It's now been five years since the Inlander and Visit Spokane took a look around our culinary scene and decided that the food made here, and the people making it, needed to be spotlighted. Thus, Inlander Restaurant Week was born as a chance to showcase our region's booming restaurant industry, and also bring the dining masses out of their homes and into restaurants at a time of year when the dining industry is typically slower than usual.
The event began with 53 restaurants around Spokane, but has since grown to feature 101 eateries not just in the city, but throughout Coeur d'Alene and beyond. This year, 24 restaurants from North Idaho are participating in the event — a significant jump from previous years.
Inlander Restaurant Week also delivers a significant economic boost to the region. Not only do restaurants benefit from the flood of diners who come in to taste the creative, fixed-price (see "Prix Fixe" below) menus of original items, but the event also brings people from out of town to stay at hotels, attend concerts, plays and sporting events and visit other local businesses. Although hard numbers for Inlander Restaurant Week haven't yet been tracked, a similar but smaller (85 eateries) restaurant week in California's Sonoma County generated an economic impact of just over $3 million.
Visit Spokane CEO and president Cheryl Kilday says that the event, having grown significantly, has become not just a treat for locals looking to taste their way around their hometown, but also a way to show the world that the Inland Northwest's growing restaurant industry is something to pay attention to.
"The success and continued growth of Inlander Restaurant Week confirm to us that our region is a culinary destination for visitors and locals alike," she says.
Before you head out to enjoy this delicious slice of the calendar, we've compiled everything you need to know about Inlander Restaurant Week right here. We give you some insight from a few of our hottest chefs, a list of events to check out after you've eaten and some highlights from the menus — as well as the menus themselves, of course.
Once you've taken that all in, head out and grab a table somewhere. ♦