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Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sunday is National Coffee Day – let’s elevate the java experience in Spokane

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 28, 2019

This weekend is one of the most important of the year for fans of Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters, Wake Up Call, Starbucks and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, as Sunday is National Coffee Day.

In case you’ve forgotten, Livability announced in May that Spokane is 1 of 10 Unexpectedly Awesome Coffee Cities in the U.S. In fact, the Lilac City ranked No. 2 behind only Tampa, Florida, and Spaceman Coffee Shop was singled out as the coolest café in town.

In honor of National Coffee Day, let’s cast aside the big and small chain coffeehouses – which we all love, so no disrespect – and think about where to enjoy a craft coffee in downtown Spokane.

I asked a cupful, er, a handful of coffee aficionados – they drink coffee so often, their bodies probably contain more java than blood – to come up with a list of top-notch, downtown-centric craft coffee shops in Spokane (maybe because yours truly works downtown). They’re born and raised in Spokane, so you can’t get more local than them.

The challenge to you, dear readers of The Spokesman-Review, is to email me – at – your favorite craft coffee house in Spokane – maybe even outside downtown! – and detail why it’s your cat’s meow, and we’ll write a follow-up if there are enough responses.

Before we get into it, here is a cupful, er, handful of deals on National Coffee Day on Sunday: it’s $1 coffee at 7-Eleven with the 7Rewards app; Circle K is offering a free medium coffee; it’s also BOGO for coffee at Dunkin’; and Krispy Kreme is offering one Original Glazed Doughnut and a free coffee, no purchase necessary.

Meantime, USA Today went all out for its list. Back in Spokane, here are the coffee experts’ selections:

Atticus Coffee & Gifts

222 N. Howard St.; (509) 747-0336

This downtown coffee shop is cozy and chill, features brick walls and friendly service and includes a gift shop. It also boasts local roasters and loose teas available in bulk. What’s not to love at Atticus?

Boots Bakery & Lounge

24 W. Main Ave.; (509) 703-7223;

This funky and mellow café and bar hybrid offers coffee and cocktails, of course, but also baked goods and vegan and gluten-free options. Talk about covering all the bases, and we appreciate it – boots off to Boots.

Caffé Affogato

19 W. Main Ave; (509) 868-0011

Ya didn’t have to walk far from Boots to arrive at Caffé Affogatto, located at the front of Saranac Commons. Nothing is common at Caffé Affogato, including its craft coffee. P.S. I love me some affogato, thank you very much.

First Avenue Coffee

1011 W. First Ave.; (509) 863-9442;

The blend of comfortable space and sustainable coffee advertises “coffee for the greater good” and is Spokane’s first Certified Green Café (Pathfinder Cafe on the South Hill recently became the second). It also is conveniently located only 1½ blocks from The Spokesman-Review.

Ladder Coffee

1516 W. Riverside Ave.; (602) 689-8545;

The brick-and-mortar shop in downtown’s west end – yes, Browne’s Addition – offers specialty coffee, breakfast and lunch. Coincidentally, Ladder sits across from a fire station … and is stepping up in the neighborhood.

Indaba Coffee Roasters

Various locations;

OK, OK, so Indaba, where hospitality meets great coffee, is a small chain in Spokane, but props to owner Bobby Enslow, who grew up in Spokane, attended North Central High School, has two degrees from Washington State University and has lived here most of his life. Local boy does good.

Spaceman Coffee Shop

228 W. Sprague Ave.; (509) 312-9824;

The aforementioned and recently awarded Spaceman Coffee is already cool because it is David Bowie themed, but its coffee is hot, obvi. Spaceman Coffee boasts Evans Bros. Coffee Roasters and great pastries.

Anvil Coffee

304 W. Pacific Ave.; (509) 534-1376;

Anvil’s summer blend, featured at Overbluff Cellars, the Shop on Perry and Rocket Market, was Medium Dark Costa Rica and Medium Light Blue Java. Instructions: Pour hot for lake sunrise, pour over ice for lake sunset. Love it.

Cedar Coffee

701 N. Monroe St.; (509) 315-9321

What a great story: Iryna and Igor Anisimov of the Ukraine opened Cedar Coffee in November 2017. Their corner establishment offers high-quality coffee in a cozy atmosphere near Kendall Yards. Props to Eli Francovich, The Spokesman-Review’s outdoors editor, for the introduction to Cedar.

Rockwood Bakery

315 E. 18th Ave.; (509) 747-8691;

The café is warm and spacious and includes a small patio. It’s a bakery, so of course the baked goods can’t be skipped. A forewarning that Rockwood also is one of the most popular bakeries on the South Hill, so expect a crowd and wait, but it’s worth the wait.

The Shop

924 S. Perry St.; (509) 534-1647

The South Perry District espresso and bakery spot is low-key and compact and also offers craft beer, wine, live music and local art. The eatery serves breakfast and lunch and is gluten-free friendly. We love and support local.

Actually, with a boost from all the caffeine, let’s continue this adventure, fellow coffee-holics:

Awakenings Coffee Bar

545 E. Wellesley Ave.; (509) 489-8073

Is there a better or more apropos name for a coffee shop? Awakenings is a bit hidden, but it’s worth the extra searching. ACB uses locally roasted coffee from Ladder Coffee Roasters to offer “a drink to remember.”

Revel 77

3223 E. 57th Ave.; (509) 280-0518;

Revel 77 serves coffee from roasters DOMA, Victoria and Water Avenue, but, more importantly, it has some of the best-named craft coffee concoctions in town, as well as a creative, fun and inviting website that’s worth, well, reveling in.

Vessel Coffee Roasters

2823 N. Monroe St.;

Here’s a roasting company based in Spokane. Its website says, “We believe in better coffee and better experiences,” but apparently not in a phone number on its website (instead, it’s But we still love and support local.

And congratulations to Deborah di Bernardo’s Roast House Coffee, as seven of its coffees recently medaled in the Golden Bean Awards – one of the largest global roasters competitions and conferences in the world – and Roast House was recognized as one of the Top 30 roasters in the country. RHC and di Bernardo also are the team behind First Avenue Coffee.

Here’s to you, Spokane, with a touch of cream and sugar. To quote FBI agent Dale Cooper from “Twin Peaks”: Now that’s “damn fine coffee.” We should all be so lucky.

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