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Best of Spokane 2011: Best Cheap/Casual Eats and Best Pizza

#SpoCOOL / Spokane /

We'll go out on a limb and suggest that Spokane is a town of casual diners. Nothing wrong with that, and it might explain why the "Best Cheap/Casual Eats" category saw the highest traffic in this year's Best of... And this time around, there were some upsets:

1 · Tacos Tumbras
2 (2) Picabu
3 · Chkn-n-Mo
4 · Manito Tap House
5 · Saranac Public House
6 · Vien Dong

Well, now! Five new entries, two of which opened their doors just this year, and the honorable old man of Mexican cuisine itself, Tacos Tumbras, jumped up and grabbed the number one spot.

Many questions surrounds the latter: First and foremost, why wasn't it even in the top six last year? It's Tacos Tumbras! It's awesome! We're glad you all thought the same, and as De Leon has taken a bit of a stumble lately, it's good to see the old king stepping up alongside two other Spokane mainstays, Picabu and Chkn-n-Mo.

Manito and Saranac, meanwhile, have their aims set on the "gastropub" market, and they must be doing something right. Manito, of course, can show off fifty taps of beer, and things have apparently fallen into place after some much-reported initial service-issues. Both it and Saranac are good example of good casual dining in Spokane, and should be checked out by all.

As for pizzas:

1 - Veraci
2 - South Perry Pizza
3 (4) Flying Goat
4 (3) Bennidito's Pizza
5 · Ferrante's
6 · Cafe Italiano

The top four hasn't changed much, and Veraci grabbed the top spot from the start and took this home without ever looking back. All respect to South Perry and Flying Goat too, which dominantly showed they're the ultimate brick and mortar pizza spots.

A pleasant surprise was Cafe Italiano, a SpoCOOL favorite, which grabbed sixth place. The northside pizza shop might be a bit different than the other entries here, but it's a great spot, and deserves any attention it can get.