10 Buck Lunch: Where to Eat Cheap in Downtown Spokane


According to staff reports

With prices soaring and the continued upheaval in the restaurant industry resulting from the pandemic, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a good, inexpensive lunch in downtown Spokane. So we sent our reporters out to find a good lunch option for $10 or less. Our only rule: no chains.

Here are some of our favorites.

Soulful Soups

The lunch choices under $10 at Soulful Soups seem endless.

A hearty cup of hearty soup and a thick slice of beer bread is only $7.25. Heck, it’s so low you can throw in a chocolate chip, coconut, and macadamia nut cookie for $1.25 and still walk out paying just $9.26 including tax.

A bowl of soup and bread is only $8.50 and a cup of soup with a salad is also less than $10.

Each day there are nine choices of homemade soups. In a typical work week, about 30 different recipes appear on the menu, said Lauren D’Arienzo, owner of Soulful Soups since 2011.

It warns that its prices, which have not increased for about four years, are unsustainable with skyrocketing costs.

“They’re going to change very soon,” D’Arienzo said. “They needed a change yesterday.”

In just one year, what she paid for a case of cream went from $55 to $77. She uses 10 to 15 cases a week for her creamy soups.

While menu items are likely to go up by a dollar or two, D’Arienzo suspects the price of a cup of soup and a slice of beer bread will stay below $10.

D’Arienzo said she was extremely grateful to have come through the pandemic, although inflation and labor shortages continue to make it difficult to run a business. She often has to work shifts at the restaurant due to labor shortages.

“I still eat soup every day,” D’Arienzo said. “You’d think I’d get over it.”

His favorite restaurant dishes are corn chowder with salmon and cheddar with chicken and broccoli.

Her customers’ favorites, she says, are probably the basil and beer soup.

(And, yes, says D’Arienzo, you can order a cup split between tomato basil and beer cheese.)

Information: Soulful Soups, 117 N. Howard St., (509) 459-1190

–Jonathan Brunt

Versalia Pizza

Salad from a pizzeria. Sounds like a certain “Family Guy” joke, doesn’t it?

Well, Versalia Pizza’s spinach salad hits all the right notes, with its namesake complete with a heap of bacon, mushrooms, a sliced ​​hard-boiled egg and sunflower seeds for crunch. A homemade vinaigrette – sweet, oily vinaigrette style – brings it all together. Perfect for those in an “I want pizza, but I also want to try healthy eating” mood. And it’s $9.

You can also get a slice of pie for between $5 and $5.75, depending on the toppings, so there are options.

Information: Versalia Pizza, 1333 W. Summit Parkway, (509) 389-0029

–Greg Mason

Domini sandwiches

If you’re going to add tax, it’s a little misleading to put a Domini sandwich on a list of places you can grab a $10 lunch in downtown Spokane. But since the popcorn on the table is free, we’ll give a pass to the popular eatery spot that’s been operating downtown for decades.

Domini’s, which has operated in Spokane as a tavern since the 1930s and has been serving sandwiches to hungry downtown workers since the early 1960s, was buzzing on a recent Wednesday. Visitors in shirtsleeves rubbed shoulders with professionals in slacks and ties, all munching on the restaurant’s signature popcorn and waiting for hand-sliced ​​sandwiches piled high by Tom Domini and his team.

The “Tiny,” perhaps a misnomer for anyone unfamiliar with Domini’s one-meat-and-one-cheese behemoths, will set you back $9.20. Domini said the size has been around for several years, and while it’s currently under $10, he may need to revise his prices next year.

“It’s just part of the business,” said Domini, who still operates the store near the corner of Sprague Avenue and Wall Street the same way his father, Al, did for years. after a lunch rush last week. “It’s part of life, you have to adapt to everything.”

The signature orange and white bags the team used to place takeout orders cost Domini $85 for 2,000, Domini said. The blanks he uses now are $218 for 2,000, a 156% markup.

Visitors have a choice of ham, corned beef, pastrami, pepperoni, thuringian, tuna, or turkey for the price of $9.20 (that’s $10.02 with sales tax 9% from Spokane, and you should also tip this hard-working crew). Salami and pastrami are extra. Each sandwich can be served with Swiss cheese, cheddar, provolone, cream cheese or pepper jack. I ordered ham and cheddar on wheat bread with mayonnaise and mustard. Popcorn accompanies the meal.

