2nd Ave., 509-456-7575), a dapper downtown restaurant specializing in creatively prepared farm-to-table cuisine and using local ingredients whenever possible.
The food here is artfully plated and delicious - from the ever-changing menu, you might find the likes of poblano-artichoke dip with Dungeness crab, burgundy-pepper-glazed beef satay, Idaho trout with a lemon-chive beurre blanc, and almond-flour ravioli filled with burrata cheese and served with mushroom-tomato ragu and pecornino-romano.
It’s open from early morning for breakfast until midnight, and it’s a great choice for dining and drinking.
Breakfast sandwiches, salmon burgers, salads, and goat cheese flatbread pizzas are among the edible highlights.
This attractive spot with a sports-bar theme also serves food, including burgers, Caesar salads, flatbread with hummus and tzatziki, and chips with housemade salsa. The comfortable space has slick lighting, cocktail tables, a large outdoor patio, big “garage door” windows, high ceilings, a dance floor, and exposed-brick walls.
There are shows and live performances some evenings, karaoke on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and video monitors air everything from sporting events to Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Also notable for both food and drink is downtown’s Nectar Tasting Room (120 N.
Stevens St., 509-869-1572), where you can sample wines from several Washington boutique wineries as well as light tapas to pair with you vino flights.
Northeast of downtown near the campus of Gonzaga University, cozy and welcoming Chairs Public House (1305 N.
Hamilton St., 509-381-0909) is a great neighborhood spot that’s been a major sponsor of Spokane Gay Pride and has a warm, welcoming vibe.
Spokane - which is a four-hour drive east of Seattle, a five-hour drive northeast of Portland, and a six- to seven-hour drive north of Boise - lies on the eastern edge of Washington state, just 20 miles from the Idaho border and about a 75-minute drive north of the twin college towns of Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID.
It’s an attractive city filled with dignified century-old buildings and anchored by a beautiful downtown Riverfront Park bisected by the Spokane River.
If you can polish off the Cheese Bomb (Parmesan-encrusted bread filled with provolone and cheddar as well as deep-fried mozzarella cheese sticks), power to you.