Welcome to the culinary journey of a lifetime right here in the heart of Lacey, Washington!
My taste buds have been on a magnificent adventure exploring the array of dining options available in this charming city.
From mouth-watering pizzas to soulful Asian cuisine and splendid seafood to vibrant Mexican fare, there's a whole world of flavors waiting to be discovered.
Get ready to uncover some hidden gems and traditional favorites that will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your foodie map.
Buckle up, fellow epicureans; it's time to embark on a gastronomic tour through the best restaurants in Lacey, Washington.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself
There's no denying that Charro Azteca's quesabirria tacos are some of the best in the city.
The succulent meat, perfectly seasoned and marinated, tucked into a warm tortilla, is enough to make any taco lover swoon.
You can find this popular food truck conveniently parked next to a gas station off college street.
Every time I have ordered food from Charro Azteca, I'm always pleasantly surprised by the swift and remarkable service.
But let's not limit the praise to their quesabirria tacos.
They also have a range of other delectable items on their menu.
I've tried their birria and huaraches, and while I hoped for a bit more flavor, the food was overall satisfying and worth the try.
What makes Charro Azteca unique is their commitment to authentic Mexican cuisine.
The flavors are robust, reminding me of the street food in Mexico.
The truck may not look like much from the outside but don’t be fooled.
When the craving for authentic Korean cuisine kicks in, there's only one place I turn to - K-Kitchen.
Nestled in our bustling neighborhood, K-Kitchen offers a culinary experience that transports your tastebuds straight to the streets of Seoul.
The first time I walked into K-Kitchen, it was as if I had crossed an ocean and arrived in a cozy Korean family's home.
The tantalizing aroma of home-cooked meals wafted through the air, making my mouth water even before I had a chance to peruse the menu.
Every dish served here sings a melodious symphony of unique flavors that perfectly capture the essence of traditional Korean food.
The Bulgogi, a marinated beef delicacy, and the spicy pork over rice are my go-to comfort foods.
And let's not forget their out-of-this-world fries - the cleanest and crunchiest you'll ever taste.
A bite into any of their dishes is like a warm hug from a Korean Halmonie (grandmother) or Eomma (mother), promising an intimate gastronomic affair.
The love and warmth infused into every bite is unmistakable - a testament to the dedication and passion of the talented individuals working behind the scenes.
Not just the food, but the ambiance of K-Kitchen is equally impressive.
Immaculately clean, adorned with tasteful décor, and bathed in a warm, inviting light - it's the perfect backdrop for those Insta-worthy foodie pics.
Plus, the service is truly top-notch.
You know those places where the moment you take a step inside, you feel instantly at home?
That's exactly how I feel about Meggie’s Lumpia.
There’s something special about Meggie’s welcoming shout of "Hey, girl!" that sets the tone for what's always a delightful dining experience.
Every dish is a flavor adventure that brings back memories of family gatherings from my childhood.
The pork lumpia, especially, is a standout with its crumbly, tasty filling.
On the days when Meggie whips up banana lumpia, it’s always a treat, perfectly balanced between the sweet and savory.
The rice - oh, the rice - is always so fresh and the perfect companion to any main dish.
The lechon kawali is another favorite in our household.
It's always a full plate of succulent, flavor-packed meat that leaves you craving for more.
And if you're in the mood for beef, the beef caldereta is a must-try.
Its tender meat and perfect seasoning can rival any gourmet restaurant.
But one thing that you absolutely cannot miss is the pancit, loaded up with a generous amount of vegetables and noodles.
It's always a hit at our house parties, along with the pork lumpia, that’s always a crowd pleaser.
Speaking of parties, Meggie’s party platters are the talk of the city.
Fresh, tasty, and generous - just the way food should be.
You know that moment when you stumble upon a gem of a place, and your taste buds do a little happy dance?
That's exactly what happened to me with Andy's Bistro.
Every time I'd pass by on my way to the gym, its inviting aroma drew me in.
I finally decided to give it a try, and trust me; it was an amazing experience!
I decided to order the steak and meatball pho, which was a hearty bowl of deliciousness.
The meat was tender and flavorful, and the broth was rich and satisfying.
I also tried their watermelon Bobba tea, a refreshing accompaniment that perfectly complemented the savory pho.
On my next visit, I tried their turkey and ham melt - a personal favorite now.
The bread was perfectly toasted, the turkey and ham were generously piled high, and the cheese was wonderfully melted.
