Restaurant Reviews & Interviews

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Foodie Tour - Garland District

by Erin Peterson

Featured in Spokane Cd'A Living Magazine


There are few corners of Spokane more nostalgic with a 1950’s feel than the Garland District. Every time I wander up north to experience the uniquely bright, colorful and retro neighborhood, I am always giddy with excitement, knowing that not only will I take a quick trip back in time, but I’ll also enjoy some of the friendliest service in town.

North Hill on Garland is new to the scene, but is not to be missed. Their version of “elevated bar food” is filled with guilty pleasures done well. The “Hot Hill Pocket” is what you remember of your childhood microwaveable memories, except lovingly handcrafted by a chef. Our favorite was the classic pepperoni, though they have a bacon cheeseburger and black bean option (for the vegans in the crowd). With a chef-driven menu and locally sourced ingredients, they’re doing it right. They show off with a phenomenal deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, and a rotating menu of house specialties that you’re sure to fall in love with. The craft cocktails on the menu are all $10 or under, and I highly recommend the Pimm’s Cup.


The Garland Theatre is a favorite stop for me. Their Totally Tubular Tuesdays feature throwback flicks like Space Jam or The Sandlot, and everyone in the theatre seems knows the words to every line of the movie. It’s one of the only theaters in town where you can buy beer or wine to take with you while you watch your show, but that’s not all. They also have a righteous food menu, and you can also take that in to the theater to watch your movie. It’s the best dinner and a show in town. We order enough food to take up a whole seat next to us, and we enjoy every bite. Buffalo chicken dip, black bean sliders topped with sriracha mayo, pretzel bites with five cheese sauce for dipping, and bacon mac and cheese are all great, but the main attraction is their pulled pork sandwich with slow-roasted smoked pork shoulder topped with jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and the Garland’s sriracha barbecue sauce all piled generously on a pretzel bun. Not your typical movie theater fare, and thank goodness.

After (or before) your movie, swing by the Bon Bon for friendly service, delicious snacks and classic cocktails. Their brunch menu is killer, and includes Cuban pork sliders, quiche and a loaded breakfast burrito. When it comes to cocktails, I have yet to order something I don’t like on their menu, which is really saying something. The bartenders here are exceptionally knowledgeable and will help guide you to the perfect drink for your palate.

Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle is a classic summertime stop that you can enjoy year-round. The building which features the iconic milk bottle shape was constructed in 1935 (you can see just a few examples of these around town) and cost a whopping $3700 to build. It was originally a dairy retailer, then a secondhand shop, but since 1987 lives on as the charming old-timey diner owned by Bill and Nola Graham. This beloved establishment features award-winning milkshakes, burgers, sandwiches and ice cream by the scoop. Our favorite thing to do is to grab a waffle cone and walk down the charming street, surveying the store fronts. When we’re finished, we often pop into Violin Works to admire the work of master luthier James Kytonen who has been serving the needs of string professionals and aspiring musicians alike for over 30 years.

Other favorites in Garland are Kim’s Teriyaki, the Garland Sandwich Shop, and Ferguson’s Cafe. If you venture over this direction, you’ll see that this little corner of our city gets the sweetest details just right.

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