Best New Restaurant

Indigenous Eats

click to enlarge Best New Restaurant
Chiana McInelly photo
Indigenous Eats highlights Native dishes and ingredients.

"Spokane needed this."

That's what Indigenous Eats owner Jenny Slagle's customers tell her again and again. In fact, it's the top piece of feedback she gets.

"We needed the diversity and representation of Native food in our area. Spokane County is actually a hub of tribes," Slagle says.

Indeed, over 300 tribes are represented in Spokane, and Slagle believes the community was very ready to embrace Indigenous Eats along with the Native culture it honors and celebrates.

"We're very intentional about what we bring into the space," Slagle says.

Upbeat Native music is always playing, the kind you'd hear at powwows. Local, original Native artwork hangs on the wall. Slagle has even hosted events at the restaurant, including a recent arts and crafts night in which local vendors sold their art and beadwork.

Not only is the ambience always positive, in large part thanks to Indigenous Eats' outstanding crew (which includes Slagle's husband, Andrew, as well as her kids, Matthew and Kara), so too is the menu.

It heavily features fry bread, a crowd-pleasing staple used in both sweet and savory dishes. The recipe for Indigenous Eats' fry bread recipe comes from Slagle's mom. Before opening the restaurant in mid-2022, Slagle's family ran a concession stand.

While serving on the planning committee for Spokane's annual Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, the Slagles sold food to fundraise for the event.

"My mom made fry bread by hand," she recalls. "We served thousands."

Along with Indigenous Eats' tried-and-true fry bread, the restaurant's fan favorites include its house-made huckleberry sauce, served on both its burgers and fry bread, as well as the seasonings used on its proteins. The most popular is bison seasoned with Indigenous Eats' signature sage-forward blend. Recently, the restaurant's menu expanded with a new, sage-based soup incorporating squash, beans and corn, as well as the aforementioned burger.

Besides its menu, Indigenous Eats itself is expanding, too. Slagle reveals that a lease has been signed for a second location in Spokane. That's all she can say for now, but lovers of Indigenous Eats should keep on the lookout for exciting updates later this spring.

2nd PLACE: Molé
3rd PLACE: Chowderhead
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Stylus Wine and Vinyl Bar, Coeur d'Alene