This guide is specifically geared toward out-of-the-way places and day trips. Comments are the impressions of Austin & Laura.
//Updated Jan 2014//
- Donut Parade / 2152 N. Hamilton / 509-487-9003: Great little hole in the wall, awesome donuts and staff. We go here almost every visit to Spokane. Go around 9-9:30 for the best selection.
- Frank’s Diner / 1516 W. 2nd Ave / 509-747-8798: Cozy, old-timey train car (also good for lunch).
- Knight’s Diner / 2909 N Market St / 509-484-0015: The other train car diner! We prefer Frank’s (it has booths), but this one has just slightly better food.
- Central Food / 1335 W Summit Parkway / 509-315-8036: breakfast place that reminds us of Bloom here in Moscow. Best place if you want to get a late breakfast or breakfast cocktails.
- Chaps Coffee Co / 4237 S. Cheney-Spokane Rd: serves breakfast (Fri-Sun), lunch (Tues-Sat), and dinner (Wed-Sat). Great decor, decent food (sometimes the baked goods are a bit dry), odd location. Grab a menu and get in line — someone will assign you to a table while you wait.
Side note: we often visit Frank’s or Chaps when taking people to and from the airport. While they sometimes have a wait, the service times are very fast in both places. We’ve never been to the second Frank’s north of Spokane (near Target) in Mead.
- Stella’s / 917 W Broadway Ave / www.stellacafe1.com: Watch for the sidewalk sign (and in good weather, the roll-up door). Simple menu (sandwich + chips), comfortable, open atmosphere. Price range $7-10
- Queen of Sheba / in the Flour Mill: great Ethiopian food
- Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle / 802 W. Garland Ave / 509-325-1772: Old-time cafe, shaped like a huge milk bottle (can’t miss it). They make their own patties and their own kaiser rolls on site. Seat yourself, cash only.
- Gordy’s Sichuan Cafe / 501 E. 30th Ave / 509-747-1170: Our local New Yorker swears this is some of the best Chinese he’s had, anywhere. We agree with him.
- Wolffy’s Hamburgers / 1229 N. Hamilton / 509-487-1587: 1950’s style diner, friendly staff, great burgers.
- ~~Five Guys Burgers & Fries / 2525 E. 29th Ave: The classic D.C. chain, and just as good as the ones out East.~~ Now closed.
- Manito Tap House / 3011 S Grand Blvd / 509-279-2671: great bear list and good food. A nice companion to a Trader Joe’s trip or if you’re visiting Manito Park.
//Not Yet Been//
- Perry Street Cafe / 1002 S Perry St: Everything from cinnamon rolls to pizza to sandwiches.
- Picabu Bistro / 901 W. 14th / M-Sat, 11-9: recommended by L; featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives
- Latah Bistro / 4241 Cheney Spk Blvd: we’ve never been because of the unassuming location, but reviews are great.
- Taste of India – the buffet
- The White House – greek
- The Flying Goat – pizza and beer
- Zola / 22 W. Main Ave / 509-624-2416: One of our very favs. Gracious staff, fantastic atmosphere, live music in evenings. Happy hour is the sweet spot (M-Sat: 4-7pm, all day Sun): Appetizers are ~~$5/ea and all amazing; beers start at $1/ea.~~ Jan 2014 Update: they’re raised their prices to $2 PBR and apps now have varying prices. Still a good deal, if not as insane as it used to be.
- Milford’s Fish House / 719 N. Monroe / 509-326-7251: Great “British gentlemen’s club” feel (dark wood, moose head, palms). $16 per plate and up, always worth it. Reserve a booth.
- ~~The Catacombs / 110 S. Monroe / 509-838-4610: This one appears on a lot of Spokane to-do lists we’ve seen, and for good reason. Underground with a bit of an ancient flare (but not cheesy), great atmosphere, great beers, great food.~~ Jan 2014 Update: Catacombs is closed because of the Montvale’s bankruptcy. Hopefully someone will come along and reopen this cool restaurant.
- Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie / 404 W. Main Ave (next to Auntie’s Books): Consistently on Best of Spokane lists; pricing $25 and up; wonderful atmosphere, service, food. I’d like to try breakfast here.
- Elk Public House /
- ~FroYo Earth / 172 S. Division St, Suite B / Right downtown, froyo flavors and toppings — exactly what you’d expect. (Also see Satellite Diner, below, for pie.)
- Top Notch Cafe / 210 N Main St (Colfax!) / (509) 397-4569: If you’re heading up to Spokane late, for a concert or the like, the Top Notch is a great place to get a burger for the way up. Call ahead (while in Pullman) and they’ll have it ready just in time as you swing through Colfax.