It was a delightful crunch in every bite.
And the pork belly sandwich?
It was a succulent treat with the perfect balance of fat and lean meat.
The broth in the ramen was also spot on, rich and flavorful, adding to the overall culinary delight.
Kamakura Japanese Cuisine
Just last Friday, I had one of the most delightful dining experiences of my life at Kamakura Japanese Cuisine.
This cozy, unpretentious spot quickly became my favorite spot for Japanese cuisine in the city.
The booth seating was comfortable, and the ambiance was warm and inviting.
However, the true star of the night was, of course, the food.
Their sushi is a culinary work of art here.
Every bite was filled with an explosion of flavors that left me wanting more.
The Vegan sushi, in particular, was a revelation - it was so tasty and fresh that it could easily convert a meat lover.
What really sets Kamakura apart is its versatility.
Thirsty for a Thai-inspired drink?
They've got a delicious vegan Thai tea.
Looking for gluten-free options?
They've got you covered with gluten-free soy sauce and a dedicated vegan menu.
Craving Thai noodles?
They've got that too.
One of my personal favorites was the Golden Cali roll - a delightful combination of flavors that left me craving for more.
I'm already looking forward to the summer when I can enjoy my sushi in their beautiful outdoor terrace.
It's not every day you stumble upon a gem like Bulgogi Hustle.
This little Korean spot, tucked away in a cozy corner of our bustling district, is a story of delicious food and warm service, all wrapped up in a quaint space.
Upon entering, I was struck by the small but welcoming space, cozy enough to seat just about 11 folks.
There was an unexpected charm to its simplicity - clear plastic covers at the counter, young college-age workers bustling about, their friendliness adding a touch of warmth to the brisk service.
Their menu offered a range of choices, but I settled for their signature Bulgogi bowl.
As a lover of all things spicy, I opted for the level 2 sauce.
While the heat didn't quite hit my spice threshold, the bowl itself was an enjoyable mix of rice, noodles, meat, and veggies.
A word of caution to fellow patrons - their paper bowls are quite absorbent, so be prepared for a quick sauce soak-up!
On a different visit, I sampled the fried chicken bowl, a delightful, tasty experience that I highly recommend.
Their convenient online ordering made it easy for a quick pickup during my lunch breaks.
What stood out for me was their outstanding customer service.
Their Bulgogi bowl, priced at a reasonable $11, left me feeling satisfyingly full.
My teenage son, a tough critic, thoroughly enjoyed their K burrito - a unique fusion of a fried rice Bulgogi bowl in a burrito.
Pleased, I watched him polish off the whole thing, a rare sight for a picky 17-year-old.
Pints Dog House
If there's one thing that can make a day better, it's a gourmet hotdog from Pints Dog House.
I remember the very first time I walked into this joint; the atmosphere was pulsating with energy, and the live music added an extra layer of vibrancy.
The unique decor caught my attention immediately - tables designed from snowboards it's not something you see every day.
Similarly, the menu stood out with its extensive offering.
For my first order, I tried the Clark Dog with added feta and a side of chili cheese fries.
Believe me, the hot dog was a marvel, the toppings were of top-notch quality, and the blend of flavors was exactly as I hoped it would be.
The chili was decent. However, it was the fries that stole the show.
Just the right thickness, with a perfect golden crisp, these fries were an absolute delight.
While I enjoyed everything else, these fries have me coming back for more every time.
The service at Pints Dog House is just as great as its food.
On one of my visits, we were served by Hunter, whose service was nothing short of exceptional.
There's also a covered patio for those who prefer open-air dining.
I find it to be the perfect spot when I bring my son along for a meal.
I've been to Pints Dog House a number of times now, and it never disappoints.
The food, the service, the atmosphere, everything is spot-on.
The first time I stepped foot into the German Diner, it felt like a slice of Germany right here in our neighborhood.
Just a step in, and you'll be met with a friendly atmosphere and the tantalizing aroma of authentic German cuisine.
The food here is nothing short of spectacular; every dish is a journey to the heart of European culinary tradition.
Portions are generous, to say the least, but I assure you, you'd be willing to take a doggy bag home - it's that delicious.
The service at the German Diner is reminiscent of the warm German hospitality.
On my first visit, they took the time to explain the menu and the specialties in great detail.
It was not just a meal; it was an experience.
The ambiance is simple yet inviting.
