Dining Destination: Downtown Spokane

Magnolia American Brasserie's chicken piquant with green beans.
Magnolia American Brasserie's chicken piquant with green beans.

Spokane's downtown is where it's at for local diners, offering everything from upscale spots (WILD SAGE, EUROPA, CLINKERDAGGER) to family favorites (THE ELK, VERSALIA PIZZA, THE GLOBE) to multiethnic eats (UMI KITCHEN, BORRACHO, BABA). You could spend days trying to eat your way through Spokane's core alongside Riverfront Park and never come close to hitting every longtime favorite or exciting new restaurant, which makes an event like the Great Dine Out all the more fun and challenging. Will you go for something tried and true, or introduce your taste buds to something brand new?

Here are some options that look too good to miss:

The Dine Out offers a great reason to try something new — and even as the pandemic raged, new restaurants did open. So take this opportunity to wander by WOODEN CITY and sample their utterly unique Hungarian wax peppers ($14), which come filled with sweet sausage, aged cheddar and chive oil. MAGNOLIA AMERICAN BRASSERIE opened in the new Hotel Indigo and plays with everything from American standards to rustic French fare. Their chicken piquant ($22) delivers pan-roasted fowl alongside potato Lyon and green beans. At BARK, A RESCUE PUB, you could feed a small army with their family-style enchilada platter ($40).

Some of your favorite places are in Dine Out mode, too, and you can never go wrong delving into a lobster roll ($21) at HIGH TIDE LOBSTER BAR in the Wonder Building. It's pure delicious decadence and worth every penny. Same goes at COCHINITO TAQUERIA, where they're serving up a family taco feast ($55) that includes a dozen of their world-beating tacos, as well as four large sides of rice and beans. Over at NUDO RAMEN HOUSE, the savory beef ramen ($13) will quickly make you understand how some folks can eat ramen every day. And you don't get any more "classic Spokane" than the Davenport Hotel, and the PALM COURT GRILL inside is serving two of the hotel's classic menu items: a prime rib dip sandwich ($24) that puts any "normal" French dip to shame, and a crab Louis salad ($27) made famous a century ago when Chef Edward Mathieu whipped one up for Louis Davenport.

If you love barbecue, there are a few options for you, and you don't have to wander out to some smokehouse in the sticks. SARANAC PUBLIC HOUSE is serving up its pulled pork mac and cheese ($18), blending two favorite 'cue flavors into one savory dish. AUSTIN'S LIVE FIRE BARBECUE makes some amazing food, and delving into a half-rack of their applewood-smoked spare ribs ($19) will require napkins for sure, even if you sop up some delicious sauce with the honey buttermilk cornbread served with it.

Sometimes an appetizer is reason enough to hit a spot (not that you'll want to stop ordering after just an appetizer). ITALIAN KITCHEN has its utterly craveable calamari ($14) on its menu, while WILEY'S DOWNTOWN BISTRO is presenting its impressive ahi tower ($18), a mix of fish, avocado, pickled red onion, tomato and spicy sauces that two can easily share. BACKYARD PUBLIC HOUSE is strong in its appetizer game, too, and you can get one of its killer soft courthouse pretzels ($10.25) served with cheese sauce and beer mustard, the perfect accompaniment to watching a ballgame. At ANTHONY'S AT SPOKANE FALLS, an oysters-on the-halfshell sampler ($20) is a distinctly Northwest way to start a great meal.

Car d'Lane @ Downtown Coeur d'Alene

Fri., June 18 and Sat., June 19
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