This summer, dine al fresco at restaurants with the best views around
By Abigail Thorpe
When it comes to dining during the summer, nothing beats a waterfront setting or incredible view. Whether it be a cityscape, water features or natural outdoor splendor, the view makes all the difference when you’re dining al fresco. Lucky for us here in the Northwest, our towns and cities come alive in the summer months, with a host of options to choose from for enjoying the sun and warm weather while we indulge in a delightful drink or meal. Here are a few of the must-see places that top our list for providing spectacular views, great food and relaxing outdoor dining.
When it comes to exceptional views and fresh Northwest seafood and produce, Anthony's in Spokane takes the cake. Set overlooking the majestic Spokane River along the upper falls in downtown Spokane, Anthony’s offers some of the best views in town of the falls from their bright, window-lined interior and breezy outdoor deck. It’s a memorable meal from start to finish here, with great service, excellent food and unforgettable views.
Settled in the charming South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, Remedy Kitchen serves up a collection of tasty concoctions, from a mouth-watering burger to more eclectic fare, accompanied by some delicious “cures”—or cocktails. The main dining room is fantastic, but it’s the seasonal rooftop that really makes this place stand out. Grab the friends and hit the sunny rooftop for a weekend brunch, or head out for happy hour. Either way, you’ll relish basking in the sun with sweeping views of the upper South Hill.
For upscale al fresco drinks and small bites, head to the Grand Terrace Bar perched atop The Davenport Grand Restaurant and Lounge right in the heart of downtown Spokane. The open-air terrace bar features a tasty selection of craft cocktails, wine and beer, with bites to accompany. The best part is the Riverfront Park views you’ll take in while enjoying drinks with friends, a relaxing after-work refreshment or a romantic date.
Versalia Pizza isn’t just about the mouth-watering, hand-crafted and wood-fired artisan pizzas that’ll keep you coming back for more; the view from the outdoor patio is just as fantastic. Hop in for a delicious lunch or dinner, and enjoy an expansive view overlooking the Spokane River and heart of downtown from the elevated hillside of Kendall Yards. With pizza and a beer in hand, it’s the best way to take in the cityscape.
1898 Public House at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club has been serving up delicious plates since its founding in, you guessed it, 1898. They combine their history with modern flair and the freshest, locally sourced ingredients they can find (they even grow their own herbs), and its views are pretty incredible as well. Take a seat on the outdoor patio for lunch, dinner or the daily happy hour, and enjoy sweeping views of the golf course below. You might even be inspired to set a tee time.
The most scenic way to reach the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Floating Green Restaurant is by the Wooden Eagle Boats that depart from the resort every 30 minutes, but you can drive there as well. As you enjoy a delicious brunch, lunch or dinner, you can watch golfers try to hit the famous hole 14 on the floating green, not to mention the epic views of Lake Coeur d’Alene that alone are worth the journey out.
Bardenay sits overlooking the pond in the Village at Riverstone, and its patio is a delightfully relaxing, sunny place to enjoy the outdoors along the waterfront while partaking in a variety of great lunch and dinner favorites, as well as a broad beer, wine and cocktail list. Whether it’s for a quick work lunch, or to take in the sunset over dinner, Bardenay is an easy choice when it comes to dining options.
Talk about dining on the water ... Cedars is Coeur d’Alene’s famous floating restaurant. Enjoy 360-degree views of Lake Coeur d’Alene where it joins the Spokane River while you dine from a delightful menu that includes daily fresh fish, locally sourced beef and some unique Northwest delicacies.
Started in 2015 by three friends who wanted to bring food, drinks and fun out to the lake, The Buoy began as a floating food truck to feed hungry boaters working up an appetite out on the water. Today, it operates multiple Buoy Food Boats out on the water as well as a lakeside bar and grill in McEuen Park. Stop in for some good old favorites, a delicious beer or blended cocktail, and some fun conversation between your ski runs on the water.
Looking for some epic evening views of Lake Coeur d’Alene? Head to Whispers cocktail lounge at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, and enjoy a specialty list of delicious cocktails while you take in the sunset. Opt for outside seating where blazing fire pits will take the chill off a Northwestern evening, or when it gets too chilly, head indoors and enjoy the view from the window-surrounded lounge.
Nothing beats watching the sun descend over the mountains and Lake Pend Oreille from the expansive tiered outdoor deck at Forty-One South located right on the lake. A gourmet menu completes the night, and there is even free docking if you arrive by boat—which we’d absolutely recommend.
Speaking of boating in ... Ivano's Del Lago at the Beyond Hope Resort, located out on Lake Pend Oreille’s Hope Peninsula, is the destination of choice for many a boater enjoying a summer cruise on the lake. Arrive by boat or by car, and relax on the large deck while you breathe deep, sip a refreshing drink (the coconut lime is perfection) and take in the most relaxing lakefront afternoon views you can find.
Sandpoint has its own floating restaurant, and its food, views and accessibility is the perfect way to enjoy a summer on Lake Pend Oreille. Arrive at The Floater by boat or car, and take a seat out on the large floating deck while you enjoy great food, awesome drinks and a fun view of boaters heading in and out from the surrounding Hope Marina.
After a day splashing in the water at City Beach or out exploring the lake, head into Trinity at City Beach to keep the lake vibes going. Perched right along City Beach with views of the harbor and park, the Sandpoint staple serves up a wide mix of seafood, meats, vegetarian, pasta and other dishes, all accompanied by that ideal lake-style vibe. Opt for a seat outdoors, where you really will feel like you’re still relaxing on the lake.
Guests to Elkins Resort on Priest Lake will be treated to the amazing views of the Selkirk Mountains and Chimney Rock when visiting the resort. The full-service restaurant onsite is open to not only guests staying at the resort but visitors who are looking to enjoy an unforgettable meal. Long-time favorites paired with new flavors ensure an unforgettable dining experience in an unbeatable setting.
Wherever your summer explorations take you, make sure to take some time out to relax at one—or all—of the incredible restaurants that offer the best views of our spectacular Inland Northwest surroundings. Cheers to a fresh—and more normal—summer in our beautiful paradise!