Spokane Foodie Tour - The Best Restaurants Found in Kendall Yards
When it comes to trendy Spokane neighborhoods, Kendall Yards is THE place to be if you’re in the know. If you're looking for the best restaurants in Kendall Yards to visit, you won't want to miss this carefully curated list.
Boasting one of the most panoramic views in the entire city of our unique skyline and the Centennial Trail stretching the entire length of the valley with loads of public art and interesting stops along the way, it has something for everyone. It has trendy housing, is the home of beloved local newspaper The Inlander, and is just oozing with modern industrial charm. If you’re a true food lover, you know full-well that this is a top destination for some of the best eats in the city.
The Best Restaurants in Kendall Yards for a Romantic Dinner Date
Park Lodge is a multiple Spokane Guild award-winning restaurant perched atop the edge of the valley at the west end of Kendall Yards, and it’s probably the best-kept secret in Spokane food right now.
With humble beginnings in the kitchen, chef-owner Philip Stanton started as a dishwasher at Denny’s and it lit his fire with the goal to reach for a career in the industry. He went to culinary school in San Francisco, and later moved down to Los Angeles and worked for Wolfgang Puck at Spago for three years. His next goal was to work in Paris, and he landed an opportunity to work at the two Michelin starred restaurant Relais Louis XIII, where they focus on deeply traditional, classic French food.
The culture in France was deeply inspiring to Chef Philip, where the ingredients were the star, and the culture surrounding food focused on sustainability and respect.
It features menu items such as roast duck breast, which always has a slight variation in how it’s presented, but it is without exception prepared beautifully with juicy flesh and crisp, flavorful skin. I am also a huge fan of the airline chicken breast which sounds a little pedantic, but their expression of it is anything but. Mouthwateringly rich jus drizzled over the dish which is served atop light as air whipped potatoes and caramelized mushrooms… it is something you have to taste to understand.
If you’re a more casual diner, they have a burger that will change your mind about where you fit into this equation, as it is our favorite iteration of the humble ground meat patty on a bun in the entire city. The execution of each dish is an alignment with his Michelin training, and he empowers his team to learn about every aspect of the dish in order to provide consistency no matter who is cooking it. He educates them to understand the nuances in preparation from conception to final product, and it is evident in the high quality of the seasonally appropriate food that is served to each and every diner.
You can truly close your eyes and point to any dish on the menu and have a delightful experience with in-season, local ingredients worked by the hands of masters of their craft.
“I want it to be a comfortable, happy place where they can enjoy themselves, be pampered a little bit, and have everything taken care of. I want people in this city to have a really nice night out and enjoy the view of the river and some delicious food,” Chef Stanton explains.
If you haven’t been to The Wandering Table for a while, you’re missing out. A mainstay of Kendall Yards’ beautiful neighborhood overlooking the city from afar, it’s has the Spokane charm and creativity you’re craving.
This Spokane institution was brought to life by James Beard-nominated chef Adam Hegstead of Eat Good Group and continues to be the flagship location of his many lauded restaurants. Chef Trevor is the current steward of the food program here, and he has added his own unique twist to elevate comfort food classics and make them his own.
Their interpretation of modern American dining with a northwest flair includes classics like regulars’ beloved deviled eggs and buffalo cauliflower to new menu items that are crafted in that same spirit.
Favorites include the melt-in-your-mouth short rib with richly flavored wheat berries, the butter lettuce salad with a sous vide egg and creamy blue cheese dressing with the bite of acidic and perfectly ripe in-season tomatoes, and the beautifully balanced summer pea soup garnished with crisp, sweet snap peas sliced on the bias to give it that warm-weather crunch, and colorful chili oil for just a hint of heat.
It’s a must-visit for their beautifully curated bar program, too. A variety of top-shelf spirits and an enviable craft cocktail list with a warm, cozy vibe will encourage you to linger a little longer on that date.
Umi Sushi is a beautifully designed and hip destination in the heart of Kendall Yards that is a must-visit if you're as in love with Japanese food as I am. With dozens of specialties that reach far beyond just sushi on the menu, and a really cool bar downstairs, you're sure to find something for everyone in your group (even "that guy" who doesn't like seafood!). Trust their chef with an "omakase" style menu experience, or order something on its own. All of their fish is brought in fresh from the coast often, so the fish quality is going to be top-notch.
From their website, "With over 10 years of experience as sushi chefs, Chef Tong Liu and Chef Haru Wang have masterfully crafted menus for 5 award-winning Sushi and Asian inspired restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Each and every bite is embedded with a passion for combining the freshest ingredients, traditional sushi rolls crafted with utmost precision, and creatively innovating specialty rolls with layers of complexity that impress and keep you coming back for more."
Veraci in Kendall Yards is a must-visit for the pizza lover and pizza skeptic alike. They’ll make you a believer! They make their very own pizza oven as a “functional work of art” using a proprietary refractory clay mixture that holds heat like a champ and burns applewood that burns fast and can get up to 1000 F. After just 90 seconds, your pizza will be fully cooked and ready to eat.
Interested in more pizza around Spokane? Check out my guide to the best pizza in Spokane.
