Article via The Inlander

Hungry for something different to make this holiday season something special? Start your culinary adventure with these recent additions to downtown Spokane’s ever-growing food scene. 

Is it a cozy waffle house serving from-scratch breakfast dishes like waffles and gravy or waffles with lemon and blueberry? Or is it a European-inspired café serving artisan coffee and tea, French champagne, crafted cocktails, and delightful desserts? It’s both! 

Recently opened by three friends who had a unique vision for downtown dining, PEOPLE’S WAFFLE (15 S. Howard St., peopleswaffle.com) and its connected neighbor, EMMA RUE’S (15 S. Howard St., emmarues.com), are both located in the historic Symons Block on Howard Street, just east of the Bank of America building.

Over in the Crescent Court’s skywalk level, chef Cory Johnson and business partner Brad Frey are elevating fast food to a gourmet level with their two new quick food options. How about an Italian-inspired porchetta sandwich or a yummy grilled cheese and tomato soup made from scratch with local ingredients? That’s SPOKANEWICH (707 W. Main Ave., spokanewich.com). 

For Johnson’s take on Latin American and Mexican cooking, try TIO’S TAQUERIA (707 W. Main Ave., tios-tacos.com), with savory carne asada tacos, or chicken and mole burritos. Don’t forget dessert: chocolate pudding, better than mom’s.

The two longtime friends adapted concepts they saw in Portland’s food truck scene and feature dishes from Johnson’s 20-plus years of cooking, from Dubai fine dining to Nicaraguan surf camps. 

When the news hit that Washington’s west-side restaurateur Ethan Stowell was bringing his popular Italian restaurant, Tavolata, to Spokane, diners were all a-twitter.  And the celebratory chirping continued when Stowell opened BOSCO PASTA & PANINI (835 N. Post St., ethanstowellrestaurants.com), a counter-service sampling of his award-winning food inside the popular Wonder Building, just west of the Flour Mill. 

“You can get a bowl of pasta, a panini, a salad,” says Stowell. Try the potato gnocchi with mushrooms and basil pesto or the pork and beef meatball panini, perfect with a pint of local craft beer.

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