“It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a cafe au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.”
– Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast,” 1964
Spokane certainly has its share of “warm and clean and friendly” coffee shops.
This is the Pacific Northwest, after all. We’re collectively obsessed with coffee. Everybody knows that.
The best coffee shops celebrate not only the art and craft of coffee but pay attention to detail in creating ambiance – whether that’s quirky and cozy or sleek and contemporary. They’re friendly and welcoming, too – offering room for cream and sweetness, not snobbishness.
They give people a place to go when they’re lonely or when they need a moment to themselves, respite from the world, a warm-up, a cool-down, a distraction from dreaded items on the to-do list.
Some of these quality and comfy coffee shops offer added perks: buttery croissants, overstuffed sandwiches, an abundance of electrical outlets, free wifi, live music, an adjacent boutique for perusing books and novelties and perhaps blowing off deadlines.
Here are some of the best coffee shops in and around Spokane.
Atticus Coffee and Gifts
Exposed brick and a mural with a shortened quote from “To Kill a Mockingbird” greet customers at this eclectic and comfy downtown coffee shop that’s hip without being hipster, cool without being too cool. The vibe here is casual, friendly and inclusive. Share one of the larger tables just inside the back door or opt for a two- or four-top opposite the counter, where the pastry case features treats – scones, muffins, croissants, cinnamon buns – from local bakeries. Look, also, for French street-style baguette sandwiches in four flavor combinations, an assortment of loose-leaf teas and a small outdoor seating area in summer. Wifi is available Monday through Friday. And loyal customers are rewarded. Atticus offers old-school punch cards; buy 10 beverages, get one free. Be sure to browse titles in the book nook as well as the whimsical wrapping papers, cards, Spokane-themed prints by local artist Chris Bovey, scented candles and assorted mugs and other collectibles. 222 N. Howard St. (509) 747-0336.
Fun and funky, cozy and cool, this galactic-themed coffee shop pays homage to all things celestial, including David Bowie, and, of course, a smooth, balanced and velvety cup of coffee. It’s a hip little hole-in-the-wall, with sci-fi and philosophy books, a welcoming vibe and eclectic beats. Music depends on which one of the three owners is working and runs from Britney Spears and the Beatles to Radiohead, Spoon, Tupac Shakur, A Tribe Called Quest and Queen. Coffee comes from Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters in Sandpoint. Syrups are house-made. Bench seating hugs the red-and-white walls lined with art and floating shelves. There’s spill-over seating in the art gallery in back. 228A W. Sprague Ave. (509) 312-9824. spacemancoffeepnw.com
Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters
This Sandpoint coffee shop and roastery has twice been honored with a Good Food Award, recognizing its efforts to support sustainability and social good as well as for producing a quality product. Opened in 2009 and run by two brothers, Rick and Randy, Evans Brothers started as a wholesale coffee roaster, adding its café about three years later. Now it’s a North Idaho must-stop for coffee connoisseurs. Located in the shadow of the historic granary tower, the shop offers a relaxed and comfy vibe. Decor is a mix of the modern, rustic and industrial. The menu is written on a chalkboard above the counter and coffee bar, accented with barn wood and corrugated metal. Outdoor seating is available in front. 524 Church St., Sandpoint. (208) 265-5553. evansbrotherscoffee.com
Paper and Cup
Newly opened in the Kendall Yards development just north of the Spokane River and west of the Monroe Street Bridge, this charming hole-in-the-wall occupies what used to be the lobby of the Pacific Northwest Inlander alternative weekly. It’s highly Instagrammable – done in pink with white subway tile and glass jars filled with goodies. Indoors, it’s basically standing room only. The shop is super small; it’s an outpost of Chaps Diner and Cake Bakery by business partners Celeste Shaw and Gina Garcia. But there’s sidewalk seating out front. And, in addition to espresso, expect phenomenal baked treats from traditional, buttery pain au chocolat to lemon cloud pies, scones, tarts, brownies, cookies and quiche. Another offering: stuffed croissant sandwiches. 1227 W. Summit Parkway.
