Lobby bars and hotel restaurants can sometimes get a bad rap. Plain décor, an uninspiring menu and low energy can lead to an experience that is forgotten not soon after the bill is paid. With so many dining and drinking locales across the Inland Northwest, heading out to one of the local hotels for an evening meal or cocktail might not be the first thought for most, however, you are missing out on some of the best places around. Here are our 10 favorite spots visitors will be surprised by and locals shouldn’t miss.
The Lounge at Masselow’s
Northern Quest Resort & Casino
There are numerous places to get a drink or a bite to eat inside Northern Quest, but for some of the best food on property as well as a more relaxed environment, look to this upscale bar located between the hotel front desk and the famous steakhouse. Masselow’s full menu is available here, but there is also a lounge-specific menu featuring shared plates and a few entrees. Seasonal and fresh-pressed cocktails are highlighted, and there is an extensive craft beer, wine and spirits menu. Happy hour runs 4 to 6pm and includes $1 off wells, domestics and house wines and 20-percent off appetizers.
100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights, Washington 509.481.6020 NorthernQuest.com
MAX at Mirabeau
Mirabeau Park Hotel
Daily breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night entertainment; there is always food and fun available at this Spokane Valley favorite. The large restaurant and bar area offer comfortable seating for dining and cushy chairs and couches for sipping cocktails. Live bands and dance music entertains guests and visitors on weekend nights, and a diverse and award-winning menu offers something for everyone. The reservation staff can book business or social gatherings with private dining options and can accommodate events of up to 600 guests.
1100 N. Sullivan Rd., Spokane Valley, Washington
Trinity at City Beach
Best Western Edgewater Resort
Casual fine dining and spectacular views of Lake Pend Oreille make Trinity a must visit when in Sandpoint. The patio is packed on perfect summer evenings, but even in winter the views are spectacular as you look through large windows that let in plenty of natural light. Upscale enough for an anniversary dinner but casual enough for a drink with friends after work, Trinity strikes a fine balance. Happy hour includes $1 off draft beer and well drinks daily from 4 to 6pm.
58 Bridge St., Sandpoint Idaho
The Lodge at Sandpoint
Take a left just before the long bridge to Sandpoint begins and you’ll find incredible dining accompanied by even more incredible waterfront views inside Forty-One South. Natural wood, floor-to-ceiling windows and giant stone fireplaces create the feel of a soothing warm cabin on a cold winter night. You can watch the sunset over the lake and surrounding mountains while sipping on a glass of wine from the restaurant’s extensive wine menu. Dinner includes steaks, seafood, fresh Idaho trout and pastas. Desserts are easily shared and go great with champagne or a warm cider drink.
41 Lakeshore Dr., Sagle, Idaho
Farmhouse Kitchen & Silo Bar
You’ll be hungry after a hard day of play at Schweitzer, and the Farmhouse Kitchen & Silo Bar is the perfect place for your body to relax and recharge. Shoot a game of pool or catch up on sports in the bar area with a regional beer or unique cocktail. Don’t be fooled by the casual environment—the food is much more than standard bar fare. Bacon-maple deviled eggs and serrano chips are great to munch on, and meatloaf, specialty fried chicken or the 1-pound dinosaur rib will help you recover those recently burned calories.
477227 Highway 95 N., Ponderay, Idaho
Holiday Inn Express
Offering 20 4k TVs, your game can be found inside one of North Idaho’s favorite sports bars. With plenty of comfortable seating and a view of the screens from all corners, Sweet Lou’s is a gathering place for Seahawks and Gonzaga fans. Burgers, wings and sandwiches are staples, and first-time visitors might also be surprised to find ahi poke, grilled shrimp and salmon, NY strips, and bison ribs on the menu as well. Sixteen tap handles include domestics and regional favorites, and the full bar will serve you up whatever cocktail you’re looking for.
477272 Hwy 95 N., Ponderay, Idaho
315 Martinis and Tapas
The building this cozy Inn resides in is 110 years old, and seeing the living history is one of the many delights at this one-of-a-kind bar. As evidenced by its name, martinis are the specialty here; both traditional and creative twists drummed up by the excellent bar staff. Seating is intimate, and there is live music each Tuesday evening. Cheese and Charcuterie plates start off the menu, and shared plates include steamed clams and mussels, Cajun-seasoned ahi tuna and huckleberry meatballs.
315 E. Wallace Ave., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Red Tail Bar & Grill
Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
Executive Chef Steven Walk brings more than two decades of professional experience to the casino’s multiple dining options, and the emphasis on tribal hospitality and local ingredients is at the forefront inside Red Tail. You will find dishes here that are very hard to come by including traditional Indian fry bread served with local honey, huckleberry jam and whipped butter, buffalo chili and the famous Indian taco. Drinks are very reasonably priced, and draft beer comes in four different sizes.
37914 S. Nukwalqw, Worley, Idaho
Davenport Hotel Ballroom
The Historic Davenport Hotel
The on-site dining options at Spokane’s landmark hotel are well regarded, but the Sunday brunch is an experience no one should miss. Held in one of the hotel’s legendary ballrooms, come hungry and be ready to be absolutely wowed by the fresh and opulent selections. Bottomless champagne or mimosas pair perfectly with made-to-order crepes and waffles. The meat carving station rotates selections but always includes salt-and-herb crusted prime rib. Fresh gulf shrimp, salmon and lox perk up the senses, while the chocolate fountain, fresh fruit, truffles and coffee cake finish off your one of a kind experience.
10 S. Post St., Spokane, Washington
DoubleTree by Hilton
Those looking for that perfect USDA Prime cut cooked to a delightful medium rare need only to step a few feet into the DoubleTree Hotel. The steaks at Spencer’s are legendary; each is dry aged between 21 and 28 days. Cooked in 1,600 degree heat, each comes out bursting with flavor. You’ll find an extensive wine list with selections from around the world and an emphasis on great regional selections. The atmosphere harkens back to a slower time, and the experience, flavors and service is unlike any other.
322 N. Spokane Falls Ct., Spokane, Washington