What To Eat in Idaho
Its position in the Pacific Northwest makes Idaho a coffee-lovers’ dream; and its mountains, once plied by shepherds, mean that it has a legacy of bountiful Basque dinner halls. Up north in the panhandle, huckleberry mania is evident in jelly, syrup, candy and, best of all, pie – the making of which is a special talent in diners and cafes of the Gem State.
Wild huckleberries are the Great Plains' treasured fruit, found only in the high mountains and only late in the summer, and the favorite snack of grizzly bears as well as of human beings. They are similar to blueberries, but not quite as sweet, their wine-purple color hinting at a depth of flavor more satisfying than the richest chocolate. You'll find them in pies, fruit salads, ice-cream topping, and jam; and huckleberry milk shakes are a big deal, especially in Idaho and Oregon.
Idaho is known for its potatoes, and if you have any doubt that the state's chefs do good things with them, have a smashed potato at restaurant Dish on Lake Pend Oreille. Chewy-skinned, cream-centered, and bursting with flavor, it is one of the nation's great spuds.
West Coast coffee culture thrives in the Idaho panhandle, where masterful brews tend to be accompanied by such hearty vittles as pancakes, big muffins, and blue-ribbon pie. Our favorite coffee 'an is Java on Sherman in Coeur d'Alene, where donuts are served still too warm to touch.
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Huge portions of such hearty fare as biscuits and gravy and locally made sausage distinguish the fine breakfasts for which Hoot Owl Cafe is known.
Saturday is the day to visit Bar Gernika in the heart of Boise's Basque Block. That is because beef tongue is available all day, sided by croquetas.
If you are hungry near Craters of the Moon National Monument, Lost River Drive-In is the place for excellent burgers, fries & shakes made with real ice cream.
Boise’s Lemon Tree Co. makes both vegan/vegetarian and carnivore sandwiches, including a massaman curry bahn-mi and Frito-accented Peruvian with sausage.
Tucked in Sun Valley, Ketchum’s ‘Pio’ is a local institution known for strong margaritas and a loaded Idaho baked potato lovingly named ‘Jim Spud.’
On a quiet corner in McCall sits Fogglifter, a nod to the town's former mayor and home to strong coffee and an East Indian take on huevos rancheros.
What could be more fitting in Idaho than a potato-centric restaurant? This 6-store Boise chain offers multiple varieties of potatoes, cuts, & dipping sauces.
A Boise breakfast best bet for meals simple or deluxe, Goldy's is inventive, stylish and always delicious. Only drawback: it's so good, it's always crowded.
Extreme Grilled Cheese is Meltz's motto: a fantastic array of sandwiches that include exotic combos of Asian, Italian, Mexican, and even German ingredients.