If you are someone with dietary restrictions, allergies, vegan, or are just simply a picky eater, it can be hard finding restaurants and bakeries in Spokane that are accommodating. Luckily in the last couple years or so, many restaurants have been popping up in the community with modified menus. Some of these restaurants include locations like Europa Restaurant & Bakery, Cascadia Public House, and Boots Bakery & Lounge.
Europa Restaurant & Bakery:
Europa Restaurant & Bakery, located in downtown Spokane at 125 S. Wall St., has been accommodating toward gluten-free diners for 10 years now. Its menu is 40% vegetarian and has a majority of dishes that do not require any modifications. With a vast Italian-style menu, its gluten-free pizza and pasta options are very popular.
“People really enjoy our vegan Spaghetti Italia made with a hearty mushroom marina,” manager of Europa Aja Engels said.
Europa makes everything fresh and from scratch so they know exactly what is in its food. It asks that guests tell hosts what you are avoiding and to make sure that everything is accommodated. Europa offers substitutes for its popular items for those with allergies, including options for their pizza crust, focaccia bread, and pasta. To make it easy its menu is clearly labeled for gluten-free and vegetarian items.
“For a less common allergy, like soy or eggs for example, [the guest] would just need to communicate with their server and [Europa] would help them find an appropriate item,” Engels said. “We love to be able to give our guest what they want and try our hardest to not only accommodate them, but make them a delicious meal, regardless of any modifications.”
Cascadia Public House:
Since its opening in 2017, Cascadia Public House, located at 6314 N. Ash St., has continued to make its menu more accessible for vegan diets, since noticing a greater need for vegan options in the community. This need for vegan options began closer to home when the five owners began to develop the menu during the craziness of a remodeling the restaurant to their specifications.
“One of the owners [eats] all plant-based [foods] and when we would take breaks from remodeling and go to lunch there weren’t many options for him to eat in the area, so he ended up eating fries most days,” Jordan Smith one of the owners said.
Cascadia provides options for different dietary needs, but is not allergen-free so if a guest is highly allergic they should alert their server before ordering. With local sourced ingredients from the regional Pacific Northwest, the restaurant is providing food and a space, where people with a variety of diets can eat together without compromise.
“A lot of times there are just one or two vegans in the group or the family and if they want to all go out to eat and have drinks together they all can’t get what they want,” Smith said. “At Cascadia one person can get a plant-based tofu Philly and the other can get an amazing burger with grass-fed locally-sourced beef on a fresh locally baked bun and both be satisfied."
The restaurant emphasized that they are not just focused on providing plant-based options like their vegan Impossible Burger, but are still very much a bar with a diverse microbrew selection and cocktail menu for all 21+ guests.
Boots Bakery & Lounge:
This downtown Spokane favorite is one of the only places in Spokane that is completely vegan and is mostly gluten-free. Located at 24 W. Main Ave., Boots opens its doors to all eaters, respecting any and all dietary considerations. Boots prides itself to be reliable with their allergens, with staff who are very knowledgeable about the food that they serve.
“We started out seven plus years ago being not gluten free but offering options. The danger and risk of cross contamination and/or human error was just too great. We cut gluten out pretty quickly for safety,” owner of Boots Alison Collins said. “We have only one item containing gluten. It is not made on shared equipment or pans and the wheat flour for it is stored upstairs in a bin marked with a skull and crossbones.”
Boots is a perfect brunch spot, being a quick walk from campus. Its serves Pumpkin Waffles with Chai Butter, Frittatas, and Alison’s Breakfast which is a tofu, soybean scramble with nutritional yeast. Boots is pleasured with the fact that it has been able to allow people to enjoy food without worrying about their health or where their food comes from, as Boots sources ingredients from local farmers, speciality online retailers, local bakery suppliers and local grain and produce suppliers.
“Lots of our customers are extremely grateful every day because we are one of the only places they can eat safely—especially baked goods,” Collins said.
Mila Yoch is a staff writer.