Best of Everything!

Best Of The City 2013

Graphic by Spokane Cda Living magazine
Write ups by Sarah Hauge (SL), David Heemann (DH), Jennifer LaRue (JL), Laurie L. Ross aka SIP (LLR), Cara Strickland (CS), Blythe Thimsen (BT)

Dust off your finery and break out your dancing shoes, it’s time to celebrate the 9th Annual “Best of the City!” For nine years, Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living has been asking our readers to tell us who is the best of the best when it comes restaurants, events, people places, services, products and more in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area. We hope you will enjoy reading about all of our “Best Of” winners on the following pages. And to our winners, thank you for making the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area one of the best places in which to live!


Dan Kleckner, KHQ
Dan has been calling Spokane (and KHQ) his home since 1985. Starting as a Sports Director and making his way through the ranks to become an integral part of the main anchor team, Dan loves spending time with his family, golfing and volunteering—and we love spending time with Dan! (CMS)
SILVER: Randy Shaw, KREM
BRONZE: Sean Owsley, KHQ

Stephanie Vigil, KHQ
Stephanie must have a huge bookcase in her home filled with awards. We like her, we really do, and so do voters at the Emmys and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Deeply involved in the community, she helps hold us in place like strong anchors should. (JL)
SILVER: Nadine Woodward, KXLY
BRONZE: Robyn Nance, KXLY

Tom Sherry, KREM 2
“Wheather” it’s his accurate forecasts, his community involvement or his effervescent personality, Spokanites can’t get enough of Tom Sherry. Gray skies seem to clear up with him around, and life feels less stormy within his presence. This guy’s a real turkey, too, hosting the annual Tom’s Turkey Drive. He’s clear, bright and warm, just like our favorite weather forecast. What’s not to love?  (BT)
SILVER: Kris Krocker, KXLY
BRONZE: Mark Peterson, KXLY

Dennis Patchin, KXLY
There’s no avoiding it. His voice is as familiar as your favorite uncle’s. If you’re from around here, you’ve heard him. Patchin has covered everything including 28 Bloomsdays and every Hoopfest. For almost 30-years at KXLY, this MVP has been the television and/or radio voice for every team in our region. What can we say – the guy’s got game. (LLR)
BRONZE: Derek Deis, KXLY

It began in the 70s in a basement on the South Hill, broadcasting to a seven-mile radius. Now, it reaches much farther, providing high-quality, artistic, educational, and informational programming to its listening communities. A mix of music and debate, they are the best because they are our voice. (JL)
BRONZE: The Big 99.9 Coyote Country FM

Dave, Ken & Molly,
92.9 KZZU FM
Wait ‘til this hits the airwaves! These three are our faithful friends, who rise under the cloak of darkness to get to the station before we’ve even set foot out of bed, and they put on quite a show. While we’re still staring bleary-eyed into the mirror, they’ve already welcomed a new listener, written a poem, and someone’s tried to win Dave’s money. They’ve won Gold so often, their studio should be papered in Gold Best Of awards. That sounds great! (BT)
SILVER: Jay & Kevin,
The Big 99.9 Coyote Country FM
BRONZE: Mike Fitzsimmons,

Don Hamilton
This guy will shoot anything. Though his equipment has changed over the years, technology can’t replace a photographer’s “good eye.” It can be cultivated or honed, but you must have that “X” factor in the first place to one of the greats. Hamilton has that “X” factor and has the pictures to prove it. (LLR)
SILVER: Dean Davis
BRONZE: Diane Maehl
IDAHO Rocky Castaneda

Harold Balazs
Known internationally for his work with enamel on steel, Balazs has been creating art in a variety of mediums since the middle of the last century. A three-term Washington State Arts Commissioner, Balazs has often partnered with architects and prominent business leaders to create commissioned work for public spaces. (SH)
SILVER: Melissa Cole
BRONZE: Ildikó Kalapács
IDAHO: Kyle Paliotto

Patrick Treadway
Treadway is an artist in just about every sense of the word, acting in theater and movies, doing voiceovers for TV and radio, recording music and sound effects, painting and sculpting, and even making marionettes and puppets. His extensive local performances have been seen at Actor’s Repertory Theater, Interplayers, Lake City Playhouse, and others. (SH)
SILVER: Patty Duke
BRONZE: Tom Heppler

Shawn Vestal
Shawn Vestal published a collection of short stories called Godforsaken Idaho in April of this year, adding to his extensive publication history in literary journals across the country. He is a columnist for the Spokesman-Review and a professor at EWU in the MFA program. (CMS)
SILVER: Daniel Walters, The Inlander
BRONZE: Blythe Thimsen, Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living

Jess Walter
Jess Walter is a weaver of words and his web reaches far and in many languages. Critics call him witty, brilliant, compelling, and a prodigiously gifted writer whose sentences nearly sing. Whether his words make us hum, laugh or cry, we call him the best at what he does. (JL)
SILVER: Sherry Jones
BRONZE: Patrick McManus

Spokane Mayor David Condon
He rocked a kilt at his wedding, eats breakfast with his children before work, and “delivered a 2013 Budget for the City that closed a projected shortfall of $10 million without using one-time funds.” Not too shabby a list of accomplishments. For now, he’s been re-elected as Gold for best local official, but keep up that pace, and he may just break the one-term mayor trend and get himself re-elected! (BT)
SILVER: Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council
BRONZE: Jon Snyder, Spokane City Council
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Mayor, Sandi Bloem

Walt Worthy
Walt Worthy has square feet. We’ve all seen the signs but what exactly does that mean? It’s a clever way of letting you know, there’s office space for lease including the swanky downtown penthouse offices at the Davenport Towers. Walt has square feet all around town to create an intimate office or a spacious world headquarters. (LLR)
SILVER: Jim Sheehan
BRONZE: Kevin Parker
IDAHO: Duane Hagadone


For nearly 40 years, Clinkerdagger has been serving up great meals and a great view; perfect for a weekday gathering or that special night out.  Their American fare menu is a great selection of seafood, steaks, and pasta.  Be sure to save room for dessert. (DH)
SILVER: Wild Sage Bistro
BRONZE: Churchill’s
IDAHO: Beverly’s

