The Proctor District might be a small part of Tacoma, but what Proctor lacks in size, it more than makes up for in character, interesting stores and delicious restaurants. The atmosphere is quaint and businesses are small and indie. This area is largely popular with people who live or work directly around it, but is worth a visit for just about anyone as a fun day out, to enjoy one of the area events, or to shop for a unique gift.
The Proctor District is centered around North Proctor Street in North Tacoma between about North 24th and North 30th Streets and the surrounding blocks. The term Proctor District can apply to a larger area, but most of it is residential. The area is just on the cusp of a boom, too, with the development of Proctor Station, an apartment and retail complex set to open in January 2016.
Dining in the Proctor District
Restaurants are one of the best reasons to visit the Proctor District. There are several restaurants located here and most of them have anywhere from decent to very good food. You won’t find any upscale fine dining establishments, but you will find casual eateries and cute romantic restaurants.
Pomodoro - An Italian restaurant with a warm, cozy interior. Prices are reasonable, portions are huge and the wine list is respectable. This is a great date spot.
Europa Bistro - To counter Pomodoro, Europa Bistro offers a second Italian option and is just around the corner.
Europa has a great lunch menu as well as gluten-free options.
La Fondita - Both a bar and a restaurant, La Fondita serves Mexican food and some pretty mean drinks.
East and West Café - Proctor's resident pan-Asian restaurant is popular for its curries.
Knapp’s - If you don't want to go Shari's or Denny's, Knapp's is one of Tacoma's best old fashioned diners with down-home food and great prices.
For casual fare, there's a Subway just across from the Blue Mouse Theater.
For coffee, there is not one but two Starbucks (both a standalone and another one inside the Safeway). Metropolitan Market also has a coffee shop inside to offer an alternative. Metropolitan Market also has a full salad bar, poke bar, sushi and an above-average deli and hot foods counter.
Attractions and Things to Do
Most of the things to do in Proctor District Tacoma revolve around eating and shopping, which is never a bad thing, but there are cool pockets of culture and activities here, too.
Chalet Bowl is located on 26th Street and is one of Tacoma's smaller bowling alleys, but because of that it's quieter.
Proctor Art Gallery is just across the street with a variety of 2D and 3D artwork.
The Foxfire Salon and Spa is a great place to go to have your hair done or kick back with some pampering.
Or if you are looking for something to read, Culpeper Books is a unique place to search.
Compass Rose on 26th Street is one of Tacoma's best gift shops with a variety of just about everything, from quirky novelties to unique jewelry.
There are many other businesses in Proctor ranging from a post office to dry cleaning to a public library.
Whether you are visiting just to venture into a new part of town or need to run some errands, Proctor can usually accommodate, especially if you live close by.
Proctor District Tacoma events are by no means large shindigs with great fanfare, but can be fun, especially if you have kids.
Kids or not, one of the best events is the Proctor Farmer’s Market. From the end of March until mid-November, Saturday mornings bring the second largest farmer’s market in Tacoma. Throughout the winter, there are monthly markets as well, usually on the second Saturday of each month. You can expect to find fresh fruits and vegetables, beer and wine tasting, and often some entertainment as well.
Annual events include Proctor Arts Fest, Proctor Chocolate Festival, and Junior Daffodil Parade. On Halloween, the businesses of Proctor open up to trick or treaters and the street is closed to traffic.
To open the Christmas season, there is an annual tree lighting near the Wheelock Library.