Restaurant Reviews

Check out these Annie Wright neighborhood restaurants, all within a 15 minute walk


a giant soft pretzel from Rhine Haus


walk time: 14 minutes

I walked into Anthem on a Friday before school for breakfast and coffee to see that many others had the same plan as I did. A commuter on his way to work stood in line in front of me, a young couple met to discuss business plans, a father and his daughter came in for a hot chocolate, and a group of older men sat at a reserved table for Bible study. All before 8:00 am.

Anthem, a family owned coffee shop with now six locations throughout Tacoma, Puyallup, and University Place, strives to provide “heroic hospitality” and be recognized as “a hub in the community.” My experiences with Anthem reflect these values; whether it’s after an event downtown or on a walk with my parents and dog, I am always happy to stop by Anthem.

While I’m no coffee expert (I basically stick to a Chai Tea Latte wherever I go), I have confirmed with more avid coffee drinkers that Anthem’s coffee passes the test. The business also serves tea, ale and wine, and has added breakfast, sandwich and appetizer food to its menus. But I enjoy Anthem more for its welcoming people and inviting social atmosphere: indie music, large wooden tables and soft lighting, which best supports collaborative work over individual study. Whenever I’m in the mood for a coffee or am looking for a cozy environment to catch up with friends, I keep returning to Anthem, and Anthem in turn seems to keep thriving in Tacoma.

– Allison Fitz


Art House Cafe

walk time: 12 minutes

The Art House Cafe is a clean, open, and colorful eatery perfect for long conversations with family and friends. When you walk in, your eyes are met with bright and crisp hues of green and blue as well as unique light fixtures. You can expect the service to be attentive and friendly.

From the lunch menu I tried the margherita pizza and mac and cheese. After trying both I would recommend the mac and cheese over the pizza. While the pizza was good, their specialty does seem to be comfort foods. The mac and cheese was phenomenal; it even convinced my mother who tends not to like mac and cheese to want another bite. It is made with white cheeses and with bread crumbs on top. The quality of ingredients in it was top notch. It’s obvious that they pay special attention to crafting artisanal and almost nostalgic meals. It is worth mentioning that the prices are steep, but the portions are large.

-Gabrielle Krieger



walk time: 12 minutes

Indo is a modern, rustic and hip Asian restaurant that serves a variety of food from Southeast Asia. When it first opened I was excited that it was so close to school, but I would say that I was underwhelmed by the food. On the menu there is a diverse range of foods, which is great when you’re looking for a specific type of Asian food. I usually order the Pad Thai, which is one of my favorite meals, and Indo does it justice. I have also tried the dumplings and the Pad See Ew, and I appreciate their large portions.

The food is good, but not great. I think the restaurant makes up for it, however, in the interior design. The inside is calming, and the soft music is perfect for the setting.  The waiters are very friendly and willing to change the order if necessary.

Although it is dark inside, I think it sets the right mood. It is difficult to find authentic Asian food in Tacoma, but Indo is a nice option. Although the food is on the expensive side I would say the pricing is good for the amount of food that is served. I always bring home leftovers. Overall I would say that the food is fine, but the atmosphere is great.

-Jade Cheatham


Montamara Kitchen

walk time: 12 minutes

Montamara Kitchen is a small restaurant in Old Town that has many great things to offer, as well as being walking distance from Annie Wright. My friend Willow Flint and I walked there recently from her house, as she lives right near Annie Wright.

When we arrived, the restaurant was full, but we were efficiently seated within 10 minutes. Montamara Kitchen is only a breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant. Their menu isn’t extremely long, but it really doesn’t need to be in my opinion. They have a nice selection of breakfast foods and lunch foods, and multiple options for coffee, which is good, and other beverages. For adults, there is a selection of alcoholic beverages. The menu also boasts gluten-free options and states that they use local products, no unnatural hormones.

The setting of the restaurant is modern, rustic American. The food, however, seems to have a Latin or Mexican flare, which I found surprising. Despite the contrast between the setting and the food, our meal was delicious. I had eggs benedict, which was really good. The service was also good, although the food did take awhile to come out. Willow had a nacho dish. Although she was expecting it to be more like a taquito, it turned a bowl of chips with beans on top with a side of “boiled reds” (potatoes) and fruit, which she said was filling and delicious.

– Samantha Salamone

Moshi Moshi

walk time: 12 minutes

Moshi Moshi is an urban Japanese restaurant focused on Japanese style ramen and cocktails. They offer a wide range of ramen including Tonkotsu (a pork bone ramen), Shio (chicken bone ramen and vegetarian friendly Tonyu (made with braised tofu and brown rice miso).

I tried Tonkotsu ramen, which the waitress recommended. As a fan of Japanese style ramen, I especially enjoyed the noodles, which I later learned are handcrafted. Their grill menus and range of dumplings and baos also stood out. I unfortunately was unable to try it out, but our waitress recommended the boiled dumplings, mentioning that it was a customer favorite.

