Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor, WA has won a lot of awards. In 2016, South Sound Magazine voted it the Best Outdoor Dining, and in 2015 and 2014 King 5’s “Best of Western Washington,” gave it the same honor. The restaurant has also won best lunch, best bar, and been included in top ten seafood shacks at Relish.com, Travel & Leisure Magazine, and Coastal Living. I think it’s safe to say, Tides Tavern is noticed.
This former mercantile building turned restaurant can be very busy, especially on a sunny day when people want to take advantage of its “best outdoor dining.” They serve upscale pub fare like burgers, build-your-own pizzas, and specialize in seafood dishes. Their menu changes seasonally, and they locally source their seafood, make scratch ingredients, and serve homemade desserts.
Happy Hour is Monday thru Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and has a selection of savory dishes like $3 Fried Pickles with Ranch dipping sauce, $6 Alaskan Cod and chips, and a $13 Cougar Gold and Gorgonzola Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese. Happy Hour draft beers are 25% off, house wine and well drinks are $4. There is a total of 11 menu items, and they are a good deal—during the summer season expect a crowd.
Where: 2925 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
What: Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour, and Breakfast on the weekends.
Hours: Fall/Winter hours are Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy Hour is Monday thru Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Breakfast is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.
I’d never eaten at Tides Tavern, so on a trip to Gig Harbor, dining there was a must. It was a very sunny September weekday, and the place was packed inside and outside. We waited about 15-minutes to get a seat on the deck. It was worth it.
This is what we ordered.
Alaskan Halibut Fish and Chips
A 2-piece. Alaskan Halibut and Chips ($19.99) dipped in Tides famous batter and fried. It is served with a house-made tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and fries. I substituted a salad ($1.50) for the fries. Fish n’ chips is not something I usually order but when I found out that it was their most popular item I had to try it. The fish was moist, the batter light and the tartar sauce a perfect match.
My friend had the Veggie Sandwich ($9.99). It came with lettuce, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, sprouts, roasted red bell pepper aioli, melted mozzarella & provolone on a french roll. They nixed the cheese and subbed the roll for gluten free bread, and opted for sweet potato fries ($1.50), which I, of course, sampled. She liked her sandwich, and we both liked the fries and the smokey chipotle dipping sauce.
Tides Tavern Dockside Dining
What you might not know, is that summer weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tides Tavern has dockside dining. It starts Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day (weather permitting). How does it work? At their docks, boaters place their order(s) with a dock server and their entire meal will be brought out—plates, silverware, drinks and all. And, they come and take it all away, so there is no clean up. This service is for all ages, so, if you are traveling with underage family and friends, they can enjoy a Tides Tavern meal too.
Lara Dunning is a member of the Waggoner Cruising Guide team and has made one trip up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, AK. She is enthusiastic about small town living, and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Experience Anacortes, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, realfoodtraveler.com and Whidbey Life Magazine.