With a thriving arts and culture scene, it is not surprising that Spokane also has a growing culinary landscape. With the abundance of local and regional products, a farm-to-table movement that has taken a strong hold, and creative recipes by great chefs, foodies will be satisfied with the local eats. Here is a look at the best cultural restaurants in Spokane, Washington.
Looking for delicious Southern cuisine with a modern twist in the Pacific Northwest? Look no further than Casper Fry, which is located in the heart of the historic South Perry neighbourhood. A family-owned restaurant named after their great-grandfather, Casper Fry, and inspired by simpler times when people had organic gardens and knew where their food came from, the folks at Casper Fry pride themselves on serving locally sourced fare in a modern rustic atmosphere. Highlights from the menu include the juicy Altamont burger topped with the southern classic pimento cheese and shrimp and grits. Also featuring delicious desserts and tempting handcrafted libations, there is something to tantalize everyone’s taste buds.
Casper Fry, 928 S. Perry St., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 535 0536
Wild Sage American Bistro
The multiple award-winning Wild Sage American Bistro is a ‘comfortable fine dining’ establishment in a warm and intimate environment. Serving creative dishes that highlight fresh locally sourced ingredients since 2006, the team at Wild Sage is respectful of their customers’ dietary needs and offers a gluten-free menu in addition to their regular menu and will happily create dishes for other dietary restrictions. Succulent choices on the menus include the gluten-free goat cheese stuffed chicken breast with balsamic bing cherries, wild arugula salad, Kansas City bacon lardons, and white cheddar grits and the bouillabaisse with halibut, wild shrimp, scallops, and mussels in a tomato broth with garlic bread and saffron aioli.
Wild Sage American Bistro, 916 W. 2nd Ave., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 456 7575
Fire Artisan Pizza
Located in downtown, Fire Artisan Pizza offers an inviting atmosphere with modern elements, including large black and white photos, which blanket the walls, concrete floors, and rustic wooden accents. The restaurant serves pizza cooked in a 900-degree wood-fired oven and made with quality ingredients in unique flavourful combinations, with regional craft beers and wines. Diners can devour classic pizzas, such as the margharita with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil, and olive oil or something a little different like the gordy, which is made with dates, gorgonzola, mozzarella, olive oil, and a balsamic reduction. Plenty of delicious options make it the perfect gathering place for everyone.
Fire Artisan Pizza, 816 W. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 413 1856
Madeleine’s Café and Patisserie
Established in 2007 by Casper Fry co-owners, mother-daughter duo Deb Green and Megan VanStone, Madeleine’s Café and Patisserie is a little piece of France located in the heart of downtown Spokane. This delightful café serves French pastries and Provençal rustic cuisine in a charming French atmosphere and is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner on Friday and Saturday. The large menu features various croissants, crêpes, salads, classic dishes, such as coq au vin and steak au poivre, and mouth-watering desserts, including chocolate soufflé and lemon tarts. Plenty of vegetarian options make this a great culinary experience for anyone’s taste.
Madeleine’s Café and Patisserie, 707 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 624 2253
Voted as the best diner and breakfast for over 14 years in a row and with two locations, Frank’s Diner is doing something right. Established in 1931, each diner is housed in an early 1900s railroad car and serves dishes made from scratch with locally sustainable ingredients. Their menu is large which allows a variety of tastes to be satisfied. Highlights from the breakfast menu include spicy Creole benedict made with lobster, rock crab, poached eggs all smothered in a spicy hollandaise sauce and gourmet purple oatmeal, which consists of Snoqualmie Falls oatmeal with Priest Lake huckleberries. They also offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch.
The creation of Bethe Bowman and Anna Vogel, general manager and chef, respectively, Italia Trattoria is a unique restaurant serving regionally inspired Italian cuisine located in the historic Browne’s Addition neighbourhood. Chef Vogel and her team create seasonal dishes using the finest and freshest local and artisan ingredients from Italy and the Pacific Northwest. Past offerings have included charred octopus with spicy tomato oil, potatoes, and lemon parsley salad, rabbit raviolis — all pastas are hand made — and for dessert, brioche banana bread pudding. They also serve lunch three days a week, offer a weekend brunch, and have a great selection of wines and handcrafted drinks. Reservations are recommended.
Italia Trattoria, 144 South Cannon St., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 459 6000
Stacks at Steam Plant
For over 70 years the steam plant in Spokane produced energy for local residents and businesses; now it houses a restaurant and pub called Stacks and Steam Plant Brewing Company & Pub, respectively. The team at Stacks works with local farmers and ranchers in order to bring the freshest ingredients in the kitchen to create their new American cuisine. In a truly unique ambiance with 80-foot ceilings, old broiler pipes, and catwalks, diners can feast on seasonal dishes such as the black and bleu sirloin with Cajun spices and Point Reyes bleu cheese or the black and white halibut with fresh vegetables and spicy ginger soy sauce served over yaki soba noodles. With the brewery on-site, ask the server for suggestions on which microbrew to pair with your meal for the full Steam Plant experience.
Stacks at Steam Plant, 159 S. Lincoln St., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 777 3900
Opened since 1996 and located in a century old building downtown, Mizuna delights foodies with its local organic fare in a charming, warm, and modern ambiance. Working with local farmers to bring the freshest ingredients to the table, the lunch and dinner menus change seasonally but feature meats, fresh seafood, and numerous vegan and vegetarian options as it used to be a strict vegetarian and vegan establishment. Diners may choose between delectable dishes such as grilled Idaho rainbow trout with roasted shallot and shitake mushroom risotto, grilled baby bok choy, glazed beets, and coriander gastrique and the vegetarian dish, house-made chickpea gnocchi in a sage and walnut pesto cream sauce.
Mizuna, 214 N. Howard St., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509 747 2004
Saranac Public House
Located in the historic Saranac Building, which was a single room occupancy residence from 1910 to 2004, the Saranac Public House is a restaurant featuring American fare made with locally sourced organic ingredients when available. Serving lunch and dinner, the menu changes with the seasons and is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly. Highlights from the summer menu include the original Thai flatbread with spicy peanut sauce, roasted chicken, cheese, peppers, carrots, cilantro, and roasted peanuts — order with tofu and vegan cheese for a tasty vegan dish — and jalapeño glazed salmon served with coconut rice and sweet mustard coleslaw. With a great selection of regional beers and wines and plenty of indoor and outdoor patio seating, diners will enjoy this culinary experience.
Saranac Public House, 21 W. Main Ave., Spokane, WA, USA, +1 509473 9455
Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop
Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop is a tantalizing bakery — with two locations — featuring an array of delicious baked treats. Stop by in the morning for a breakfast of coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon roll, muffin, or homemade pop tart or step in for a little treat, including cookies, cake pops, and more, in the afternoon. While the selections can vary from day to day, patrons can count on cupcakes being a daily feature. With mouth-watering flavours such as red velvet, salted caramel, banana split, and gluten-free chocolate sugar cookie, everyone will find something to satisfy their sweet tooth in this colourful whimsical shop.
By Marcelina Morfin