Article and image by: The Inlander

“Some people don’t know whether we’re a bar or a coffee shop. But the truth is, we’re both. Also with a little food on the side,” says Michal-ann Lea, a bartender-barista at The Wet Whistle (210 N. Howard St.), which is celebrating its one-year anniversary this December

“That’s what makes us such a great stop when you’re out doing some holiday shopping. You can come in and warm up with a hot coffee or a shot and even grab a bite to eat,” she adds. The food menu includes croissants, bagel sandwiches as well as pizzas — “a little something for everyone,” Lea says. And if you like what Wet Whistle has to offer, you can also gift the experience to someone else. They have gift cards that are valid on everything the coffee and cocktail bar serves.

In the space that once housed Rocky Rococo, you’ll find something new. The New 63 (520 W. Main Ave.), to be precise. Their menu takes American comfort foods and fuses them with Asian-inspired flavor combos, resulting in appetizers like Buffalo chicken eggrolls or furikake garlic bites, as well as entrees like togarashi tacos and the honey sake sriracha pizza. Of course, if you’re in the mood for classic Asian dishes, egg fried rice and green Thai curry are on the menu, too.

For those hankering after the cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula, chef Adam Hegsted has opened de España (909 W. First Ave.) at the former Incrediburger and Eggs location. The menu spans Spain’s many regions, ranging from Valencia to the Basque Country. So, naturally, you’ll find classic dishes like paella alongside small-plate tapas and drinks like the house-made sangría. The geographic consistency extends to the dessert menu, where you’ll find sweet treats such as custard-like flan augmented with dulce de leche.