In the original tradition of Anthony’s, the Spokane location is a true waterfront experience.  With spectacular views of the Spokane Falls, enjoy the city’s best seafood. Seasonal and fresh, Anthony’s is sure to please from their appetizers to the entrées. (DH)
SILVER: Milford’s
BRONZE: Commellini Estate
IDAHO: Fisherman’s Market

Flamin’ Joe’s
Whether you’re in the mood to have a mild snack, play a rousing game of trivia or send your taste buds into overdrive, this is the place for you. If you’re in a spicy mood, we recommend having a glass of milk handy to keep from bawling like a baby. (JL)
SILVER: Hooters
BRONZE: Wingstop
IDAHO: Capone’s

Churchill’s continues to please the palates of Spokane’s steak lovers.  Serving only 100% USDA Prime, their steaks are dry-aged and hand cut in house. All you have to do now is select your cut and add one of their many toppings.  Be sure to order the Chocolate Sack for dessert. (DH)
SILVER: Spencer’s
BRONZE: Wolf Creek Steakhouse
IDAHO: Wolf Lodge Coeur d’Alene

Central Food
At a restaurant, even the dishwasher daydreams about what it would be like if it was their restaurant. Popular local chef David Blaine made his dreams a reality by opening Central Food in the up and coming Kendall Yards neighborhood. Hopefully this serves as an inspiration to dishwashers everywhere. (LLR)
SILVER: Casper Fry
BRONZE: Clover
IDAHO: Chinook

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
Perennial favorite Twigs hits the list again! It’s no wonder with the prime al fresco dining (at its North, South, and Wandermere locations), as well as their happy hour that features appetizers like butternut squash flatbread and Twigs’ signature fries alongside some of their famous 36 martinis. (SH)
SILVER: Clinkerdagger
BRONZE: Anthony’s
IDAHO: Bardenay

When the lunch bell rings, those working downtown know exactly where they are headed  – Domini’s. Serving Spokane for 50 years, there is no better place for a true deli sandwich served on classic rye with all the right condiments. Remember they are cash only. (DH)
SILVER: High Nooner
BRONZE: Rocket Bakery
IDAHO: Caruso’s Sandwich Co.

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop
Ohh cupcake, you seam so sweet and innocent. It feels like just a petite indulgence. Except when you have two! Sweet Frostings has two shops to fill your cupcake craving; the well-established downtown location and newly opened decadence in North Spokane at Wandermere. Okay, maybe we’ll have another. (LLR)
SILVER: Celebrations
BRONZE: Love at First Bite
IDAHO: Sweet B’s Cupcakes

The Flying Goat
The competition was stiff, but The Flying Goat is the favorite with their artisan crafted pizzas cooked in their woodstone oven. House made dough and fresh ingredients are always a crowd pleaser, whether you select from their classics or one of the many artisan pizzas. (DH)
SILVER: South Perry Pizza
BRONZE: Bennedito’s
IDAHO: Fire Artisan Pizza

If you can’t find a burger you like at Waddell’s, perhaps you should re-think things.  With nearly 20 burgers to choose from, there is always something to like. While famous for the Rube Waddell burger, there is nothing like their barbecue Smokin’ burger. (DH)
SILVER: Crazy G’s
BRONZE: The Onion
IDAHO: Hudson’s

Longhorn Inn
Head ‘em up and move ‘em out to the Longhorn Inn! Whether you’re in search of some juicy baby back ribs or a pulled-pork sandwich piled high, we think you’ll agree that Longhorn has brought “don’t mess with Texas” to Spokane! (CMS)
SILVER: Chicken ‘n More
BRONZE: Red Lion
IDAHO: Porky G’s Southern BBQ

From the roasted beet, to the bibb wedge and every stop in between, we love every crunchy bite of a salad from Luna, at any phase of the moon. Pair it with a glass of something complementary from the extensive wine-list for best results! (CMS)
SILVER: Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
BRONZE: Herbal Essence
IDAHO: White House Grill

Victor’s Hummus
Mind your mother and eat your peas! With Victor’s Hummus (Arabic word meaning chickpeas), the peas don’t roll off the table, they roll across your taste buds in an array of unexpected flavors. Spread on bread or scooped by a chip, eating your peas has gotten a whole lot easier. (JL)
SILVER: Bruttles
BRONZE: Lite House Dressing
IDAHO: Wild Mountain Huckleberry Jam

Wild Sage
We blame it on the Yukon Taquitos, with their chile lime sauce, avocado and salted cabbage, and the White Cheddar Fondue. With ridiculously delicious appetizers the likes of these on the menu, how are we not supposed to become wildly addicted to these fan favorites? Take this sage advice, and get to Wild Sage to try them yourself. (BT)
BRONZE: Downriver Grill
IDAHO: Seasons of Coeur d’Alene

Twig’s Bistro & Martini Bar
The happiest happy hour is at Twig’s, which now has six locations conveniently scattered all over town. With 36 signature martinis and eight varieties of mojitos, Spokane couldn’t keep all this happy to themselves. You can also find this hometown favorite in Yakima, Kennewick, North Seattle, Tigard, OR and soon in Salt Lake City. Happiness is contagious. (LLR)
BRONZE: Clinkerdagger
IDAHO: Cedar’s Floating Restaurant

Thai Bamboo
Spokane’s craving for Thai food seems to have been satisfied and well served at Thai Bamboo. The casual atmosphere offers a large menu of authentic and great tasting dishes. Whether you’re looking for a simple Phad Thai lunch or something a little more exotic, you’ll find it at Thai Bamboo. (DH)
SILVER: Bangkok Thai
BRONZE: Linnie’s Thai Cuisine
IDAHO: Thai Bamboo, Coeur d’Alene

The line to get a table says it all. Spokane is willing to wait to get their fix of an array of sushi rolls, sashimi, and hand rolls at downtown’s  Fresh ingredients, friendly staff, and their “artful presentation” is why they’re the favorite.  (DH)
SILVER: Ginger Asian Bistro & Sushi
BRONZE: Wave Sushi & Island Grill
IDAHO: Syringa

Max at Mirabeau
The lounge feel and great décor are just an introduction to the Max experience, but still don’t prepare you for the very extensive menu. Offering one of the largest appetizer lists in town, there are also plenty of steaks, seafood, and salads for your entrée needs. (DH)
SILVER: Ambrosia
BRONZE: Hay J’s Bistro

