Best Asian Food
Gordy's Sichuan Cafe
If you ask around about good Asian food in Spokane, you'll hear a lot about Gordy's. Tucked away just off Grand, it's worth seeking out. If it's been awhile since you've been there, you'll want to say "Hi" to new owners (and longtime chefs) Dan Burns and Casey Riendeau. Rest assured, they've kept the menu just the same. 501 E 30th Ave., Spokane • 747-1170
2nd PLACE: The Mustard Seed
3rd PLACE: Red Dragon
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bonsai Bistro, Coeur d'Alene
Best Mexican Food
1st Place: Azteca
2nd Place: Atilano's
3rd Place: Rancho Chico
Best Italian Food
The welcome starts with the complimentary play-dough for the young (and young at heart) members of your party. From there, your server will make sure your meal is fun and memorable at this locally owned and operated Spokane staple. Tomato Street prides themselves on cuisine from scratch, open kitchens and brick pizza ovens.
2nd PLACE: Luigi's
3rd PLACE: Italian Kitchen, Italia Trattoria (tie) NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Tito's Italian Grill, Coeur d'Alene
1st Place: Domini Sandwiches
2nd Place: The High Nooner
3rd Place: Caruso's
1st Place: sweEto burrito
2nd Place: Atilano's
3rd Place: Neato Burrito
The sophisticated atmosphere of any of the four local Twigs locations is the perfect backdrop for an appetizer (or two) along with a signature cocktail. Whether you're a fan of the Gorgonzola fondue with your fries, or one of several decked-out flatbreads, you're clearly not alone.
2nd PLACE: The Safari Room; 3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The White House Grill, Post Falls
Best Food Truck
Founded by a group of three friends (ninjas) in 2014, this food truck emphasizes fresh ingredients. While they'll make any style of food when they cater, they describe their menu as "where health meets heat."
2nd PLACE: Couple of Chefs
3rd PLACE: Tacos del Sol
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Taco Works, Coeur d'Alene
What downtown bistro Sushi.com lacks in inventiveness of name and ambience (one Zomato reviewer calls it "American dive meets the East") it compensates for in creativity in the kitchen and on the plate. Recurring praise for the Harley-Davidson, Kyle and Oh! Kevin rolls (the latter, a kind of shrimp tempura topped with deep-fried salmon, bears the name of its creator, the restaurant's owner) is warranted: it's again the top choice in town.
2nd PLACE: QQ Sushi & Kitchen; 3rd PLACE: Ginger Asian Bistro; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bonsai Bistro, Coeur d'Alene
With an empire that stretches from the South Hill (in a newly renovated and expanded space) north through two locations downtown to Garland and east to Millwood, chances are you've seen a Rocket Bakery. Their baked goodies (scones, muffins, breakfast bagels, quiche, etc.) are all made locally, as is their coffee, usually with the roasts of Post Falls' DOMA. As one Facebook follower puts it: "Awesome people! Awesome place! Awesome food!"
2nd PLACE: Boots Bakery 3rd PLACE: Petit Chat Bakery NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bakery by the Lake, Coeur d'Alene
BEST ICE CREAM
Brain Freeze Creamery
With two permanent locations and an ice cream truck, Brain Freeze Creamery serves up the best scoopfuls one could ask for. With a couple of dozen flavors to choose from, they also offer breakfast and lunch options and a delicious affogato — a cup of ice cream drowned in a shot of hot espresso.
2nd PLACE: The Scoop; 3rd PLACE: Mary Lou's Milk Bottle; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Roger's Ice Cream & Burgers, Coeur d'Alene
Best Patio Dining
Anthony's at Spokane Falls
Seafood tastes better when you can hear gushing water and catch a misty breeze on your skin. Anthony's offers just that; an unbelievably breezy dining experience, best enjoyed on the patio overlooking the Spokane Falls. The seafood is seasonal and sustainable, offering mouth-watering plates of Dungeness crab, steak and prawns, and pan-fried oysters.
Best Patio Dining
2nd PLACE: Clinkerdagger
3rd PLACE: Central Food
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Bardenay, Coeur d'Alene
2nd PLACE: Milford's Fish House; 3rd PLACE: Zona Blanca; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Cedars Floating Restaurant, Coeur d'Alene