Within walls that echo with friendly chatter, a sense of camaraderie blooms, complimenting the hearty meals.
And let's not forget the beer.
The Pilsner is always served ice-cold, a perfect companion to the savory fare.
Don Garcia's Mexican Restaurant
There's a unique charm that sets Don Garcia's Mexican Restaurant apart from the rest in the city.
It's a place where the food isn't just delicious; it's an experience in itself.
Their enchiladas and burritos are exceptional, but what really wins you over is the homemade salsa and chips served alongside a delightful coleslaw.
Every visit promises a culinary adventure with new dishes to try, from appetizers to their specialty dishes and even their decadent desserts.
You wouldn't expect to find such authentic Mexican cuisine in our city, but Don Garcia's has made it possible.
Their margaritas are freshly made from scratch, with no bottled mix in sight.
Ever have those days when you're craving something warm, spicy, and incredibly satisfying?
I found my remedy at the Curry House.
Tucked away in our city, this Indian restaurant has become my go-to for luscious curries that hit just the right spot.
One sunny afternoon, my cravings led me straight to their doors, and boy, was I in for a treat.
The moment I stepped in, I felt like I was transported to a different world - one filled with the aromatic allure of Indian spices.
Without wasting any time, I ordered the house's special curry.
It arrived at my table, steaming hot, in size so generous that it could easily feed two people.
The taste, I promise, is something you will remember, the flavors all merging perfectly to create a symphony in your mouth.
Another time, I decided to try the Lamb Vindaloo.
This dish was a delightful surprise.
The lamb was tender and perfectly cooked, the sauce spicy and flavorful but not overwhelmingly so.
It was perfectly complemented with a side of fluffy rice and a piece of the best naan bread, making the whole meal a truly enjoyable experience.
Oh, and did I mention the Mango Lassi?
It's a must-try, especially if you're looking to cool down a bit after tasting their spicy delights.
It is both sweet and refreshing, an excellent palate cleanser.
Lava Bowlz LLC
Every neighborhood has a hidden gem, and in our community, it's undoubtedly the Lava Bowlz LLC.
Even though it's tucked in a corner, it's such a culinary treasure that you wouldn't want to miss it.
As an environmental enthusiast, I've found that Lava Bowlz is more than willing to accommodate my zero-waste lifestyle.
I bring my own bowl and spoon for my meals there, and they never fail to serve up my favorite bowl in the most sustainable way possible.
The speed of their service is commendable.
I remember placing an order via Doordash one evening when I was too tired to cook.
The bowls arrived in no time, and they were as delicious as if I was dining in.
They reminded me of the bowls I had on my trip to the North Shore, and that definitely added to the charm.
The freshness of the ingredients they use, the bold flavors, and the generous portion size make every meal at Lava Bowlz a delight.
I've had numerous bowls from their menu, and each one is a unique blend of taste and nutrition.
Every time I have that undeniable craving for the perfect poke bowl, my feet naturally lead me to my favorite spot - Tuna Poke.
Located in the heart of the city, this restaurant brings the taste of the ocean right to your plate.
Over the years, I've found myself coming back repeatedly, drawn in by their exceptional variety and quality.
Their poke bowl is a must-try; it comes highly recommended by my partner, who absolutely loves it.
Fresh ingredients, tangy sauces, and a diverse range of toppings - it's a true gastronomic delight.
Accompanying the poke bowl, I often order the Chicken Katsu.
Although sometimes a bit thin and slightly overdone, the unique flavor more than compensates for it.
A surprising twist to the menu is their Gyoza, which seems air-fried instead of deep-fried, giving it a lighter, healthier touch.
The ambiance of Tuna Poke adds another layer to the dining experience.
It's a calm, quiet corner where the music in the background creates a relaxing atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to unwind after a long day.
I'll never forget the first time I stumbled across Ikonic Wings.
I had been out running errands, and its sign caught my eye.
I decided to satisfy my curiosity and popped in to check it out.
The moment I walked in, I was welcomed by the aroma of their tantalizing wings.
I remember going for the 12-piece bone-in wings, which were enormous, juicy, and had a delightfully crispy skin - a gastronomic delight for any wing lover.
I opted for 'Tangy with a Kick’ and 'Buffalo Lemon Pepper’ flavors, and they were a hit on my palate.
What added to the joy were the soft and buttery biscuits, and the Waddles, their unique take on thick-cut fries.