While a newer addition to the restaurant scene of Spokane, Clover has been quickly embraced for its fresh locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes. A seasonally inspired menu and classic cocktail creations continue to make Clover a favorite, earning customers “plate by plate”. (DH)
SILVER: Tomato Street
BRONZE: Mamma Mia’s

With a commitment to locally-grown food and a elegant décor that’s right out of magazine it’s no wonder this delicious place is tops on the South Hill. Chefs snip fresh herbs from the garden, next door is their bakery and the wine selection is one of the finest and largest in our region. Whether you reserve the garden room for an intimate dinner party, dine on the oasis of a patio or simply dine in the main restaurant, you’re going to like it there. (LLR)
SILVER: Casper Fry
BRONZE: Lindaman’s

Masselow’s at Northern Quest Casino
It’s become clear that many are headed to Northern Quest Casino, not for the games, but for an exceptional dining experience. Masselow’s regionally influenced contemporary cuisine is combined with a fine dining atmosphere, while still offering an intimate experience, that keeps you coming back. (DH)
SILVER: Italian Trattoria
BRONZE: Central Food

The soft lighting and incredible views of Lake Coeur d’Alene make it easy to see why Beverly’s is North Idaho’s favorite. Starting with their seafood bar, moving through the selection of one of the many entrées, to finishing with dessert, dining at Beverly’s is an evening event.  (DH)
SILVER: Angelo’s Ristorante
BRONZE: Fleur de Sel

Gordy’s Sichuan Café
No website available
No website, no frills, Chef Gordy Crafts is all about delivering the best Chinese dishes in town and the loyal customer base is happy for that. Gordy’s menu presents a good selection of authentic dishes, but as the loyalist know – be sure to ask for a recommendation from the kitchen. (DH)
SILVER: China Dragon
BRONZE: Red Dragon
IDAHO: Dragon House

Mustard Seed Asian Cafe
It’s easy to see why Mustard Seed Asian Cafe is the favorite, with a creative and stylish menu that combines fresh ingredients and house made sauces with the flavors of the Far East for the Pacific Northwest, all served in a casual comfortable atmosphere. (DH)
SILVER: Gordy’s
BRONZE: Thai Bamboo
IDAHO: Bonsai Bistro

Pho Van
No website available
If what you need is a hot bowl of soup made from rice noodles, herbs, meat and lots of flavor, then follow the fans of Vietnamese style Pho to Spokane’s favorite restaurant Pho Van. You’ll find plenty of options, including chicken and shrimp. (DH)
SILVER: Vien Dong
IDAHO: Pho Than

Rancho Chico
You don’t have to fly south of the border to get great Mexican food. Rancho Chico’s traditional style Mexican dishes will satisfy your craving without leaving Spokane.  Their menu includes an offering of traditional dishes, that include Arroz con Pollo and Chile Verde, to dine-in or carry-out. (DH)
SILVER: Azteca
BRONZE: Casa De Oro
IDAHO: Mexican Food Factory

Italian Kitchen
The intimate dining room, warm hospitality, and a great authentic Italian menu are why food lovers keep coming back to this Spokane tradition. If you can’t make it in to sample one of their specialty pasta dinners, let them come to you, as they offer a complete catering menu too. (DH)
SILVER: Tomato Street
BRONZE: Luigi’s
IDAHO: Tony’s on the Lake

Just head north on Monroe and you will find the city’s favorite Greek restaurant, Azar’s.  The menu is a collection of great Greek classics like Spanakopita and Gyros, served with fresh pita bread; and don’t forget about the belly dancers on Friday nights. (DH)
SILVER: White House
BRONZE: Olympia

Taste of India
No website available
Where can you eat every day and find a different collection of flavorful dishes other than this year’s favorite Indian restaurant, Taste of India.  The buffet is a collection of classic Indian dishes, and not just curry style, all served with naan bread that is freshly baked onsite. (DH)
SILVER: Top of India
BRONZE: Swagat Indian Cuisine

Since its opening in 1996, Mizuna has been making vegetarian dishes that “nourish both body and spirit.” True to that spirit, today Mizuna continues to offer a completely separate menu for those guests dining vegetarian and vegan, all carefully prepared under strict kitchen guidelines that make Mizuna a city favorite. (DH)
SILVER: Café Mac
BRONZE: Queen of Sheba
IDAHO: Garnet Café

Rocket Bakery
There are nine locally owned and operated Rocket bakeries housed in various area neighborhoods. All the locations are different, unique and many in repurposed historic buildings. It’s like Starbucks used to be before they got all corporate and stuff. We are thrilled that the coffeehouse experience is alive and well, thanks in part to the Rocket. (LLR)
SILVER: Dutch Bros.
BRONZE: Chairs
IDAHO: Calypso’s Coffee

Old European
German Potato Pancakes, Dutch Babies, Swedish Crepes—at Old European, everything is delicious, and everything is made from scratch. Don’t miss the beloved Danish Aebelskievers (ball pancakes cooked in a cast iron skillet over an open flame), and whatever you get, pair it with a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ. (SH)
SILVER: Frank’s Diner
IDAHO: Garnet Café

Oh Clinks, you still know how to make us swoon. Like an old, yet familiar ex-lover, it a place to return to. Upon arrival, a cozy fireplace greets you, helping set the mood. The lights are soft and low and some of the tables tucked away for semi-private dining. The delicious cuisine, handcrafted drinks, attentive service and an unmatched view of the falls make Clinks a “sure thing.” (LLR)
BRONZE: Mizuna
IDAHO: Beverly’s

Rocket Bakery
It’s time to blast off at the Rocket Bakery, where you are automatically a “rocket scientist” just for your discerning taste as you walk in the door! Fresh baked pastries, quiches and scones (oh my!) paired with gourmet coffee, will keep you fueled for inner and outer space! (CMS)
SILVER: Petit Chat
IDAHO: Bakery by the Lake

Dessert classics make up the bulk of Clinkerdagger’s sweet offerings. Burnt cream, key lime pie, bananas foster sundaes and seasonal fruit cobbler are a few of the highlights. If your sweet tooth prefers liquids to solids, try a salted caramel martini. (SH)
SILVER: Europa
BRONZE: Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
IDAHO: Grille from Ipanema