The whole restaurant had a chic and urban vibe to it. The range of drinks that lined up the window of the bar gave the whole place a fun atmosphere. The jazz background music and buzz of friendly conversation made for lively and warm environment.

While the food was great it wasn’t as student friendly as other restaurants around Annie Wright. It has a strong bar presence and does not allow minors after 9:00 pm. The prices are also not very student friendly, with a bowl of noodles costing around $13 on average. I believe it is a good restaurant for family lunches or for a nice meal out with friends but wouldn’t count it as the best restaurant for Annie Wright students to hang out in the evening.

– YoungSeo Jo

The Spar

walk time: 11 minutes

Located in the heart of Old Town, the Spar combines a cozy cafe and a social pub, which, as a high school student, I appreciate. I regularly order the matcha latte, which I find to be rightly sweet and with rich green tea flavor – perfect for a cold day! The food is what one would typically see at a pub restaurant and bar, such as burgers, seafood, sandwiches and salads.

The Spar is famous for its Spar Chips, which are essentially potato chips, but I agree with the hype – they’re really good! I have also ordered the classic burger a few times, and I highly recommend that for a nice simple meal.

What many locals, including myself, like most, however, is the atmosphere and setting of the quaint place. It has an intimate and local vibe, as the place is decorated with many Tacoma-centric posters and artwork and the structure of the place allows people to talk casually with one another, almost like catching up with an old friend. The food and drinks are great, but I really believe that the overall atmosphere is the main stand out, as it gives you the feeling of home and inclusivity.

– Kaitlin Tan


Salamone’s Pizza

walk time: 13 minutes

Located in Stadium District, Salamone’s pizza is a fitting representation of New York style pizza. The focus is on the dough, which is thin-crust and crunchy but soft at the same time. The sauce is not sweet, which I know many people enjoy. Personally, I like sweet things, so I was indifferent about the sauce. And there are so many pizzas to choose from! From a classic cheese pizza to a spinach and artichoke pizza to even a vegan pizza – I’m sure there could be an option for anyone. The ambience of the place is very casual and friendly. The idea is that you can walk in, grab a slice of pizza, and either eat the pizza on the go or sit at a table and eat. I love the versatility of the place. Also, at around $3 per slice with specials for high school students, the price is right.

– Kaitlin Tan

Jimmy John’s

walk time: 15 minutes

Most dormers order out for food at one time or another. My go-to is Jimmy John’s, a sandwich shop similar to subway that delivers “Freaky Fast.” I always order the ham and provolone with lettuce, extra tomato, and no mayo! It is not outstanding but good enough that I keep ordering the same sandwich.

You can order and customize everything online, which is convenient if you want to order food without the hassle of a phone call. Jimmy John’s offers a cheap sandwich option, and in fact they do deliver fast. Typically I do not wait over 20 minutes for my sandwich to be delivered. They generally call when they arrive, or if they have a question. The Jimmy John’s store front is located near Stadium and Starbucks.

– Nina Doody

Rhein Haus

walk time: 16 minutes

Rhein Haus serves German fare in a large, open space. The atmosphere and menu are focused on beers and brats; however there are many other options including pasta, pizza, burgers, and salads. The “giant pretzel” came fast and warm, crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside, with a variety for sauces for dipping, but covered in too much salt and very filling. The roasted cauliflower was slightly crunchy, delicious, and a perfect quantity.

Their signature “Rhein brat,” an applewood brat with bacon, was good, but filling, so the rest came home as leftovers. The french fries, which came with the brat, were large, seasoned, and paired with curry flavored ketchup, which was surprisingly delicious.

Rhein Haus is on the more expensive side; the giant pretzel alone costs $15, but the quality, quick service and huge space explain the higher prices. Overall, we had a good experience, but neither of us would rush back.

– Abby Givens and Nina Doody


Shake Shake Shake

walk time: 12 minutes

Shake Shake Shake, located in Stadium district of Tacoma, is a classical diner serving shakes, burger, and fries, popular with students from Stadium High School and Annie Wright Schools.

As you walk into the diner, there are barstools lining the counter with many tables and chairs, and the iconic “EAT” sign on the wall. There are many burger options and over 30 shake flavors. After ordering, you may choose your table.

As a test, I wanted to see how easy it is being a vegetarian in a burger place. The diner has a great option to change any of their burgers into vegetarian form. The vegetarian burgers are high quality and delicious. One major downside though is that vegetarians cannot eat the french fries, as they are made with oils from the burgers. The shake I ordered was a oreo flavored, although I have had salted caramel, nutella, and vanilla shakes in the past. Every shake I have ever tried has been incredible. They are large, perfectly sweet and go well with your meal.

Overall, the diner is very affordable for high school students on budgets. Though it is an easy walk from Annie Wright, the restaurant also delivers through UberEats.

– Julia Henning