Best of Food 2022 | Food | Spokane –

Best Bakery
At each of its six locations across the greater Spokane area, Rocket Bakery offers a familiar yet unique comfortable, welcoming vibe. Whether you’re grabbing a morning coffee and pastry to go, meeting up with friends for an afternoon catch-up, or setting up your laptop to work or study, Rocket has all the bevs and locally made snacks, from cookies to sandwiches, you’ll need to stay filled up, focused and energized. (CS)
2nd PLACE: The Grain Shed
3rd PLACE: miFlavour
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bean & Pie, Coeur d’Alene

Best Boba
Boba tea, or Taiwanese milk tea, is having a big moment in the Inland Northwest, and helping lead the way is Liberty Lake’s BocoPop. Owner Steven Kelly partly credits the refreshing beverage’s resurgence to its unlimited customization, from the type of tapioca pearls or gummies that float on the bottom, to the kinds and combos of tea. At BocoPop, try (if you haven’t already) the creamy house specialty called Tiger Milk, or the bright and refreshing Dragon Eye Tea. (CS)
2nd PLACE: The Tea Boba Bar
3rd PLACE: Tea’s Company

Best Brunch
If you see a crowd milling about on West Broadway near the courthouse on a sunny Sunday morning, they’re probably waiting for a table at this returning Best Of winner. With sweet and savory eats to suit any appetite, big or small — plus mimosa flights, bloody marys, local coffee and more — Bruncheonette was built to please a group of any size. Bacon sticky buns? We’ll take two, please. Chicken and waffles? You don’t have to say it twice. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Chaps
3rd PLACE: The Yards Bruncheon
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Dockside at the Coeur d’Alene Resort

Best Cakes
With 10 cake batter flavors, six size options, two frosting styles and more than 60 special options for holidays, celebrations and “anytime” cakes, it’s pretty clear why Nothing Bundt Cakes takes the cake (pun definitely intended) in this category. Not to mention, of course, that its dense yet soft bundt cakes topped with a rich cream cheese frosting are absolutely heavenly! (CS)
2nd PLACE: Sweet Frostings
3rd PLACE: Just American Desserts
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Lake City Bakers, Coeur d’Alene

Best Candy
Creamy peanut butter plus crispy brittle equals bruttle, a softer variation on the classic confection that’s been a Spokane favorite for decades, including for Davenport Hotel guests since the 1950s. Now Bruttles’ signature sweet is one of a handful of the company’s beloved confections available in Bruttles’ downtown and Spokane Valley locations, as well as online. (CAS)
2nd PLACE: Spokandy Chocolatier
3rd PLACE: Fluffy’s Candy
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Mrs. Honeypeeps Sweet Shop, Coeur d’Alene

Best Caterer
London’s Ultimate Catering has 10 years’ experience in creating food for events that’s fresh, flavorful and flawlessly presented. (Check their Instagram to see for yourself!) This full-service catering company offers breakfast, lunch or dinner options for events of between 10 and 1,200 guests. With a creative team that works with clients to design menus to fit any budget and style, it’s easy to see why London’s is a Spokane favorite. (LB)
2nd PLACE: Beacon Hill Catering and Events
3rd PLACE: A Catered Affair
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Cosmic Cowboy Grill Catering, Coeur d’Alene

Best Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie aficionados selected Wanderlust Delicato as the top spot in this new Best Of category. The shop, specializing in cut-to-order cheeses and meats, plus wine-tasting events and cooking classes, also offers an in-store menu with several options for charcuterie plates showcasing its ever-rotating selection of cured meats, cheese, crackers, olives and nuts. It’s the perfect stop for both sweet and savory tastes. (LB)
2nd PLACE: Maryhill Winery Tasting Room
3rd PLACE: Rind and Wheat
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: PNW Platters, Post Falls

Best Cheap Eats
Cheap is an insult to some restaurants. It’s the highest of praise for Dick’s Hamburgers, which for 68 years has captured the joyful essence of cheap fast food in all its greasy, brown paper bag glory. Dining at Dick’s — still downtown, still a drive-in, still a purveyor of chicken strips and the Wammy — is such a quintessential experience for high schoolers that it might as well come with AP credits. You won’t mind if the squawking seagulls nearby occasionally snag a fry or two. I mean, with fries like these, who can blame them? (DW)
2nd PLACE: Zip’s;
3rd PLACE: Atilano’s

