Viking Bar & Grill

Your Rating: None
8 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

1221 N Stevens St
Spokane, Washington, 99201-2431
United States

(509) 315-4547

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Ratings: 8 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of RevCraig
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of leedorham
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

In my opinion, the Viking is still the go-to place for great beer in Spokane. It's under new ownership but doesn't seem to have suffered. The staff is sometimes less than helpful but are always willing to let you try samples and show a genuine interest in the beer they serve.

Free popcorn, decent bar food, and a TON of craft beer. I didn't count handles but I would imagine they approach 25-30 on tap and have too many bottled beers to count.

As far as atmosphere goes, it depends on who else decides to show up. The bar is close to the arena so, during events, it can get crowded. They also don't do much upkeep on the pool tables or shuffleboard which is a bit annoying.

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Photo of Athabaska
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

On the outside it looks like a warehouse, the neighborhood is kinda crummy, but step inside and your in a beer paradise. It has flags hung up everywhere, a couple of pool tables at 50 cents a game, and even a fire pit. Food is pretty good, free popcorn, and the beer selection is fantastic. It's a touch pricey, but well worth it. Service is also a high point, I've never had to wait long for a fresh beer even on an exceptionally busy night. Also slightly off the point the people who frequent this bar tend to be very friendly, and are more than happy to offer advice on some strange brew on the tap list. Cheers.

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Photo of alphanon
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I'm have been to the Viking tavern may time since turning 21 it's kind of a right of passage when living in Spokane. As everyone else before has said it isn't in the greatest part of town but far from the worst and to look at it from the outside some people might be put off. Although since they added a fence to quarantine the smokers it's not as bad as it once was. Inside kinda looks like you would expect it too from the outside, so we'll just call it well used. The selection it what has always and will probably always make this place. Always 25+ beers on tap here and more bottles in the cooler. Prices have always been reasonably and the wait staff has always let me try before I buy, which is a policy I really like.

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Photo of Talisker
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Absolutely superb beer bar. Don't be put off by the sketchy neighborhood or forbidding exterior. The interior is a bit divey, but comfortable, and the staff are welcoming. They kept the kitchen open an extra ten minutes for me, an out-of-towner walking in for the first time.

The music is not too loud, the locals are friendly, and the staff very knowledgable about the beers. Tap selection is sensational - about 25 taps of conscientiously chosen American and imported craft beers. I was there during winter, so a decent number of winter warmer styles from both continents. They'll happily pour samples (in small plastic cups) - even going overboard. Without my really asking, they probably sampled me about 8 ounces of beer before I even ordered a pint.

Then there are 100 or so bottled beers - which beer bars in Washington can sell for off-premises consumption. There's no list of the bottled beers, so you just have to inspect the case yourself or ask the bartender.

Food is above average pub-style - relatively extensive menu, good quality, reasonable prices.

This would be a regular bar for me in Spokane - I would be happy to put myself in the hands of whoever chooses their tap beers. Absolutely worth a visit.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.68/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I dropped in to the Viking Tavern late one afternoon. The place is very much a tavern, and a little run down at that. There is a tremendous amount of beer memorabilia on the walls, and somewhere around 100 unused (probably previously used) handles hanging from the ceiling above the bar tenders.

The quality of the beer I had was good. The selection appears to include some very high quality brews. All the beer appears to be served in mugs (probably for durability). I didn't see any pint glasses in use, but I would have prefered one.

The service was OK. They offered a small sample of a beer before I ordered, and seemed interested in helping me choose from the 30 or so taps available.

Selection is INCREDIBLE! 30+ taps and over 100 bottled beers in a glass cooler. The selection is definitely the strong point of this place. Without the beer selection I'm afraid it would be just another dive.

I didn't try the food, but it looked like typical tavern fare. A lot of grilled stuff, burgers, etc.

I thought the place was very reasonable for the beer. I had a pitcher of a craft IPA on special for $5.

Washington has a no smoking law these days in bars, restaurants etc. I'm sure it makes this place much more enjoyable for a non-smoker. It looks like it could have been a pretty dark, smokey, poorly ventilated place in the pre-no smoking days.

I'll be back to the Viking from time to time to sample more of the vast selection.

