The best Spokane breweries, bars, nightclubs and more as voted by locals in the Inlander's 2022 Inland Northwest Readers Poll.
The Best All-Around Bars in Spokane
1st PLACE: 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 boozier? How about some very affordably-priced craft cocktails? Hungry? The food is no joke either. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar
Durkin’s Liquor Bar has one of the best atmospheres of any watering hole in Spokane. Craft cocktails and a casual vibe make every night out at Durkin’s a good time. Enjoy a delicious meal at the upstairs restaurant then head down to the speakeasy-style basement bar which serves up unique handcrafted cocktails and relaxed vibes. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Bistango Martini Lounge
In business for over 17 years, Bistango was Spokane’s first martini lounge and remains one of the best upscale bars in the city. This lounge also took the #2 spot in the 'Best Craft Cocktails' category, so you know the drinks will be great. With quality ingredients, classic drinks, premium bar food, generous pours, and a wide selection of martini options, The Bistango delivers every time. (Visit Spokane)
Best Beer Bar in Spokane
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Manito Tap House
Manito Tap House does not mess around when it comes to beer. Boasting 50 different drafts on tap and a certified beer expert on staff for every shift, you are guaranteed to have a quality pour every time you visit. If you’re feeling hungry, Manito also features a scratch kitchen, creating delicious, made-to-order food that is maybe even better than the beer! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: The Viking
The great aesthetics and atmosphere keep you charmed and comfortable while the amazing food and beer keep you satiated at the Viking. Their menu of delicious fries, tater tots, burgers and more pair perfectly with your choice of craft beer and cocktails, making this bar the perfect lunch or dinner option for anyone in the Riverfront Park area. If it’s your first time at The Viking, we highly recommend the Buffalo Chicken Nachos! (Visit Spokane)
Spokane's Best Hotel Bar
1st PLACE: THE PEACOCK ROOM LOUNGE
The jazzy, 1920s atmosphere of the Peacock Room Lounge inside downtown Spokane’s Historic Davenport Hotel is coincidentally fitting for a venue that celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer.
The bar’s name is an ode to famed architect Kirtland Cutter, who supposedly chose the peacock as his favorite animal. The bird is a theme throughout the space, featured most spectacularly in the 5,000-piece stained-glass ceiling at the bar’s entrance created by local artist Susan Kim.
Jessica Dringman, director of marketing for the Davenport Hotel Collection’s properties, describes the Peacock Room Lounge as a dark and moody atmosphere that seems to hold equal attraction for sophisticated travelers and laid-back locals.
“Our hotels have always had a ‘come one, come all’ feel,” Dringman says. “We have something for everyone, and really enjoy being accessible and welcoming to all guests.”
Though known for its craft cocktails — particularly the double martinis — the lounge also serves a varied menu of lunch, dinner and late-night options.
Dringman says the venue’s central downtown location, surrounded by shopping and entertainment, also contributes to its popularity.
“The Peacock Room has always been a favorite for the evening crowd,” she says. “Recently, we’re starting to see downtown coming back to life a bit post-pandemic, and it’s exciting to be part of that rhythm again.”
Since the Davenport Hotels Collection’s recent change of ownership, after longtime owners Walt and Karen Worthy sold their five-hotel portfolio to KSL Capital Partners LLC, Dringman says the transition has been smooth. Each property is working to balance tradition with new ideas.
“Each of our properties have their own unique, established feel and features, so the goal is to keep those intact while also making things fresh and attractive for new visitors,” she says.
“For the Peacock Room that means you’ll probably see us switching up our menus a bit and creating new seasonal drink specials, as well as collaborating with local artists and musicians for pop-up style events.” (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: MAX at Mirabeau
Using the freshest ingredients from local purveyors in both their food options and craft cocktails, MAX at Mirabeau raises the standard for hotel bars everywhere. Even if you're not staying at the hotel, the generous happy hour options and chef's kitchen are reason enough to pay this bar a visit! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: The Safari Room
Located in Spokane's historic Davenport Hotel, The Safari Room has made a name for itself as one of the best lunch and dinner services in the city. As the name suggests, the Safari Room is elegantly decorated with themes of wild areas and exotic animals, making every visit here feel like you've somehow wandered into the plains of Africa. With great food and even better service, The Safari Room is easily one of Spokane's best hotel bars. (Visit Spokane)
Spokane's Best New Brewery
1st PLACE: 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) (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: No Drought Brewing Co.
