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Urban Spelunker: Fife

Treasures amongst trucks

Pick Quick is considered one of the best burgers in the South Sound.

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Fife is a pit stop of a town north of Tacoma and just south of Federal Way. I say pit stop because Fife is quite literally a truck stop destination with several 24-hour dining destinations and loads of diesel fuel available at the pumps. Once upon a time, sweeping farm plots called this little valley home, though now it's more of a warehouse mecca. Fife continues to uphold some of its small-town charm with lovely pockets of residential communities and an impressive school district. Here are just a few finds my fellow Urban Spelunkers may find of value:

[Bib Bearers Welcome]

If you like barbeque, Warthog Barbeque Pit is a must visit on your list. Ante up to a picnic table and start grubbing on house-smoked meaty goodness, including the likes of BBQ brisket, ribs and loaded up burgers. An excellent go-to for a casual family dinner or lunch alone, since you'll be noshing and lip smacking the entirety of the meal. Open Sundays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 4921 20th St. E., Fife, 253.896.5091

[Drive-Thru Diners]

Pick Quick Drive In is classic burger and fry goodness. This is not modern day fast food, but the sort that brings the masses who wait eagerly in line. Dine at a picnic table alongside the joint in a park-like setting or take your grub on the go. An added bonus is that Pick Quick uses fresh produce for its set-ups, local cattle for its patties and hand cuts fries each day in house. Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4306 Pacific Hwy. SE, Fife, 253.922.5599

[Know When To Hold ‘Em]

As you zip past Fife on I-5 (though careful not to zip too fast - local authorities have been known to be generous with speeding tickets), you'll see the bright lights of the Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino, also known as the EQC. This destination is just a little sister spot to Puyallup's much larger venue, but it boasts loads of opportunities for those who have a gambling streak, some lovely dining options and reasonably priced rooms for those visiting the area. There is also AMPLE parking. 2024 E. 29th Street, Fife, 888.831.7655

[AquaMan (and friends)]

The Fife Swim Center boasts a large main pool, 2-foot deep wading pool for the kiddies and a hot tub, all suited with chlorinated salt water. The center is open for open swim sessions, senior aerobics classes and swim classes for adults and children alike. The Fife Swim Center is also nestled between two pocket parks - one great for lounging and one geared towards the young ‘uns - that play home to the weekly farmer's markets and loads of community centered events and happenings. Open Mondays to Thursdays, 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 5410 20th St. E., Fife, 253.922.7665


BJ's Bingo is an impressive bingo hall with 20 bingo sessions a week, including speed bingo, and gaming machines and slots. It boasts the title "state of the art," if a bingo hall ever could, and has all of your gaming needs onsite including a café to fuel you as a mean-green-daubing-machine. The upstairs cigar lounge is a fancy man cave. Open 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. 4411 Pacific Highway E., Fife, 253.922.0430

Other Fife destinations:

Foodie Finds: Louie G's Pizza, Poodle Dog Diner

Antique Scavengers: Dynasty Estates Antiques, Tacoma Antique Center

Adventures: Urban Custom Bikes, Camping World

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