Golden Corral
Mosey on over to the Golden Corral for down-home comfort food (no wrangling required). Cowboys, girls and pokes will all find plenty to tempt their tastebuds for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as many times as you can say “all you can eat.” (CMS)
SILVER: River’s Edge, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
BRONZE: Timber’s Creek
IDAHO: High Mountain Buffet, Coeur d’Alene Resort & Casino

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
With 36 signature martinis, Twigs not only takes the gold for best martinis, but perhaps also for most martinis! The Basil Trance, with Finlandia Tangerine Vodka and Hpnotiq Passion Fruit Liqueur muddled with fresh basil and cranberry juice may be our favorite, but we can’t forget the Bellini Tini, or the Well Mannered Dirty Martini, or the – never mind, we’ll take them all! (BT)
SILVER: Bistango
IDAHO: Seasons of Coeur d’Alene

Whether you are craving Malbec on a Monday, Syrah on a Saturday, or, any other wine any other day, Luna is where you want to be. With their elegant surroundings in a historic neighborhood building on Perry & 57th, beautiful covered patio and intimate bar, there are almost as many places to drink wine at Luna as there are bottles in their well stocked cellar – which is visible through an in-floor glass window. (BT)
SILVER: Left Bank Wine Bar
BRONZE: Italian Kitchen
IDAHO: The Cellar

Manito Tap House
This locally owned eco-friendly gastropub is the first 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant in Spokane. Their décor is uber cool and their 50 beers on tap run the gamut of shades and flavors including Big Sky Moose Drool, Iron Goat Trashy Blond, and Laughing Dog. (JL)
SILVER: The Viking
BRONZE: Flying Goat
IDAHO: Capone’s

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
Perennial favorite Twigs hits the list again! It’s no wonder with the prime al fresco dining (at its North, South, and Wandermere locations), as well as their happy hour that features appetizers like butternut squash flatbread and Twigs’ signature fries alongside some of their famous 36 martinis. (SH)
BRONZE: Clinkerdagger
IDAHO: Kelly’s Irish Pub and Grill

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
Ahh, sipping wine outdoors, while listening to live music is the ideal way to experience Arbor Crest. This last season there were 45 musical ways to set your soundtrack for the summer. For wine, try Dionysus, a blissful red-blend named after the god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy or the luscious Sauvignon Blanc, which is a perfect pairing for a impromptu picnic. (LLR)
SILVER: Townshend Cellar
BRONZE: Barrister Winery
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Cellars

O’Doherty’s Irish Grille
When one of the items on the menu is Guinness beer-battered fish and chips, you know why O’Doherty’s is a favorite. A menu of freshly made classic pub favorites is what O’Doherty’s offers along with a good beer and great company. (DH)
SILVER: Post St. Ale House
BRONZE: Manito Tap House
IDAHO: Capone’s

Froyo Earth
Temptation runneth over upon entering the doors of Froyo Earth, the yogurt capital in our hearts. Eyes glaze over at the array of toppings, and minds go into mini-meltdowns trying to calculate all the ways to combine toppings and flavors. The best part? Guilt levels are so much lower when you tuck into a tub of yogurt, rather than ice cream, so go for it, build yourself a mammoth sweet treat and dig in! (BT)
SILVER: Blu Berry Froyo
BRONZE: Didier’s Yogurt & More
IDAHO: JAMMS Frozen Yogurt

The Scoop
Here’s the scoop. It’s a locally owned small batch ‘micro creamery’ that concocts unique and custom flavors. If you haven’t had premium ice cream in awhile, you need to. The Scoop shop is a community-gathering place on a quaint tree-lined street on the South Hill. It’s defiantly worth finding but its habit forming. (LLR)
SILVER: Ben & Jerry’s
BRONZE: Chocolate Apothecary’s Gelato
IDAHO: Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers

Chocolate Apothecary
With gourmet chocolates sourced locally and around the globe, Saunders Cheese Market cheeses, gelato, and olive oil from Coeur d’Alene Olive Oil Company, Chocolate Apothecary is readers’ destination for chocolates as well as many of life’s other best artisanal treats. (SH)
SILVER: Hallett’s
BRONZE: Spokandy
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Chocolates

Fery Haghighi, opened her first restaurant Au Croissant in Spokane in 1980. Though the business was a success, Fery decided to take her constant creativity to catering. Fery’s Catering quickly became a delicious addition to gatherings from grand to intimate in size. Originally from Iran, Fery brings a world of experience not to mention a whole lot of love and gratitude into every dish served. (LLR)
SILVER: Red Rock
BRONZE: Catered For You
IDAHO: Greenbriar

Saunder’s Cheese (in Chocolate Apothecary)
No need to travel all the way to Europe to find a world-class selection of cheeses to suit your every mood! You won’t need to venture any further than the historic Flour Mill to delight your dairy cravings. If you listen closely, you just might hear mooing! (CMS)
SILVER: Huckleberry’s Natural Market
BRONZE: Main Market


Red Room Lounge
Don’t look now, but the lady in red just might be dancing with you at the Red Room Lounge! Enjoy happy hour prices, a full menu and hours stretching into the wee hours most nights! Don’t forget your dancing shoes! (CMS)
IDAHO: Mik’s

Silverwood Theme Park
Thrills await the whole family at Silverwood. From the little one who loves it all, to the teenager who rarely smiles, this is one place everyone agrees on.  When it comes to theme parks, bigger is definitely better. So is scarier, faster and wetter. There are 65 ways to get your happy on. Even if you have to have it scared out of you on the Panic Plunge. (LLR)
SILVER: Wonderland
BRONZE: Sky High Sports

With 2,900 skiable acres, 92 trails, views of three mountain ranges, three states, and Canada, an average annual snow fall of 300 inches, and of course Stella (Idaho’s only six-person, high-speed lift), it’s no wonder stellar ski resort Schweitzer was voted readers’ favorite ski resort. (SH)
SILVER: Mt. Spokane
BRONZE: 49 Degrees North