- Satellite Diner / 425 W. Sprague Ave / 509-624-3952: Total greasy spoon with great service. Home of the infamous Billy Breen Burger (bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches). Also has pie slices!
- Atticus / 222 N. Howard / 509-747-0336: My new favorite coffee spot in Spokane
- Rocket Bakery / 7 locations in Spokane, but the most loveable is probably the gas station one on South Hill (726 E. 43rd St).
- Coeur Coffee / 701 N. Monroe, near the County Courthouse. Intelligentsia, Stumptown, and Manners beans in nearly any method you can think of. I’ve been here twice and had two mediocre experiences, but I’m going to give them another try.
- The Montvale / 1005 W 1st: our favorite place to stay, we’ve had some success getting good prices through Priceline’s bidding thing – use 3.5 stars for best results. The upkeep seems to have declined slightly because of their recent bankruptcy.
- Riverfront Park / downtown, next to mall: We can’t walk here enough. Two suspension bridges, mini-donuts, Loof carousel, IMAX, ferris wheel, feed the ducks, $7.50 to ride the gondola over the falls!
- Spokane Falls (by foot) / The old Washington Water Power building is right next to Riverfront Park. If you walk behind it (cut thru the parking lot), you’ll find a trail and sets of stairs leading down to the bottom of the falls. A definite must during the spring/early summer when the falls are at their grandest.
- Manito Park / South Hill, on Grand: Acres and acres of incredible gardening. Parking at all entrances. Highlights: Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, Duncan Formal Garden, duck pond, and exotic plant conservatory.
//Not Yet Been//
- Cat Tales / N. 17020 Newport Hwy, Mead, WA / 509-238-4126 / Tues-Sun: A “big cat” zoo full of tigers, lions, panthers, leopards. About 15 mins north of Spokane.
!! Firsthand Shopping
- Atticus Coffee & Gifts / 222 N. Howard / 509-747-0336: Great gift shop, the sophisticated companion to Boo Radley’s.
- Boo Radley’s / 232 N. Howard St / 509-456-7479: Funky toy store for grownups
- Auntie’s Bookstore / 402 W. Main / 509-838-0206: Auntie’s has sadly been shrinking over the years, from three floors of the building down to just one. But they still have an impressive collection of new and used books
- Artemis / 3109 N Monroe: Like Spokane’s own independent Anthropologie. Well curated.
!! Secondhand Shopping
- Fringe & Fray / 1325 W. First Ave, Ste. 102 / 509-720-7116: Tiny but incredibly well-edited. Super-affordable, men’s & women’s and some decor. Jan 2014: they just doubled in size – we’re excited to check out their new offerings
- Carousel Vintage / 110 S. Cedar: Just around the corner from Fringe & Fray. Boutique prices, but worth a visit just to see. Women’s only, sorted by decade.
- Roost / 7 W. Main Ave: Cute shabby chic decor at attainable prices
- DYD (Drop Your Drawers) / 719 W. Garland Ave: Old hippie owner, good prices, lots of vintage stuff, men’s & women’s. A fun dive.
- Tossed & Found / 2607 N Monroe St: Very best antique mall in Spokane
- Metro Furniture Consignment / Monroe: usually some great mid-century modern pieces
- Hillyard District Antiques / 4912 N. Market St & surrounding: Lots of quaint little shops along Market, mainly antiques, mostly overpriced, but still fun to look.
//Not Yet Been//
- Pilot Books / 3108 E. Olympic Ave / (509) 487-1548 (Apparently looks like an old laundromat from the outside?)
- Garland Theater / 924 W Garland Ave / 509-327-1050: Vintage theater showing second-run movies for $4.50/ea (bottomless popcorn for $5).
- The Magic Lantern / 25 W Main Ave, Ste 150 / 509-209-2211: Teeny-tiny independent theater ($7.00/ea), French-press coffee and bakery item concessions. Somewhat unclear street entry; shares entrance with Sazerac. Enter and walk straight back.
- Dryfly Distillery / 1003 East Trent Ave / 509-489-2112: First grain distillery in Washington since the Prohibition! Super-friendly staff. The flat-out best gin and vodka ever. Buzz in at front door.
- Habitat for Humanity Surplus / 732 North Napa St (new location?) / 509-534-2552: No heating/cooling, but great finds and inspiration. Spotted: claw-foot bathtub.
- Tin Man Art Gallery / 811 West Garland Ave / 509-325-1500: Unique, local art. Smaller pieces feel attainable.
!! Not Yet Been
- Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC)
- Carr’s One-of-a-Kind Museum (sadly closed before we were ever able to visit - Carr passed away and the museum was auctioned off) / 5225 N. Freya / Open Sat-Sun, 1-4pmlists travel