Don’t just ask for vegetables for your lunch; the only toppers come in condiment jars on the table. Try horseradish for an extra kick.

Domini said he believes the value of the meal has kept visitors coming back for years, noting that you can’t get a burger at many places in Spokane today for the same price as one of his deli sandwiches.

“When they get a fair meal, at a fair price and a fair portion, they will keep coming back,” Domini said.

Information: Domini Sandwiches, 703 W. Sprague Ave., (509) 747-2324

–Kip Hill

My fresh basket

I am a notorious stingy.

Being a stingy, I don’t like spending money on anything, especially food. Most of the time my lunch is a protein shake or scrambled eggs or rice and beans.

But sometimes my commitment to pristine nutrition falters. When weak, I usually go to My Fresh Basket and get a protein puck for about $2.50 and/or the Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Quiche for about $7.

Here’s the reason behind the “Daily Bliss” Protein Puck flavor, which is a puck-shaped protein bar.

It has protein (15 grams), isn’t overly processed (real ingredients instead of artificial nonsense), and it’s cheap (about $2.50). If you’re like me and don’t like sweets, the bar is almost decadent. It’s all oats and almond butter and pumpkin seeds and chocolate.

My reasoning for the quiche is similar. Protein, check. Relatively cheap, check. Tasty, check.

You probably shouldn’t follow my dietary advice. I consider food as fuel.

Information: My Fresh Cart, 1030 W. Summit Parkway, (509) 558-2100

–Colin Tiernan

Satellite dinner and lounge

For a modest breakfast, Satellite Diner and Lounge’s Half & Half isn’t too bad. A half deli sandwich comes with a choice of fries, salad or soup on the side for $8.95.

Co-owner Kimberly Dunham said the late-night dinner has more menu items under $10, but it’s been difficult since meat prices have risen so drastically during the pandemic.

The sandwich comes with your choice of meat (ham, turkey or tuna salad) with cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and pickles on the side.

Two homemade soup options rotate throughout the week. When I went there last Thursday, I chose the tomato bisque over the beef stew. Hearty and a little spicy, the bisque was the highlight of the meal and just enough to dip my sandwich.

“The big deal is Friday we’re making clam chowder in Manhattan and New England, which hardly anyone does,” Dunham said.

With tax, this quick and light lunch came to $9.74.

“So many people don’t go out for lunch anymore because they stay at their desks,” Dunham said. But that’s okay, because several breakfast items served all day — a breakfast sandwich or cookies and gravy — also land under $10.

Information: Satellite Diner and Lounge, 425 W. Sprague Ave., (509) 624-3952

-James Hanlon

Atticus coffee and gifts

Finding a satisfying meal for less than $10 in downtown Spokane proved difficult. After walking around a few restaurants and even struggling to find an appetizer under the double digit brand, I tried the next best thing.

I wandered into my favorite downtown cafe, Atticus Coffee and Gifts, and checked out what products the cafe had to offer.

I chose a plain baguette containing pesto spread, white cheddar and sun-dried tomatoes. I washed it down with an old-fashioned bottle of Coca-Cola.

The baguette was simple but tasty and satisfied my hunger for at least a few hours. Plus, the sandwich and drink are only $9.54 with tax.

Information: Atticus Coffee and Gifts, 222 N. Howard St., (509) 747-0336

–Garrett Cabeza

Café and Pastry of the Madeleine

Served on a soft but crispy focaccia, Madeleine’s three cheese panini is perfect on its own.

Madeleine’s Cafe & Patisserie is a charming deli-style bakery full of delicious smells emanating from the kitchen.

Their hot sandwiches and cold salads make the perfect quick and healthy lunch.

Although there are a handful of paninis and cold sandwiches to choose from, the simple but tasty grilled cheese is my favorite.

Cheddar, Swiss and provolone mingle with tomato, pesto and mayonnaise to make the sandwich both delicious and comforting on a fall day. At $7.50 before taxes, the sandwich is also a bargain. I would recommend enjoying it with a cup of coffee or one of Madeleine’s signature madeleines, a spongy cookie best dunked in your steaming cup of coffee.

The sandwich is also great with a cup of tomato soup, although that would put you over $10.

Information: Madeleine’s Cafe & Patisserie, 415 W. Main Ave., (509) 624-2253

-Emma Epperley


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