Another day, I found myself in the Lacey/ Olympia area for work.
I decided to give Ikonic Wings another try and ordered a 9-piece garlic/parm and lemon pepper honey wings with wavy fries and their signature brown butter biscuit.
They informed me upfront about the 14-minute wait for the wings, which I appreciated.
I requested my wings to be cooked a bit longer for that extra crunch, and they were more than accommodating.
Tea Leaf 2
Every city has that one Chinese restaurant that acts like a culinary retreat, and for us, that's Tea Leaf 2.
Tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle, this low-key eatery has been a welcoming beacon of comfort food.
Last weekend, I decided to order some takeout, and as usual, their diverse menu had me spoilt for choice.
I opted for their Combo C - a hearty meal featuring an assortment of dishes.
The Mongolian beef, though a touch dry, had a unique flavor that I quite enjoyed.
Tea Leaf 2's spicy vegetables with tofu never fails to impress.
The dish has a kick to it that hits just the right spot.
And oh, their crab cream cheese wontons are a thing of beauty!
My all-time favorite, the General Tso and orange chicken boasted tender meat and an exciting flavor profile.
Wok And Teriyaki
There's a gem tucked away in my neighborhood; it's a small but well-maintained restaurant called Wok And Teriyaki.
This place has quickly become my Chinese takeout restaurant of choice.
Every time I order from this place, I'm in for a delightful culinary experience.
The teriyaki beef is to die for, with its thinly cut tender beef smothered in an ample amount of teriyaki sauce.
It's probably the best beef teriyaki I've ever had.
And their chow mein?
It's beyond average, better than most places I've dined at.
General Tso and Orange chicken are also notable mentions, with good size portions that give you value for your money.
But the star of the show for me is their tofu and vegetable with steamed rice dish.
The tofu is cooked to perfection, bringing out an excellent texture and flavor that's second to none.
The vegetables are just right, not overcooked, and there's a generous amount of that scrumptious tofu in the dish.
The wait time is also reasonable considering the quality of food you get and the number of people who order online and pick up from the place.
When we think about dining out, we often tend to sacrifice either our health or our time.
But with MiSo, it's a different story altogether.
This little gem in our neighborhood is a real game-changer.
They make it a breeze to build a mouthwatering, plant-based rice bowl that leaves you feeling nourished, satisfied, and excited to return.
On our first visit, I had the Dragon Curry bowl while my partner ordered the Classic.
The curry bowl, though flavorful, needed an extra kick, maybe cilantro, to balance the taste.
Having the menu in front of us could have helped us choose more toppings, but it was our phone order.
Still, the chicken used was good quality, with very little bone.
The ambiance is charming, with clean, well-decorated interiors and ample parking space.
But what sets MiSo apart is its commitment to serving all-natural food.
It's a refreshing alternative to the usual fast-food joint, offering a menu that's not only delicious but also healthy.
Bangkok Thai Restaurant
Bangkok Thai Restaurant is a bustling hub where the locals like myself, gather to savor the authentic Thai flavors, right from the heart of Thailand to the heart of our city.
Bangkok Thai Restaurant has never failed to impress me with its classic Thai fare.
The spring rolls, curries, noodles, you name it, each dish is a delightful surprise.
The Pad See Ew is one of my favorite dishes, blending perfectly cooked noodles with the right touch of spices.
Match it with a refreshing Thai iced tea, and you have got yourself a meal to remember.
On my subsequent visit, I tried the Tomh Kha Gai, and it was a pure delight.
The soup was comforting, and the spice levels were just right for my palate.
Also, the Larb and Tom Yum soup were simply exquisite in taste.
Other Restaurant Nearby
La Petite Maison (Olympia)
You wouldn't believe the culinary magic that comes from the warm, rustic confines of La Petite Maison, a refined French eatery hidden away on the west coast.
Imagine this: a husband and wife team serving up traditional fare with love and dedication that shines through in every mouthwatering bite.
And, oh, the wine list!
It's like a well-stocked library of bottled poetry, each one waiting to perfectly complement your meal.
I've had the absolute pleasure of treating myself to the 5-course meal here more than once- and believe me, it's worth every single penny.
At about $60 per person, it's an indulgence, sure, but one that you'll find yourself wanting to repeat as often as possible.
Their flexibility is another highlight; they're always happy to accommodate any specific dietary needs or preferences.