Opening its doors to Spokane just a few months ago, No Drought has quickly come to be known for the excellent flavor and quality in its beers. While they've only been creating craft beer for 5 years, the brewers here are no amateurs. No Drought has also succeeded in creating a comfortable space for local Spokane residents to rest and relax with friends over a delicious beer. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Chalice Brewing, Coeur d’Alene
Coeur d'Alene's newest downtown brewery has been disrupting Spokane's beer scene, bringing a new level of creativity and flavor to local craft beer. Chalice was founded with the intention of bringing innovation to Spokane craft beer, and the brewers here have done just that. You will find all the familiar favorites on their tap list, but with a unique spin on every beer that is unlike anything you have tried before. (Visit Spokane)
Spokane's Best Bloody Mary
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Bark, A Rescue Pub
The bloody marys at Bark, A Rescue Pub can sometimes resemble a 4-course meal rather than just a simple cocktail. Paired with spicy chicken sandwiches, olives, bacon and the kitchen sink, there is really no better hangover cure in the city than the bloody marys here.
3rd PLACE: Boombox Pizza
If 90's throwback music, killer pizza and spicy bloody marys sound like your idea of a good time, then you've likely already been to Boombox Pizza about a hundred times. If not, let us introduce you to your new favorite Spokane spot. With pizza topped bloody marys and the freshest ingredients in town, Boombox is an easy favorite of Spokane locals when it comes to craft cocktails.
Best Wine Bar in Spokane
1st PLACE: 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! (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: LeftBank Wine Bar
Looking for an elevated nightlife experience in Spokane? With classy live music, a quality wine list, and a relaxed ambiance, LeftBank Wine Bar has become a favorite of locals looking for a chill night out. Check out their rotating wine list that is carefully curated to perfectly match every season.
3rd PLACE: Whim Wine Bar
Pizza, wine, and fine meats and cheeses are all things that are readily available at Whim Wine Bar. Centrally located on the third floor of River Park Square, it's a great place to stop in for a quick glass of wine while you shop your way through the neighboring storefronts. Try wines from local Spokane wineries, or try bottles imported from across the world. No matter what bottle you select, you will certainly enjoy it in the unbeatable ambiance and atmosphere found at Whim.
Best Old Fashioned
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Durkin’s Liquor Bar
Durkin’s Liquor Bar was voted into the #2 spot for not only the best old fashion in Spokane but also the best overall bar in the city. Enjoy a delicious meal at the upstairs diner before heading down to the speakeasy-style basement bar which serves up unique handcrafted cocktails and relaxed vibes. With some of the highest quality whiskeys around, the old fashions here are truly something special. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Wooden City Spokane
With a fresh take on classic American cuisine, the food at Wooden City Spokane is a perfect complement to the fine craft cocktails mixed here. With top-shelf whiskies from across the world. you can design your perfect Old Fashioned, or let one of the expert mixologists here create one for you. If whiskey isn't your drink of choice, this bar also features a wide array of other masterfully crafted cocktails.
Best Local Winery
1st PLACE: 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? (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery
Barrister winery has been creating some of Spokane's best local wine for over two decades and is no stranger to the podium on our 'Best Local Winery' list. Barrister wines feature exquisite tastes that are unique to their brand, with the flavors of Spokane soil ingrained in every barrel that comes out of this winery. If you feel like sampling some world-class wine, Barrister's tasting room is open daily and features live music on most weeknights during the summer.
3rd PLACE: Latah Creek Wine Cellars
Since 1982, Latah Creek Wine Cellars has been the standard for Washington-made wine. Since its creation, this family-owned winery has continued to innovate local Spokane winemaking, producing new types of wine each year along with its acclaimed lineup of familiar favorites. The tasting room is open daily from 9-5 and it's a great place to stop in and grab a special glass of wine.
