Frank’s Diner, in Spokane, Washington, is the oldest diner in Washington. It began as a dining car on a railroad line in 1906, was located in Seattle from 1931 to 1991, and has been in Spokane since losing its lease. Locals consider it Spokane’s best breakfast spot.
As interesting as the train car looks from the outside, it’s the inside that really shines.
The beautifully furnished interior features counter and booth seating, with an open grill.
From the back:
There’s a history card on each table along with the menus and baskets of condiments. I have never seen Smucker’s Spiced Apple Butter or Apple Jelly before, so that was interesting.
The pancakes are highly regarded and we saw some gorgeous plates going by, but didn’t have room for dessert.
We ordered the half hot turkey sandwich ($9 half, $13 full), the endless soup and salad ($9), and a full-size The Works omelette ($8.75 half, $12.75).
Stuffed with sausage, ham, bacon, onion, tomato, peppers, mushrooms, cheddar, and Swiss cheese, with sour cream and salsa on the side, this omelette was a winner. But the best part of the order was the hashbrowns on the side, with super-crispy brown parts and creamy white parts. Topped with grilled onions and gravy, they were even better.
The soup of the day when I was there was mixed vegetable. It was just average and I wouldn’t get it again. The rye croutons were pretty good.
Both the endless soup and salad and the omelette came with a choice of bread. We got grilled biscuits.
The hot turkey sandwich (which we ordered after seeing it on Roadfood) consisted of a thick slice of roast turkey over grilled toast with gravy, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. The turkey was tender and flavorful. The mashed potatoes were not good – completely tasteless and floury, not creamy. The gravy didn’t have much flavor so didn’t do much to improve the mashed potatoes, and no butter was provided either. We left it mostly uneaten.
On our way out, we saw a real train passing by through the entrance gazebo!
Although some of the food at Frank’s Diner was hit-and-miss, the general experience makes this a place worth visiting. The restaurant’s history and appearance, combined with their commitment to using sustainable, high-quality ingredients and the local community, set this train car diner apart from the rest.
1516 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201