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‘Unique Eats and Eateries of Spokane’ offers glimpse into city’s vibrant foods, flavors

By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

Fried green tomatoes and peach cobbler?

We’ve got that.

Duck a l’orange and croque madam?

We’ve got that, too.

Spokane’s restaurant scene is hopping with foods and flavors from around the world, and a new book offers a glimpse of the city’s vibrant offerings.

Written by Adriana Janovich, former food editor at The Spokesman-Review, “Unique Eats and Eateries of Spokane” (Reedy Press, 2024) gives readers snapshots of 84 eateries.

“Spokane has over 500 restaurants,” Janovich said. “Narrowing it down to 84 was difficult. My initial list was over 200!”

The format was dictated by the publisher, as “Unique Eats and Eateries of Spokane” is part of a series of books highlighting restaurants in cities from Chicago to Houston.

Each listing features photos by Janovich and includes the restaurant’s address and phone number.

From longtime favorites like Clinkerdagger and the Onion Taphouse and Grill to newer establishments like the Bad Seed and Kismet, Janovich shares specialty menu items and snippets of each restaurant’s story.

“Knowledge from my time as food editor uniquely positioned me to write this book,” she said.

When choosing which places to profile, Janovich considered things like longevity, location, signature dishes and architecture.

“Spokane provides such a beautiful setting,” she said. “Where else can you go downtown and see the falls and the river? And historic buildings make a really neat backdrop for our food scene.”

For example, the Steam Plant Restaurant and Brew Pub is located within the former Central Steam Heat Plant, designed by Kirtland Cutter and built in 1916.

“I had to think about what was iconic – what was unique,” Janovich said.

That’s why institutions like O’Doherty’s Irish Grille and Frank’s Diner made the cut, and cultural offerings like Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine and Indigenous Eats are featured.

Readers will find everything from cheap eats to fine dining within the book’s pages. Dick’s Hamburgers and Zip’s Drive-In are included, alongside Italia Trattoria and Wild Sage Bistro.

During her research, Janovich visited each restaurant listed and said she couldn’t have done it without the help of her husband, John Guenther. The couple lives in Pullman, where she is the associate editor for Washington State Magazine.

“Last summer, we spent almost every weekend in Spokane,” she said. “My husband came with me, and we’d split the dishes.”

Janovich relished revisiting spots like Ruins and Wild Sage.

“An ever-changing menu and melt-in-your-mouth popovers!”

And Park Inn Bar and Grill.

“It’s Spokane’s living room,” she said. “You can run into neighbors or doctors and nurses.”

She also enjoyed documenting the city’s steadily evolving food scene.

“Spokane is becoming much more diverse,” she said. “From a historically meat-and-potatoes town to offering more vegan and gluten-free options.”

In addition to restaurants, “Unique Eats and Eateries of Spokane” features bakeries, breweries and wineries. There’s something for every appetite and budget.

“It’s part bucket list part travel guide,” Janovich said.

Contact Cindy Hval at