Here are some local favorites that I find terrible, and question how drunk people are when they eat there. Honestly, the top two astound me with how bad they were.
Pikabu Bistro - Food was grade F. Disgusting. I usually give places two tries, three if I feel they deserve it. Within five minutes, I wanted to leave. And never come back. I know this place was featured on Food Network on "Diner's, Drive Ins, and Dives", the next restaurant was as well. I want to know how the host of that show ate there, and what his experience was like. It's expensive, the waitress ignored us for almost the whole meal, and the food was absolutely disgusting. I don't have high expectations for this town, but that was really nasty.
The Elk- Overall, it's unclean, the staff are rude, and the food is terrible. I understand it's a bar, but would it kill to maybe run a vacuum on the floor? The one saving grace is the Reuben. If you have to go in there, or are with a group of college kids, get the Reuben. That would be the only reason to go. The bar is over-priced, but has a decent selection of booze if you want to spend $50.
Tomato Street - Food was Olive Garden Italian, maybe a little cheaper. The staff was all college kids, who had no clue what they were doing. Enough said.
Taaj Indian - The lamest Indian food. Prices were about average. Just get the curry chicken; even then it's not very good.
Peking North - Not actual Chinese, tasted like brown gravy and grease. Waitress was an absolute gem, but the food was a real let down.
High Nooner - The sandwiches are better at Subway. Hands down. Takes forever to get your food (1 hour wait time for two sandwiches. One was Philly, the other too bleh to mention.) And it cost almost 30 bucks for just the two. Both locations are equally bad. Don't bother.
Some restaurants that are worth your time:
European Breakfast - This might be a chain. Regardless, the food is fantastic. Get the goulash, huge portions, and very tasty. The coffee was really good too, and that's coming from someone who has had Seattle’s Best many times over. Do get there early, and expect to pay about average for IHOP price. Also be attentive when it comes to the staff. They'll ignore you, and mix up your order. (Every time I've gone, they've managed to mix up and/or forget me.)
Frank's Diner - Go there for atmosphere. Foods decent and the staff are pretty nice. Sit at the counter and watch them cook. They know what they're doing, and it's impressive that they cook like that in such a cramped space.
Prospector's - EXPENSIVE. Expect to go in there and spend an arm and a leg. But you will leave very satisfied. The prime rib was wonderful, and the steaks aren't bad either. Depending on who the waiter or waitress is, it can be a very good dining experience. Gone there a couple times, and it was worth the money.
The Brooklyn - Alright Sandwiches. Not the best I've ever had, but tasty and worth the money. Their chowder is good too. The bartenders are also pretty good, and make a really good bloody mary.
The Catacombs - Little hole in the wall. Good pizzas and decent pasta. A little on the pricey side, but they do half price pizza on Mondays during happy hour. (This might have changed, call ahead if you do go.)
I just saw this old post and I thought I might offer another perspective to ayonall’s since many people would disagree with his/her’s.
Picabu Bistro (Note correct spelling) - I have eaten there about 8 times and have always had a excellent meal as have my dining companions. They are a neighborhood bistro, not fancy but serving an eclectic verity of food at a great price point. Absolutely recommend for a casual meal.
The Elk - It’s always been clean when I’ve been there and the patio is delightful to sit on when it’s warm out, food is good to very good, think of it as a local TGIF that makes everything in house.
Tomato street - Italian/american red checker tablecloth type of place. Food is just average but the service has always been excellent. Popular with the locals.
Taaj - It depends who’s owning it today, but usually they food is bleh.
Peking North - I agree
High Nooner - ONE hour????? $30 Bucks????? No way, sandwiches, come out fast, two sammies plus their free cookies and a drink will set ya back about 20 and 10 minutes of wait time.
Old European (Note correct name) - Very popular but I find them expensive and the food very mediocre, soups are either very salty or bland, hollandaise sauce is from a mix, potatoes are either burnt or not cooked, service is terrible. Waffles are also from a mix as are potato pancakes, seriously IHOP is a better choice IMHO, however they are very busy and the locales seem to love them.
Franks Diner - Incredibly expensive for mediocre breakfast food, but if you want to dine in a train car then this or Knight’s Diner is your place.
