By Cara Bertozzi
Did anyone else resolve to be more adventurous and seek out new dining options around town this year? Or maybe you’re determined to explore some of the surrounding suburbs that cultivate their own distinct culinary cultures? The following is a roundup of old favorites and fresh newcomers offering an array of sandwich options that will take time to get to know. Start the year off right and fight off the fog of winter with some bread-y food adventures!
Half Pint Pizza Pub
This neighborhood joint in the 6th Avenue neighborhood is primarily known for their pizza and calzones. These cheesy delights are easy to wash down with one of the many beer selections on tap. However, they also make a mean sandwich and have one of the best cheesesteaks in the area. Half Pint regularly brings in live music acts, so the atmosphere can be quite lively.
Half Pint Pizza Pub
2710 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98405
Sunday–Monday: 4:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Tuesday–Wednesday: 4:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.
Thursday–Saturday: 2:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.
The Melon Seed Deli and Frozen Yogurt
This brightly colored restaurant looks more like a fro-yo shop than a sandwich joint, but it is their selection of unusual sandwiches as well as their friendly staff that set them apart from the competition. The Melon Seed Deli serves all of their sandwiches on 3” slider buns, and a typical sandwich comes with two, though there is the option to purchase three or four. The Hawaiian is one of their more unusual options with a satisfying blend of meats, cream cheese, and fruit served on their Sweet Diamond Bread.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Monday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday: 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
No list of Tacoma-area sandwich shops would be complete without mentioning the Magical Sandwich Makers, which has a cult-like following. What MSM Deli lacks in ambience, it makes up for with its tasty hoagies stacked with meat and produce at a very reasonable price. Grab your sandwiches to go, and be sure to try the Mike’s Deluxe and the Deli Club.
Sunday–Thursday: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday: 8:00 a.m.–midnight
Peterson Bros. 1111
I totally walked right past this place when meeting a friend to check out their sandwiches. Once I found my way into the cozy wood-paneled bar, I was glad I hadn’t given up on my pursuit. The service is friendly, and the sandwiches are huge! My slow-roasted pork Cuban was bursting with flavor, and I couldn’t finish it after adding a hot soup to my meal for $1. I’m a sucker for a thick, crunchy pickle too.
Sunday–Saturday: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 a.m.
This charming residential corner spot in North Proctor has a great neighborhood vibe. Rosewood Cafe was bustling on the drizzly day I lunched there, and my sandwich-soup combo really hit the spot. The Wood turkey sandwich served on a kalamata olive roll managed to be both smoky (thanks to the bacon) and fresh, courtesy of the green pungent leaves of basil. My friend’s Rick’s Dip was also a hit with plenty of rosemary jus and strong house horseradish mayo.
Sunday–Saturday: 11:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
This small European-style cafe is sure to pique your interest if you’re looking to expand your horizons with new flavor combinations. Stink has selections ranging from their Simple sandwich line to a gourmet take on peanut butter and blackberry jam with bacon and blue cheese, aptly named The Stinker. They offer more obscure pairings of old world-style beers and wine as well to complement the strong cheeses and cured meats stocked in their shop.
Tuesday–Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Friday –Saturday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Netshed No. 9
There is a decidedly airy modern feel to this refurbished boat shed located right on the water in Gig Harbor. The deck provides views and outdoor seating in the warmer months, and the open kitchen, along with the engaging staff, make you feel like you’re part of the action. The menu at Netshed No. 9 has interesting twists on classics, and while I had nothing to which to compare my first Monte Cristo experience, this sandwich is definitely on my radar now. The crispy cheese-covered bread and warm salami were expertly offset by the veggies and chimichuri sauce. Of all the spots on this list, this is your best bet for a romantic date. Don’t miss out on sharing the bacon cinnamon rolls at your table.
Thursday–Monday: 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Independent Sandwich Co.
Indy Sandwich Co. is dedicated to sourcing fresh, high-quality ingredients for their sandwiches, and it shows. Their imported cheeses add extra flair to their flavor profiles, and their special sauces are what really put their sandwiches on the map. The Hot Ginger Chicken packed a punch, and it was only $6 for a half sandwich with a cup of soup. Additionally, they substitute cream cheese for mayo on their subs, which has fewer calories and less fat. Who knew? Their new Lacey location is due to open soon. Bonus: They offer a military discount!
Monday–Friday: 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 10:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
The Pickled Pepper
This tiny little breakfast and deli cafe is tucked away in a municipal office building in Puyallup, but it’s a hidden gem. Fresh focaccia is enough to make me love almost any sandwich, but the contents of the Aussie, a grilled chicken panini with sweet onions and a cheesy spread, nearly outshined its casing. Because of their location and limited seating, The Pickled Pepper has done very well focusing on lunches-to-go and office catering.
Monday–Friday: 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Sparks Firehouse Deli
Located across the street from Sparks Stadium, this assiduously decorated fire station-themed deli is clearly a neighborhood favorite. The gas fireplace was cozying up the atmosphere when I ate lunch with friends, but the huge fire engine doors open onto a welcoming patio during warmer weather and transform the space. Sandwiches run about $10 and come with a soda and a side. Options include a lot of fire-roasted meat-focused fare. They piled on the corned beef, sauerkraut, and mustard for my Reuben and served it on nicely marbled toasted rye bread. It’s on my list to go back and try a pizza.
Sunday–Thursday: 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Friday–Saturday: 10:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.