ASIAN, INDIAN, HAWIIAN
Aloha Island Grill. Hawaiian. Operating out of two former Taco John shacks on Monroe and West Francis, Patrick and Lori Keegan serve up fresh, tender Teriyaki Chicken “plates” that will keep you coming back. Based on family recipes from the islands and plenty more than just teriyaki, both spots offer a student discount; the Francis location serves a creative breakfast concoction called the “Loco Moco.” Open daily. 1724 N. Monroe (509) 443-1632 and 1220 W. Francis (509) 413-2029. eataloha.com.
Thai Bamboo. Thai. Each of the four regional Thai Bamboo locations offers a massive Southeast Asian menu in settings designed to transport you across the Pacific. Inside each restaurant you’ll find Thai stone and wood carvings, water fountains, Thai music and the namesake bamboo décor. Thai Bamboo continues to be #1 Best Thai in readers’ polls and both the newest location on North Division and the CdA restaurant feature a Tiki-Beach styled lounge and striking sky ceilings in the main dining rooms. Think Vegas with pad thai. All locations Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat 12-9:30 p.m., Sun 12-9 p.m. Delivery available. thaibamboorestaurant.com.
Top of India. Indian. A hidden gem serving up northern Indian dishes in a surprisingly chic space tucked into a tiny house off East Sprague. Owner and chef Manjit Kaur brings the specialties she learned to cook on the family farm in the Jalandhar district of Punjab to the Northwest. Don’t miss the garlic naan or the Chicken Tikka Masala, but order just about anything and expect it to be quite good. There is also a lunch buffet for $9.99. Open daily 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. 11114 E. Sprague Ave. (509) 927-0500. thetopofindia.com.
Canaan Buffet. Refuel, work, meet, celebrate, or unwind with Canaan Buffet’s fantastic selections of Pan-Asian cuisines, along with affordability and a fun atmosphere. Enjoy delicious dishes, expertly prepared with more than 200 items to choose from. They use organic vegetables on both their salad bar and in all vegetable dishes. Huge varieties of freshly made sushi and with the freshest fruits of the season. Seven days a week, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., 9606 N. Newport Hwy., (509) 465-4849. canaanbuffet.com.
Red Lion BBQ & Pub. For about 20 years, whether it was in the old rhythm and blues, peanut-shells-on-the-floor days, or more recently as a sports bar, there’s always been butt-kickin’ BBQ at this downtown corner spot. The undisputed star here is wine broiled chicken, spicy and robust, yet falling-off-the-bones moist and tender. Together with their signature fried bread and honey, and you have a BBQ experience that can’t help but please. 126 N. Division. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m. (Sunday breakfast buffet 9 a.m.-noon during football season.) (509) 835-LION (5466). redlionbarbeque.com.
The Wandering Table. A much-anticipated American tapas-style restaurant located in Kendall Yards. Chef Adam Hegsted delights with a variety of small plates (try the Garden for a creative salad take, the Deviled Eggs, or the Popcorn), craft cocktails, a whiskey bar, and substantial dishes, such as the Bacon-Wrapped Bacon Sliders or the Braised Shortribs. The chef is known for his previous culinary venture of the same name consisting of a twelve-course dinner party. Take his advice and go with the “You Choose the Price” meal option for the table offered at $15-$65 per head for a surprising culinary journey. Hopefully it will include the Olive Oil Gelato for dessert. Tues-Thurs, 11:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Sun-Mon, 4 p.m.-11:30 p.m. 1242 W. Summit Pkwy. in Kendall Yards. (509) 443-4410. thewanderingtable.com.
Laguna Café. This South Hill restaurant calls itself a café, but in actuality it is much more. Owners Dan and Debbie Barranti have created a sophisticated combination of gourmet food, great wines, and gifts. The dinner menu features entrees such as Wild Pacific Salmon with fresh rosemary mango salsa and roasted rosemary potatoes or the Flat Iron Steak and Black Tiger Shrimp. They offer an extensive line of summer salads, along with a full bar—and delectable burgers, too. Want to fine dine at home? Don’t miss their pick-up window with meals to go. Live music weekly. 2013 E. 29th Ave. Mon-Thur 8 a.m. -9 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (509) 448-0887.
