Best Of

Best of Drink Local & Nightlife

Order one of our favorite cocktails, the Aviation, at readers' favorite all-around bar, Durkins. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Order one of our favorite cocktails, the Aviation, at readers' favorite all-around bar, Durkins.

Best Barista
HALI PUTZ, WAKE UP CALL, PINES
Hali says that she "genuinely loves" working at Wake Up Call. That positivity radiates to her customers too, who voted her Best Barista in Spokane. Her secret to being such a good barista: "Making a connection with each customer," from the regulars to the newbies. (JM)
2nd PLACE: Abby Waterbly, Thomas Hammer, NorthTown; 3rd PLACE: Sean Edwards, Revel 77; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Michaela Rosenthal, Wake Up Call, Coeur d'Alene


Best Single-location Coffee Shop
ATTICUS
Downtown Spokane truly wouldn't be itself without Atticus. It's impossible to step inside this laid-back coffee shop with its walls papered in pages of To Kill A Mockingbird and not feel like you have found a kind of bookish paradise. It's a cozy home of loose leaf tea, killer coffee and unique, gift-worthy wares. (LG)
2nd PLACE: Revel 77 Coffee; 3rd PLACE: Coeur d'Alene Coffee Co.


Thomas Hammer boasts 20 locations in the Inland Northwest. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Thomas Hammer boasts 20 locations in the Inland Northwest.

Best Coffee Roaster
THOMAS HAMMER COFFEE ROASTERS
With 20 locations in the Inland Northwest (including a brand new spot on the South Hill), Thomas Hammer is a welcome sight to the tired, the weary, the undercaffeinated. For nearly three decades, the local roasters, born out of a barista job at Nordstrom's in the mall 30 years ago, have grown into a beloved local chain. Look for that signature orange swag, and you're sure to smell some great aromas soon. (SW)
2nd PLACE: Indaba; 3rd PLACE: Roast House Coffee; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Doma Coffee, Post Falls


Best Drive-Thru Coffee
WAKE UP CALL
With 10 Inland Northwest drive-thrus, Wake Up Call is the essential stop for many folks on their way to work, heading to the store, or just in need of something to wet the ol' palate. It's times like this recent heat wave that'll make you thankful for the 32-ounce option they offer for their blended and iced drinks. Look for the London-inspired locations (think phone booths) and their similarly London-inspired drinks, from the double-decker mocha featuring chocolate and peanut butter, to the royal crush, which has salted caramel, dark chocolate and pink Himalayan salt. (SW)
2nd PLACE: Dutch Bros Coffee; 3rd PLACE: Thomas Hammer


Best Local Cidery
ONE TREE HARD CIDER
If you're the kind of person who looks for a cider on tap when you go out to local bars, you've almost certainly tried One Tree's extremely popular lemon basil cider. It's a refreshing, crisp, not-too-sweet hard cider that hits the spot on a summer's day. The cidery is also popular for its other creative core flavors such as huckleberry, strawberry kiwi, and staycation – a mix of pineapple and mango. Each of them, of course, feature that underlying sweet adult apple juice. Try their flavors at their downtown cider house or look for them on tap and on grocery shelves near you. (SW)
2nd PLACE: Trailbreaker Cider; 3rd PLACE: Twilight Cider Works; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Coeur d'Alene Cider Co. (see page 50)


Best All-around Bar
DURKIN'S LIQUOR BAR
The competition is always fierce for the Inland Northwest's favorite spot to stop for a pop, and even though so many of our favorites had to navigate forced closures and ever-changing restrictions when they could open over the past year, our readers were certainly ready to belly up as soon as they could. Durkin's Liquor Bar not only has an awesome long bar upstairs where you can sip something delicious while you wait for one of the best burgers in town or a late night fried bologna sandwich; it also has the killer basement bar boasting a speakeasy vibe and intimate setting for softer conversations. Great food, a beautiful space and killer cocktails — that's how you win best all-around bar. (DN)
2nd PLACE: The Viking; 3rd PLACE: Hogwash Whiskey Den, ZOLA (tie); NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Capone's, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Hayden


Best To-go Cocktail Kit
TWIGS BISTRO AND MARTINI BAR
Bars and restaurants were among the hardest hit in the pandemic. To survive they had to adapt. One of those adaptations is the to-go cocktail kit, and a local favorite comes from Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar. You can still order three different types of to-go Lemon Drop kits from Twigs in its Washington state locations. Each kit serves between 13 and 16 people. (QW)
2nd PLACE: nYne; 3rd PLACE: Hogwash Whiskey Den; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: The Bee's Knees, Hayden


Best Wine Tasting Room
MARYHILL WINERY
One of the best things that Spokane has to offer its residents and visitors alike is its beautiful river gorge. At Maryhill Winery's Kendall Yards tasting room you can get one of the best views of the river, and it's just a short walk from downtown along the Centennial Trail. What better way to enjoy a sample of some of Washington's most diverse wines? (QW)
2nd PLACE: Arbor Crest Wine Cellar; 3rd PLACE: Barrister Winery; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Coeur d'Alene Cellars


You can't beat the views from Arbor Crest. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
You can't beat the views from Arbor Crest.

Best Local Winery
ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS
The sort of person who likes good wine, and who can taste the subtle hints of fig or acai or some exotic tree in each and every glass, wants the environment to complement the flavor. And the Arbor Crest "Cliff House" in Spokane Valley — on a cliff above the river — is unmatched in this respect. If you were to imagine the classiest place in the world to take a sip of great wine, you'd likely imagine something like Arbor Crest. That's why the winery continues to take this category year after year. (WC)
2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery; 3rd PLACE: Maryhill Winery; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Coeur d'Alene Cellars


Best Casino
NORTHERN QUEST RESORT & CASINO
In April Northern Quest celebrated its 20th anniversary, and it's safe to say the resort and casino had never seen a year quite like its most recent. The Kalispel Tribe's jewel in Airway Heights persevered through the pandemic like its persevered through its first two decades, its eyes on the future and constantly evaluating how to better serve its customers and the tribal community. Our readers continually vote Northern Quest their favorite casino, and its gaming areas remain unmatched in the region. But Northern Quest is so much more in 2021; it's a dining destination, a family entertainment hot spot, one of the most significant concert promoters in the Northwest and an incredible spa. If Northern Quest's next 20 years are anything like its first 20, you can bet it will keep showing up in the top spot among our readers. (DN)
2nd PLACE: Coeur d'Alene Casino; 3rd PLACE: Spokane Tribe Casino


Best Sports Bar
THE SWINGING DOORS
Every sports bar has TVs. They all have cold beer and probably some hot wings and nachos on the menu. They all have flags, banners and helmets celebrating the local sports teams. So what sets one apart from the competition? At the Swinging Doors, it's the people making the customers' enjoyment their No. 1 priority, as they've been doing for 40 years now. Visit the spot on Francis Avenue for virtually any sporting event, and you'll get a sense of community inside that you just don't feel at most places. The staff of the family-owned spot is there to take care of you through the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, and with the Doors' huge array of TVs and subscriptions to virtually every sports package in existence, you won't miss any action unless you're too busy digging in to one of their killer breakfasts, available any time. (DN)
2nd PLACE: 24 Taps Burgers & Brews; 3rd PLACE: Epic at Northern Quest; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Capone's, Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Hayden

American Original: The Life and Work of John James Audubon @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 19
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