We met my parents in Spokane for the weekend to explore both downtown as well as the surrounding area. As you may have gleaned from our past adventures, one way we love to get to know a new place is through its food scene, checking out the local hot spots for food and drink.
Spoiler alert: we were thrilled with what we discovered in Spokane!
In support of this exploration and as part of my birthday gift, my parents had booked us a foodie adventure with Relish Walking Tours.
This Saturday afternoon walking tour included five locations around downtown Spokane where we could eat, drink and be merry, all while learning a little bit about the city and its evolving food scene. It was the perfect balance of walking, learning, and tasting as we popped into various restaurants to try a pre-arranged drink and dish!
Here are a few highlights from the places we visited on our tour.
Our tour group met in Riverside Park and made our way by several landmarks on our way to our first stop, Sante. The dozen or so in our group were seated in a long table along the front windows and treated to a delicious selection of charcuterie.
The food was great, the atmosphere was cool and upbeat, and I would definitely go back to explore more on their menu.
Soulful Soups & Spirits
Our second stop was Soulful Soups & Spirits, which specializes in all kinds of soups. I have to admit, soup didn’t sound great to me when we initially walked in given the warm weather, but after a few tastes of their tomato basil my palate quickly convinced my mind otherwise! Also, the beer bread was to DIE for.
The spot is small, cozy and a little funky–worth the stop.
O’Doherty’s Irish Grille
One of our favorite stops on the tour—no surprise!—was the Irish pub, O’Doherty’s Irish Grille. This place had the familiar feeling of your favorite pub with a few of its own quirks, my favorite being that if you climb up on the bar and sing a song you get half-priced drinks for life (or something like that–I didn’t do it, so I don’t exactly remember what you get!). We were regaled by two individuals while we were there—a little girl with a sweet voice and a woman with amazing vocals.
In addition to the fun atmosphere, our reuben sandwich sampler was AMAZING—we all agreed it was the best we had in a long time, and my parents went back for another one later in their trip!
We made a quick stop at Bruttles for some of their iconic soft peanut brittle, which was very good. However, what I found more interesting was the historical relationship between Bruttles and the Historic Davenport Hotel, which has only recently ended. Our tour guide wasn’t aware and seemed a bit shocked—perhaps they’ll come to terms again soon?
Odd side note: there is a picture inside of Aunt Sophia, the shop founder, and she looks just like my great-grandma.
Our final stop was another favorite and somewhere I would definitely return to further explore the menu– the Gilded Unicorn. We made our way inside and down into a warehouse-style basement with interesting art and artifacts and a small bar. They were extremely generous with our portions—each spot was just supposed to be a taste but this stop was more of a full-blown meal—pea salad, gourmet deviled eggs, and fancy pigs in a blanket. Our Moscow Mules were a really nice touch, and many people from our tour group stayed after we had finished to continue imbibing and enjoying the atmosphere. I’d love to go back!
Beyond the tour, we had two other food/drink experiences over the weekend that I thought were worth mentioning in this round-up—Hogwash Whiskey Den, which our Relish tour guide recommended, and the Steam Plant, which my parents had experienced years ago when they flew into Spokane on another trip.
The Hogwash Whiskey Den is a bit of an underground/speak-easy type place in the old cracker manufacturing warehouse a bit west of downtown. We walked through what I would consider a slightly shady neighborhood to get there—fine in the day time but I might have been a little less comfortable in the evening.
We entered the building and immediately made a right down some stairs into the den, grabbing a big both and ordering some cocktails and appetizers to share. Both were good—definitely recommend this spot for a drink and snack.
Our final day in Spokane we grabbed lunch at the Steam Plant Kitchen and Brewery which—as you may have discerned—is in the old Steam Plant building. A little bit commercial brewery and a little bit historical building, the space is home to shops and offices as well as the restaurant and interesting to explore before or after your meal.
Brian grabbed a tasting flight and I enjoyed our flatbread pizza (a little too much balsamic for me, but overall good), and we enjoyed wandering around and looking up the smokestacks before we headed home.
I admit that I hadn’t heard much about Spokane’s food scene before our trip, but I walked away pleasantly surprised and ready to head back for further exploration. Bon appetite!
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