With an abundance of delicious bounty from local sources and surrounding areas, Spokane’s culinary scene is constantly evolving and offering new taste experiences. From vegan options to exotic flavors, New American to Ethiopian cuisine, you’re guaranteed to find some great dining options. In this updated article we explore 10 of the best cultural restaurants in Spokane, Washington.
A signature dish at Casper Fry | Courtesy of Casper Fry
Boot’s Bakery and Lounge is a complete vegan eatery specialising in sweet and savoury edibles, espresso drinks, and handcrafted libations. Opened in 2012 by Alison Collins, Boot’s is located in the historic Longbotham building in a beautiful space complete with exposed bricked walls, lofty ceilings, and artworks by local artists making for a vibrant atmosphere. Offering an array of vegan deliciousness that can vary each day due to what is available from local farmers, guests can try tasty options such as cupcakes, banana snack cake, bean salad, BBQ tofu, and macaroni and cheese to name but a few. Most of the culinary delights served at Boot’s are gluten-free as well.
Located in the heart of the historic South Perry neighbourhood, Casper Fry is a family-owned eatery specialising in delicious Southern cuisine with a modern twist. Named after the family’s great-grandfather and inspired by simpler times when people had organic gardens and could trace the origins of their food, the folks at Casper Fry pride themselves on procuring the freshest ingredients from local purveyors. In a modern rustic atmosphere, diners can feast upon an array of succulent highlights, including Jama’s buttermilk fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, country gravy, and a biscuit with jalapeño honey butter. There are also decadent desserts and handcrafted libations sure to tantalise everyone’s taste buds.
Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu | Courtesy of Italia Trattoria
A neighbourhood restaurant, Gordy’s Sichuan Cafe features delicious Chinese cuisine in a cosy and welcoming environment. Located on South Hill, this eatery has been a part of the Spokane culinary scene for over a decade. Using the freshest ingredients available, the food will appeal to many palates as there are varying levels of spiciness, plus most of the recipes can be prepared using no animal products. Delicious highlights include cashew scallops with broccoli, bamboo, baby corn, carrot stars, and roasted cashews glazed in master sauce; home-style tofu with squash, mushrooms, and bamboo braised with yu dofu; and hunan beef with scallions, ginger, chilli pods, garlic, and shaoxing wine.
Established in 2010 by Bethe Bowman and Anna Vogel, general manager and chef respectively, Italia Trattoria is a lovely eatery featuring regionally Italian-inspired cuisine. Situated in the historic Browne’s Addition neighbourhood, the culinary team creates seasonal dishes — the menus change frequently — using the finest and freshest local and artisan ingredients procured from local and regional areas plus Italy. Past highlights included hand-made pappardelle with red wine braised lamb, pecorino cheese, and fresh mint, and for dessert, panna cotta with fresh strawberry compote and a palmier. Serving lunch, dinner, plus a weekend brunch, they also have several gluten-free options and a great selection of wines. Reservations are recommended.
Founded in 2011 on South Hill, Manito Tap House is a Four-Star Certified Green Restaurant or, in this case, gastro pub specialising in modern American cuisine and beer. Featuring 50 beers on tap with the majority being craft beer, this team is dedicated to learning everything about the brews they serve; indeed, anyone who works at this joint must past a 45-question beer test. As for the delectable food, only the best seasonal locally sourced ingredients, including organics, are used in the creative dishes, which include blackened mac and cheese with chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, and cheese sauce. A lively pub with a modern rustic interior, Manito’s is a place where people go to have a fun night out.
Diners will not only be able to experience authentic Ethiopian cuisine but also traditional dining at Queen of Sheba, an outstanding eatery established in 2010 by Almaz Ainuu, a native of Ethiopia. With many vegetarian options plus entrées featuring beef, lamb, and poultry, the food will appeal to many gastronomes. All items are served on one platter; there is no cutlery but rather Injera, a spongy flatbread, which is used to pick up the food, which includes exotic items like red split lentils in berbere sauce and beef sautéed in Ethiopian spiced butter with peppers, onions, rosemary, and spices. A delightful culinary experience like no other, Queen of Sheba also offers a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony each Saturday for which reservations are required.
Housed in a steam plant that produced energy for local residents and businesses for over 70 years, Stacks is a great restaurant featuring New American cuisine. In a unique environment complete with 80-foot ceilings, old broiler pipes, and catwalks, diners can savour seasonal dishes made with fresh ingredients procured from local farmers and ranchers. The smokehouse chicken breast stuffed with Heron Pond gouda cheese and caramelised onions served with a smoked tomato vinaigrette, red quinoa and vegetables, and the smoked salmon pasta in a light garlic white wine cream sauce are two mouth-watering options. With Steam Plant Brewing Company & Pub on-site, pair your meal with a microbrew for the full Steam Plant experience.
A signature dish at Wild Sage American Bistro | Courtesy of Wild Sage American Bistro
Originally a pop up restaurant, The Wandering Table — located at Kendall Yards — opened a permanent brick-and-mortar shop in May 2014 focusing on New American cuisine and handcrafted libations. Specialising in small plates served family-style, this eatery, which is owned by Chef Adam Hegsted, prides itself on using only the best seasonal ingredients procured from local purveyors. The menu changes frequently; past offerings included devilled eggs stuffed with maple-bacon filling and topped with toast; hoisin fried tofu with mushroom confit, dashi broth, plus candied and fried garlic; and goat cheesecake with summer fruit. Gastronomes may also name a price, and the chef will make something within that price range.
Established in 2006, Wild Sage American Bistro is a multiple award-winning dining establishment highlighting fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Featuring a warm and cosy environment filled with natural light during the day and soft lighting at night, the atmosphere is great for a night out with friends or a romantic rendezvous. Wild Sage’s culinary team creates mouth-watering made-to-order dishes that can be altered to accommodate different dietary needs, therefore, satisfying many tastes. Highlights to note include the Korean-style pork shanks with kalbi barbecue glaze, vegetable-mushroom sauté, and pickled chilli relish and the almond flour ravioli with burrata cheese, mushroom-tomato ragu, and pecorino-romano cheese.