Roast House Coffee
This local Good Food Award-winning roastery recently opened its first beverage retail location in Spokane’s Kendall Yards neighborhood – between the produce and bakery departments at My Fresh Basket. Of course, the ambiance isn’t that of a typical coffee shop. Still, the new grocery store was built with a focus on fostering a sense of community; there’s covered patio seating just beyond the front doors as well as a second-floor terrace with spectacular views of the downtown Spokane skyline. Take your coffee there – and maybe pick up a doughnut from the bakery counter or salad from the deli area, too. Roast House’s in-store coffee bar is the third location in Spokane to feature the high-tech ModBar brewing system. (The first was the coffee company’s own warehouse and production facility near the Gonzaga University campus.) Beans are also available to go. 1030 Summit Parkway. (509) 558-2100. roasthousecoffee.com
Indaba Coffee Roasters
This local coffee roaster has two locations: the original spot in West Central with a cozy, neighborhood vibe and the newer, sleeker shop downtown. The first one opened on West Broadway Avenue in 2009, becoming a popular meeting place. Indaba began roasting five years later. And a year after that, in 2015, it expanded to North Howard Street. The downtown outpost offers a contemporary feel with clean lines that are tempered with a brick wall behind the coffee bar and exposed beams. The showstopper is the shiny and chic ModBar brewing system. Indaba was the second local coffee business to install the technology and the first one to use it in a retail, coffee-shop capacity. They also sell beans to go. West Central: 1425 W. Broadway Ave. (509) 443-3566. Downtown: 210 N. Howard St. (509) 413-2569. indabacoffee.com
Vessel Coffee Roasters
The focal point of this newer North Side coffee shop and roastery is a white quartz waterfall countertop with a pour-over station and an espresso machine by Kees Van der Westen of the Netherlands. Decor is modern, minimalist and slightly industrial – with clean lines, exposed wooden beams and a polished concrete floor. Large windows overlook busy North Monroe Street. Biking is encouraged; there’s a rack near the garage-style roll-top door. There’s also a mix of seating in this spacious place: benches, tall and short stools, chairs and even a pair of couches set in front of a gas fireplace. Counters run along the window. And there are communal tables as well as two-tops. Late Sunday mornings and early afternoons are busy with folks stopping by for coffee after church. Vessel is also a popular spot to study and do work. Mainstays are the 509 Seasonal Espresso and Expo Blend, roasted with the French press or even auto-dripper in mind. Buy a bag of beans to go. 2823 N. Monroe St. (509) 290-5051. vesselroasters.com
The spacious, airy, well-lighted South Hill coffee shop features clean lines and a modern vibe. The space, located in a strip mall, features a concrete floor, wood and black accents, and bench seating around the perimeter. There are plenty of electrical outlets, making it a popular spot to study or work. Colorful throw pillows are also provided. So is ample free parking in the lot. Large windows let in natural light. Coffee comes from local roasters. A special treat here is the assorted house-made syrups in creative flavors. Look, also, for assorted hand pies and other pastries. 3223 E. 57th Ave., Suite K. (509) 280-0518. revel77coffee.com
A couple of roll-top doors on two sides of this coffee shop keep the space light, bright and airy. There’s a lot of natural light at Strada, which means street in Italian. The coffee shop is located in a converted oil change shop – the building used to house an Oil Can Henry’s – which might sound strange but it really works with the rustic, industrial chic decor and concrete floor with wood and corrugated metal accents. Of course, the old underground oil-changing bays have been concealed and part of the driveway has been redone to allow for plenty of outdoor seating. There’s also plenty of free parking in the surrounding lot and assorted baked goods. Plan to linger over specialty drinks such as the Cubano latte with Cubano espresso and vanilla, the Felix mocha with Mexican and white chocolate, Turkish latte with vanilla and spice, and star anise latte with caramel and licorice. 1830 N. Third St., Coeur d’Alene. (208) 966-4098. stradacda.com
This modern corner coffee shop – located in downtown Coeur d’Alene and done in black and white and gray with lime green accents – offers a hip yet relaxed vibe. White subway tile frames the chalkboard menu. Seating is a mix of comfy armchairs set around low tables as well as stools which line a counter and cafe chairs paired with two-tops. Chandeliers add to the whimsy and charm. Pastries are kept in glass-domed cake stands. Signature drinks include the honey-lavender latte, chai bomb and Mexican mocha. Look, also, for seasonal specialties such as the huckleberry mocha, s’mores mocha and Hawaiian latte. The name comes from the building’s old bank vault. It was built in 1904 by William Dollar and housed the Exchange National Bank of Coeur d’Alene until 1929, according to the coffee shop’s website, which also offers vintage photos of the place. 324 E. Sherman Ave. (208) 966-4193. vaultcda.com
This hip new coffee shop and roastery – it opened earlier this year – specializes not only in espresso but also Belgian-style waffles which come in both savory and sweet combinations. Look, also, for assorted house-made pastries and seasonal specialty drinks such as espresso with Mexican Coca-Cola and lime. The motto here is “for the people.” The decor is contemporary – done in black and white with dark with accents, chalkboard signs and metal stools. 2102 N. Fourth St. (208) 966-4041. facebook.com/unionroasters
Calypso’s Coffee and Creamery
This eclectic coffee shop in downtown Coeur d’Alene offers a homey, laid-back atmosphere underscored by a collection of mismatched tables and chairs and artwork from local artists on the walls, which are painted different and bright colors. There’s often live music Friday and Saturday nights. Coffee beans are roasted right in the shop. Look, also, for breakfast croissant and bagel sandwiches, avocado toast with tomatoes, French toast and an assortment of pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches. The “Smart Room” can be rented for groups and meetings. 116 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d’Alene. (208) 665-0591. calypsoscoffee.com
Missed a spot? Please let us know by posting a comment on the story online. Or, reach Food editor Adriana Janovich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane, WA 99201. For the complete Spokane Eating Guide, visit www.spokesman.com/eating-guide/