon, pork, and veggie burger options as well. The fries were great, but the onion rings were better. In the mood for wings? They’ve got em’ and they’re the bone-in drummies! 11 different flavors for milkshakes and malts, as well as fruit shakes round out the menu.
2. Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar
Address: 5061 Main St, Tacoma, WA 98407
Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar takes you to the outskirts of Commencement Bay on Puget Sound. Located near apartment living, along with other small shops in the area, Stack offers local residents a hip eatery to walk to when in the mood for a good burger and drink. If you’re looking for a modern and chic loft environment near the water that serves creative and contemporary eats, Stack 571 is your place. From a spicy chorizo burger to a Banh Mi giving homage to Vietnamese cuisine, this isn’t your place if you’re looking for a “plain hamburger”. Boozy shakes, local draft beers, and a good selection of local and imported whiskeys round out Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar.
3. Shake Shake Shake
Address: 124 N Tacoma Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403
Located right in the heart of Tacoma’s stadium district, we have our next Tacoma burger spot, Shake Shake Shake. If you’re looking for a traditional American burger joint that is reminiscent of a modern 1940’s diner, Shake Shake Shake is your place. Great for taking the family out for a classic meal. Nothing super fancy on the menu. Traditional burgers with fresh ingredients is what you’ll get. There’s a few standouts from the classics such as the teriyaki burger and beyond meat burger (100% plant-based patty). The hot dogs and sides are what you’d expect from an all American diner. What I particularly love about this place is that I can take the kids to a kid friendly environment that also has a menu that I know they’ll like!
Shake Shake Shake gets their creative juices flowing when it comes to their sauce “dippers” and milkshakes. Favorite “dippers” include the garlic mayo, sriracha ketchup, and truffle aioli. Favorite shakes include banana brulee, spiced chai, and strawberry shortcake!
4. Frisko Freeze
Address: 1201 Division Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403
This burger joint proudly opened their doors in Tacoma on July 27, 1950. Here’s your classic drive up, park, and walk up to grab your food burger place. Take that bag to go and eat outside standing next to your car! The menu is straightforward. Just let them know if you want a single, double, triple, or even a triple meat/double cheeseburger! Fries, onion rings, cones, shakes, and malts round out the Frisko Freeze menu and experience!
Address: 10727 Pacific Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98444
Frugals opened their first location in Port Angeles, Washington, in June 1988. The Tacoma location opened two years later. What I love about Frugal’s story is that they dedicated themselves to developing an efficient and effective double drive-through system. Two lines of cars moving in different directions go through as the team inside works tirelessly to fulfill orders. All sandwiches are cooked to order with a variety of add-ons available. The burgers are fairly straightforward with thinner patties (if you like more meat you may want to order a double). If you’re in the mood for something different than a cheeseburger, breaded chicken and halibut sandwiches are available as well. Coca-Cola products and your standard chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors are available if you’re in the mood for a milkshake.
6. Burger Seoul
Address: 1750 S Prospect St STE B, Tacoma, WA 98405
If you’re looking for a marriage between the American and Korean flavors, Burger Seoul is your spot. Located on South Prospect Street in Tacoma, at first glance you could easily miss it as it’s a small pop up/food truck. With that being said, it’s likely that no matter what time of the day you go, there’s going to be a healthy line. Yet, the service is quick and friendly so it won’t take long to get your food.
The Seoul Burger is their flagship burger. It’s made with 100% Northwest ground chuck and short rib beef served medium rare. Double sharp cheddar is added inside a brioche bun, topped with lettuce, onions, and of course their special “Seoul sauce”. Variations of the Seoul Burger on their menu include items such as guacamole, Korean grilled ribeye, pickled Korean cucumber, and something they call the fire sauce. Everything packs some heat so be prepared for that. Accompany your burger with some Seoul fire fries consisting of spicy and buttery garlic fries smothered in fire Seoul meat and parmesan cheese.
7. Red Wagon Burger
Address: 2315 N Pearl St, Suite A-16, Tacoma, WA 98406
Don’t let the stripmall location fool you, Red Wagon Burger is a local go-to for not only burgers but Philly cheese steaks as well. Coming to Red Wagon hungry? Go for the monster burger. Want something a bit lighter? The salmon burger is solid and I especially love the tartar sauce on there. If you’re bringing the kids, Red Wagon has great options for the little ones too. When I’m not in the mood for my usual bacon cheeseburger, I love that Red Wagon has a fried seafood option on their menu. Prawns, clam strips, calamari, oysters, and your original fish n’ chips. Can’t decide? You don’t have to. Order the seafood combo! A large selection of milkshakes rounds out the Red Wagon Burger’s menu.
8. Burger Broiler Tacoma
Address: 3801 McKinley Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404
The Burger Broiler is another one of my favorite spots to take the family out if we’re going for burgers in Tacoma. It’s a kid and family-friendly environment with lots of options on the menu. If you have kids, you know how picky they can be and it’s always nice to know you can take them somewhere where there’s something everyone can enjoy!
My go-to burgers are the bacon cheeseburger or the spicy crispy chicken sandwich. They give you the choice of regular, homemade, or waffle fries. It’s always going to be waffle fries for me. The mini corn dogs are a hit with the kids when they’re not in a burger mood. When we’ve gone here for lunch, I enjoy getting a coffee frabbuccino (yes, they spell it with b’s instead of p’s). The Hazelnut coffee frabb is ridiculously good!