Best Of

Best of Drink Local & Nightlife

Best All-Around Bar
THE VIKING
After 40 years in operation, the Viking still strives to be the best. And honestly, "Best All-Around Bar" is a fitting title. Looking for a wide variety of draft options? It boasts 24 taps of microbrews, cider, hard seltzer and even kombucha. Need something a little more boozy? How about some very affordably-priced craft cocktails. Hungry? The food is no joke either. (DH)
2nd PLACE: Durkin's Liquor Bar
3rd PLACE: Bistango Martini Lounge
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The Oval Office, Post Falls

Best Beer Bar
COMMUNITY PINT
There's something to be said about a spot earning a Best Of nod each year since it opened. Still, it's technically a new honor for owners Rachel Nalley and Joss Tribble, who took over the craft beer destination last year. Take it as proof that even under new ownership, nothing beats Community Pint when you're thirsty for hard-to-find regional beer (on tap and in cans to go) or any of the other options they carry — cider, hard seltzer and nonalcoholic beverages. (DH)
2nd PLACE: Manito Tap House
3rd PLACE: The Viking
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Capone's Pub & Grill; Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Post Falls

click to enlarge Garland Brew Werks quickly made a lot of friends and fans when it opened. - DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Derek Harrison photo
Garland Brew Werks quickly made a lot of friends and fans when it opened.

Best New Brewery (Opened in the Past Year)
GARLAND BREW WERKS
In summer 2021, to nearby residents' delight, the Garland District welcomed the neighborhood's first craft brewery. Owners TJ and Sarah Wallin, formerly of Community Pint, brought on experienced local brewer Adam Boyd and chef Sheila Clifford. From sour beers to hazy IPAs to nonalcoholic root beer, which can be paired with flatbreads, bratwurst and more, Garland Brew Werks offers a chill spot to hang, either inside its spacious, all-ages taproom or out on the patio. (CS)
2nd PLACE: No Drought Brewing Co.
3rd PLACE: Chalice Brewing, Coeur d'Alene

Best Bloody Mary
1898 PUBLIC HOUSE
We all love to ogle pictures of insanely constructed bloody marys that come with, say, an entire gyro somehow attached alongside the asparagus spears and pickled green beans. Our readers' favorite bloody isn't afraid of toppings — Cajun prawns and peppered bacon are among the optional additions — but the basic at 1898 Public House doesn't need a lot of distractions to get the job done at brunch. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Bark, A Rescue Pub
3rd PLACE: Boombox Pizza
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Honey Eatery & Social Club, Coeur d'Alene

Best Wine Bar
NECTAR WINE AND BEER
Nectar Wine and Beer has a lively vibe that's hard to beat. With a weekday happy hour (Mon-Fri from 2-5 pm), Tuesday game nights, Thirsty Thursday Tastings and other events, guests have ample opportunity to try wine and beer selections from all over the Pacific Northwest. The bar also offers wine and beer club memberships with discounts, and never-ending happy hour specials. You'll be a regular in no time! (LB)
2nd PLACE: LeftBank Wine Bar
3rd PLACE: Whim Wine Bar
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Vine & Olive, Coeur d'Alene

click to enlarge Hogwash makes a mean Old Fashioned. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Hogwash makes a mean Old Fashioned.

Best Old Fashioned
HOGWASH WHISKEY DEN
Whiskey's in the name, so it's clear that Hogwash — the tucked-away basement bar inside the historic Washington Cracker Co. building — knows how to do it right. Whether you like your Old Fashioneds traditional or with a twist, Hogwash's bartending team, led by longtime cocktail expert Simon Moorby, can fulfill your fancy. Order off the menu, pick your bourbon, syrup and bitters, or leave it to Moorby and crew to surprise and delight. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Durkin's Liquor Bar
3rd PLACE: Wooden City Spokane
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Sawmill Grille & Spirits, Post Falls

