Take a Walk: Lincoln District

Getting Into the District

Out of the car and on your feet is the best way to visit the Lincoln International Business District in Tacoma’s South End. We lived within a 15 minute walk of this stretch of 38th for about 3 years, and we just keep coming back! With a revitalization project underway in 2017, it’s the perfect time to get to know this part of our city. The district stretches from S. Thompson Ave. to S. Tacoma Ave. on S. 38th St. with so many restaurants, groceries, and shops on the main drag and down the side streets you absolutely need to go at a foot-pace to take it all in. The Jubilee (serving the famous Smitty Burger!) and the Lincoln Pharmacy, housed in a quaint brick building with a shake roof, welcome you into the district from the west end. Enter from Tacoma Ave on the east end, and you’re greeted by the vintage neon sign at Flying Boots Cafe and El Zocalo Tortas Y Bakery.

 Bob Henry's leaping salmon mural on the corner of S. 38th St and S. Yakima Ave.

Bob Henry's leaping salmon mural on the corner of S. 38th St and S. Yakima Ave.

Lincoln District Groceries & Eats

You could stop for a bowl of Pho (or Banh Mi, or curry, or spring rolls…) at least half a dozen times without straying outside this neighborhood. Look left or right; you’re going to see restaurants. Try Vien Dong one day and come back for Pho Dragon, Nhu Thuy, Hue Ky Mi Gia (Chinese Noodle House), or Dragon’s Crawfish another time. You could also shop at the Hong Kong Supermarket, Lucky Supermarket, and the East Asian Market to stock up on ingredients to make your own noodle soup at home.

 Vien Dong Vietnamese Restaurant is a community favorite, but just one of many places to eat good food on this block. 

Vien Dong Vietnamese Restaurant is a community favorite, but just one of many places to eat good food on this block. 

Community Hardware & Home Improvement

It isn’t only about food in this neighborhood though. The Lincoln District is home to Lincoln Hardware and the Tacoma Tool Library, two places you should definitely visit if you have projects going on at home. Tacoma Tool Library is a local project where members have access to a wide range of tools that are checked-out like a book at the library (membership donation levels depend on age and income). Staffed by volunteers and brimming with all the positive vibes community development and waste reduction can provide, this place is a powerful force for good in Tacoma. Next, amble over to Lincoln Hardware, one of the few remaining family-owned hardware stores in an era of big box mega warehouses like Home Depot. They’ve been in business for over 83 years, they’re friendly, they’ll draw you in with their old-fashioned main street style big front windows, and they deserve our business. Stop by and say hello; see what they have in stock.
 

 Lincoln Hardware's wide front windows reflect the reconstruction of S. G St.

Lincoln Hardware's wide front windows reflect the reconstruction of S. G St.

Lincoln Park & Lincoln High’s Plant Sale & Farmstand

Before you head home with that sander from the library, and your hammer and nails from the hardware store, stretch your legs a little further at Lincoln Park, established in 1889. The park adjoins one of the city’s most beautiful schools (also, Tacoma’s second oldest high school), Lincoln High. Construction of Lincoln High began in 1913 with a complete renovation in 2007. If you take your Lincoln District walk in springtime make sure to stop at the Lincoln High greenhouses on S. G St and shop at the Lincoln High School Plant Sale (usually late April into May) run by the ABE’s Acres club. This amazing club also provides a farmstand on Wednesdays from 12-4 in summer with produce available for free or by donation. This is just one more testament to the vitality of this one-of-a-kind Tacoma community.

Lace up your tennies, tuck a grocery bag under your arm, and head over.

 Sun and shade covered path at Lincoln Park.

Sun and shade covered path at Lincoln Park.

 Lincoln High School's Drost Auditorium.

Lincoln High School's Drost Auditorium.

 ABE's Acres shares their produce right where it's grown at S. 36th and G. 

ABE's Acres shares their produce right where it's grown at S. 36th and G. 

 Overflowing Lincoln District Garden.

Overflowing Lincoln District Garden.