Restaurant Guide–Idaho

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Boise

Basque Market–608 W. Grove St. (Basque) Lunch only (closed Sun & Mon); open to 7 pm Thu & Fri. Tapas style. Flavorful & well seasoned. Soups taste home made. Paella is a specialty. (Has better reviews than Epi’s). (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Bosnia Express BoEx–4846 Emerald St. (Bosnian) Open 9 am to 5 pm (3 pm on Sat); closed Sun. Goulash, panini, gyro. Seems to be mostly Mediterranean style food with a few Central European dishes thrown in (but seems like a good combination). (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Casa Blanca–5506 W. Overland Rd. (Cuban) Open Daily. Authentic Cuban food. Has plates such as ropa vieja. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Lucky Palace–8630 W. Overland Rd. (Chinese) Open 4 pm to 9 pm (closed Mon).  Authentic Chinese food is available. Serves clay pot dishes. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Pad Thai House–10038 W. Overland Rd. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Food seems reasonably authentic and it will have Thai spice levels if you want it. They seem to take great care to individualize your order the way you want (spicy, not spicy, etc.). If they mess it up they will recook the food for you (a good thing), but as a result this is not always the speediest restaurant in town (some of the reviewers do not have patience for this, perhaps for valid reasons, but it think it is good they are trying to cook things the right way). (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Tango’s–701 N. Orchard St. (Argentinian) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Sat evening and Sun). Authentic Argentine empanadas–both lunch style and dessert. Wide variety of fillings give a wide range of flavors. Some reviewers say some of the empanadas are authentic and others are ones they have added. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Bonners Ferry

Bonners Ferry Pupuseria–6428 Kootenai St. (Salvadoran) Closed Sun evening & Tue.  More selection than just pupusas, and diners say all of it is good. Lamb burger is popular (and has other American food including breakfast). Has a large egg drop soup that I think makes a meal. Has a vegetarian menu. Has fresh squeezed orange juice. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Grama J’s Cafe–6371 Kootenai St. (New Orleans).  Describes itself as a New Orleans style restaurant. Some favorites are po’ boys, beignets, and crepes. Has special Friday night dinners. (Closed for vacation 9-16-21)

Coeur d’Alene

Pho Thanh–2108 N. 4th St. (Vietnamese) Open daily except Sun evening.  Probably the best choice for inexpensive Asian food. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Syringa Sushi–1401 N. 4th St. (Japanese) Closed Sun & Mon.  Sushi & Japanese (tempura, etc.). (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Wolf Lodge Inn–11741 E. Frontage Rd. (Steakhouse) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue). East of town on I-90. Steaks are “raised right.” People say this is a special experience and worth the money ($$$ price range). (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Council

Li’s Chinese–120 Illinois Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily.  I think this may be the most authentic Chinese restaurant in Idaho, and it gets excellent reviews. Owner can make special requests that are not on the menu. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Sprockets on 95–401 N. Dartmouth St. (Sandwiches) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Tue).  Casual bar atmosphere that has gourmet sandwiches (reuben, philly cheese steak, buffalo chicken, roast beef with mushroom and swiss, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Driggs

Teton Thai–18 N. Main St. (Thai) Dinner only (open daily).  Green curry is good, but just about everything has good reviews. Reviewers say the food tastes authentic, and the level 3 spice is quite spicy. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Eagle

Schnitzel Garden–1225 E. Winding Creek Dr. (German) Dinner daily; lunch Fri-Sun. Reviewers say it is authentic European, even to serving the dishes when they are ready (and not all at the same time). Schnitzel is pounded properly (something not always done in U.S. restaurants). Choices of meat are pretty much limited to schnitzel (various kinds), sausages, pork shank (their house specialty), and beef stroganoff. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Hailey

Jhony’s Peruvian–125 N. Main St. (Peruvian) Dinner only (open daily). Also known as JC’s Peruvian. Highly recommended. Many like the pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken). (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

The Smokey Bone BBQ–315 S. Main St. (BBQ) Closed Sun & Mon.  The brisket is said to be like it is in Texas, and the people here know what they are doing when it comes to BBQ. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Grangeville

Melting Pot Cafe–521 W. Main St. (Variety) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun evening.  Has a variety of food including American, Italian (chicken alfredo), Chinese (Mongolian beef is recommended), and Mexican. I think the Chinese food is the most recommended and Mexican is the least. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Hope

Beyond Hope–1267 Hope Peninsula Rd. (New American) Closed Mon & Tue. This is described as burgers and bar food with a great view. Gets good reviews, and may be less expensive than Floating Restaurant. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Floating Restaurant–47392 Hwy 200 (American) Closed Wed. Upscale type restaurant, but mostly it’s just good American food (ham & swiss melt, buffalo burger, buffalo shepherd’s pie, fish and chips). Sunday brunch is recommended. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Idaho Falls