Wild Sage. Tucked into a classic 1911 brick building on 2nd and Lincoln, Wild Sage offers an intimate dining setting and memorable food with real flair. The atmosphere combines class and warmth. Executive Chef Charlie Connor presents regionally influenced Northwest cuisine using only the finest locally sourced products. Try the Yukon Taquitos, the Crisp Bacon and Blue salad or the Cioppino. Be sure to finish with a slice of the “Soon-to-be-Famous” Coconut Cream Layer Cake with lilikoi sauce. This award-winning bistro is known for its in-house bakery and an amazing array of gluten-free options. Also make it a point to order something from their “scratch bar,” with or without alcohol. They use only fresh juices and house-infused flavored liquors. Dinner seven nights a week, opening at 4 p.m. 916 W. Second Ave. (509) 456-7575. wildsagebistro.com.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH SPECIALTIES
Frank’s Diner. Frank’s has become a Spokane landmark in just over a decade. Both early 1900s vintage rail cars were originally obtained by the Knight brothers, Frank and Jack, during the Depression, and each converted them to diners in Seattle and Spokane, respectively. Larry Brown, of Onion Bar and Grill fame, acquired the Seattle diner in 1991 and moved it to its present location, meticulously restored by well-know local restaurant restoration artisan, Pat Jeppeson. Frank’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, available all day, has all the classics. Among our favorites are the open-face turkey, roast beef and mushroom sandwiches, chicken pot pie, Joe’s Special (the venerable scramble of eggs, ground beef, spinach, onions and parmesan), and, of course, the don’t-miss-at-breakfast hash browns and silver pancakes. 1516 W. 2nd. Seven days 6 a.m.-8 p.m. (509) 747-8798. 10929 N. Newport Highway, Sun-Thurs 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri-Sat 6 a.m.-9 p.m. (509) 465-2464. franksdiners.com.
Yards Bruncheon. The team at Yards Bruncheon figured out how to extend the weekend to all week by offering brunch everyday, and—oh!—how that pleases us. This modern diner is a combination of breakfast and lunch complimented with classic brunch cocktails. Their menu features comfort food from all over using local farms and producers in the season. This food is food the team loves to eat and is meant to be taken lightly. They make most of their menu items in house including their pastries, which are some of the best around. They also feature some of the best coffees and teas from around the world. 1248 W. Summit Prky., Mon-Sun 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (509) 290-5952. theyardsbruncheon.com.
Taste Cafe & Fine Art. If you love the taste of healthy and enjoy putting nutrient-dense fuel into your body—while giving your tastebuds the stuff food dreams are made of—Taste Cafe & Fine Art is a not to be missed downtown destination. Jim and Mary Ann McCurdy whip up their most popular dishes—asian chicken wrap, lentil salad, cookies and a kale salad that would make carnivores drool—among a long list of tantalizing dishes. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Thu-Fri 5:30-8 p.m., closed Sun. 180 S. Howard St. (509) 468-2929. tastecafespokane.com.
Gilded Unicorn. The Gilded Unicorn is a Modern American, Classic restaurant featuring hand crafted foods and drinks located in the historic Montvale Hotel in downtown Spokane, right in the heart the entertainment and arts district. The name reflects their blend of classic and modern without taking themselves too seriously. The Gilded Unicorn showcases local, seasonal food and drinks from the Northwest and beyond coerced into new fashioned flavors that hit you in the soul. This is a “must visit” eatery experience. 110 S. Monroe St., Sun-Sat 3 p.m-close. (509) 309-3698. gildedunicorn.com.
Prohibition Gastropub. A small, but cozy pub on Monroe offering modern meals with a vintage vibe and a carefully curated cocktail menu. Specialty candied bacon appears throughout the menu, from jalapeno poppers to a bevy of burgers. The kitchen is eager to please vegans and vegetarians, as well. 1914 N. Monroe. Mon, Wed-Sat 11a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Tues. (509) 474-9040.
315 Martinis and Tapas. Located within the historic Greenbriar Inn in Coeur d’Alene, this restaurant specializes in small plates with a global focus and well-crafted cocktails. Come sit in the intimate martini bar for happy hour beginning at 3:15 and enjoy drink and tapas specials, or share small plates or entrees along with live music on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights in the main dining room beginning at 6 p.m. Expect good service, great atmosphere and an experience you won’t soon forget. Tues-Sun from 3:15 p.m. to close. 315 Wallace Ave. in Coeur d’Alene. (208) 667-9660. 315martinisandtapas.com.