Best Dessert
With desserts that look as good as they taste, this sleek, modern French-inspired bakery in East Spokane is known for its colorful — and big! — macarons, beautifully decorated cakes, flaky croissants, espresso and more. Owners Ella and Max Piskun continue to add other products to the miFlavour lineup, including the locally made honey brand, Citrine; Volanti gelato; house-made chocolate bars; and custom coffee blends. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Just American Desserts
3rd PLACE: Three Birdies Bakery
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Dockside, The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Best Cupcakes
It seems like cupcakes didn’t get their due respect for a long time. How special could they be when every kid in grade school was able to conjure up a batch for their birthday? But when the gourmet cupcake craze hit, we all saw the possibilities of these seemingly simple treats. No one in the Inland Northwest delivers the delectable goods quite like Sweet Frostings. On any given day, you can peruse the menu and find something irresistible. It’s Wednesday? Have a snickerdoodle cupcake. Thursday? Try an orange dreamsicle cupcake. You get the idea. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Celebrations Sweet Boutique
3rd PLACE: Boots Bakery & Lounge
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Sweet B Cupcakes, Coeur d’Alene

Best Donuts
The Inland Northwest is a great place for donuts. You can probably think of a great donut shop that didn’t even hit the top three in our readers poll. So you know a place that manages to be named “Best Donuts” has something special. That’s been the case with Hello Sugar since they first opened. Curiosity seekers quickly became regulars, and the wide array of dazzling donut flavors (Dutch Baby? Lilac Lavender? Maple Sizzle? Yes, please!) keeps the people coming back. It sure helps that the diminutive donuts let you try lots of those flavors at once. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Donut Parade
3rd PLACE: Casual Friday Donuts
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Gross Donuts, Coeur d’Alene

Best Eggs Benedict
I have this objection to brunch: Too much of it — scrambled eggs, say, or avocado toast — is something that you can easily make at home with similar results. Ah, but eggs Benedict is an exception. What elevates it from a mere Egg McMuffin variant is the hollandaise sauce. Sure, you can try to make hollandaise sauce at your home, if you manage to get the heat and the emulsion just right without breaking the sauce. Or you can just swing by Frank’s Diner and pick up a Benedict that won’t betray you. (DW)
2nd PLACE: Old European
3rd PLACE: The Yards Bruncheon
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Le Peep, Coeur d’Alene

Best Fine Dining
Whether you’ve made reservations to celebrate something special, or are stopping by on a whim after work or an event, a visit to Wild Sage is a memorable experience. Since opening its doors 16 years ago, Wild Sage has maintained its reputation as one of the region’s go-tos for exquisite food, service and drinks. While the menu is always focused on what’s freshest and available locally, Wild Sage has many beloved mainstays: Yukon taquitos, the Bucket List Burger and, of course, that dreamy coconut cream layer cake. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Churchill’s Steakhouse
3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Beverly’s, Coeur d’Alene Resort
Best Italian Food
Whether you’re toasting a special occasion for dinner or enjoying a hangover brunch on the patio, Italia Trattoria is our readers’ go-to for top-notch Italian. This isn’t your standard-issue red sauce-and-pasta joint, either, but a spot where rabbit, duck and octopus help reveal all the wondrous flavors possible in Italian food, thanks to chef Anna Vogel’s dishes. (But don’t sleep on the housemade pasta and lamb ragu, either). (DN)
2nd PLACE: Tomato Street, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene
3rd PLACE: The Italian Kitchen

Best Food Truck
Spokane loves shawarma and Skewers has the popular Mediterranean dish and more: falafel, kebabs and the sweet, chewy dessert known as pakhlava. Skewers is slated this spring to resume its regular appearances at area markets and events. That is one delicious return to normal that we can all get on board with. Follow on Facebook to find them in real life. (CAS)
2nd PLACE: Island Style Food Truck
3rd PLACE: Jerusalem Middle Eastern Cuisine and More
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Latitudes at the Lodge at Carlin Bay, Coeur d’Alene

Best Indian Food
If you’re going to name your Indian restaurant “The Mango Tree,” you better be able to back up your swagger with some absolutely incredible mango curry. And yet, for all that hype, Mango Tree actually pulls it off. Sweet and spicy, with deep and tangy notes, the mango curry is worth the trip. The chance to grab some garlic naan is just a bonus. (DW)
2nd PLACE: Taste of India
3rd PLACE: Top of India

Best Mexican Food
We all know that “Mexican food” changes depending on what part of Mexico you’re in, but at the Inland Northwest’s Mexican restaurants, we tend to think of tacos, burritos, enchiladas and the like. And De Leon’s delivers the goods on a massive menu that includes all the standards one expects, plus specialties like the weekend-only menudo and posole bowls. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Rancho Chico
3rd PLACE: Rancho Viejo, Spokane, Hayden, Post Falls