Prospectors - Expensive?????? Not really, think Black Angus prices and if that’s expensive to you then I guess so. Food however is blah and service is hit and miss for that money go to Black Angus.
The Brooklyn - Good sandwiches, soups are just okay but you pay through the nose there. However if I have a hankering for unique style sandwiches and am willing to pay I will visit them.
Catacombs - Hit and miss, when they are hitting the pizzas are very good when they miss they suck so it really depends. However the old coal storage area you dine in is pretty cool.
So, I think it's time for an update no?
What's everybody's current favorite place to eat in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Post Falls?
Me? I LOVE LOVE LOVE Fleur de Sel in Post Falls. Italian Kitchen makes me very happy food wise but the prices prohibit regular visits. Anthony's is great for Seafood, the Flour Mill is also good. For a Wine Bar try NECTAR in downtown Spokane. Great prices and good wine!
113 N Bernard St, Spokane, WA 99201
OUI!!! Fleur de Sel is awesome...but shhhh...its hard to get in there now...been going there since they opened and not only is it very good but the prices are very reasonable. You would spend more at chain or hyped up place that is really mostly so-so. I'll take any table but prefer table 10 or a spot at the bar anytime.
Tried the new sushi place in the downtown mall a few times. Im not big on gimmics but i was in/out pretty quick...prices reasonable - i had 2 orders uni, 1 salmon, 1 yellowtail...13 bucks. Sweet. Side note....rice seemed a bit hard - which means either uncooked or left out to dry up...place was quite busy so i wasnt worried about it being too old>>either way it wasnt a deal killer. For sushi i would like to go to Syryinga more often..and actually that and Bistro Spruce are the only options in CDA that i know of....upscale food.
Where are you from? I'm from NYC and California. Welcome.
This topic really needs to start over as some are old and some suggestions are what I would stay away from/not recommend.
Back to your question. I really don't "DO" Brunch but i would guess the CDA resort would do it quite well if you want the full blown brunch gig - charge you well too but depends what your looking for. Sorry i could be more helpful. Cheers!
I will try to bring this thread back to life. I will be staying in Spokane Valley for one night in May. Would like to find a decent restaurant out there. I am pretty familiar with the downtown restaurants, but would like to find a decent Asian or Mexican restaurant further out. Thanks.
There is an amazing Thai restaurant on Pines, a few blocks south of Sprague, called Thai Kitchen. Last time I was there though, they didn't serve beer, but you could bring your own, if that's a concern.
Thai Kitchen - what a booooring name. But you'll gush over the food!
621 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206
I am Saddened to see all the negative remarks about the spokane dining. I know personally that I have worked my ass off trying to educate my staff, and the inform the general population of this city of good food. No we are not Seattle, NY, Chi Town, or LA and dont hope to find that high end of cusine here. What we do have is a lot of small operations that are trying to move forward and bring some changes to the flavor of the area. what is unfortunate is that we have to cook for the locals who dont understand the basics of what is trying to be done, perfect example is not understanding doness for steaks. I have personally had guest ask for a slice of wed well prime rib to be cooked med rare, these are our challenges in this town. Please dont bash the buisnesses that are trying and understand that we are cooking for the locals and untill they learn we as proffessionals cant move forward.
I don't understand the prime rib mention, but I do know chefs are trying to be creative. Most of the time, they are successful. Some of my favorites are: Wild Sage, Herbal Essence, Mizuna, Scratch (their Happy Hour is very inventive, no chips and dip here), Picabo Bistro, The Elk, Santorini's, Steelhead Bar and Grill.
I eat out 2 or 3 times a week and each of the forementioned are good for different reasons. the Elk is a fun place, with inventive takes on food. Their corn pasta salad is so good, but you won't find "fine dining" here, just a fun place. I have found Mizuna to be consistently good, but choice is limited. Wild Sage is the best for local, seaonal food. The menu changes often to accomodate that. Chef Alexa has great creativity IMO. Santorini's for Greek, Sushi Yama (sp) for Asian, Chinese food is zippo, IMO. DeLeon Mexican is OK. Madeleine's is supposedly French, but anytime you order out of a case, something is lost.
Herbal Essence Cafe
115 N Washington St, Spokane, WA 99201
214 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
The restaurants in Spokane have about as much flavor as the people in spokane have personality...little to none. The food always reflects the people.