Clinkerdagger. English pub décor overlooking the Spokane River. Known for their fresh seafood, steaks, and rock salt-roasted prime rib, Clinkerdagger is a favorite eating place among locals. Their salmon filet is one of the best in the area. The Broadway Pea Salad and Blums Coffee Toffee Pie are two classics since 1974. Two cozy fireplaces make for a warm, friendly atmosphere. 621 W. Mallon (in the Flour Mill). Lunch Mon-Fri 11:15-2:30 p.m., Sat 11:30-2:30 p.m., Dinner Mon-Thurs 4:30-9 p.m., Fri 4:30-9:30 p.m., Sat 4-9:30 p.m., Sun lounge 2-9 p.m. and dinner 3-8 p.m. (509) 328-5965. clinkerdagger.com.
Masselow’s at Northern Quest. Named after a strong chief who was instrumental in the survival of the Kalispels, Masselow’s combines the culinary heritage of the tribe with Northwest fine dining. The restaurant features an intimate and lavishly appointed dining room just off the hotel lobby in the new wing of the Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights and serves up an Elk Sirloin and Seared Scallops worth the drive. Their chocolate mousse on the dessert menu is also a show stopper. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 100 N. Hayford Rd. in Airway Heights. (509) 242-7000. northernquest.com.
Stacks at Steam Plant. Named for the twin smokestacks that have been a part of the downtown Spokane skyline for nearly a century, Stacks offers a full-service dining experience in a one-of-a-kind space. Unique private dining spaces include boiler rooms where the original pipes still line the walls and ceiling. Signature dishes are created from scratch and incorporate ingredients produced only at the Steam Plant—including smoked meats, fish and vegetables, and many of the ales brewed on-site. 3 p.m.–10 p.m. Sun-Thurs, 3 p.m.–11p.m. Fri-Sat. 159 S. Lincoln, under the smokestacks downtown. (509) 777-3900. steamplantspokane.com.
1898 Pubic House. With a nod of respect to the year the golf club was originally established, 1898 Public House combines a storied history with modern flair. Led by Executive Chef Tyler Schwenk, their culinary team takes pride in preparing classic foods with a fresh twist, while using the finest ingredients. From hand-pressed gourmet burgers and house-cured bacon, to house-made rolls and charcuterie, dining at 1898 is an exciting culinary tour for your palate. With signature comfort food dishes and unique combinations designed for the more adventurous foodie. Sun-Thurs 4-10 p.m., Fri/Sat 4-11 p.m., happy hour 4-6 p.m. 2010 W. Waikiki Rd. (509) 466-2121. kalispelgolf.com.
The Melting Pot. If rich, creamy cheeses and chocolates sound like your kind of scene, grab a few friends and meet for conversation, cocktails and some of the best food you’ve ever experienced. The Melting Pot invented the Art of Fondue just for people like you. Try the Loaded Baked Potato cheese fondue, Caprese Salad, Spicy IPA Filet Mignon entrée, and Flaming Turtle chocolate fondue. Mon-Thur/Sun, 4-9 p.m., Fri/Sat, 4-10 p.m., Brunch Sat/Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 707 W. Main Ave., (509) 926-8000. meltingpot.com.
PUB AND LOUNGE FARE
Manito Tap House. Manito Tap House is living up to its name as a gastropub that offers high-quality dining fare to go with their 50 beers on tap. A fun pub atmosphere and friendly service make this a great hangout. Try the yam chips, the Carne Adovada, the Murphy’s Beef Boxty, or the inventive veggie burger that comes inside out. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun–Thur. Open until 2 a.m. Fri–Sat. 3011 S. Grand Blvd. (509) 279-2671. manitotaphouse.com.
The Onion Taphouse & Grill. Established in 1978, the Onion is the grand dean of gourmet burgers and casual family dining in Spokane. With the addition of Area 51 Taphouse (with, yes, 51 different beers—and some hard ciders, too), you’ll never want to leave. From gourmet burgers and sandwiches to pizza, salads and their namesake beer-battered onion rings, The Onion Taphouse & Grill pays attention to details and does more from scratch than many other restaurants aspiring to loftier appellations. 302 W. Riverside. Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m. (509) 747-3852; 7522 N. Division, Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (509) 482-6100.