Best Middle Eastern Food
Debuting a year ago inside chef Adam Hegsted’s former Wandering Table spot in Kendall Yards, Baba has become a go-to for its creative take on Middle Eastern dishes and ingredients. Like Hegsted’s other eateries, Baba fuses comfort food with the unexpected. Take the Turkish mac and cheese, for example, made with a labneh-based (yogurt) cheese sauce. There’s plenty of traditional dishes, too: hummus, falafel, shakshuka, tabouli and more. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Feast World Kitchen
3rd PLACE: Zullee Mediterranean Grill (formerly Kabob House)
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: The White House Grill, Post Falls

Best Hot Wings
Virtually every bar on the planet thinks they can deliver great wings, but if that were the case, we wouldn’t need places that put their culinary focus completely on the delectable tiny treats. Flamin’ Joe’s will make you forget the shriveled, dried-up wings at your local dive thanks to their exploration of all the flavors wings have to offer. They have no less than 20 different sauce flavors (including eight levels of buffalo-sauce heat), and nine more dry rubs, and you can order traditional wings, boneless wings or jumbo drumsticks. The wing nut in your life can spend weeks exploring the options. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Market Street Pizza
3rd PLACE: The Viking
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Capone’s Pub and Grill, Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls

Best New Restaurant (Opened in the Past Year)
Spokane’s historic Hillyard district is in the midst of a major culinary transformation thanks to a few new restaurants and more on the way. One of those new places is Kismet, Daniel Gonzalez and Monica York’s Latin- and Spanish-influenced eatery that’s had diners positively buzzing since its debut in fall 2021. From traditional arepas cakes to ceviche to hearty Spanish stews, everything at Kismet is made with utmost attention to detail, and bursting with flavor and creativity. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Vieux Carre NOLA Kitchen
3rd PLACE: Tavolàta
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST:Izzy’s Comfort Kitchen, Coeur d’Alene

Best Milkshake
Mary Lou’s is a Spokane icon, both for its historic, milk bottle-shaped building in the Garland District, and the ultra-rich and creamy ice cream made inside. While that ice cream is also served at a few other places around town, there’s no better experience than going straight to the source and getting a tall, ice-fogged glass filled with a fresh-made huckleberry milkshake, or any of Mary Lou’s two dozen other flavors. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Zip’s
3rd PLACE: Ferguson’s Cafe
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden

Best Patio Dining
The beautiful Spokane River running through the heart of the city is a feature any restaurant lucky to be located near its banks takes full advantage of. And one of the most deluxe riverside patios in town is Osprey’s relaxing and spectacularly scenic setup. Firepits, heaters and umbrella shades make the space a tantalizing setting for drinks, dinner or weekend brunch, even when the weather’s not a perfect 75 degrees. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Clinkerdagger
3rd PLACE (tie): Brick West Brewing Co., No-Li Brewhouse
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Terraza Waterfront Cafe, Coeur d’Alene

Best Sandwiches
Some judge a sandwich by its bread, others by its various vegetables or condiments. “We want the meats!” say the collective voters of our Best of the Inland Northwest poll. On that front, Domini delivers. The downtown Spokane staple is old-school in all the best ways, offering a gargantuan sando for your hard-earned dollar, stacking up the meats and cheese and a hint of secondary ingredients to make our readers’ favorite sandwiches. If you dare order a “whole” sandwich, give yourself a few days. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Shamus’s Sandwich Shoppe
3rd PLACE: The High Nooner
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: San Francisco Sourdough Eatery, Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum

Best Seafood
It’s not just the fish. It’s the water. Anthony’s is well-established as a delicious seafood restaurant, offering everything from Panko-crusted Idaho rainbow trout to garlic butter roasted prawns. But its prime views of the raging Spokane Falls is perhaps the best part of it all for those of us lucky to visit the Spokane Anthony’s. You’ll note the Coeur d’Alene Anthony’s took the top prize for North Idaho in this category. (DW)
2nd PLACE: Zona Blanca
3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Anthony’s at Coeur d’Alene

Best Pho
Is there anything better than a steaming hot bowl of pho when you’re in the middle of a nasty winter cold stretch? (Answer: There is not). Big bowls of flavorful broth, filling noodles and oh-so-fresh herbs, sprouts and jalapeños make pho a belly-warming wonder, and no one does it better than Spokane staple Pho Van. Whether you prefer your pho with steak, chicken or tendon, Pho Van knows how to make it the best, according to our readers. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Vien Dong
3rd PLACE: Vina Asian Restaurant
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Pho Thanh & Cafe, Coeur d’Alene