I found that Tomato Street on North Division has better Italian food than the two pricey places downtown.
They actually use garlic in their Italian food...what a concept. the deli at DeLeon's in the same strip mall has the only authentic Mex food.
I was raised by a native New Yorker, and his father was a chef and butcher from Hungary, so eating out here is a waste of time and money, and the service usually stinks.
We eat in, because you have to pay big city prices just to get something decent.
Any town with a population as unhealthy and morbidly obese as this one will never have more than a handful of decent restaurants.
Even a couple friends of mine who are foodies don't recognize really good food because they lived here their whole lives, so they have literally no experience as to eating fresh, tasty food.
Besides, all that, it is rather appetite destroying to eat near a table full of three to four hundred lb. people with their rear ends spilling out from their stretch pants.
The only place I would truly recommend is Europa-live acoustic music twice a week, good wine and beer selection, great food and usually very good service.
dear mypolishsausage, Europa is hardly any of the things you just described. bad choice of recommendation after an otherwise scathing rant. However on many occasions I have left restaurants thinking I could have done a much better job and spent a lot less money if I had just stayed home.
"The restaurants in Spokane have about as much flavor as the people in spokane have personality...little to none. The food always reflects the people...
Any town with a population as unhealthy and morbidly obese as this one will never have more than a handful of decent restaurants."
This is one of the most poignant things I've ever read on Chow. It's sad because it's true...the above statement describes my town (also in Eastern WA) exactly and is basically what I tell people when they ask "why don't we have any good restaurants here?" Demand needs to precede supply. A lot of restaurants have tried to be innovative and they either quickly went out of business or totally downgraded their menu (house salad with ranch dressing, fettucine alfredo, "blackened" everything, etc.) just to stay afloat. The couple dozen locally owned places are either fake Mexican or are direct copies of Applebee's menu circa 1995.
If you want sushi, make the trek to Airway Heights. Baekchun Oriental Market & Restaurant (West 13032 14th) is great. It's a total hole in the wall, but Charlie (the owner and sushi chef) had a very successful restaurant in Seattle for years before he came to the east side. Apparently he's one of the few sushi chefs in Washington qualified to do blow fish. A family tragedy prompted him to close up shop in Seattle and opt for a quieter life in the Spokane area. Charlie drives to Seattle on Wednesday nights to buy fish on Thursday morning, so Thursday night is the night to get THE freshest fish. Sit at the sushi bar and just have whatever Charlie tells you to get. They close at 9PM Mon-Thurs, but they won't serve you after 8:30PM so that everyone can go home by 9PM.
Far West Billiards (http://www.farwestbilliards.com/) on First Avenue across the street from the Fox Theater has a great BLT with Avocado. I'm pretty sure it's the bread they use that makes an above average BLT. Also, if you are going to have a drink, Justin and Anthony make them nice and strong, but I've had a weak drink and kind of snotty service from one of the other bartenders, so if either Jason or Anthony are not tending the bar, you might be better off getting a beer.
Being so far north, Spokane gets its fair share of soup weather. Soulful Soups (http://www.soulfulsoups.com/) is really tasty. And as if fantastic soup isn't enough, they make their own bread too!
I agree with another poster that many spokanites have been here too long and settle for less than other cities have to offer. We moved here 3 years ago and have also noted that Spokane is a culinary wasteland.
Just our thoughts and recommendations on some restaurants.
Café Maron (Dinner only, lunches are disappointed)
Fat Daddy’s (pizza and Italian)
Gordy's Sichuan – The “only” good Chinese food in town.
Hay J’s (It has been hit and miss but mostly hits)
Picabu Neighborhood Bistro
Spencer’s (Steaks - while the wolf lodge has the local following Spencer’s has better meat and is a more refined dining atmosphere)
Steelhead Bar and Grille – Good for bar food.
Vin Rouge – Vin
Taste of India – Surprisingly authentic.
The Elk – nothing fancy just good pub/bistro food.
