Pizza comes in many forms, and countries across the globe have their own versions of the topping-laden flatbread. From Japan’s Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki to Turkey’s popular lahmacun, pizza — in one form or another — pizza is somewhat of a global food. And while slices of flammukuchen might not be a staple on menus at Tacoma-area restaurants, you don’t have to travel far to find tasty pans full of cheese encrusted pie. Explore these local pizzerias in search of the perfect slice.
1. Puget Sound Pizza
Puget Sound Pizza — affectionately referred to as PSP by locals — is perhaps best known as one of the top karaoke spots in Tacoma. Come on down Wednesday to Saturday nights to sing your heart out. But if you come for the amateur music, then stay for the professional pizza. Specialty pies include the “Pesto Control,” with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, parmesan, and sundried tomatoes, or the “St. Helens,” piled high with pepperoni, sausage, olives, and jalapenos.
The hand rolled crust is medium thick and quite crispy around the edge, but substantial enough to hold up under whatever fresh ingredients you load on top. Prices run $21-$25 for a large. Small pizzas and cheesy pizza bread are also available for those with a smaller appetite, and a large beer and cider selection will give you the courage you need to step up to the mic when it’s your turn for karaoke.
Puget Sound Pizza
317 S 7th St
Tacoma, WA 98402
2. Sammy’s Pizza
A relatively new addition to the Three Bridges district, Sammy’s is right next to Dave’s Meat Market, but will deliver just about anywhere in North Tacoma (check out their website for the full delivery map). Of course, you can also dine in and carry out.
This family-friendly establishment offers pizza of all sizes, from personal to X-large, with prices running $13-$20 for a large. There are four options of crust available, including gluten-free. There are lots of TV’s for watching sports, but, due to zoning restrictions, they are not allowed to serve alcohol.
The specialty pizzas are loaded with toppings, such as the “Nutty and Spicy,” with sausage, pepperoni, onions, tomatoes, and cashews on a spicy chipotle sauce. Sides on the menu include ribs and chicken wings — as well as the usual salad and breadsticks.
1308 N I St
Tacoma, WA 98403
3. The Cloverleaf
Whenever a restaurant boasts its food as “World Famous,” you have a right to be skeptical. But Cloverleaf has been around for a while, so be sure to give their pizza your own taste test. The original Cloverleaf Tavern opened in 1950, and they’ve been making their “unique thin crust” ever since. It really is thin — more like a crispy wafer than the dough of most pies, but it holds up under the full serving of cheese and toppings. Be warned it could take from 20-45 minutes to bake, but get a pitcher and some free popcorn while you wait.
Sizes are “mini,” “regular,” or “huge” — but don’t be daunted by the name. A huge is more or less a large anywhere else and runs from $14-$25. The menu is quite extensive, with a large selection of hot and cold sandwiches as well. There is both a family friendly dining area and a 21+ bar with lots of sports-tuned TVs.
6430 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406
4. Abella Pizzeria
Abella is a favorite among UWT students, but it’s worth a stop for anyone downtown around lunch or dinner time. The large menu includes salads, pasta, sandwiches, and calzones, and an impressive selection of pizzas, which run from $13-$18 for a large. Gluten-free crust and soy cheese are both available. But the best part may be the fact that you can get pizza by the slice.
Make your own or choose tasty specials such as “Spanish Fiesta,” “Breakfast Scramble,” or the “Peppercotta”.
1946 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
5. Elemental Pizza
This chic pizza parlor is a recent addition to the burgeoning Pacific Ave district. Their wood-fired pies feature premium ingredients such as crimini mushrooms, goat cheese, and curry chicken, but there are more basic choices for the kids (or picky adults) too. In fact, there is something for everyone with vegan cheese and gluten-free crust, as well as plenty of specialty salads.
The pizzas are all 12” “individuals” that go for $13-$15. During happy hour every day (and all day on Sunday), simple pizzas are just $8, and well drinks are under $4.
1702 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
6. Half Pint Pizza Pub
This hip spot on 6th Ave draws an eclectic crowd: bar hoppers, family diners, UPS students, and trivia-heads (every Wednesday). With a good rotating craft beer selection, happy hour every day, and live music on some weekend nights, it’s easy to see why.
The pizza is no afterthought, however: it’s the main course. These pies are cheesy and loaded with toppings, but hold up well over a medium thick, chewy crust. A large goes for $14-$19, but swing by on Tuesdays for two 2-topping pizzas for just $20. The calzones are also amazing, and only $6 during happy hour!
Half Pint Pizza Pub
2710 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406