Northern Quest Resort & Casino
We’ll just bet you’ll have a fabulous time at Northern Quest! From a wide selection of games to luxury dining, accommodations, spa services and concerts for every taste, you’ll be glad you took a chance on this Northwest gem! (CMS)
SILVER: Coeur d’Alene Casino
BRONZE: Hugo’s on the Hill

Coeur d’Alene Resort
There are plenty of opportunities for Kodak moments at the Coeur d’Alene Resort; the lake, its shores, the mountains, fun activities including pirates, golfing, and cruises in the summer and the north pole in the winter, a spa, good food and spirits, and fabulous rooms. Are those rose petals on the bed? (JL)
SILVER: Hill’s Resort
BRONZE: Elkin’s Resort

The weighty burden of finding the best fitness club didn’t even make you break a sweat. When it comes to pumping iron, building muscle and playing all things sports related, it was a slam dunk answer. Why look further than the Y? With a variety of equipment and classes, multiple locations, and a groovy song in its history, YMCA is the golden choice. (BT)
SILVER: Oz Fitness
BRONZE: Bar Method
IDAHO:360 Fitness

The Davenport Hotel
The historic hotel is like a time machine that transports visitors to a more elegant era where attention to detail is paramount and traditions are made. We’re sure Louis Davenport would be pleased to know that after almost 100 years his hotel is still the best of the best. (LLR)
SILVER: Red Lion
BRONZE: Hotel Ruby
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Resort

Tee off in town at Downriver Golf Course, located along the Spokane River and bordered by Riverside State Park. Downriver is one of Spokane’s oldest golf courses, open since 1916 and enjoyed ever since by golfers of all skill levels. (SH)
SILVER: Indian Canyon
BRONZE: Wandermere
IDAHO: Circling Raven

Lilac Lanes
Strike! Since 1996, Lilac Lanes has been helping Spokane discover the joy of bowling. Whether you’re 9, 96 or somewhere in between, you’ll enjoy all the fun Lilac Lanes has to offer, from bowling (including cosmic bowling select nights a week) to poker and casino games! (CMS)
SILVER: Hugo’s on the Hill
BRONZE: North Bowl
IDAHO: Sunset Bowling Center

Coeur d’Alene
Is it any wonder Coeur d’Alene is readers’ favorite local getaway? A hop, skip, and a jump from Spokane, it’s got everything from world-class golf to a charming downtown to a stellar resort to—most importantly—the gorgeous lake itself, which boasts 135 miles of shoreline. (SH)
SILVER: Priest Lake
BRONZE: Sandpoint

From Neil Simon to William Shakespeare (and everything in between) this company does it all. Founded in 1980, Interplayers was the first resident professional theatre company in the Pacific Northwest! What better way to get your culture than by supporting the 33rd season? (CMS)
SILVER: Spokane Civic Theatre
BRONZE: Christian Youth Theatre
IDAHO: Lake City Playhouse

Ballet Arts Academy
Jefferson Baum, associate artistic director for Ballet Arts Academy, was recently chosen by the School of American Ballet as one of the best teachers in the nation and we couldn’t be more proud. From the teachers to the students, they fly across the stage and we are mesmerized. (JL)
SILVER: Dance Emporium
BRONZE: Northwest Belly Dance Company
IDAHO: Ballet School of Coeur d’Alene

Abby Crawford
Life is a cabaret for this uber talented vocalist, who is actually doing her major. Crawford fine-tuned her pitch perfect pipes at the prestigious Cabaret Conference at Yale University. You can catch Miss Abby and the Hot Five playing all the best rooms in town and with the Spokane Symphony this Fall. For those who may have question her career choice, tßTake that, naysayers. (LLR)
SILVER: Sammy Eubanks
BRONZE: Myles Kennedy

Six Foot Swing
A whole lot of Swing, Jazz and Blues – it is the trifecta of musical greatness. Six Foot Swing brings it all together in one sassy, toe-tapping, booty-shimmying, arm-raising kind of way. Popular since breaking onto the scene in 2005 this local fan favorite band shows up on a regular basis at gigs around town, but their fan base stretches even further. Get famous if you must, but never leave us. We think you’re golden! (BT)
SILVER: Cronkites
BRONZE: Terrible Buttons


Arbor Crest
Whether you’re holding hands while strolling through the vineyard, prancing around like teenagers in love through their gardens, standing arm-in-arm while taking in the unrivaled view of Spokane, drunk in thoughts of the future and a little award winning wine, Arbor Crest is a great start to wedded bliss. (JL)
SILVER: Beacon Hill
BRONZE: Chateau Rive
IDAHO: Blackwell Hotel

Lincoln Center
It hasn’t quite been around for four score and seven years, however, during the five-plus years it has been open, Spokanites have come to love the Lincoln Center and its vast options for hosting splendid events. We’ve met, convened, gathered, boogied down, listened up, tasted, drank, danced and celebrated under this roof. Perhaps we need to book the place and celebrate yet again because this place took the gold! (BT)
SILVER: Davenport Hotel
BRONZE: Mirabeau Park Hotel
IDAHO: Hagadone Event Center

Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
Once again, Vanessa Behan has won this category for the vitally important services they’ve been providing to families in crisis since 1987. Located in the South Perry neighborhood, this organization offers everything from 24-hour childcare to parent education to crisis counseling. (SH)
SILVER: Second Harvest
BRONZE: Union Gospel Mission
IDAHO: Catholic Charities

Epicurean Delight
There are few places in Spokane where you can dress to the nines, sample the culinary offerings of some of the most accomplished chefs in the area, sip local wines and brews, and dance until the clock strikes midnight. With Epicurean Delight, your dreams, and those of the Northwest Blood Center, can all come true! (CMS)
SILVER: Cobra Polo Classic
BRONZE: Mostly Merlot
IDAHO: Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America

Spokane Teacher’s Credit Union
SCTU began in a shoebox in 1934 at Lewis & Clark High School. It has grown a heck of a lot since then but it has not swayed in its belief that their most valuable assets are their members, and they show that with an abundance of time and money saving services. (JL)
SILVER: Numerica
BRONZE: Global Credit Union
IDAHO: Icon Credit Union