Thai on first (most Thai is good in this town)
Just Average restaurants (these include most chains)
Lindaman’s (It’s a deli with prepared items that is very overpriced for what you get, but edible)
Twigs (The one on the north side is very inconsistent while the one on the south hill has been good)
Overrated popular places
G.W. Hunters (Post Falls) – Huge local following for very plain and highly overpriced coffee shop food.
Mama Mia’s – OMG the worst overcooked pasta with tinny tasting sauce, even our friends kids would not eat it, however calzones were awesome.
Luna's – Great Wine list, service was excellent, food was okay (soup had rubbery crab, lamb had to be sent back three times and the cassoulette overpowered the flavors and the NY cheesecake was really a French style cheesecake, but what to you expect from what many consider Spokane’s finest dining restaurant) like I said food was okay after working out problems but not worth the money.
Wild Sage - TERRIBLE, the manager actually told us that there was nothing wrong with the entree we were not going to eat, it was just that "the taste gets a little getting used to and most people do not like it the first time." Say WHAT, the apps were insipid with no flavor and we left very disappointed and hungry. This is the new IN place, and in Spokane all you need is to get this label and they can serve you dog-food on a plate and the locals will praise it as haute cuisine.
White House (Post Falls) – Uhhhh huhhhh, If your motto is the more garlic the better it tastes than you will love this place. Forget about any nuances of food or al dente pasta. This is simply garlicky slop on a plate – not for us.
SPECIAL SPOKANE WARNING
Anything that pertains to be Chinese (except Gordy’s) stay away from, almost all Chinese food in this town is terrible, I mean really really bad.
Mexican food is also a joke, although usually slightly more edible. The popular Casa De Oro is about authentic as Taco Bell, however let me assure you that taco Bell does taste better. There is perhaps one exception and that is De Leon foods, but they are more of a deli inside of a Mexican market than a real sit-down restaurant. They are the most authentic and best so far in Spokane.
I've not been pleased with too much downtown except Spenser's Steakhouse in the Doubletree and the bar in the Davenport. I live in Spokane; my favorites are, [a new one] Frederick's Cafe for breakfast, on Garland near Monroe---great blueberry pancakes;...the burgers and the chicken piccata at Scotty's, on Argonne; Casa d'Oro on Argonne, for Mexican; somebody asked if the Marrakesh was still in business: yes; Tomato Street on Division for Italian---sit in the bar, not the restaurant---too many kids---and if you're clever and get there on weekdays during happy hour, free pizza tastes: the fresh basil/cheese cooked in a wood oven is good; the Swinging Doors on Francis for broasted chicken---sports bar, plain, but that dish is really good: so is the chocolate spoon cake. Antonio's on the river for a class evening above a waterfall; Clinkerdaggers' above the same falls for a nice deal on appetizers that can be dinner. Cafe Europa's fun, particularly if Sidhe is playing. Many restaurants do really good salmon; things with huckleberries are sincerely good: tart, non-commercial berries, not something likely to get much exported out of the region. Blueberries tend to be local [in season]. Local wineries: Arbor Crest; Latah Creek; Caterina, etc, numerous---you can easily get to several of them in town.
I think alot of the Spokanese have lived there too long. Best resaurants in Spokane area are:
Luna (side note: best pizza in Spokane too)
I used to like Mizuna but> quite honestly it is not always consistant and the service can sometimes be so-so - especially when they are slow. Kinda makes me feel dissed - unappreciated when i dropping some major dig there - yeah the mgmt has slid in the last 3yrs no doubt.
Spencers Steak> yeah good
Mexican - Tacos Tumbras or Deleon Foods...mmmmm Deleon
Sushi - hmm....quite vexing really...for sure it is not in Spokane and dont tell me Raw or Bluefish - i may get a beer there but thats it. I would have to say either Bonsai or Ding How
I can really go on and on about this but things are certainly better then they were a few short years ago. No doubt there are other good places for special circumstances - Cassano's - awesome Italian Markt.- Elk - good for lunch but dont go there to watch a game - for that go to CDA and Cappones > and so on.