Bacco Trattoria Italiana (Olympia)
Who knew that a gem of authentic Italian cuisine could be found just down the road from my house?
The charm of Bacco Trattoria Italiana extends beyond its small exterior into a world of rich flavors and warm hospitality.
The place may look tiny from the outside, but don't let that fool you - its appeal lies in the quaintness, which allows for a quiet and intimate dining experience.
As someone who has visited numerous Italian restaurants in the area, Bacco Trattoria Italiana stands out with its perfect adherence to authentic recipes.
One bite of their gnocchi, lasagna, or Balinese will transport you straight to Italy.
The tomato bisque and Caesar salad were unlike any I've had before, and the rice ball was simply out of this world.
Their vast wine selection is equally impressive.
But it's not just the food that makes Bacco Trattoria Italiana so special.
It's their welcoming nature, their readiness to accommodate last-minute guests - even those with babies.
It's the way they make you feel at home and the joy they find in serving you.
You must try their two types of meatballs - the classic beef and the unique lamb with polenta.
You won't find these anywhere else.
The gnocchi, a supposed best-seller, are like fluffy pillows, and the sauces are simple yet full of flavor.
If you're up for a surprise, their nightly specials - like the lobster with pasta and veggie risotto - are a delight.
Don't forget to leave room for dessert!
BANH MI SAIGON 8 (Olympia)
Have you ever had a meal that made you stop in your tracks and savor every single bite?
That's exactly what I experienced at BANH MI SAIGON 8.
Nestled in the heart of Lacey, this local gem has quickly become one of my favorite haunts.
My first visit to the restaurant was quite impromptu.
We pass by it daily, but one day we decided on a whim to try it out.
And, oh boy, am I glad we did!
My partner and I were both floored by the quality of the food.
Try their Taro and pulled pork bun if you get the chance; it's simply mouthwatering.
On most of my visits, the food is simply divine.
I absolutely adore their combo sandwiches.
The crispy, fresh bread combined with perfectly balanced flavors always leaves me craving more.
In particular, I highly recommend trying the #1 combo sandwich with grilled pork and the #5 combo sandwich with grilled chicken.
Trust me, it's like an explosion of flavors in your mouth!
Asahi Sushi (Olympia)
Once in a while, we all need a break from the everyday mundane, don't we?
An evening filled with sushi, tempura, and a delightful bento box was waiting for me!
I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I entered Asahi Sushi.
The place oozed a modest charm with its humble dining room setup.
The first thing I ordered was the salmon bento box.
Trust me; it was so sumptuous; it could easily feed two!
I was surprised by the portion size, but the taste blew me away completely.
The tempura, in particular, was something else; I would go as far as to say it was the best tempura I ever had.
Asahi Sushi, though, isn't just about the food.
The service was equally impressive.
It's not every day that you come across a restaurant that gives equal importance to both food and service.
However, the highlight of my meal was undoubtedly the sushi.
Be it the nigiri sushi or the specialty rolls; everything was of top-notch quality.
The bluefin toro sushi, in particular, was a revelation, to say the least.
Gardner's Restaurant (Olympia)
I never knew what a true culinary delight awaited me at Gardner's Restaurant, until I decided to take the plunge one evening.
The modest exterior of Gardner's deceives the eye.
You would hardly guess that behind those doors lies an elegant setup reminiscent of a sophisticated 70s boat.
But it's the warmth and coziness of this American restaurant that truly makes it a gem.
My first visit to Gardner's was an impromptu dinner.
Walking in, the charm of the place took me by surprise.
And that was just the beginning!
The menu is a thoughtful curation of some of the most delicious locally sourced fish and other dishes.
I remember ordering the prawns, risotto, and their oyster special – half baked, half raw - and oh boy, was I in for a treat!
Each dish was a symphony of flavors, perfectly balanced and beautifully presented.
What really sets Gardner's apart, though, is the impeccable service.
The next time you're debating where to go for a memorable meal, don't be fooled by Gardner's humble exterior.
Inside, you'll find a rich, tasteful ambiance, excellent food, and top-notch service.
Lacey, Washington, is truly a gastronomical treasure trove.
Each restaurant I've visited has its own unique, unforgettable taste that keeps me coming back for more.
Whether it's the authentic flavors served up by Charro Azteca, the mouth-watering lumpia at Meggie's, or the exquisite sushi at Asahi, there's always something to satisfy my taste buds.