Best Thai Food
Someday, a time may come when another Thai restaurant will get as many votes as Thai Bamboo. At that time, we will surely write, “It’s a Thai!” and everyone will have a hearty laugh at the cuisine-based wordplay. But it is not this day. Once again, readers voted Thai Bamboo our undisputed Best Thai Food champion. We recommend the Pad Thai. Ask your server about it if you’re unfamiliar with it. (DW)
2nd PLACE: Bangkok Thai
3rd PLACE: Kuni’s Thai Cuisine

Best Ramen
Longtime restaurateur Jingou Sun modeled Nudo Ramen House after favorite places from her international travels, making both the downtown and north-side locations fun spots to kick back and enjoy a bowl of hearty, scratch-made ramen featuring fresh noodles, rich broth and flavorful toppings. Of course, if you’re not in a soup mood, Nudo has plenty more to offer, from excellent rice dishes to delectable appetizers. (CAS)
2nd PLACE: King of Ramen
3rd PLACE: Little Noodle
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Monarch Ramen & Noodle House, Coeur d’Alene

Best Sushi
At Umi, enjoy ultra-fresh sushi rolls, fried rice, a craft cocktail or some sake wherever you like: facing the sushi counter, where you can watch its expert chefs in their element; downstairs in the swanky Umi Den, or on the covered patio alongside the Centennial Trail. At home, too! Umi’s head sushi chefs, Tong Liu and Haru Wang, have applied decades of collective experience to craft menus for multiple award-winning sushi restaurants in the region, Umi included. (CS)
2nd PLACE:
3rd PLACE: Izumi Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Syringa Japanese Cafe + Sushi Bar, Coeur d’Alene

Best Gluten-Free Options
“So many options, delicious food and baked goods! My daughter has a severe wheat allergy and was able to try (and love!) onion rings and donuts for the first time.” (Eleen H.); “Love that there is no chance of cross-contamination, and it’s the best tasting, too!” (Maureen S.); “Our little boy has celiac, and this is an amazing bakery that is totally GF and safe for him to pick a treat without fear of being made sick.” (Simone H.)
2nd PLACE: Boots Bakery & Lounge
3rd PLACE: Cascadia Public House

North Idaho’s Best: Izzy’s Comfort Kitchen, Coeur d’Alene
Best Appetizers
“Where else can you get peppers that taste that good? I dream about them!” (Sarah L.); “Peel ‘n’ eat shrimp!” (Laurie V.); “The Caribbean spice wings are to die for!” (Breann M.); “Just buy them all and enjoy.” (Jessica S.)
2nd PLACE: Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
3rd PLACE: Cascadia Public House

North Idaho’s Best: Terraza Waterfront Cafe, Coeur d’Alene
Best Local Chef
“Amazing food, but also a chef who supports and promotes OTHER local restaurants in Spokane, too.” (Colleen C.); “Brought Spokane’s restaurant scene to a new level. Everything he makes is top shelf, fresh and delicious!” (Arnalee S.); “Street Doritos!” (Scott N.)
2nd PLACE: Michael Wiley, Wiley’s Downtown Bistro
3rd PLACE: Tony Brown, Ruins

North Idaho’s Best Chef
“Interesting and quality menus.” (Kay D.); “The best food ever! My favorite!” (Bryn R.)
Best Ice Cream
“Great ice cream, and the neighborhood vibe is unbeatable.” (Julie G.); “They have allergy-friendly flavors, and they’re delicious.” (Becca D.); “Dole Whip.” (Amanda M.); “Always so tasty! And those waffle cones! Friendly service, too.” (Michele S.)
2nd PLACE: Pete and Belle’s
3rd PLACE: Mary Lou’s

North Idaho’s Best: Panhandle Cone & Coffee, Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint, Moscow
Best Breakfast
“It’s a classic. Oldie but a goodie.” (Alex N.); “Variety, quality, quantity (most plates can feed two)… prepared and served by folks who like what they’re doing. Curbside takeout and Uber delivery during the pandemic.” (Gillian C.); “Great food, wonderful staff, fun train car.” (Larry B.)
2nd PLACE: Old European
3rd PLACE: Chaps

North Idaho’s Best Breakfast
“Great menu choices and excellent service!” (Julie L.)
Best Pizza
“Great slice choices for a diverse family!” (Kate R.); “I’m GF and their GF crust is the best in town.” (Jeff V.); “Thin crust like pizza is supposed to have.” (Claudia L.); “Oh damn! Wood ovens. The River. Pizza. Oh, yeah, pizza.” (Rhonda H.)
2nd PLACE: The Flying Goat
3rd PLACE: Market Street Pizza