Arugula Deli–261 Walnut St. (New American) Lunch only (closed Sun); open to 7 pm Thu-Sat.  Healthy food, and makes good use of ingredients such as quinoa. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Copper Rill–415 River Pkwy. (American) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Good reviews for their food (has a good variety of American dishes, including steaks). (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Krung Thep–366 Shoup Ave. (Thai) Open daily except Sun lunch.  I am suggesting this over Thai Kitchen based on the photos of the food even though both have good reviews (has colorful curries, etc). (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Jerome

Burnt Lemon Grill–1223 W. Main St. (New American) Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.  Since this is the heart of potato country, I was looking for a place that was noted for its potatoes. Burnt Lemon Grill is known mostly for other things (especially the lemonade), but potatoes are good also (especially the tots and the sweet potato fries). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

China Garden–1100 S. Lincoln (Chinese) Open Daily.  Mostly American style Chinese food, but reviewers say the ham fried rice and lo mein are particularly noteworthy (and have a Chinese flavor). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Kellogg

Casa de Oro–120 W. Cameron Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily. Has enchiladas suizas, Mexican style tacos, and mole. A lot of the menu looks more American style, though. Some reviewers say it’s one of the few places in town open on Sunday. Note: located on the north side of I-90 (most restaurants are on the south side). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Ketchum

A Taste of Thai–380 1st Ave. N. (Thai) Closed Sat lunch & Sun. Said to be authentic Thai (I suspect it’s associated with the rest. in Twin Falls, where I have eaten). Also in Hailey. (Dining room is open 6-22-21)

La Cabañita–160 W. 5th St. (Mexican) Closed Sun. Authentic Michoacan style Mexican food with authentic sauces (such as green sauce). Reviewers say it tastes like home cooked food. Also in Bellevue, ID. (Dining room is open 6-22-21)

Pioneer Saloon–320 Main St. (American) Open daily (dinner only). The reviews on every web site are so good I have to include this place. Steaks and grilled salmon are the specialty, but prices are for a casual restaurant (not a special occasion place). Also a good place for drinks. (Dining room is open 6-22-21)

Rickshaw–460 N. Washington Ave. (Asian Fusion) Dinner Tue-Sat, lunch Fri only (open Sun in summer).  Normally I would shy away from Asian fusion restaurants, but Yelp reviews are very convincing that this is a good place. It seems to be more Thai than any other type of food. (Dining room is open 6-22-21)

Lewiston

Tacos Cecy–1350 Main St. (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Mexican food that is “as authentic as it gets.” Tacos, tortas, tamales, etc. Chorizo, shredded pork, chicken are good (and tamales are especially recommended). No red or green chile, though (does not have enchiladas or more “upscale” food). (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Thai Taste–1410 21st St. (Thai) Closed Mon & Tue. People say it’s good Thai (better than expected in a small city). Worth stopping, and not just because there aren’t a lot of other choices. Noodle dishes, soup, and stir fried dishes are best–curries have mixed reviews. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Meridian

Epi’s–1115 N. Main St. (Basque) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon). Don’t order from menu–get a special. Reservations are encouraged. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Moscow

Iron Wok–2010 S. Main St. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm. Authentic Sichuan style food. Dan dan noodles and mapo tofu are recommended (dan dan is very spicy). (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Loco Grinz–113 N. Main St. (Hawaiian) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Reviewers say it is good Hawaiian food but high priced. Kalua is recommended. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Maialina Pizzeria–602 S. Main St. (Pizza) Dinner Wed-Sun, lunch Fri-Sun. Reviewers say it is authentic Napoletana style pizza. Salads are also very good. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Sangria Grille–2124 W. Pullman Rd. (Peruvian) Dinner daily, Lunch Sat & Sun.  People say this is some of the best food of any type in the region. Has chaufa (Chinese style Peruvian food). (Temporarily closed 9-2-21)

Mountain Home

Apple Barrel Deli–344 N. 2nd E. (New American) Open 8 am to 4 pm (closed Sun).  Reviewers say it is high quality food served in a mom & pop restaurant (deli style). Variety of food from down home to panini sandwiches and French onion soup. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Chai-yo Thai–165 N. 11th E St. (Thai) Open daily 2 to 9 pm.  Excellent & cheap Thai from a food truck (however, the reviews are better for Shiok). (Takeout only 9-2-21)

Shiok–13654 SW Venable St. (Singapore) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm). Fish maw soup, steamed fish, dim sum. Singaporean & Chinese food. Located near entrance of Air Force Base. Reviewers say the food is “modern” and the menu offers a large choice of items. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Nampa

