The Red Hot

The Red HotThe Red Hot
The Red HotThe Red Hot
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

2914 6th Ave
Tacoma, Washington, 98406
United States

(253) 779-0229 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zaximus
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Red Hot is easily my favorite local beer spot since moving to the NW.

I first experienced Red Hot in April 2014 while they were apparently under construction for their new place. At that time the confines were a bit tight but the tap list, hot dogs and service were great.

Now that they've expanded to their new digs next door I find myself here about once a week for lunch.

I'm vegetarian so the option for veggie dogs is awesome. I typically get the Nature Boy, which is a veggie dog topped with baked beans, onions and pickles. Fantastic every time.

Oh, and the beer. They seem to always have about 20 beers on tap including one barrel aged offering, which so far have been very solid. Had FW DDBA today but have also seen Older Viscosity and the Abyss. The other taps are typically quite solid with an emphasis on local, though I see many California and Oregon brews too.

Service has always been friendly and prompt.

If I had one complaint, it's that I wished they had a little bit more on the food menu. Like a salad or additional side offering other than coleslaw.

Overall, a very solid spot for great food and great beer.

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Photo of JordanBHOP
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Red hot is one of Tacoma's best offerings. Who doesn't like a good, interesting hot dog or two and a couple decent brews? The atmosphere is fitting, its like Tacoma: Its not perfect but it gets the job done and you probably met some decent people while you were there. Movie nights are fun and when you're feeling extra classy the Rainier Tall Boys are cheap.

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Photo of bundtcake
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The Red Hot is one of the best places to frequent in Tacoma. I get a hankering for the food as often as the beer. The food in question is of the hot dog variety. Personally I go for the 6th Ave Strut the most often. As I write this, I am getting a craving for a sixth ave strut and I'm sort of forgetting about the beer. The tap at the Red Hot might be the strongest in town, but I feel like that's only sometimes. Sometimes there are more exciting beers than I can try in a day, and others the tap list doesn't look that special.

If they have any bottles of Hair of the Dog, order one and an employee might take an interest in you. For reasons that are maybe obvious, Hair of the Dog tends to be some kind of subtle social cue around here, and you might inadvertently strike up a conversation you may or may not want to be involved in, with people in various states of inebriation.

When the tap list is Hot, I've really had some great beers here. They aren't afraid to put sours on. There can be some nice Belgian kegs. If you "miss", then there will definitely still be decent stuff to drink. They're affected by IPA Obsessive Disorder a little bit like most places but they always have more than just that. Pay attention to the chalkboard because the prices and serving sizes vary. They usually get the ABV up there, too. They have hot dogs. With creamy cheese and tomato slices. Don't think about the repercussions. Eat that dog.

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Photo of woemad
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

While heading down I-5 to visit family in Olympia, I decided to stop here and grab a quick lunch with a tasty beer. BAs Libbey and Lordkrystic (who happened to be behind the bar) had been in touch with me on BA and had expressed a willingness to meet up.

Their willingness was undoubtedly stretched paper-thin as I was late due to having repeatedly driven by without recognizing the place. It turns out Red Hot's sign isn't exactly huge if you've never been there before and are driving down an unfamiliar street (I'd also left behind the map that would have bailed me out much sooner.).

All's well that ends well, I guess, and once I walked in I found myself in a cozy but not cramped space with beer paraphernalia covering the walls and a large hand-written beer list on a chalk board that boasted a dozen beery treats - all quality stuff, mostly regional craft options with one or two imports. There was also a surprisingly excellent list of bottled and canned options (I say surprisingly because so many places with excellent tap lists tend to try to please non-beer geeks with their cans and bottles). Beer prices were very reasonable, similar to what I generally pay in Spokane, which is a similar city in economic terms.

I was in the mood for an IPA and ordered a cask Gospel from Skagit River, along with the kielbasa sandwich. Both were served promptly and were excellent. Lordkrystic was both friendly and knowledgeable and happy to talk about both the establishment itself and the local beer scene, and blew me away by comping both the beer and the sandwich when it was time for me to leave (see, it pays to be a BA) - which was all too soon, as I wanted to briefly check out E9 before heading back out onto the freeway and trying to beat the afternoon rush.

Now that I have family in the south Sound region, I'll be occaisionally passing this way, and I look forward to stopping at Red Hot again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Based upon 100+ visits; probably my favorite place in Tacoma!

A: The Red Hot is just down the street from E9 on 6th Ave in Tacoma. Located in a small spot but do not let it be deceiving. Walking in you have seating on both sides but seating is scarce with maybe 50 seats total in the house. It's usually standing room only on weekend and weekday evenings. A good amount of seating at the bar which is pushed to the back of the establishment. Tap handles cover the ceiling with a mix of Tacoma and beer decor scattered. The projection screen on the back wall has been host to unique flicks, sports and other various forms of entertainment(don't get the wrong idea perv). Sordove a divey beer bar with a Tacoma version of a Cheers vibe. It's rustic and welcoming just like Tacoma!

Q: Quality is always good. They definitely put some quality beer on at decent to good prices. The majority of the staff really know what good beer is. Kudos to them because alot of beer is pumped through to Tacoma and there are some pretty bad palates in the area.

