When compared to other well-known mountain states like Colorado, Utah, or Oregon, Idaho frequently receives less recognition than it merits.
However, Idahoans have forged their own distinctive character in a state with a thriving culinary industry. They are tough and tenacious people.
Idaho has a distinctive combination of down-home, rustic cuisine that is mixed with cutting-edge, locally produced, and traditional Northwest ingredients.
Idaho, also known as the “Potato State,” is known for its love of this well-known export. However, there is much more to the state’s culinary culture than just potatoes, including a wide variety of cuisines and more locally grown foods like the beloved Idaho trout.
Most Famous Restaurants in Idaho
Beverly’s is the signature restaurant of the well-known Coeur d’Alene Resort and is regarded by the Distinguished Restaurants of North American group as one of the best restaurants in the USA.
Its lofty posture on the 7th level of the resort offers visitors an incredible view of the lovely Lake Coeur d’Alene and beyond. With more than 14,000 bottles, Beverly’s boasts the most extensive wine collection in the Northwest region and serves food bursting with regional flavors and ingredients.
Try delicacies like the Snake River Farm prime rib steak with loaded baked Idaho potato and local foraged wild mushroom risotto with sweet onion, fresh thyme, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Àlavita describes itself as a “locally inspired Italian restaurant” and draws influence from the traditional osteria of Italy. It undoubtedly combines the best of Boise and Italy.
The relaxed downtown atmosphere of Àlavita, which is housed in the former Boise City National Bank building, has made it a favorite among local diners.
Guests may watch the preparation of meals like black ravioli packed with lobster and fontina and served with creamy shrimp and lemon-fennel-thyme sauce at Àlavita.
8. The Cellar at 317 Sherman
The Cellar at 317 Sherman is located in the quaint resort community of Coeur d’Alene, which is built around the stunning lake of the same name in northern Idaho.
Live jazz music is played, there is a warm and stylish ambiance, and the wine list is extensive, with over 3,000 wines in the cellar, earning it two Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence.
Featuring delicacies like grilled local steelhead trout fillet with shredded vegetable slaw, jasmine rice, and soy caramel, chef Adam Hegsted’s updated American cuisine won’t leave customers down.
7. Sangria Grille
Sangria Grille creates meals like the delectable local bone-in pork chop, over-roasted and seared with garlic and red wine and served with sweet corn masa crumble, serrano peppers, cilantro, and black beans by fusing the flavorful cuisine of Peru with Northwest ingredients. You can finish it with a glass or two of sangria.
6. Elevation 486
Elevation 486 is a quaint and contemporary Twin Falls restaurant serving varied New American cuisine with international influences. It is situated on a particularly beautiful bend of the Snake River.
The restaurant’s elegant dining room and outdoor deck offer breathtaking panoramas of the Magic Valley, the Perrine Bridge, and the Snake River Canyon.
Tom Nickel, the restaurant’s chef, and the owner have designed a short but remarkable menu featuring delectable dishes like fire-grilled Oregon pheasant with honey, bourbon, and jalapeno glaze and grilled Idaho ruby trout with house-smoked red pepper butter.
5. The SnakeBite Restaurant
Adding some sophistication to American cuisine’s casual fare In the Idaho Falls Magazine Dining Awards, The SnakeBite Restaurant always takes home the prize for Best American Restaurant.
The locally owned and managed Snakebite promises a variety of traditional American meals infused with international flavors and regional ingredients.
The Snake River Farms sirloin, which is cooked to perfection and served with fingerling potatoes and flavorful veggies, is one of the highlights.
For the ultimate local dining experience, add one of SnakeBite’s regional microbrews, like the Highland Scotch Ale from the Idaho Brewing Company.
4. Brick 29
Nampa, the second-largest city in Idaho, has a thriving eating scene. One of the better examples is Brick 29, with its imaginative interpretation of “comfort food reinvented.”
The interior of Brick 29, which is housed in the former Masonic Temple in Nampa, seamlessly combines industrial flair with modern comfort, combining exposed ductwork with plush comfortable booths and natural woods.
Chef Dustan Bristol, an Idaho native and three-time James Beard Award nominee, is in charge of a straightforward cuisine that highlights the best locally produced food. The slow-braised, domestically roasted lamb shank with smoked mushroom risotto and red wine demi-glace is a standout meal.
3. The Dish
The Dish, a relatively recent addition to the eating scene in downtown Boise, has routinely garnered positive reviews ever since it began. The Dish is housed in the city’s iconic Empire Building, a magnificent structure with a contemporary, vivid design and a cozy neighborhood vibe.
The Empire Building was constructed in the Greek revival style in 1909. Chef and co-owner Jered Crouch create inventive, contemporary meals like the 48-hour slow-braised Kobe beef brisket. The mild cheddar polenta cake, braised kale, pine nuts, horseradish, and natural jus are delicious with meat.
2. Mai Thai
Mai Thai is a restaurant in downtown Boise with a decade-long reputation as one of the best in the state capital and serves modern Asian fusion cuisine in a thoroughly modern setting.
Additionally, it has won several awards, including Best New Restaurant in Boise and Best Thai Food, for nine years running.
Native Thai chefs combine the flavors of the Far East to create delectable dishes like slow-roasted honey, soy sauce duck with jasmine rice, plenty of sushi rolls, and vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. They serve the food to guests in a stunning dining room with an exotic, modern theme and a koi pond and waterfall.
1. Michel’s Christiania
Michel’s Christiania is a gorgeous French restaurant with a legendary clientele located in the quaint ski town of Ketchum. Ernest Hemingway visited Christiania so frequently after it first opened in 1959 that the eatery gave him a private table.
Owner and Lyon native Michel Rudigoz is now in charge. At the same time, head chef Laurent Loubot dazzles diners with elegant classic French dishes like fillet de truite Meunier, which is created with Idaho ruby trout.
Christiania is a visual treat with a stunning dining area decorated in the style of an upscale chalet with enormous windows overlooking mountains and forests. Its bar creates a friendly atmosphere in which to enjoy a drink or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular food in Idaho?
When asked what the state’s most famous food is, most Idahoans will respond, “finger steaks,” the battered, deep-fried beef strips that Milo Bybee devised at the Torch Lounge in Boise in the middle of the 1950s.
What are three things Idaho is famous for?
Along with its untamed, rocky terrain, Idaho is famous for its potatoes, trout, and precious stones.
What is an Idaho hot dog?
A skinless hot dog is baked inside a hollowed-out potato to create an Idaho hot dog. After being split open, the mixture is topped with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits.
What sandwich is Idaho known for?
The Idahoan. The Idahoan is unquestionably at the top of most lists regarding sandwiches. Or it would be if this sandwich gained widespread acclaim outside of its native state! For comfort food lovers, this hot, cheesy sandwich is nothing short of a culinary hug on a plate.
What is Idaho’s signature drink?
Idaho is a big fan of Canadian whisky. You’ll be able to survive the long, chilly winters with it. The Idaho Statesman reports that Black Velvet is the state’s best-selling alcoholic beverage.
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