Best Local Winery & Best Wedding Venue
ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS
It's no surprise to find Arbor Crest perched at the top of this year's winners list, much like its cliffside winery location known for providing visitors the ideal background in which to enjoy a glass of its signature Bordeaux wines. The winery makes good use of this setting by hosting tastings, concerts and other events that showcase its "balanced and food friendly" wines alongside gourmet foods prepared by local chefs. Really, what's not to love? (LB)
BEST LOCAL WINERY
2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery
3rd PLACE: Latah Creek Wine Cellars
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Coeur d'Alene Cellars
BEST WEDDING VENUE
2nd PLACE: Manito Park
3rd PLACE: Beacon Hill Events
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Hagadone Event Center, Coeur d'Alene

Best Craft Cocktails
DURKIN'S LIQUOR BAR
With its speakeasy-like basement lounge and a name honoring one of early Spokane's booze barons, Jimmie Durkin, this downtown bar has a vintage vibe and the drinks to back it up. You'll always find a lineup of classic cocktails on Durkin's menu, but its skilled bartending team truly shines with their creative mashups and brand-new concoctions that come and go with the seasons, or on a whim. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Bistango Martini Bar
3rd PLACE: Hogwash Whiskey Den
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The Bee's Knees Whiskey Bar, Hayden

click to enlarge Baby Bar's Patty Tully: Simply one of our favorite people in Spokane. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Baby Bar's Patty Tully: Simply one of our favorite people in Spokane.

Best Tiny Bar
THE BABY BAR
Local institutions don't come much cooler than the Baby Bar. Combine a killer jukebox, all-its-own decor and uber-friendly folks behind the bar making the best greyhounds, and you have a must-stop for locals and out-of-towners alike. Throw in excellent live music and grub at the adjacent Neato Burrito, and a dedication to preserving the health of their clientele during the pandemic (requiring vaccinations to enjoy the scene), and you have our readers' favorite diminutive drinking spot. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Bijou
3rd PLACE: Bon Bon

Best Happy Hour & Best Salads
TWIGS BISTRO & MARTINI BAR
With one of the earliest starts to happy hour — daily from 3 to 6 pm and again from 9 pm to close — Twigs is a natural choice for those seeking to unwind with a bite and a beverage while beating the crowds. Shareable plates during happy hour are all $12 and under, with beverage specials from $5 to $10. Craving something a little healthier? With seven generously portioned house salads that can be customized by adding a choice of protein, diners can find balance in indulgence. (CS)
BEST HAPPY HOUR
2nd PLACE: MAX at Mirabeau
3rd PLACE: The Safari Room
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Terraza Waterfront Cafe, Coeur d'Alene
BEST SALADS
2nd PLACE: Caruso's Sandwiches and Artisan Pizza
3rd PLACE: Spokane Salad Delivery
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Terraza Waterfront Cafe, Coeur d'Alene

Best Karaoke
THE MONTEREY CAFE
A good karaoke place is all about the vibe. You want a place that feels like a casual hang with your singing pals even if you walk in solo. With its surf decor and laid-back atmosphere, that's exactly what the Monterey Cafe provides with its nightly karaoke after 9pm. (SS)
2nd PLACE: The Star Restaurant & Lounge
3rd PLACE: Boombox Pizza
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The Iron Horse, Coeur d'Alene

click to enlarge Um, yeah, Thomas Hammer goes through some beans. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Um, yeah, Thomas Hammer goes through some beans.