Spokane's Best Craft Cocktails
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Bistango Martini Bar
Since its inception almost 20 years ago, The Bistango has been one of the best upscale bars in the city as well as the best martini lounge. Taking the podium in the 'Best Overall Bar' category, this lounge has not only some of the best cocktails but the best ambiance and atmosphere as well. With quality ingredients, top-shelf liquors, amazing food, trained mixologists, and a wide selection of martini options, The Bistango delivers premium cocktails at a reasonable price. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Hogwash Whiskey Den
There is perhaps no bar that knows more about whiskey than Hogwash. While the experienced bartenders can craft you any cocktail you desire, they truly shine in their knowledge of rare and exotic whiskeys, along with all your familiar favorites. No matter what your whiskey drink of choice is, the bartending team here, led by expert Simon Moorby, will likely do it better than you've ever seen before. (Visit Spokane)
Best Tiny Bar in Spokane
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Bijou
While Bijou may be the smallest bar in town, its selection of top-shelf liquors and cocktails is not. This tiny bar opens at 8 am serving up freshly roasted coffee, then becomes a full-service bar as the sun sets on Spokane. Bijou supports multiple local small businesses, selling products from local artisans like the Twenty-Seventh Heaven Bakery, Doma Coffee and many of the city's breweries. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Bon Bon
If you plan on catching a movie at the Garland Theatre, don't miss the chance to visit this quaint bar in the same building. While the bar may be small, its charm is as big as they get, with the friendly bartending staff and a welcoming atmosphere. This down-to-earth bar mixes some of the most creative cocktails around, so be sure to try something new if you pay them a visit! (Visit Spokane)
Best Happy Hour in Spokane
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: MAX at Mirabeau
Found at the illustrious Mirabeau Park Hotel, MAX is not only the 2nd best hotel bar in all of Spokane but also the 2nd best happy hour! Sample some of their creative cocktails at the discounted happy hour price, or get some food from their rotating seasonal food menu. Using ingredients when possible from local farmers, bakers, brewers and more, the food and drink here are always fresh and fun with consistently top-tier quality. If you're in the Spokane Valley and looking for the hottest happy hour around, MAX is your spot! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: The Safari Room
It seems all the best happy hours in Spokane are found in hotel bars, as the #3 spot goes to The Safari Room located within the historic Davenport Hotel. The Safari Room has gained notoriety of late as not only one of the best happy hour spots in the city but also as one of the top dining options in all of Spokane. The decor makes you feel as if you somehow stumbled into the plains of Africa, with walls adorned with exotic animals and plants. With a fun ambiance and cheap drinks, the happy hour here is easily one of the best around! (Visit Spokane)
Spokane's Best Karaoke
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: The Star Restaurant & Lounge
The close proximity to Gonzaga University can make the Star Restaurant and Lounge feel like a college bar but with one of the best karaoke setups in Spokane, it's much, much more than that. Top shelf cocktails, daily drink specials, and a lively, energetic atmosphere make the karaoke here feel like an unforgettable experience (depending on how many cosmos you put down while here). If you don't mind sharing the stage with a few Gonzaga students on your night out, then The Star Restaurant is unmatched in the area. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Boombox Pizza
If pizza topped bloody marys, 90s throwback decor and someone singing Blink 182 on karaoke sound like your idea of a Friday night out, then you've likely already been to Boombox Pizza. If you have not yet had the pleasure, then this bar and pizza place combo will be your new favorite spot in Spokane. Karaoke happens every Tuesday and Friday at 8pm, and they even feature a karaoke competition to win $500! (Visit Spokane)
Best Coffee Roaster
1st PLACE: 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. (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Indaba Coffee Roasters
Indaba Coffee opened there doors to Spokane 12 years ago wanting to change the way the city views hospitality. With a mission to love people through the shared love of coffee, Indaba is single-handedly reshaping the standards for coffee roasters in Spokane. Stop in for a quick cup of delicious coffee or take home a bag of your favorite beans, either way, you're going to have one of the best cups you've ever tried! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: DOMA Coffee Roasting Co., Post Falls
What began as a small coffee roasting project in the kitchen of DOMA's founder, is now one of the largest independently owned coffee makers in the area. Under the leadership of the lead roaster, Jim Hottenroth (who holds a degree in chemistry) the coffee from DOMA has been scientifically crafted to perfection. If you want to try a cup in person, their "Coffee Lab" brews up fresh pots of delicious coffee all day long in Post Falls. (Visit Spokane)
The Best Sports Bar in Spokane, WA
1st PLACE: POOLE’S PUBLIC HOUSE
With apologies to a certain Italian chain, when you’re at Poole’s Public House, you’re actually family.
When the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Lisa Poole started the sports bar in a strip mall on East Hastings Road back in 2013, they weren’t experienced restaurateurs trying to reinvent the wheel.
Poole’s motto is simple: “We don’t serve fast food, we serve great food as fast as we can.”
“We give value to people and make them feel at home when they’re here,” says Scott.
And that sense of community is palpable when you enter one of the two Poole’s locations: a newer, flagship location built on the same block as their strip mall starter in North Spokane and a second spot on the South Hill. While the bar’s often packed during Big Sky football games, (the Poole family has a long line of University of Montana alumni, so it’s a Griz game hotspot), Gonzaga hoops games and NFL Sundays, even the weekday lunch scene, have a good vibe.
Part of that is the quality of the food and drinks. With 18 beers on tap (many local) and a menu of elevated sports pub fare, there’s something satisfying for most any taste. The half-pound burgers are tasty stomach-stuffers, and other items have been tweaked for classic preparation to maximize flavor. Scott even goes so far as to taste the chili and clam chowder every time he visits the restaurant to make sure consistency is maintained.
