Sometimes you find that the most unforgettable experiences occur in those least expected places, and that is what you will find after a visit to Europa Restaurant and Bakery.
Hidden beneath the railroad viaduct in Downtown Spokane’s historic Atrium Building, an incredible surprise awaits you. Your first impression will be a classic, nondescript façade, but once inside, you will find exposed brick walls, timber beams and charming furnishings in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Diners have been treated to this locally owned unique restaurant that serves up fresh-made food in a casual, homey environment for the past 36 years—at the same location! Purchased by Jeff and Aja Engels in 2013, guests can find Jeff in the kitchen, pouring his heart and soul into preparing fresh, authentic food for their guests, while Aja leads in welcoming guests with attentive and friendly service. “We feel lucky to be taking care of Europa,” says Aja. “It’s a legacy.”
It’s nothing out of the ordinary when native Italians remark how authentic the food is, especially the fresh-made pasta and staples like gnocchi and risotto. Guests can choose from items like the crab spaghetti, pork cheek ravioli and goat cheese gnocchi, and Europa staples for 36 years to include the sweet red pepper tortellini, baked spaghetti with meat sauce and chicken marsala. And don’t forget about the on-site bakery, led by Pastry Chef Christie Sutton, who has been serving up her baked delights for the past 19 years. Fresh pizza dough, bread and amazing desserts, like the raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, cookie dough pie and double chocolate mousse are all prepared and baked in house.
In addition to the great food, Europa is warm and engaging, allowing guests a relaxing dining experience. “When guests tell us how comfortable they are at Europa—that it feels like home—that’s the best compliment we can ask for,” says Aja. “We are a family at Europa, and we want our guests to feel a part of that.” Top that with a dedicated restaurant staff that is attentive and friendly, and you have a recipe for success.
A fun little surprise—for those who don’t already know—is the secret notes, adding a unique touch to one’s Europa dining experience. “There are several drawers filled with hundreds of notes on napkins that our guests have been writing and leaving for almost 20 years,” says Aja.
Last year, Europa was named Best Hole-in-the Wall Restaurant by All About Your States – Washington List. According to Aja, “Jeff’s nephew from Olympia saw the list online and told us! We knew absolutely nothing about it, so we were very pleasantly surprised. I feel like this list captures who we are. We may not be flashy and trendy, but we make great food and treat you like family.”
Europa Restaurant and Bakery
125 S. Wall St.