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Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I went to Viking after finding it listed on the BA site. I was in Spokane for work and this was one of the better places I went to.

The place is not fancy, but they had some fantastic brewery artifacts on display. Lots of tables to share and some games to keep you occupied (pool, darts, etc.).

Very friendly service and I noticed lots of beer geeking going on. As one table seemed to have a beer distributor’s workers at it and they were engaged in a lively discussion about various beer’s attributes.

The food was just average, but I had really went there for the beer. Nice selection of 24+ taps. Decent imports, but more heavily focused on the micros. I had a Grant’s hefe, a Pyramid Kolsch and a few others. Unfortunately, while they had a sign for Arrogant Bustard, it was not available. Nice prices as well.

This is one place I will be going back to!

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Photo of woemad
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

8 april, 2007 - Time to update my review, which was quite out of date:

Though still far and away the best option when seeking beer choices beyond the average Spokane bar offerings of four or five macros and one or two well-known micros, the Viking has gone downhill a bit since my last review posted nearly 3 years ago, and competitors have emerged or stepped up. The Viking now has approx 35 beers on tap, still virtually all micro and import brews. There's also 100+ bottled choices to be had, all of which can be seen through the windows of the walk-in behind the bar. While there are a handful of macros on-tap and in bottles, they are very much in the minority and are there to pay the rent when non-craft beer drinkers stop by.They still usually have on an imperial stout that is made by Lang Creek exclusively for the Viking (from a recipe by the old bartender, Scott, who happens to be a hell of homebrewer) called "Thor's Thunder." It's the only Impy Stout regularly on-tap anywhere in this area (the only other one I've ever seen in this town are Old Rasputin and Skagit's Old Trumpeter, which are sometimes used as substitutes). Beer prices have crept upwards the last couple of years, with imports being practically unreachable for anyone on a budget ($12/pint for Lindemann's Framboise being the summit, IIRC). Price creep is occurring everywhere, but the management here seems more prone to uping prices than any other watering hole I know of. Standard micro pints are now $4.75, which is a little OTT for around here.

The location is off the beaten path. It looks like a weird quonset hut, partially hidden behind the local ABC affiliate KXLY, just north of the Arena (on hockey game nights and concerts business is brisk). There's a large pole with a lit sign that'll help you navigate, though. The place has a dark, old school tavern vibe with popcorn scattered everywhere, lots of woodwork, and walls literally covered with beer memorabilia, and is no longer filled with cigarette smoke due to the WA state smoking ban, though smokers still cluster outside near the door. There's also several figureheads dating from the time that the building housed a pub called Ahab's Whale. Their menu consists primarily of tasty burgers and sandwiches, of which there are many, served with the ubiquitous bowl of popcorn. The new management that took over a couple of years ago has cut down the portions and raised prices, however. In the spring and summer, they have their annual"Tour De Beer." I used this as a way to expand my beer horizons (my first Belgian beers were experienced this way). While service still tends to be pretty good, these days there's one bartender, Karl (who does most of the beer ordering), who's really knowledgable about beer. I've had friends who complain about the service. I think they expect it to be a restaurant. It's not. It's a tavern that happens to serve food and offers a crapload of good beers. Oftentimes, especially late, the bartender is the only one there to cover the tables. I rarely sit at the tables, so perhaps I can't adequately judge the speed of the servers. Personally, if I can't sit at the bar, I'd rather get my beer orders by walking up to the bar and ordering them like I had to in the UK, as it's usually quicker.

On Tuesdays, selected micro pints on-tap are now $3. This has caused some controversy, as a couple of years ago it was $2 for any micro that day of the week, with most imports only a dollar more. The Tuesday neo-hippie crowd (once the die-hards of this place at night) is especially disgruntled and seems to be thinning considerable because of it. Wednesdays see buyers of pitchers of certain beers getting a free glass with each pitcher. Thursdays see one beer designated as the pitcher special with $5 pitchers until the keg blows.

While it's developed some flaws since I began coming here a number of years ago, its still a beer oasis in what remains for the most part a desert of macro crap.

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Viking Bar & Grill in Spokane, WA
Place rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 8 ratings