Please help my friends love Spokane!
July 22, 2019 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Dear friends and their adorable pup are moving to Spokane (he's already there, she's been out for visits and is following soon). They've been living in a great Midwestern college town, are disappointed in the farmers market (so far) and haven't yet found a bakery with amazing bread. The new house will be near Manito Park. They're bright progressive vegetarians in their early fifties who love great food and wine. Please recommend anything in the area that will help make their new life wonderful. Day and weekend trip suggestions, too. Thank you!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Travel & Transportation around Spokane, WA (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have they tried Culture Breads?

Farmers Markets. If they don’t like the Saturday farmers market there’s: Thursday Market in the Perry District. There’s also the Night Market at Kendall Yards. And there’s a lot of you pick fruits at the farms at Greenbluff. Going there during apple season is my favorite.

My favorite breakfast spot is Fleur de Sel Creperie.
posted by ilovewinter at 2:09 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

For food in Spokane--we like Boots for vegan food (including amazing vegan baked goods) and the area it's in for window-shopping and vintage-clothes-browsing. If they're at all into antiques they might like the Hillyard area, which has an interesting history and lots of great shops. Other restaurants they may like include The Wandering Table in Kendall Yards, Mizuna downtown, or, very nearby their house, RÜT.

There are tons of fun day/weekend trips from Spokane--I wrote about an afternoon in Coeur d'Alene here, and there might be other good recommendations in that thread. If they like farmer's markets they should check out the Saturday morning market in Moscow, Idaho, which is an hour and a half south--too far to be a regular habit, I'm sure, but it's a cute college town and the market attracts vendors from all over. If they like wine they're in a great location; three hours from Walla Walla, home to dozens of wineries and a great place to spend a weekend, not far from some excellent Columbia Valley wineries, and three hours from Lewiston/Clarkston, a new viticultural area, which has several of its own wineries.
posted by stellaluna at 2:50 PM on July 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

Came here to recommend Walla Walla for wines, and to not ignore wineries in the Dayton area, north of Walla Walla a couple dozen miles.
posted by lhauser at 6:47 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

If they're willing to cross the border, Nelson BC is a great little mountain town pretty much straight north of them.
posted by Fraxas at 10:42 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Having spent time in a couple of midwestern college towns, I have found that the farmers' markets pretty much anywhere else are disappointing in comparison (with the possible exception of California.) It took me a few years, but I've made my peace with it.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:20 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

They should go to Green Bluff for seasonal produce. A lot of it is pick-your-own I think, but the prices are great and it's a lovely experience.

For great coffee and breakfast treats, check out the Rocket (multiple locations). Also Thomas Hammer coffee is SO GOOD.

Sorry I don't know anything about bread.
posted by purple_bird at 9:28 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh! It just occurred to me--I wonder if they are looking at the farmers' markets here through Midwestern eyes? Our summer has been unusually cool this year, and even if it weren't, our growing season starts much later than it does in the Midwest. They might be expecting tomatoes or corn by late July in Ohio, for example, but we're still on cherries and berries and haven't even hit peaches yet here in Washington. Peak produce for us is mid to late August/early September. If this is the case, they might try the markets mentioned here again in mid-August and reevaluate!
posted by stellaluna at 10:52 AM on July 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

And there is Manito Park itself. It was designed by the Olmstead Brothers, renowned landscape architects. The rose garden is wonderful, and in spring the lilac garden is a little bit of heaven. If they like horses, your friends might enjoy Spokane Trail Rides. Gonzaga University has a beautiful campus. The Spokane River Centennial Trail is 60+ miles of dog-friendly, car-free trails.

Washington is now the second largest producer of wine in the US and has 14 AVAs (American Viticulture Areas aka appellations. Your friends might want to consider getting a Priority Wine Pass.

And the wine! Kerloo Cellars produces small lots of terrific wines, most at reasonable prices. They make the best Syrah I have ever had although they aren't giving it away.

Commellini Estate is an event venue that also offers cooking classes that get rave reviews.They also participate in the Kendall Yards Night Market on Wednesday nights. There are several other farmers markets around Spokane. Perhaps a different one will be better for your friends. They might consider checking out Local Harvest for CSAs, farmers markets, farms to visit, etc.

The area around Spokane is rich in black gold - wild mountain huckleberries (vaccinium membraneceum), also called black huckleberries. Once you taste them you'll never go back:

"To many people raised in the Pacific Northwest wild mountain huckleberries have a mythical status. Without the adventure required in acquiring them, wild mountain huckleberries would not have the same eminence. In order to find out why these berries are so remarkable you must first convince a huckleberry hound to bring you on an arduous journey to a remote and confidential location of a prized berry patch. High up in the thin mountain air with the summer sun beating down, you must brave competing with bears craving the same bounty and suffer constant intrusions from horseflies hungry for your blood. All the while you must laboriously pick each individual berry while resisting the urge to eat them immediately. Once you endure these great lengths and finally taste a freshly plucked wild mountain huckleberry for yourself you could become enchanted with huckleberry fever."
posted by Altomentis at 3:57 PM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! I can't wait to visit them.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2019

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