I moved to Spokane about two years ago from Seattle... One of my favorite hobbies is dining.. And I don't seem to have a problem fulfilling my hobby. I think some of these posts are pretentious and silly. First of all, if you want good Mexican food, go to Mexico, or at least Cali or Texas. Most the time, if you want the best, you should probably be in a region that food is known for. Factor In where your at when your judging the food. Granted Spokane is recently up and coming...some of these posts are pretty old, and I've only been here for a couple years.. I still think some of you making these post take yourselves way too seriously. Those of us who live here have the opportunity to find gems and give restaurants a second chance if they didn't win us over the first time. We've seen the town progress and I would say our opinions hold more weight than you who just pass through. Yet we get classified as not knowing better cause we've lived here too long! Living in a bigger city gives you more options for sure, perhaps a lot of you have been spoied by that.. But I can tell you there's great food almost anywhere you go, you just have to know where to look. It's one thing to be a foodie and appreciate good food and technique, it's another to be a snob about it.
you want good pizza- Flying Goat in north Spokane or Europia
Good Italian- The Italan Kitchen and Genos( has new ownership in the last year and it's really good!)
Good bar and happy hour- try Lola and the peacock lounge( the foods good, not amazing, but great Happy Hour deals!)
Good wine- try Left Bank Wine Bar or venture up to GreenBluff and go to Trezzi Farms tasting room- I love their wines!
Good northwest cuisine- I liked the Wild Sage, also try Down River Grill( up north), Scratch,and Ambrosia(south hill)
Good bar food- try the Screaming Yak and the Elk
Good Beer- try Northern Lights Brewery
Best Bloody Mary in town- The Swinging Doors.. Ask for the Queen Mary
Good Wings- flaming Joes
Good diner- Franks and picabu
Good burritos to go- Neato Burrito
Best sandwiches- high nooner, staggering ox, Brooklyn Deli,
Best soup- soulful soups
I'm still looking for yummy French, sushi, greek( I have not tried the White House, but hear pretty even mixed reviews, usually those who didnt enjoy it, tell me it's due to the over use of garlic),and teriyaki... Granted I havnt looked to hard yet. :)
Americk, my story is very similar to yours, I moved back to Spokane from Seattle in July of 2010. I take care of my elderly parents, so I usually cook at home and haven't been to any of the places on your list. For sushi, I like Sushi Sakai in the Valley. I've tried Sushi.com, Wasabi, Sushi Yama and Yuzen, but I prefer Sushi Sakai to all of them. And just a block away from Sushi Sakai is my favorite Mexican joint, Abelardo's. Love the carnitas there and it's really inexpensive.
For French definitely Fleur de Sel in Post Falls, reservations encouraged.
I Love White House (in Post Falls) and it's sisters West Wing (South Hill) and the Oval Office for drinks and apps (Post Falls) for a more casual mediterranean, I don't find the garlic overpowering at all, depends on what you order.
Max's at Mirabaux has surprisingly good food.
just spent a couple days in spokane and went to dicks based on some of the above recommendations. the taste was nothing special and really not even comparable to in and out but what was amazing was the cost. the food was so inexpensive that it makes up for the taste. try it just for stuffing your face for under $5.
We just spent a few days in Spokane & really enjoyed two places: Marron on W. Pacific (close to the aforementioned Frank's Diner) and Fugazzi (right behind the Davenport Hotel).
Watch out for the desserts at Fugazzi though - they are so big (enough for 4, I would say) that they really turn you off. The desserts at Marron are yummy, & the right size. Marron's braised short ribs are to die for - but too small a portion for something so wonderful.
Reporting back, White House Grill IS amazing!
My BF asked early in the day if he should make reservations. This is a one-horse town (I thought), why-the-heck would I need reservations???
Boy, was I wrong! We actually arrived relatively early (I thought) for dinner - 6:00 p.m. The place was already hopping, full, and we were told there was a 45-minute wait. Note: I come from San Francisco where NO ONE really goes out to eat before 7:00 or 8:00...
Three of us squeezed into two seats at the bar. Having been up almost 24 hours at this point, we were exhausted and starving. We ordered two appetizers while we waited for the entree orders to go. We shared Turkey "cigars" and fried feta at the bar. The fried feta was huge and served with toasted bread, monstrous sliced tomatoes and zuchini and fresh greens. I don't normally eat tomatoes but these had the perfect ripeness and vinegar dressing for the hot, melted feta. Equally fabulous were the "cigars" - rolled filo dough with spinach and cheese.