S: Always good on the service. From the first time I walked in to present I have had no issues with the mainstay service and employees. It is on target with service;prompt, friendly and knowledgable

S: They mix it up and thats nice. Usually a good dose of IPAs but I am a barleywine kinda guy and I can usually spot one or something that strikes my fancy. They usually keep at least one solid Belgian handle rotating and that is a bonus! Trappist Monks need lovin' too. A permanent cask which usually houses an IPA, house Old Tacoma Lager is good for those who are not of the craft beer fanatacism, Pils. If you don't like the draft you have bottles. It's pretty much covered at TRH. You can find some super sweet stuff here if you're on your beer A game.

F: A wild variation of street dogs and easy comfort food for those beer munchies. All good and reasonable.

The Red Hot and E-9 are a nice 1, 2 beer punch just yards away from each other.

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Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The vibe/atmosphere at the RH is my kind of place, reminding me in many ways of the iconic Toronado in SF. Like the Toronado, RH is pretty small, though I think they make the most of the space they have. Roughly 10 sets of tables and chairs are crammed into the small dining room, and then there's a modest size bar straight back from the front door that holds another 10 or 12 seats. I got here around 7:00 on a Friday, and to no great surprise, the RH was rocking. I really like the vibe of this place, with the red painted walls (natch) and all the beer paraphenalia on the walls, posters, signs, etc. Something that I thought was a cool touch was the staff placard, where staff members either place or remove a wooden drawing of themselves when they arrive or leave work. There are a lot cool touches like that at the RH, that I think tend to set it apart.

In terms of beer, the selection is pretty good, but I'm really not sure how much of a craft beer destination this place is. They had a solid draft selection, consisting of around 15 different crafts beers and/or imports. The focus appeared to be on the NW (mostly Oregon and Washington), with a couple of California offerings as well (Stone pale ale and the like). On this particular day I ordered a Walking Man IPA, a Snipes Little Chief session IPA and the Bablylon DIPA from Ninkasi. There is no crap on tap here, though I think you can order cans or bottles of BMC if you feel the need (not positive about that, as I didn't see anyone drinking BMC). They also had around 10 or 11 bottled import choices, and had just gotten in bottles of sang noir from Cascade (selling for $32 a pop I believe).

Service was good. I think Mike waited on me and he was quick, friendly and knowledgeable. When I inquired about the Walking Man IPA, he confirmed it wasn't the homo erectus or knuckledragger. He mentioned some other limited beers they expected to get in fairly soon, but given the crowd and the noise, it was hard to make out everything he said.

As for food, I'm impressed that they serve any at all here. The back bar area is small, bordering on tiny, and there's no real kitchen to speak of. The Red Hot's food forte is hot dogs, and they serve close to 20 different renditions. There is also a nacho and frito pie selection... it's all food that doesn't really require any cooking, but can be kept warm and/or heated up, and then served to you quick on a paper bowl/plate. The dog selections are pretty creative, and you have to hand it to the owners for (once again) making the most out of what they have. That being said, I got the namesake Red Hot with kraut. It was decent, for sure, but at the end of the day it was still just a hot dog on a warm bun with onions, relish, mustard and kraut. It reminded me of a thousand hot dogs I've ordered at ball parks around the country, which I guess is what they're aiming for.

One last thing I should mention... the RH doesn't really have any TV's per se, but they do have a TV projector, and were showing the hapless mariners on a big screen in the back. It was another one of those touches here that I really liked.

Prices are undeniably cheap here. My three pints (served in a real pint glass) and dog came to just $16 with tax.

Would I go back to the RH? In a heartbeat! This place is great.

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Photo of theautorestorer
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love this place. eclectic atmosphere with an excellent beer selection. the dogs are out of this world. The owner was very beer educated and was very helpful. The red hot is also a major sponsor of Ther First Annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. An exceptional place that all Tacoma beer geeks should support. The croud is young in the 20 somethings. I loved the atmosphere and the energy. The dogs are gourmet and available with almost any topping available. The beers are a good mix of Northwest brewers. IPA's to winter Stouts.

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Photo of jschumacher
3.48/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The Red Hot gives the impression of a beer bar first, and a hot dog restaurant second. With that said, the selection of taps is impressive for the greater Tacoma area, with several stellar tap choices at affordable prices. They advertise some great nightly specials, ranging from $2 tap nights to $10 growler fills.

With that said, the Red Hot is worth visiting as a beer bar, but not as a restaurant. Food is clearly a secondary concern, and while the hot dogs are sufficient as a pairing with a good beer, I would not recommend the place to satiate someone on an empty stomach.

The service I received was, honestly, subpar. Even sitting at the bar it took a lot of effort to get any sort of attention, and it seemed like the staff would rather be off doing something else.

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Photo of Hortus
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The Red Hot is a beer bar with a selection of different hot dogs and sausages for food.

Beer selection is good although there can't be much more than ten taps. Will usually have a couple that are really good like Pliny the elder, Great Divide Hibernation. Otherwise mainly NW beers like Boundary Bay IPA. Also offers 'Vitamin R' aka Rainier as the cheep beer selection. I have been there for the $2 Tuesday special. A random tap is $2 all night. Hard to beat $2 pints of Boundary Bay IPA. Service has always been friendly.

Food is cheap and dogs. I was there on a busy night and the hot dog business was brisk. They have a full menu of hot dog options and they looked like they were doing them up right (not skimping on the extras).

The place is pretty small with a bar, a few tables and some standing room in the middle. There are some pretty cool black and white historic pictures of old local sports teams and such. A reminder that Tacoma is one of the old cities in the northwest (never mind that Seattle has passed it in terms of fame). They also have a big screen TV with sports on. The crowd seemed to be 'young urban hip'.

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The Red Hot in Tacoma, WA
Place rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 19 ratings