North Idaho’s Best: Embers by the Lake, Hauser and Post Falls
Best Vegetarian, Best Vegan Food
“Even if you’re not vegan, the creativity of the food is out of this world! Poke made with watermelon… whut? It’s SO good.” (Kate R.); “Cauliflower ‘chicken’ wings = mind blown.” (Matthew D.); “Their ‘chicken’ sandwich is so delicious, and their dirty fries are always a hit! Vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters can find themselves satisfied here!” (Haley W.)
2nd PLACE: Mizuna
3rd PLACE: Cascadia Public House

North Idaho’s Best: Cosmic Cowboy Grill, Coeur d’Alene
2nd PLACE: Boots Bakery & Lounge
3rd PLACE: Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe

North Idaho’s Best: Cosmic Cowboy Grill, Coeur d’Alene
Best Tacos, Best Margaritas
“Fresh tacos, and so unique!!” (Matthew D.); “Because Travis is the shit!” (Queena H.); “OMG these margaritas are dangerously tasty — careful not to drink them like water. They’re a flex on any other I’ve ever had. Perfect balance of booze and flavor, and your choice of salt. Whoever said you can’t buy happiness never had one of these bad boys.” (Kaelah F.)
2nd PLACE: De Leon’s Taco & Bar
3rd PLACE: Borracho Tacos & Tequileria

North Idaho’s Best: Taco Works, Coeur d’Alene
2nd PLACE: Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
3rd PLACE: El Que

North Idaho’s Best: Terraza Waterfront Cafe, Coeur d’Alene
Best Bread
“Their own grains, ground on site, baked in wood-fired ovens — AMAZING results.” (John R.); “Sprouted Rye and Toasted Sesame.” (Gene L.); “Their bread is out of this world. I could live on their bread alone!” (Darla D.); “Best bread in the state.” (Lori Y.)
2nd PLACE: Great Harvest Bread Co.
3rd PLACE: Rind and Wheat

North Idaho’s Best: MAK Bread, Coeur d’Alene
Best BBQ
“Great food! Cornbread is so yummy. Ribs are delicious. Atmosphere is awesome!” (Michele K.); “I had their smoked portabella, and it changed my life.” (Elisha H.); “Oh that brisket, baby!” (Wendi H.); “Their burnt ends are amazing!” (Karly D.)
2nd PLACE: Outlaw BBQ
3rd PLACE: Longhorn Barbecue

North Idaho’s Best: The Relic Smokehouse and Pub, Coeur d’Alene
Best Chinese Food
“Superb ingredients and preparations. Tradition meets innovation.” (Neal S.); “Wow is not a strong enough word to describe their selections, with choice of spiciness for each.” (John D.); “The home of authentic Chinese food in Spokane!” (Michael B.)
2nd PLACE: Red Dragon
3rd PLACE: Ming Wah Restaurant

North Idaho’s Best: Chinatown, Coeur d’Alene
Best Burgers
“OMG, have you had one? If you’d had one, you wouldn’t ask why. Bonus points for the dog-friendly patio.” (Carmela C.); “The Grind Of The Week is always entertaining. Awesome service, great food, huge beer selection, good theme.” (John R.); “Cheese curds, don’t ya know!” (Holly M.)
2nd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar
3rd PLACE: D.Lish’s Hamburgers

North Idaho’s Best Burgers
“They have been the standard I judge all others by. Have satisfied me and my family for the past 40 years!” (Marc W.)
Best Late-Night Dining
“Incredible staff are always friendly, food is always great, and their hours and price range made them the perfect college-student friendly place. I’d come finish papers here and study in college, and even finished my history thesis here at 3:30 am over a big plate of breakfast and endless coffee.” (Zoe J.); “They’re a staple of Spokane.” (John L.)
2nd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar
3rd PLACE: Neato Burrito
North Idaho’s Best: Atilano’s, Coeur d’Alene
Best of Food
Best of Food
Best of Food
Dig in for the best appetizers, cutting-edge cuisine, frozen yogurt and five pounds of pizza.
By Inlander Staff
Best of Food
The region’s finest seafood, burritos and the best new restaurant (and other stuff)
By Inlander Staff
Best Chicken Sandwich
By Madison Pearson
Best Family-Friendly Restaurant
By Hannah Mumm
Best Mac & Cheese
By Lillian Piel
Best Steaks
By E.J. Iannelli
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