We lived in Pierce County (home of Tacoma) in the 1980’s.  At that time, Tacoma was known for crime, particularly in certain parts of the city.  We moved to California in 1991.

Note: I don’t know if the crime data at the time really supported Tacoma’s reputation but, unfortunately, perception = reality ☹.

We moved back to Pierce County in 2008 and found a whole new vibe, particularly in certain Tacoma neighborhoods.  The slogan: ‘Keep Tacoma Feared’ was bandied about to stop an influx of newcomers moving into our ‘special place’.

One of our favorite haunts in Tacoma is the Proctor District in North Tacoma. It is a great mix of older well restored homes, shops and restaurants, with a small movie theater, a farmer’s market, and some apartments.  It is a perfect place for a walk to enjoy the fall colors.

We usually head there every week or so and here are some favorites:

  • Metropolitan Market – a regional market with great produce, seafood, meats, and a deli.  We are particularly enamored with their house made salmon patties and cioppino.
  • Proctor’s Farmers Market – a small market with lots of fresh stuff in season.  My favorite is corn roasted empanadas for brunch or lunch.
  • Top Pot doughnuts – also part of a regional chain.  The maple old fashioned is 😊.
  • Browne’s Tasting Room – their wines are a real treat and they offer some interesting flights in their cozy tasting room.
  • Restaurants – Cactus ( a southwest style menu with good appetizers and drinks), Pomodoro (Italian food that gets great reviews),  Viva (a vegan restaurant that gets good reviews from my vegan friend), and Crudo and Cotto (good Happy Hour and house wines). A little farther afield, we like the Rosewood Café for lunch, and Cook’s Tavern for breakfast.  Some of these have been a bit hit and miss during the pandemic but are fortunately surviving! There are a number of other restaurants in the area, but these are the ones I have either tried or are recommended by my friends.

There are other places worth exploring in the area and the University of Puget Sound campus is nearby.

It’s not necessary to go far and wide. I mean, you can really find exciting and inspiring things within your hometown.

Daryl Hanna

Generally, I try not to envy people. But two of my friends live in the Proctor district and I am green with envy 😊!



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