The other key element to Poole’s success is the neighborhood gathering spot the family has fostered. All three of the Poole’s sons have worked at the restaurants and more recently have taken on most ownership duties: North Spokane (Trevor), South Hill (Tyler), and the family’s newly opened Mossuto’s Italian restaurant (Tony).
“It feels like a Cheers kind of place,” says Lisa. “Our kids know everybody, they know what everybody drinks — half the time they have it on the table before they sit down, you know?”
That loyal clientele helped Poole’s through the rough spots of the pandemic. And now that their kids have taken the reins, Scott and Lisa can soak in that vibe as patrons.
“Now we get to be guests when we come in,” says Scott. “I’ll still go into the kitchen and try the chowder, though.” (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Epic at Northern Quest
Epic is Spokane's premier sports bar with premium drinks, food service and more. If you are catching a game, then the 10'x30' HDTV is unbeatable (yes, that measurement means feet). Whether you are just going to watch a game with friends or want to grab a bite to eat, the menu here includes everything from perfectly seasoned steaks to elevated bar fare. (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: 24 Taps Burgers & Brews
Upscale bar food and more TVs than you can shake a stick at are what make 24 taps Burgers and Brews one of the best sports bars in the city. The pulled pork sandwich on a brioche bun is on a level all its own and alone is worth the trip here. However, if you plan on grabbing a few drinks while watching the big game, the happy hour here is also unparalleled in the city! (Visit Spokane)
Best Local Brewery
1st PLACE: NO-LI BREWHOUSE
When you think about a craft brewery, chances are you think about more than the beer it produces. Some people consider the atmosphere of the taproom. Others, the brewery’s involvement in the community.
No-Li Brewhouse might be the perfect representation of all of the above, and then some.
Its beer brings home awards from all around the world. In the last year, No-Li received 42 medals from competitions in England, Germany, Japan and beyond. The Cascade Fog Hazy IPA alone secured five of those accolades from five different countries. Along with award-winning beer, No-Li also produce hard seltzer (Day Fade) and canned craft cocktails (Riverside Drinkworks).
The team behind the brewery and pub also takes pride in their focus on supporting the region through charitable contributions.
“We served over 75 charities last year,” says No-Li owner John Bryant. “We donated and raised about $550,000.”
To close out the year, the brewery launched No-Li’s 25 Days of Christmas campaign, donating $1,000 dollars each day to 25 different nonprofits in Washington and Idaho serving people who are “underserved, under-recognized and marginalized in our community.” Beneficiaries included the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Odyssey Youth Movement and Crosswalk teen shelter, among others.
Bryant co-founded No-Li in 2012 — a re-branding of the nearly 20-year-old Northern Lights Brewing — and Inlander readers have voted it as the best brewery every year since.
“Over the last decade it’s been more than making beer,” Bryant says. “It’s been about a movement and a cause.”
Sitting down to talk about No-Li’s most recent Best Of win, Bryant expressed he’s fortunate to have that 10-year pin. One of the highlights over that timespan, he says, is seeing Spokane “becoming a really great beer city.”
“People are traveling from all around the Northwest to experience it,” Bryant adds. “Not just No-Li, but other breweries, too. I’m proud that we’re helping to foster a larger brewing community.”
In great No-Li fashion, the brewery is working on opening something massive in the coming month — a 4,200-square-foot “Bier Hall” adjacent to its existing pub in the Riverwalk building.
The space previously occupied by Dry Fly Distilling will become what Bryant calls an “authentic, but relevant, European beer hall.” Its brand new bar will feature 20 taps, four of which will pour guest beers from other local breweries. Astroturf-style covering will occupy the back area of the space equipped with indoor games. In the front, a garage door opens to the parking lot and a small seating area.
“It’s really born out of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany,” Bryant explains. “We were able to go there during Oktoberfest and when I left I knew I wanted a contemporized version of this in Spokane.” (Inlander)
2nd PLACE: Brick West Brewing Co.
The enthusiasm and passion for craft beer are matched only by Brick West's dedication to excellent service in their homey taproom. The 15-barrel taproom and beer garden found here make it a favorite for friends and family to gather over a cold pint of masterfully brewed beer, with a seasonal concert series that happens every summer. Discover why Spokane locals voted Brick West Brewing as the second best local brewery in the city! (Visit Spokane)
3rd PLACE: Whistle Punk Brewing
Whistle Punk Brewing specializes in traditional lagers, seasonal ales, and strong ales, served up cold in their cozy taproom. The draft list rotates weekly, so be ready to try something new each time you visit! Found in the heart of the brewery district near downtown Spokane, the taproom here is a favorite of anyone in the area! (Visit Spokane)