Casual Dining In the Spokane Area

Looking for a relaxed, but delicious, night out in Spokane? The city is filled with amazing local cuisine that won't break the bank and will have you leaving satisfied and longing for your next night out!

Garland Spokane Food and Drinks

Flavors of Spokane

Housed in the erstwhile North Hill Masonic Temple, NORTH HILL ON GARLAND PUB places equal emphasis on food and drink. There’s a large selection of red and white wines, craft cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails, plus draft and bottled beer — all of which are balanced out by thin-crust pizzas, hearty sandwiches and comfort staples like pot pie and mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s a natural drop-in destination if you’re already doing some holiday shopping at the small businesses in the Garland District.

Best known for its artisan pizzas like the Wellington (topped with cream, house cheeses, asparagus, cremini mushrooms) or the Columbia (chipotle tomato sauce, chimichurri pork, red onions, black beans), the Audubon–Downriver neighborhood’s FLYING GOAT also dishes up a delicious mix of gourmet sandwiches and salads. Picking up a gift card for a stocking stuffer is a great excuse to dine in yourself.

Casual dining in Spokane Washington

Just to the west of downtown Spokane in Browne’s Addition is THE ELK, a longtime favorite of locals who want good food in a laid-back atmosphere. Traditional corned beef Reubens, the Santa Fe sandwich — a breaded, pan-seared chicken breast with roasted poblanos and melted Monterey Jack cheese — or the bulgogi beef tacos are indicative of what’s on offer alongside a satisfying mix of local craft beers and cocktails.

up on the South Hill kicks things up a notch by bringing an unconventional culinary flair to classic dishes. House favorites include the Drunken Clams, which steams fresh clams in garlic butter, red onions, cherry tomatoes and pilsner from local brewer Brick West. Even the otherwise unassuming duck breast is served alongside wood-fired fennel, a piquant spiced orange gastrique and a side of fried sourdough bread.

“Like a lot of businesses around the world, I feel like we missed the holidays last year,” says Celeste Shaw, who owns CHAPS near Latah Valley just off Highway 195. “Even though there are still limitations in place, we’re still looking forward to reinviting people to join us. The holidays are still the holidays, and I love the camaraderie.”

She and her staff are cutting the Chaps Christmas tree together at Swenson’s Tree Farm, and she’s looking to decorate a second tree and hold a special Christmas breakfast with Santa to benefit disadvantaged schoolchildren in Spokane Valley and Sprague. Through gestures like that, Shaw is using the wholesome comfort food she serves, like handmade baked goods and her grandmother’s oatmeal, as a way to bring the community together.

Where to eat in spokane this holiday season

Spokane's Best Burgers & Brunch

And who can talk casual dining without mentioning burgers and brunch? In poll after poll, WISCONSINBURGER on the lower South Hill on the edge of the South Perry District is consistently rated one of the top burgers in Spokane. The Awe Geez makes an indulgent feature of the Badger State’s prize exports, namely cheddar cheese and (deep-fried) curds, while the Port Washington offers an alternative take on the burger in the form of a marinated portobello mushroom cap topped with spinach and gorgonzola on a pretzel bun.

At the aptly named BRUNCHEONETTE near the Spokane County Courthouse, you’ll find tantalizing combos like blueberry muffin French toast or tamale waffles as well as quintessential diner fare like biscuits and gravy or chicken-fried steak. The food is made from scratch as much as possible. “My staff is really passionate about food, so that makes every dish fun to make because there’s so much love that goes into it,” says owner Jolie Forral. “We really put a lot of care into what we’re making.”

From the Inlander's 2021 Spokane Holiday Magazine. To read more Inlander coverage of the Inland Northwest, visit

About the Author

The Inlander

The Inlander