If your travels are bringing you to Spokane, you’re coming at the right time. (And, if you’ll be calling Stay Alfred at M Apartments home, congratulations – you’ve made an excellent choice for accommodations, too.)
Once a city that offered little in the way of culinary variety, Spokane has seen a welcome explosion of options in recent years, and downtown dining choices are no longer limited to steak, pizza or the fast-food options found on 3rd Avenue. (Although nobody would judge you for making a late-night jaunt to Dick’s Hamburgers for a Whammy – their signature burger – along with some fries with tartar sauce and maybe a vanilla Coke. And no, that’s no grand illusion – that really is Styx looking back at you from the Dick’s Facebook page. Nicely done, Tommy Shaw & Co.) I don’t know about you, but I’m an angry young man when I’m hungry, too.
This blog series will highlight restaurants within an easy walk of Stay Alfred at M Apartments and, with any luck, it’ll make answering the question, “Do you think there’s anything good to eat around here?” a little easier.
Pro tip: Please don’t tell a soul about how good Spokane’s culinary scene actually is – we’re trying to keep the property values low around here.
Anthony’s at Spokane Falls - seafood and steaks
This long-time favorite for fine seafood dining is open for lunch and dinner. It offers not only some of the best traditional American seafood in town, but also some excellent steaks. The views of the upper Spokane Falls are absolutely amazing, and if you’re visiting during the warmer months – especially during springtime when the water is raging – the deck is among the best in town. The views you’ll encounter on the walk to the restaurant aren’t all that hard on the eyes, either.
510 N Lincoln Street
Atticus Coffee - coffee and pastries
One of your humble author’s favorite places to meet a friend for morning Joe – most likely served by master barista Ben (scroll just a tad), whose permission to include in this write-up I absolutely did not request. Sorry, Ben. The establishment is housed in a gorgeous, historic brick building, and you’re sure to see Spokane’s creative set camped out around the tables – mostly playing hooky from work and reconnecting with former coworkers. “I’ve just been so BUSY!” Atticus also offers exceptional pastries, beans and teas for sale, as well as a great selection of unique homewares.
222 N Howard Street
509.747.0336 – As if you’d be calling to make a reservation at a coffee shop. Let’s just call this a foolish consistency.
Boots Bakery- coffee and vegan pastries
This place is so absolutely adorable – as if a Belle & Sebastian song had magically sprung to life as a coffee shop. Maybe “Wrapped Up in Books.” The pastries here are absolutely to die for, and I’d never guess that they were vegan. But fear not, lovers of lattes – milk-based espresso drinks are absolutely available, as are soy-milk based beverages, if that’s your kind of thing. It is absolutely Boots’ kind of thing. Oh – I’d almost forgotten – they serve cocktails, too. That doesn’t make you any less cute, Boots. Quite the contrary, in fact.
24 W Main Avenue
Chronic Tacos - tacos (and beer!)
Sure, it’s a chain – but it’s really fresh and tasty. Also, they serve beer, which in my book of “how it is,” means that it’s technically not classified as fast food. A handy distinction, because I’ve sworn-off that junk. Service here is definitely fast, though, and it’s a great lunch option. I imagine you could eat here for dinner, too. Ain’t no law against it.
524 W Main Avenue
Clinkerdagger - fancy-pants prom-night dining
OK, you really don’t have to be attending prom to go here. In fact, the youngsters are missing out on a fantastic wine cellar and some truly stellar cocktails. Clink’s, as you might call it if you were a Lilac City native, specializes in the kind of food you’d imagine being served at a grand 1971 banquet that your arrived at in your Chrysler Imperial. (This is meant high praise.) The restaurant is housed in the Flour Mill, a gorgeous brick structure built in 1895, and in spring and summer, the deck offers wonderful views of downtown proper and the Spokane River. Tip: order the Broadway Pea Salad.
621 W Mallon Avenue
12-minute walk through lovely Riverfront Park
Cochinito - not your average tacos; perfectly wonderful margaritas
First things first: you’ll be walking up to the bar to order. There’s one line for patrons who’ve just arrived, and another for those who need a second or third helping of tacos and booze. This arrangement has been the source of some confusion for some first timers, but you’re now wise to the ways of the establishment. What makes the tacos more than average? Amazing freshness. Ingredients like pork cheek and octopus. Seasonings I can’t even begin to describe. This place is good – and, bonus, it has huge windows looking out on the streets of downtown Spokane, so the people-watching is first rate and, at times, action packed.
10 N Post Street
Daily Grind - secret, hidden-away businessperson’s spot for coffee, breakfast and lunch
Once upon a time, I worked downtown – right in the Paulsen Center, and that’s where you’ll find this delicious little spot – up on the second floor. I really miss having access to their fresh, delicious sandwiches (the ones of the breakfast variety are my favorite), yogurt and fruit, soups, and coffee. They even offer hard-boiled eggs. Do as the local banking crowd does and pay them a visit while you’re in town. If they still offer jalapeno bagels by Sweetwater Bakery, try a breakfast sandwich on one of those to make me very, very jealous.
421 W Riverside, 2nd floor
Well, I’ve been told that I’m out of space for the first part of this guide, but fear not: restaurants with names starting with the middle part of the alphabet are on their way in the second installment of this series. Stay tuned.