I have a confession: I haven’t been a good little capitalist lately. Especially when it comes to ordering food at sit-down restaurants.
Call it frugality. Call it paranoia. Call it whatever you want – fact is, I was perfectly OK standing on the sidelines while others kept local restaurants afloat. I’m only mildly ashamed to admit it.
And then something inside me flipped (read: I got lazy). Now, similar to when COVID-19 was but a twinkle in our collective eyes, I’m comfortable ordering takeout or delivery a few times a month. If I’m feeling extra magnanimous (read: extra lazy), I might do it once a week.
Is there still an inherent risk of getting sick from ordering takeout? Maybe. Do I feel an intrinsic need to support local vegan eateries so we can all get through this pandemic together? You betcha.
So, in no particular order, here are some of the most notable vegan entrees in Spokane and how to enjoy them mostly risk-free.
Yaki Udon Stirfry
Saranac Public House: 21 W. Main Ave., (509) 473-9455; saranacpub.com
Bear with me here as I’m aware how blasphemous this sounds: My favorite stir fry in Spokane is at a decidedly American eatery. I know, I’m ashamed of myself, too.
The fact that it’s vegan is just the cherry on top (just add tofu and not meat, ya blasphemer). It’s a very simple dish, and that’s why it works.
Udon noodles, onion, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts all cooked to perfection and covered in a sweet ginger sauce. Add the grilled Small Planet (a local company) tofu, and you’re in for a real treat.
How to order: Go to Saranac’s website and order pick-up, or order on Uber Eats or Postmates.
Shout-out: Tequila Lime Tacos.
Lime. Tequila. Tacos. What more do you need?
Boots Bakery: 24 W. Main Ave., (509) 703-7223; bootsbakery.com
Yeah, this is more of a dessert, but whatever. It’s somehow still quarantine time, and nothing matters.
While it’s practically an initiation when becoming vegan in Spokane to eat at Boots, I’m not convinced enough people have tried the pumpkin waffle. It’s sweet. It’s spicy (hello, nutmeg). It’s vegan. It’s gluten free. It’s perfect.
And, of course, you’re going to slather it in that chai butter. So now it’s buttery, too.
Like any and all sweet treats, it goes best with a strong cup of coffee. Or a nap. Or both.
How to order: Boots is open for in-person pick-up, but delivery is available, too, through the website.
Shout-out: Any of the pastries.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but even I can’t resist picking up a cupcake or cookie on my way out of Boots. We should all eat more cupcakes and cookies.
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Rut Bar & Kitchen: 901 W. 14th Ave., (509) 824-0883; rootspokane.com
I feel weird even including this on a list since they’re so easy to make at home. But there’s something about not having to turn on an oven that makes them … better?
And what more can I say about buffalo cauliflower wings that haven’t been said already. It’s buffalo sauce. It’s cauliflower. It’s vegan ranch.
I always ask people who are sheepish about trying vegan food if they’ve ever had cauliflower wings. Most have. And if they haven’t, they’ve surely had chicken wings. With enough buffalo sauce, they all sort of taste the same.
If buffalo isn’t your style, maybe the Thai ginger cauliflower wings are more your speed.
How to order: Like all others on this list, Rut is available for pick-up. It’s also deliverable via Postmates.
Shout-out: Fried Not-Chicken Sandwich.
I’m not much of a burger guy, but I do love a chicken sandwich from time to time. And to my knowledge, this is the only vegan one in Spokane.
It’s mostly standard, as far as chicken sammies go, but Rut uses a breading that at times makes it taste sweet, almost like a donut. You won’t hear me complain.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe: 1314 S. Grand Blvd., (509) 321-7090; alliesvegan.com
Let’s keep the buffalo train rolling with the finest vegan pizza in all of Spokane (shout-out to Veraci in Kendall Yards, though, with its vegan cheese).
For my money, you can’t go wrong with buffalo sauce. Put it on a vegetable? Love it. Slather it on a pizza? Even better.
I love buffalo sauce so much that when I get the pizza home, I put a generous amount of Frank’s Red Hot on top before I shovel it into my gullet.
The pizza comes standard with celery (a classic pairing, to be fair), but I always pick around it. Whenever there’s celery on anything, it’s all I can taste.
How to order: Allie’s is open for pick-up, and it also delivers through Treehouse Spokane, a local online delivery company.
Shout-out: The Hot Mess.
I wasn’t not going to give this Spokane staple praise. It’s mac and cheese on top of a pizza (with buffalo ranch).
Small Planet TLTA
Cascadia Public House: 6314 N. Ash St., (509) 321-7051; cascadiapublichouse.com
I think I saved the best for last. No, no, I did. I definitely did.
No matter what I eat in Spokane, my appetite keeps going back to this sandwich. It’s perfection between two slices of sourdough. Tofu marinated in a smoke sauce, butter lettuce, tomato, avocado and a basil garlic aioli. Simple but oh so tasty.
It’s so good I’m convinced people who claim not to like tofu would fall in love after the first bite. After all, the tofu is only as good as the seasoning surrounding it.
How to order: Available for pick-up and on Uber Eats.
Shout-out: Vegan Curry Mac.
The curry mac ran so the TLTA could fly. I’m not much of a fan of mac and cheese, but add curry to the mix? Sign me up.
Like many of Cascadia’s dishes, it’s so good I bet most people couldn’t tell it’s vegan.