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“Best Salmon Ever..” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harbor Lights

Harbor Lights
2761 North Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 752-8600
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Ranked #45 of 668 Restaurants in Tacoma
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Sarasota, Florida
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Best Salmon Ever..”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

I have been to this restaurant a few times a year when i come out to Tacoma. I have never been disappointed with their salmon. Even tho they have changed hands, the inside of the restaurant has been updated (no more button-tucked red leather boothes), the place still served delicious salmon dishes. Sept 11th, 2013 we arrived to see the new updates of the older restaurant that i remember. They have an amazing salmon-topped salad that has beet shavings and caramelized onions, cranberries and nuts in the salad along with a fresh piece of salmon.. - MORE than enough and DIVINE!! My companion had a shrimp salad (tiny salad shrimp with a few other sauces in the dish - also VERY GOOD! - We ate in the bar and had a fabbo view as well, so that was a great afternoon. We went to Harbor Lights 5 days later, and ate a 4-course dinner, yet again, delicious. My companion had the clam chowder - a clear broth we were told that had been a restaurant favorite for 50 years. He loved it.. a caesar salad, a main course of roasted sea prawns, with a savory roasted red pepper over light fluffy rice with pistachios and cranberries and sweet peas. I had the shrimp cocktail with caesar salad, and a main course of fresh salmon with the same amazing rice and sweet peas.. They have a "jar pie" - a disassembled pie with loose graham crackers in the bottom of a 2 oz mason jar with coconut cream and whipped cream with toasted coconut on top.. perfect few bites for one person! .. They did serve a basket of fresh hot bread.. Great service, a view of the sound and a seagull with perfect manners outside our picture window... I have always loved this restaurant. Altho the ambiance has left for the cold feeling of glass and metal, their chefs have always known how to make a beautiful dinner. LOVED it!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington State
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wasn't Broken, Fixed It Anyway”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

This was just about the last of Tacoma's original old-school waterfront restaurants. A good place enhanced by traditions. Several years ago the Anthony's chain bought it from the original, long-time family owners. And for a while it all stayed intact - Harbor Lights owned by Anthony's. This year, Anthony's decided to "update". Now it feels more like an Anthony's with a Harbor Lights sign on top. If you are a first time guest, or you really like the Anthony's chain, you'll no doubt like this just fine (the spectacular view is unchanged). If you're returning expecting the character of the old Harbor Lights, well, not so much.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Sublimity, Oregon
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Pleasant older restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Ate there multiple times during son's stay at UPS. Service was fine for both lunch and dinner. No fancy but adequate quality. Had a group of 10 one time and it went well.

Visited September 2012
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Norman, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

They served a 4 course meal before 6. It was excellent. The staff was very courteous. We were able to eat on the deck by the water. It was beautiful.

Visited July 2013
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Tacoma, Washington
1 review
“Terrible service and poor food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

My 10 year old grand-daughter asked to go to Harbor Lights as a celebration for her completion of a play with Tacoma Youth Theatre. We had my 93 year old mother with us. When we went to order we ordered two adult meals and a child's meal for my grand-daughter and one for my mother. The waiter was extremely rude and said we couldn't do that. My mother would need to order off the regular menu. We tried to explain that the other meals were too much for her, but he refused to let her order a child's fish and chips. When my grand-daughter asked for chocolate milk, he bluntly told her they did not have it. I know they have chocolate syrup and milk, all they would need to do is mix it. We have never had a restaurant refuse to do that before. I went to the hostess and asked to speak to the manager who was not available. I told the hostess the problem with the meal and the waiter re-appeared and said this time they would let her order from the children's menu, but that they had a certain percentage of customers who were seniors and they simply could not let them all order from the children's menu. I am a senior, but I had a regular meal. How many actually have asked for child's portion? This was the second time I have had problems. A month ago we went to have lunch there and my mother's sandwich had big tough shrimp, not small bay shrimp and the bread was all soggy and she could not pick it up. My sandwich was cold and the tomato and hard and white centered, inedible. It is a beautiful location and remodeled building, but until they upgrade the food and provide better service, I won't be returning or recommending it. It is too bad because this has been a family favorite for over 50 years!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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