Washington Trust Bank
It’s one thing to put your money where your mouth is, but an even better thing to put your money where your trust is. For many a’ Spokanite, their trust lies with Washington Trust. With over 111 years of local commitment and service, a track record as one a of the strongest and most stable banks, and full line of products and services, we more than just trust this is the place for us, we’ll bank on it! (BT)
SILVER: American West Bank
BRONZE: Banner Bank
IDAHO: Mountain West Bank

Jewelry Design Center
At Jewelry Design Center, fulltime goldsmiths help buyers through the process of creating stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces they won’t want to take off. They also carry an extensive inventory of products and offer repair and restoration services on site. (SH)
SILVER: Pounder’s Jewelry
BRONZE: Tracy Jewelers
IDAHO: Clark’s Diamond Jewelers

Jody, Swank’s owner, knows that you don’t have to leave Spokane to have cutting edge style! Whether you’re in search of designer jeans, the “it” bag or the perfect piece of jewelry, Swank is there to help you look just as swanky as you feel. (CMS)
BRONZE: Fringe
IDAHO: Velvet Hanger

Tin Roof
The Tin Roof is all about home and community; besides volunteering time and donations to area organizations dedicated to the greater good, they are dedicated to making a house a home by offering fun, functional and affordable home furnishings. They are also dedicated to being the best. (JL)
SILVER: La-Z-Boy Furniture
BRONZE: Ashley Furniture
IDAHO: Runge Furniture

Victorian, traditional and colonial are so yesterday! When we want to brush off the old and give a dash of new, it’s time to go modern! Not space age, George Jetson modern, but a happy medium; something that says sleek, sophisticated and engaging. Move over George, we have our sights set on Dania! (BT)
SILVER: Concept Home
BRONZE: Tin Roof
IDAHO: Walker’s Furniture

Jacob’s Upholstery
Ahh…to dine in the great outdoors. No, we’re not taking about cooking over an open fire in the wilderness; rather, the more civilized way by venturing just outside your door. Expand the square footage of your home by creating outdoor spaces and bring a whole new meaning to staying out late. (LLR)
SILVER: Ennis Fine Furniture
BRONZE: Falco’s
IDAHO: Wild West Log Furniture

Ashley Furniture
Whether you’re looking for that last piece to finish a room or scratching your head over what to do with a blank slate, chances are that international chain store Ashley Furniture has what you need. Check out their furnishings for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kids’ spaces and more. (SH)
SILVER: Walker’s Furniture
BRONZE: National Furniture Store
IDAHO: Koerner Furniture

Northwest Bedding
Northwest bedding has been making the sweet dreams of Spokanites possible since 1966. Whether you’re looking for something to dream on, or jump on Northwest Bedding has you “covered.” When you wake up, you’ll realize, it’s a dream come true! (CMS)
SILVER: Mattress Land
BRONZE: Mattress Outlet
IDAHO: Sleep Country USA

Echo Boutique
Echo Boutique is like your best friend’s closet; some of the clothes you simply must have. At Echo, owner Suzy Gage offers the cream of the crop from fun and funky to designer classics as well as local artisans’ finely crafted jewelry, art and accessories. Her closet is simply to die for. (JL)
SILVER: Reclothery
BRONZE: Fringe & Fray
IDAHO: Twice is Nice

Tinman Gallery
The Tinman didn’t have to go to Oz to look for his heart; he could have found it smack dab in the middle of the Garland district. Tinman Gallery is sure to make your heart leap out of your chest with its incredible displays by regional artists, and the independent bookstore tucked into its space. With one of the largest art book selections, as well as children’s books, any art or book lover will find their heart beats a little faster at Tinman Gallery. (BT)
SILVER: Avenue West
BRONZE: Bozzi Collection
IDAHO: Art Spirit Gallery

Liberty Lake Florist
Listen up, fellas – Go buy her flowers for no reason and you’ll be stunned by how good things get. You won’t even have to ask her friends what you did wrong or articulate your feelings. Flowers say it best. The good people at Liberty Park Florist have been privy to this knowledge since 1929. (LLR)
SILVER: Appleway Florist
BRONZE: Epiphany Florist
IDAHO: Duncan’s Florist Shop

Boo Radley’s
Full of quirky books, legitimately funny greeting cards, and everything from action figures to Uglydolls, Boo Radley’s has had the market cornered for gifts for an impressive two decades. Stop by their downtown location to browse, giggle and leave with that perfect present. (SH)
SILVER: Wonders of the World
BRONZE: Atticus
IDAHO: Lucky Monkey

Uncles Games
At Uncle’s, they believe that games and puzzles are more than fun; they are important because they bring people together. Their trained and knowledgeable staff can skool customers on their unrivaled selection of games and puzzles because they play to win. Congratulations, Uncle! (JL)
SILVER: Whiz Kids
BRONZE: Boo Radley’s
IDAHO: Figpickel’s

Vintage Rabbit
You never know what treasures you might find when you slide down the Vintage Rabbit hole. From dishes to dresses, furs to furniture; when you shop the Vintage Rabbit, you enter Wonderland, complete with teacups and an assortment of anything-but-mad hats! (CMS)
BRONZE: Lillian Conn
IDAHO: Wiggett’s Marketplace

Total Wine
Total Wine & More is the largest independent retailer of fine wine in the country. Yep, it’s a chain and each location typically stocks more than 8,000 (not a typo) wines. It’s not as romantic as buying directly from the winemaker, nor is it as intimate as the small neighborhood wine shop, but it has a staggering selection, which equates to discount pricing. (LLR)
SILVER: Bella Cova
BRONZE: Paint in My Hair


This family owned and operated business is a favorite destination for indoor and outdoor plants, floral arrangements and gifts (think candles, jewelry, yard art…). If your thumb is a little less than green, they’ll even deliver you purchases and plant your flowerbeds for you. (SH)
BRONZE: Judy’s Enchanted Garden
IDAHO: Vanhoff’s Garden Center

It’s hard to believe that Huppins has been owned by the same family since 1908! For over 100 years, they’ve been delivering the cutting edge of technology along with the gold standard of customer service, and they’re not slowing down now. (CMS)
SILVER: Best Buy
BRONZE: Aspen Sound
IDAHO: Computer Guru