According to their website, “The intense energy released from the burning applewood is transferred to the pizza three ways: through convection, conduction and radiant energy. When the pizza hits the bricks, the molecules of water in the dough turn to water vapor and escape upwards through the crust. Miniature steam vents form all over the pizza as it is transformed by the intense heat. This change of state from water to steam generates pressure and uplifts our special dough, creating a puffy, hollow, golden brown and slightly-charred, crisp, and chewy outer crust (the "cornicione") and a deliciously thin, melts-in-your-mouth--- soft inner crust.”
I have always been fascinated by how great pizza is made, and even more by how it translates into a great meal. My favorite on their menu would have to be the Spicy Tony for an authentic pick, which has Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms & provolone on crushed red pepper infused savory red sauce with our three cheese blend. The Brussels and Bacon is more off the beaten path and has Seattle-made Beecher's Flagship cheese, balsamic reduction, and garlic olive oil.
The Best Restaurants in Kendall Yards for After Dinner Treats
Wine tasting in Kendall Yards? Yes. It’s a thing! You have three options to hop around and visit before or after dinner. Nectar Tasting Room is the place you’ll want to go if just one winemaker isn’t enough for you. Here their collection is broad and beautifully curated for the more discerning wine lover. It’s a great place to find a new favorite no matter what your favorite varietal is.
Craftsman Cellars makes old-world style wines utilizing French oak barrels, and the resulting complexity is indicative of their love of these classic bold profiles. They have cheese plates and charcuterie boards available for you to nibble on while you sip, and a specialty Spanish cocktail called ‘tinto de verano’ which consists of red wine, sparkling fruit juice, and a lemon slice on ice.
Maryhill Winery is one of the top winemakers in Washington State, and its Spokane tasting room is a beauty. A patio for summer weather and floor to ceiling windows that allow you to view the skyline even in the bitterest winter cold give you plenty of opportunities to more thoroughly enjoy your tasting flights and take home some bottles. Finding the right wine isn’t complicated as you’ll discover by chatting with their resident wine experts here. Their casual approach with a depth of knowledge will delight even the most resistant wine drinker.
The Scoop is a newcomer to the neighborhood, but can’t be missed. First of all, the business is owned by a powerful female entrepreneur, Jennifer Davis, and her wild flavor combinations will dazzle you with how beautifully balanced and downright crave-able they are. Seriously. The best in the ice cream game.
Using liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze ingredients and a stand mixer to produce the creamiest, unctuous treat in small batches, this is the gold standard in ice cream in Spokane. Not only do they have awesome frozen treats, but they incorporate some utterly phenomenal baked goods into the mix, too, thanks to Shea Palm, who has been working on lots of fun items like bringing their famous Leige Waffle to Kendall Yards (and a gluten-free version, too!). They also plan on doing bubble waffles and gelato paninis. She is working her magic to create new vegan treats, too!
The Best Restaurants in Kendall Yards for Breakfast
Yards Bruncheon is THE go-to breakfast spot here, thanks to the team from prolific restaurateur Adam Hegstead and Eat Good Group. Every breakfast classic on the menu is just slightly reimagined to make it more memorable and packed with bold flavors that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Indaba and Hello, Sugar on Nettleton are beloved local favorites and are some of my personal addictions. Indaba owners Bobby and Sheena Enslow are known throughout the area for their company’s ethical stance to welcome everyone into their spaces, and for their motto - “Love people, love coffee.”
When it comes to top-quality roasts, Indaba is a local treasure. Be sure to try their house-made syrups in classic not-too-sweet lattes that will change your life a little. Hello, Sugar owners, Ramsey and Amy Pruchnic have created my very favorite donuts in the whole city and they specialize in tiny, sparkly bites of goodness - you won’t be able to eat just one.
With new specialty flavors that rotate often, I always opt for the Carousel, which is one of each of their menu items all in one glittery, happy package.
Pro-tip - figure out what fun name you’ll have for your order before you go to the register, and have them call out something extra hilarious. My go-to order name is “Your Mom” because I’m 10 years old on the inside.
As a bonus, I want to make sure I let you in on my secret spot. I’ll probably regret this later (it really is such a perfect quiet hideaway), but here I go anyway. A random spot you won’t want to miss is grabbing a quick bite to eat at My Fresh Basket. It’s not a restaurant, but a grocery store, and has one of the best deli counters in the city for freshly prepared, on-trend foods.
They also happen to have my very favorite yogurt of all time at the counter - Ellenos Yogurt out of Seattle. My go-to pick is the passionfruit variety, and you’ll often see me during the early morning errand run taking a break upstairs in their lounge area that overlooks the city with one of the best views for a bargain budget. Also notable are their tamales which have boldly-flavored vegan options, too.
If you see me there, feel free to say hi, but know that I’m a socially anxious mess and will probably make a fool of myself somehow. No judgment.
If you do go to Kendall Yards and enjoy one of these spots on the list, please make sure to tell them I sent you for a knowing wink and a little extra special treatment for being the VIP that you are, Guild member.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Kendall Yards? Let me know in the comment section below.