Steam Plant Brewing Co. & Pub. An amazing location for a brewery–under layers of catwalks and an 80’ ceiling inside the renovated steam plant. The brewery produces eleven handcrafted microbrews on-site, from their famous Double Stack Stout to several seasonal varieties. Its microbrews are also available to go in kegs and growlers. The Pub features multiple flat-screen TVs and a game room to make a night of it. The brews are complemented by signature menu items like the Coal Bunker cheese bread, smoked steelhead and beer cheese soup. 3–10 p.m. Sun-Thurs 3–11 p.m. Fri-Sat.159 S. Lincoln, under the smokestacks, downtown. (509) 777-3900. steamplantspokane.com.
Café at the Gathering House. Is a great place to meet with a friend for a latté or to work away on your laptop. The café offers a full range of espresso drinks as well as delicious baked goods and a host of delicious artisan sandwiches and a salad bar for only $5.95. The Gathering House is a church that uses their facility as a job training coffee shop, café, and meeting place that is elevating quality food and lives. Weekdays 8 a.m.—4 p.m.m 733 W. Garland, (509) 340-9113. gatheringhouse.biz.
The Swinging Doors. Opened in May of 1981, the tavern turned restaurant has been in the same family for its whole life. With 27 beers on tap and 60 television screens, The Swinging Doors is a sports fan’s paradise. On the food front, the restaurant is famous for its large portions (which can be split). Breakfast is served all day and the huge pieces of Broasted Chicken remain the most popular item on the golf-themed menu. Show up on your birthday for a free steak dinner. Open seven days a week from 6:45 a.m.-2 a.m. 1018 W. Francis. (509) 326-6794. theswingingdoors.com.
PUB AND LOUNGE FARE
The Blackbird Tavern and Kitchen. Head straight to the bar where there are 34 beers (and four wines) on electronic tap, or take a seat at a squishy leather booth at a butcher block table. If it’s warm enough, you might want to sit on the patio under strings of Edison light bulbs. Located in the historic Broadview Dairy Building just north of downtown, the Blackbird offers southern-inspired gastropub fare like Bacon Fat Popcorn, Marinated Scallops and a bevy of burgers. A convenient location, kind, attentive service, the chance to try ingredients and combinations unlike any other area restaurant, bottomless mimosas at brunch and a bit of homey resemblance to its sister restaurant Manito Tap House on the South Hill make it a solid choice for friends and families alike. 905 N. Washington. Open Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 3-11 p.m. (509) 392-4000. theblackbirdspokane.com.
Crave. Where to go that’s lively, airy, and serves some of the best pub and lounge fare around. They do wraps, burgers, salads, and fries (yes to the fries!) right. On the super hip corner of Riverside and Washington with eats, drinks, and nightlife done right. Daily, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. 401 W. Riverside Ave. (509) 321-7480 and on Facebook.
nYne Bar & Bistro. Pub fair done right. Everything from juicy burgers, and delicious wraps to salads, nachos and a select array of appetizers. All entrees served with your choice of Kettle Salt and Pepper Chips or Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Tacos served every Tuesday with $5 margaritas. Happy hour is Tues-Sat 3 p.m.-6 p.m. $5 appetizers, $1 off well drinks, pints and wine. nYne has one of the best dance floors in town featuring DJs on the weekends and karaoke Tues-Thurs. Live music and special events as well. Private party space available with reservation. 232 W. Sprague Ave. Mon 7 p.m.-close, Tues-Sat 12 p.m.-2 a.m. nynebar.com.
Sushi.com. Japanese. We still think the name is about as cheesy as you can get for a sushi bar and Japanese restaurant, but the food transcends the curious dot.com label over the door. Sit at the sushi bar and enjoy what’s fresh or take a table and explore the menu that also includes plenty of excellent hot options if raw fish still makes you nervous. Some of our favorites are the super white tuna and the house tempura. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat 12 noon-9 p.m., Sun 12 noon-8 p.m. 430 W. Main, Spokane. (509) 838-0630.
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