El Cafetal–3116 Garrity Blvd. (Colombian) Closed Tue.  Colombian cuisine with a wide variety of choices. Some are fast food style and sandwiches, and some are dinners (fish, steak, chicken, etc.). (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Island Kine Grinds–140 Caldwell Blvd. (Hawaiian) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Authentic Hawaiian–owner is from the islands. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Little Saigon–1305 2nd St. S. (Vietnamese) Lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat. Has pho and vermicelli bowls. Reviewers say it has a very good flavor and the price is right. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Pollos y Mariscos El Guero–1204 12th Ave. S. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Said to be authentic, and has dishes I have not seen in US restaurants anywhere (reviewers say the restaurant is Baja style). The spice level is quite high for those dishes that are spicy (the reviewers say this is more reason to think it is authentic). (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Pocatello

Elmer’s–851 S. 5th Ave. (American) Open daily (opens at 6:30 am).  Open all day, but it’s most popular at breakfast. German pancake is recommended. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Taste of India and Nepal–330 N. Main St. (Indian) Closed Sat evening, closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm). Looks as if it’s genuinely good. Has thali (combination) plate and a lunch buffet. Buffet seems to be Americanized and not spicy. (Dining room is open 8-24-21)

Thai Kitchen–978 Hiline Rd. (Thai) Open Daily.  House special curry, red curry, and massaman curry get good ratings. Pad see ew is also popular. Reviewers say not everything on the menu is this good, though. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Post Falls

Old European–1710 E. Schneidmiller Ave. (Danish) Breakfast and lunch only (open daily). Danish aebelskivers for breakfast are the specialty. Hungarian goulash for lunch is good. Also has Swedish and German dishes. Also in Pullman and Spokane, WA. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Tilly’s–212 E. 7th Ave. (American) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Mostly a soup and sandwich place, but it is upscale with some entrees and they say salads are very fresh. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

White House Grill–712 N. Spokane St. (Greek/Turkish) Open Daily. Upscale (kabobs & sea bass are specialties). Turkish cigars (appetizers) are recommended by everyone. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Rexburg

Cupbop Korean BBQ–3460 S. 25th E. (Korean) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Started as a popular food truck in Salt Lake City–now they have a branch here (although this is a regular rest.–not a food truck). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Original Thai–10 E. Main St. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Mostly very good reviews. Several say it is the best or one of the best Thai rests. in Idaho. Some say the stir fried dishes are better than the curries. There seems to be more of a problem with the service than with the food (for those who leave bad reviews). (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Sagle

Cafe 95–469000 Hwy. 95 (American) Closed Mon; closed Sun & Tue dinner.  Hamburgers, fried food. Omelettes are popular. Very high ratings from a number of diners. Has items such as taco salad. (Dining room is open 7-9-20)

Salmon

Junkyard Bistro–405 Main St. (American) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm. Serves American food along with some Thai and Italian (and it all gets good reviews). Vietnamese pork sandwich is available on Wed. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Sandpoint

Hydra Steakhouse–115 Lake St. (Steakhouse) Dinner only (open daily). 1970’s style steak house. Patty melt, steaks, burgers, mud pie, specials (such as Alaskan salmon). Not expensive. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Joel’s–229 Church St. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 4 pm; 7-3 on Sat (closed Sun).  Breakfast burritos and fish tacos are recommended. (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Pie Hut–502 Church St. (American) Lunch only (closed Sun-Mon).  Pies are really good, but people like the lunch also (mostly sandwiches). (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Secret Thai–218 Cedar St. (Thai) Closed Sat lunch, Sun, & Mon. Good Thai, but people complain about the prices. One of the highest rated rests. in Sandpoint. Reviewers on Yelp say the curries and flavors are authentic but they did not like the vegetables used in the dishes. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Thai Nigiri–209 N. 1st Ave. (Thai) Closed Sat, Sun, & Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 4 pm). Highest rated Thai on Yelp–reviewers say it is surprisingly delicious and authentic. Also has sushi (this is probably the reason for the name “nigiri.” Has reviews that convince me more to try it than Secret Thai. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Star

Rustic Table–9846 W. State St. (American) Open Daily.  Most popular items here are prime rib and burgers (those on a budget can eat here but you can go high end if you want). Other recommended items include beet salad, Idaho finger steak, clam chowder, coconut shrimp, mashed potatoes (and almost everything else but not everything). (Dining room is open 9-16-21)

Twin Falls

A Taste of Thai–837 Poleline Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Very good Thai in a somewhat unexpected location–a few miles off of the Interstate but worth going here. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

Buffalo Cafe–218 4th Ave. W. (American) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Mon & Tue).  Reviews say this is the place to go for breakfast. Basque sausage and homemade jam are some of the favorites. (Dining room is open 9-2-21)

Emma’s Cafe–669 Blue Lakes Blvd. N. (Bosnian) Closed Mon, & closes early in the evening.  Sausage, meat platter, and Bosnian pancakes are recommended. (Dining room is open 8-9-21)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Idaho)

Google Maps

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Idaho)

Zomato (Boise)

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