Allied Fire and Security
As a third generation, family owned, regional business, Allied has served Northwest homes and business owners since 1948, protecting the things that matter most. Specializing in a wide variety of security and life safety products and services, Allied is committed to keeping us safe so we can have sweet dreams. (JL)
BRONZE: Certified Security

Revival Lighting
Nobody wants to be in the dark ages, but sometimes, the world – or your office, house or room – just feels dark. Here’s a bright idea! Light up your life at Revival Lighting. This store is packed with so much wattage, and is the best bet to find one of a kind, unique or vintage lighting pieces. So kiss the darkness goodbye and embrace the light. (BT)

SILVER: Firefly
BRONZE: Escent Lighting
IDAHO: Idaho Lights

VPI Home Solutions
Until you’re in a windowless room you may have taken the whole window thing for granted. Windows expand a space, enliven it dramatically and even brighten one’s mood. Looking for home improvement that will also lift your spirits, contact VPI and put in a window or two. (LLR)
SILVER: McVay Brothers
BRONZE: Window Replacement Systems
IDAHO: Window World

McVay Brothers
Sometimes it’s nice to DIY—and sometimes, it’s wisest to turn things over to the professionals. Two decades in the business have made the team at McVay Brothers trusted experts at siding, roofing, windows, insulation and more. (SH)
SILVER: Spokane Roofing
BRONZE: Morris Clark Siding and Roofing
IDAHO: Lifetime Roofing and Siding

Berry Built
We think you’ll be “berry” impressed by the team at Berry Built Design. They pair interior design with remodeling services, coupled with great customer service! Whether your home is more blue, straw or huckle, we know you’ll find that Berry is the missing piece of your kitchen! (CMS)
SILVER: Knight’s Kitchen and Bath
BRONZE: Gina’s Design Center
IDAHO: Boettcher Design

Mario & Son
Your home or business is their canvas and their medium is stone. At Mario & Son, they have the tools and the talent to turn a job into a work of art in a mix of hand and machine, tradition and science. Their prices are competitive and surprisingly affordable and their showroom rocks. (JL)
SILVER: RW Gallion
BRONZE: NW Granite and More
IDAHO: Living Stone

Huntwood Cabinets
Can you imagine if Old Mother Hubbard had this kind of selection when it was time to go to her cupboard? Huntwood Cabinets has captured the golden spot with its incredible assortment of cabinets, and the fine craftsmanship to accompany them. Flat front attached cabinets need not apply. We are going for gold with custom built cabinets. (BT)
SILVER: Affordable Custom Cabinets
BRONZE: Canyon Creek Cabinets
IDAHO: Advance Custom Cabinets

Sam Rodell
So, do you think he played with LEGOS growing up or not? The bright colored blocks seem garish compared to his graceful portfolio. We think instead lil’ Sam played outside building and landscaping with sticks and stones and rode his bike through his neighborhood critiquing the buildings. Yep, that makes more sense than plastic blocks. (LLR)
SILVER: Nystrom + Olson
BRONZE: Copeland Architecture
IDAHO: Miller Stauffer Architects

Land Expressions
Whether you have tons of yardage or a pocket-sized secret garden, Land Expressions can help turn a space small or large into something beautiful. Their stunning designs have incorporated everything from water features to sculptures to playhouses to waterfalls. (SH)
SILVER: Clearwater Summit Group
BRONZE: Alderwood Landscaping
IDAHO: CDF Landscape Professionals

Apollo Spas
At the end of a long day, wouldn’t it be nice to soak in your own personal spa? Since 1981, Apollo Spas has been answering that question with comfortable, quality spas made right here in Washington State! Your muscles will say “Ahh-pollo.” (CMS)
SILVER: Pool World
BRONZE: Accent Homes & Spas
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Spas

Sherwin Williams
Founded in 1866 by a guy named Henry and his buddy Edward, Sherwin Williams has grown to become one of the largest paints and coatings producers in the world. Over the years, change happened but their dedication to their products and their customers has remained constant. (JL)
SILVER: Miller Paint
BRONZE: Wahl Paint Center
IDAHO: Rodda Paint

Great Floors
Roll out the red carpet for this gold winner! We’re partial to a Berber, but Cable, Freize and Textured and Plush get our hearts racing too. If carpet isn’t your thing, roll out the hardwood, the ceramic tile, the vinyl, the laminate or the stone. When it comes to creating great floors, Great Floors has options galore and lays the groundwork.  (BT)
SILVER: Northwest Trends
BRONZE: Caruso’s Floors
IDAHO: Northwest Tile & Floors

Gold Seal Plumbing
Seriously, call a plumber already. If you don’t know one, start asking your neighbors. You’ll hear the Gold Seal name come up, more often than not. They’ve been doing this since 1967 and yes, they’ll even come fix the DIY issues you create. But next time, call them first. (LLR)
SILVER: United Plumbing
BRONZE: Ripley’s Plumbing
IDAHO: Capital Plumbing

California Closets
Do you brace for an avalanche every time you open your closet? California Closets can transform a potential disaster zone into an organizational marvel. Head to their Sullivan location to enlist the help of this industry leader in making your home’s trouble zones streamlined and beautiful. (SH)
SILVER: Cabinet Systems
BRONZE: The Closet Guys

Larry H. Miller
From Honda to Hyundai or Toyota to Lexus, Larry H. Miller can take you from test drive to 60 with efficiency, an excellent selection and top of the line customer service, all with the local flavor we’ve come to expect. It’s enough to get you all revved up! (CMS)
SILVER: Wendle Motors
BRONZE: Appleway Group
IDAHO: Dave Smith

Wendle Motors
Sure, a car’s a car and where you are is where you are, but at Wendle Motors, the car is your second home and where you are is a place that goes the extra mile to help you make an informed decision. Trust them; they enjoy their means of transportation just like you do. (JL)
SILVER: Consumer Auto Liquidators
BRONZE: Larry H. Miller
IDAHO: Parker Toyota

Mechanic’s Pride
If you’ve ever said, “My car is making a noise, it sounds like ‘plbbttttt-wheeeeeeeeeeyyy-plbbttt…,’” you better be talking to someone who can translate. Mechanic’s Pride can take pride in the fact that they are fluent in speaking “car.” Not only do they speak it, but they also fix ‘em, and they fix ‘em well! They’ll have you back to saying “vroom, vroom” in no time. (BT)
SILVER: Certified Automotive Repair & Service
BRONZE: Manito Automotive
IDAHO: Lloyd’s Automotive