To eat in the hotel room, we took with us a pannini sandwich with garlic pasta salad and the house-specialty Turkish lamb. The lamb was rare, spicy, and sat atop thick-cut, fried eggplant with spicy garlic yogurt sauce. It was served with white rice and fresh garlic green beans. This dish was beyond garlicly and absolutely amazing.
The pannini wasn't grilled, but more a hoagy -- still full of great sliced meats (enjoyed at 2:00 in the morning after some sleep).
Also brought with us was their version of tiramisu. I only had one or two bites - soacked lady fingers were topped with very thick (almost too heavy) chocolate mouuse. Quite fresh and obviously home-made, but heavier than I normally like.
I'm here two more days and seriously hope to go back! Wish I had a place like this in San Francisco! If in Spokane, this is definitely worth the drive to Post Falls.
I just flew in this morning for a three-day family visit and immediately headed to Dick's Burgers off the Division exit off the 90. A $.73 burger can't be beat! I had a 1/4-pound cheeseburger, onion rings, and a pumpkin malt. My boyfriend had "the Whammy" (basically a double-double), fries, and a large drink. The TOTAL bill was $7.34. Better than In-N-Out, in my opinion...
Will report back during my weekend's findings (and let's see if I can talk my boyfriend into The White House for dinner!)
I loved Pho as well, here are my top 2 for Spokane.
Wild Sage American Bistro! OOOOOOOOO I made a meal out of the popovers ALONE, a chef specialty among other things. This is a fairly new eatery, a bit on the expensive side but well worth it! It is basically high end "organic", but not so much so that carnivores would be offended. There is something for everyone here. It was quite memorable for me. http://www.wildsagebistro.com/
For breakfast I loved Frank's Diner, it is a restored dining car and has quite an interesting history. The servers are clearly career waiters/waitresses and the breakfast menu is huge and they serve breakfast all day long. I had thier oatmeal and an omlette. They have a special brand of oatmeal that they use and the single omlettes could feed 3 people. Weekends will be a long wait to get in but if you go during the week it should not be a problem. Worth it just to see the inside!
I actually disagree with the Wild Sage recommendation...I had burnt and poorly seasoned Fried Green Toms, bad Fried Calamari, and a NY strip that looked like the meat in steak and eggs from a bad diner. And the jus that accompanied it tasted like A1 and a little beef broth, yuk. I do however like thte atmosphere and would only go there for a drink, after dinner somewhere else, and on my way home.
I frequent Spokane on business/family trips. Each time I have enjoyed a meal at the Italian Kitchen downtown immensely. Their Seafood pasta dish is fresh, spicy and delicious with clams, mussels, shrimp, etc. THey make an incredible lasagne if you're really into rich, and their specials are delightful too. Add a nice wine list, friendly wait staff, and it makes for some pleasant dining!
I travel to Spokane every now and then on business. And to be honest I've had some of the truly most godawful food ever in that town. That said, there are some bright spots. Since I enjoy wine, Nikos Wine Bar downtown is a pleasure. Good by the glass selection and a great wine stewardess. The food isn't gonna knock your socks off, but it is fine for a regular night out.
i travel to spokane every few months and yes spokane used to be hell on foodies but its getting better. luna on the south hill is very good and dependable. also klinks on williams lake in cheney is excellent. dicks burgers are always fun, and there was a really good morrocan place a few years ago but i think its out of business
I was supposed to go to Spokane last fall, and found mention of a vegetarian spot that I was anxious to try: Mizuna Restaurant and Wine Bar (214 N Howard). Never made it, but I'm really curious to hear a report.
Also, the Milk Bottle place (802 W Garland) sounds fun, if nothing else.
If you'd like to travel to Post Falls, just East, there's a fabulous Mediterranean place, The White House, just off the freeway (take a left under the freeway and it's about 2 blocks further on the east side of the street). Good wine selection, salads are ok (skip the bread), but the main courses, esp. the lamb, well worth the trip (and talk with the chef!). Since I visit spokane often (dutiful family visits), this is the only place I enjoy going since there's a lack of quality (and an abundance of Applebee's)...if you know of anything new I'd like to know.
It's a very small place, so be prepared to wait. Haven't tried the desserts yet, but no Tiramisu!