You might not know this, but Spokane has an epic pizza scene. If you’re a fan of a beautiful crust, savory sauces and toppings that seem to have been placed by God almighty himself then a trip to Spokane is absolutely the destination for you.
Whenever I take a trip, I ALWAYS look for a local pizzeria to see if the local scene measures up. Despite the screams from my bathroom scale, I’ve yet to be satisfied. Generally, whenever I take a trip, I come home craving the sweet tastings of Spokane. If you’re a visitor then welcome, I hope that you find our streets are paved with mozzarella. Our streets here are horrible so maybe you might think you’re actually driving over a bleu cheese crumble instead. Yet, I assure you that if you follow my handy pizza guide, you’ll end up in the top 3 pizza spots in Spokane.
First Up: The Monterey Café
This is a downtown hotspot that has an awesome local pie. They even have some painted pizza paddles on the ceiling that have been created by local artists. A taste of pie with some culture, what more could you ask for? They not only have most UFC events on their several televisions you can watch for free but shhhhh…they have been voted as the best karaoke bar in Spokane several years running. I’ve been there during one of their many busy nights and it’s amazing to see everyone in the place with a smile on their face.
Great and not so great singers make the beer a little colder and the pizza a bit more scrumptious. They have a full bar and great bartenders that can mix up that special something you never knew you’d love.
This place has several pizzas worthy of being crowned Spokane’s best. This is a traditional pie with a nice crust. No kidding, dip the crust in their home-made ranch dressing. I thought it was weird, but folks come in and eat the entire pizza, kids will even eat the crusts, often coating them with the ranch dressing. Personally, I’m not too ashamed to have a shot of ranch with a whiskey chaser. Again, there’s a reason my scale hates me. There are your traditional favorites along with some unique pizzas that beg to be ordered. There aren’t too many places where you can find a pizza called the Obi-Juan. The buffalo chicken nachos are pretty tasty too. Go too hard on fried foods over the weekend? There’s an epic salad menu as well. Pair this with daily specials and an 8-9 power hour that has killer deals and you’ll be partying like a local in no time. Not ready for a full pie, they sell slices all day until close.
Second: The Park Inn on the South hill
This place has a restaurant side and an epic bar on the other. This is not a place for the trendy set. It is, however, a local institution. Settled amongst the hospital district this local spot is a favorite for pizza lovers across Spokane and even recently was awarded Washington State’s best fried chicken. I can never not order the pizza, so we’ll have to wait for another article and a budget code from the boss for me to test that. They have free popcorn and who would’ve thought that a basket of popcorn would be the perfect appetizer for the lactose laden piece of art that is being birthed in the kitchen.
By the time you order you can hit up a few games of pinball before the pizza arrives. They have had some of the best pinballs I’ve ever played, and they rotate them frequently.
Now to the pie, this is really a one-of-a-kind experience. The crust is a very thin crust… very… not too crispy either. The reason why, the mountains of toppings. I’ve never had a pizza with this much cheese on it before. The pie is cut in a criss cross pattern, so you won’t get the wedge. This pizza is best eaten with a fork too. You get a pass for that when you’re here. It’s a safe space. While there are ample amounts of cheese, the other toppings are plentiful as well. The toppings are hidden under a blanket of cheese which makes you think they forgot to add them. Don’t be fooled, the magic is in the middle. YUM!!! A large pizza can serve 3 hungry adults and leave them so full that they’ll be arguing over who is gonna finish the pie. While somebody takes one for the team, the others are punching a new hole in their belt. The pie is greasy too. Not greasy bad but greasy awesome. This is one of those places that folks sleep on due to it not looking like a pizzeria. Don’t judge a book by its cover. This is a place you need to stop by and enjoy. Manito Park is just a few miles down the road, enjoy a walk and try to work all that cheese out of your system.
Finally: Market Street Pizza
This place was a shock to me, I’m not gonna lie. I wasn’t one to believe the hype, so I had to visit it once. Then I had to visit it a second, third and 47th time just to be sure I liked it. For my money the pepperoni pizza here is the best I’ve ever had. EVER!!! This spot is a little tricky to get to, but the journey is worth the effort. Nestled between the outskirts of Hillyard and Spokane Community College this not so little pizzeria on the bend is a weekly destination for me. Upon walking in, the arcade to your left is filled with a mix of video games and ticket spitting games of chance. There are several tables in there and birthday parties are always welcome. I got to celebrate with my new best buddy, Landon’s, 10th birthday. I love chocolate cake and a fat dude has no shame. Birthday party crashing is my new jam.
Upstairs there is a fantastic room that is available with a capacity of up to 100 people. It has its own bar and a local group of 49er fans gather weekly during the season to cheer on their slow and miserable team. GO HAWKS!!! The cost of renting it out… Just spend $300 on the room and it’s free. That’s a deal that can’t be beat. Family reunions, receptions or parties, it’s private and all yours with a reservation.
The salad bar is standard but looks tasty. I don’t understand why you’d fill with greens when there is pizza to be had Garrrr. The bar is staffed by friendly folk with liquor and a variety of local and macro brews. The menu has a great mix of appetizers and though I just thrashed veggies, the fried pickles are the best I’ve ever had. Another local favorite on the appetizer menu is the fry bread. If you’re expecting Native American fry bread as I was, you’ll be in for a surprise. The Italian Garlic fry bread here is a completely different thing. It’s pizza dough that has been fried then topped with a garlic aioli, aged mozzarella, parmigiana, fresh basil and garlic confit then served with a fantastic marinara sauce. It truly is a meal unto itself.
There are nearly 2 dozen specialty pizzas along with your traditional pies as well. While I’ve had the ham/pineapple and the carnivore, man I’ve gotta tell you… you can’t beat the classic pepperoni. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best g-golly gosh darn pepperoni pizza I’ve ever had. Every time. The crust is in between a thin and regular crust. Crispy and topped with an epic sauce. This pie has the perfect amount of cheese and there’s no need to ask for extra pepperoni. I love the “roni” so I understand that more is usually best. However, this pizza has the pepperoni count totally nailed though. The pepperoni are the cute little grease cups that fill with liquid deliciousness during the baking process. There’s a genius crunch when you bite your slice and it’s twofold from the crust then the pep. Soooo good. When the pie hits your table give it a minute to rest. Thank the good Lord for giving you a literal slice of heaven. This will also allow time so that you don’t burn your mouth on this freshly cooked pizza. This truly is Spokane’s best pepperoni pie. No Question about it.
There you have it. If you’re a local looking for a new discovery or a tourist looking for some good eats, then please visit each of these locations. You’re going to get a different dining experience and a completely different type of pie altogether. That being said, you can eat pizza 3 times in a week and not get bored of it. And remember if you head to the Monterey Café… get the ranch!