DAA Northwest
In life as with driving, you may encounter a few dings, dents and well, complete crashes along the way. It’s to be expected, but its how you recover that makes all the difference. DAA Northwest can give you a “do over” and make those unfortunate things look like they didn’t even happen. (LLR)
SILVER: Precision Collision Auto Body
BRONZE: Custom Auto Body
IDAHO: Lake City Auto Body

Les Schwab
Since the 1950s, the folks at Les Schwab have been working to keep vehicles running safely. Readers trust this well-established company with the tire, brake, alignment, shock and strut, battery and winter driving needs of vehicles large and small. (SH)
SILVER: Perfection Tire
BRONZE: Discount Tire
IDAHO: Tire-Rama


Spa Paradiso
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and after a long absence during 2012, while construction was wrapping up on its new digs, we’re even fonder of Spa Paradiso. We’re forgiving it for our temporary time apart, and are fully committed to making this work. Soft robes, spa slippers, relaxing massage, and heavenly pedicures? Yes please! This is going to be a lasting relationship. (BT)
SILVER: Davenport Spa & Salon
BRONZE: La Rive Spa at
Northern Quest Resort & Casino

14th and Grand
It takes just going to their website to… OMG that’s gorgeous! They’ve been around a long time and they know their stuff. Well trained, their staff is professional, specialized, and creative, allowing clients to sit back and relax until the unveiling… OMG that’s gorgeous! (JL)
SILVER: Jaazz Salon
BRONZE: Oasis Hair
IDAHO: Studio 3B Hair Design

Davenport Spa and Salon
Nothing says “luxury” like an afternoon at the Davenport Spa. Whether you’re sipping complimentary champagne, enjoying the aromatherapy steam room, savoring a signature skin care treatment (or any of the other services) we know you’ll love this corner of the Davenport as much as we do! (CMS)
BRONZE: Spa Paradisio
IDAHO: Spa at Coeur d’Alene Resort

Urbanna Spa
Having a mani pedi at Urbana is enhanced by the graceful atmosphere. The spa is housed in a lovely historic building with warmth and character. Blah blah blah. All that’s true, but how they nailed it is by getting a license to pour wine. (LLR)
SILVER: Davenport Spa & Salon
BRONZE: Vida Nails
IDAHO: Cool Nails & Wax

Valente Chiropractic and Massage
For cricks in their necks, knots in their backs, misalignment in their spines, and more serious pain from sports or other injuries, readers trust the team at Valente Chiropractic and Massage to adjust and massage them back to health. (SH)
SILVER: Elements Massage
BRONZE: In Touch Therapeutic Massage
IDAHO: Body Tech Massage Therapy

Sunny Buns
We all know that Spokane isn’t always sunny, but never fear! We have Sunny Buns to help you keep your tan looking beach-ready all year round! You just might get to thinking that you’re on vacation! Fruity drink and umbrella optional. (CMS)
SILVER: Coconutz
BRONZE: De Soleil
IDAHO: Island Sun

Brooke Cloninger, DDS
Smile, you’re not on Candid Camera, you’re on half-a-dozen social media sites that post in the blink of an eye. Brooke Cloninger, DDS has an app for that and it has everything to do with the health and appearance of your pearly whites but don’t expect her to edit your wordy posts. (JL)
SILVER: George Bourekis, DDS
BRONZE: Richard Ellingsen, DDS
IDAHO: Timothy La Brosse, DDS

Ken Collins, DDS
Vampires may be trendy, but sharp pointy teeth will never do. What to do when your fangs are out of control? Cosmetic dentistry! Please note: it also works wonders for non-vampires, who are simply looking for some fine tuning to make their outer smile match their inner. Whiter, brighter straighter; that’s something we can sink our teeth into. (BT)
SILVER: Richard Weigand, DDS
BRONZE: Eric Ellingsen, DDS
IDAHO: Bryan Dryden, DDS

The Kidds Place
What kid likes going to the dentist? Well this place may actually have them asking to go. With a full on indoor playground and video games  it may make it a little easier to open wide and say “Ahh.” (LLR)
SILVER: Molly Gunsaulis, DDS
BRONZE: Jay Enzler, DDS
IDAHO: John Ukich, DDS

Valente Chiropractic and Massage
For cricks in their necks, knots in their backs, misalignment in their spines, and more serious pain from sports or other injuries, readers trust the team at Valente Chiropractic and Massage to adjust and massage them back to health. (SH)
SILVER: Houk Chiropractic
BRONZE: Sicilia Chiropractic
IDAHO: Dr. Jeff Priebe

Rockwood Clinic
Whether you’re looking for primary, urgent or specialty care, Rockwood Clinic has you covered, with convenient locations and plentiful physicians since 1930, when Dr. William Robinson, a Spokane native, returned home to use his newly acquired medical degree to give back to his community. Over 80 years later, his gift keeps on giving. (CMS)
SILVER: Sacred Heart Medical Center
BRONZE: Group Health
IDAHO: Kootenai Medical Center

Plastic Surgery Northwest
Admit it; you’ve had work done or considered it. As long as you haven’t chosen to resemble your cat, people only notice your enhanced beauty. For a face-to-face or a job well done, call Plastic Surgery Northwest, the area’s largest group of board certified plastic surgeons. (JL)
SILVER: Hathaway MD Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics
BRONZE: Shape Cosmetic Surgery
IDAHO: Linea Plastic Surgery

South Grand Veterinary Clinic
Doggone it, South Grand Veterinary Clinic has clawed its way into our hearts! We want to “paws” to sing their praises and bark about how great they are. When it comes to our favorite four legged friends, this is the place that gets our tails waggin’. (BT)
SILVER: Millwood Animal Clinic
BRONZE: Hunter Veterinary
IDAHO: Lakewood Animal Hospital

 As Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living magazine October 2013.


Popular posts from this blog

Ice Ice Baby - Ice Wine from the Pacific Northwest

You picked the new Monarch Red Label!

Washington State CHEESE (EAST vs. WEST)