Best Coffee Roaster
THOMAS HAMMER COFFEE ROASTERS
Thomas Hammer, the man — nay, the legend — behind this local coffee juggernaut has been at the forefront of the region's coffee scene since, well, the beginning. That Inland Northwest coffee renaissance as we now know it began in the late '80s and early '90s, with Hammer and a few others paving the way. In the years since, Thomas Hammer has grown to nearly 20 locations spread across North Idaho and Eastern Washington. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Indaba Coffee Roasters
3rd PLACE: DOMA Coffee Roasting Co., Post Falls

Best Coffee Shop (Specific Location) & Best Drive-Thru Coffee
WAKE UP CALL, PINES ROAD
Wake Up Call is a go-to for a midday caffeine fix. Its signature espresso drinks include the Abbey, a blend of white chocolate; and the Royal Crush, a combination of dark chocolate and salted caramel. Walk-in or drive through to see what all the buzz is about. (MP)
BEST COFFEE SHOP (SPECIFIC LOCATION)
2nd PLACE: Thomas Hammer, South Grand Boulevard
3rd PLACE: Indaba, West Broadway
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: DOMA Coffee Lab, Post Falls
BEST DRIVE-THRU COFFEE
2nd PLACE: White Dog Coffee
3rd PLACE: Thomas Hammer Coffee


Best Wine Tasting Room
MARYHILL WINERY
"Lovely view of the river and downtown with the ease of Kendall Yards." (Andrea C.); "Love to stop in for a wine tasting with friends." (Patty H.)
2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery
3rd PLACE: Arbor Crest Wine Cellars

North Idaho's Best: Colter's Creek, Moscow

Best Local Cidery
ONE TREE HARD CIDER
"Great taste in every one they brew." (Marc W.); "Delicious cider and equally delicious pizza." (Cate A.); "Love their flavors!" (Lodi J.)
2nd PLACE: Trailbreaker Cider
3rd PLACE: Liberty Ciderworks

North Idaho's Best Cidery
COEUR D'ALENE CIDER COMPANY
"They provide a great local atmosphere that welcomes both new people and regulars." (Joe M.)

Best Local Distillery
DRY FLY DISTILLING
"Best gin around... supplied us with sanitizer, too!" (Sister S.); "New facility is pretty rad." (William S.); "They have delicious spirits and are so generous with our local community!" (McGraw D.); "Great addition to downtown." (Barry W.)

2nd PLACE: Warrior Liquor
3rd PLACE: 2 Loons Distillery
North Idaho's Best: Up North Distillery, Post Falls

Best Bartender
TRACEY TOUCH, BORRACHO TACOS & TEQUILERIA
"She is the epitome of what a bartender should be!" (Zachary W.); "She's been with Borracho for quite some time and is such a light to see when you walk into those doors! She's fast, remembers your drink and makes you feel like you're the only person who matters in that place!" (Karissa S.)
2nd PLACE: Brittany Rose, Red Room Lounge
3rd PLACE: Ryan Crow, Bistango Martini Lounge
North Idaho's Best: Emily Joyce, Post Falls Brewing

Best Trivia Night
BACKYARD PUBLIC HOUSE
"Colin runs the absolute best trivia night out of any other host in Spokane, and in any of the years we've spent playing bar trivia. We love the way he's set up the game. He's our favorite host ever!" (Julia M.); "The host is lots of fun!" (Matt D.)
2nd PLACE: Bearded Trivia at Garland Brew Werks, Lumberbeard, YaYa Brewing
3rd PLACE: Shawn O'Donnell's
North Idaho's Best: Post Falls Brewing Company

Best Casino & Best Bachelorette Party Location
NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO
"So much to do! Much more than a casino!" (Arwen T.); "Biggest casino with multiple amenities. Adults and kids are never bored." (Iva R.); "Kalispel hospitality!" (Kevin Z.); "Because they have the best commercials!" (Kate R.)
BEST CASINO
2nd PLACE: Spokane Tribe Casino
3rd PLACE: Coeur d'Alene Casino
BEST BACHELORETTE LOCATION
2nd PLACE: Borracho Tacos & Tequileria
3rd PLACE: NYNE
North Idaho's Best: Nashville North, Stateline

Previous Winners

Coeur D'Alene Casino Fireworks Show @ Coeur d'Alene Casino

Mon., July 4, 10 p.m.
  • or