Best of Idaho?
We have two trips planned to Idaho in the next 6 months. One is Southern Idaho, (Twin Falls, Boise, McCall, Sun Valley, etc), and the other is Couer D Alene, (Spokane, Post Falls, etc.). Where is the best food in Idaho? We are traveling with a four year old (that is an adventurous eater), so I guess I am looking more for road food, dives, and diners instead of 5-star joints. Thanks Chowhounders.
Sun Valley. For and adventuresome 4 yr old go to the Pioneer. Not only their most famous (and busy) restaurant but great food with a total museum of fish, elk, bison deer and other game on the walls along with other western gear. They take no reservations so be there at exactly 5:30 to get in. I've just run my 11th child and grand child through there and they're hooked for life. A life time experience for your child and a great meal for you. Don't miss it.
I think Bardenay and Bitter Creek in Boise are good choices. They are a lunch/dinner joints owned by the same people. They have somewhat sophisticated pub grub but should make an adventurous 4 year old happy. Goldys in Boise is always a good choice for breakfast as well.
For the Sun Valley, I'm a bit new to the area but Cristina's in Ketchum is a good choice for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The Powerhouse in Hailey has great handmade burgers, fries and house made ketchup and mustard. I've heard good things about the Pioneer (dinner) and the Kneadery (breakfast) in Ketchum as well.
Coeur d'Alene is tough. The Moontime and Hudson's Hamburgers are the best grub I've had there. I second avoiding Bonsai Bistro, people in CDA will recommend it, but it is not good. I've heard the food at the resort is good, but it is quite spendy.
207 E Sherman Ave, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814
155 E Riverside Dr, Eagle, ID 83616
260 Leadville Ave N, Ketchum, ID 83340
115 S 2nd St, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814
As someone who lives in the New York suburbs, I can get "fancy" food anywhere, but can't find a good "mom and pop" home cookin' place at all anymore. So when I find a great greasy spoon/diner/hole in the wall, I get really excited!
Passing through Coeur d'Alene on a Sunday, not much was open in the neighborhoods we drove through. We paused where there was Something or other Bistro on one corner, and The Breakfast Nook on the other. I took one look at the folks coming and going from the Nook and made my choice immediately! These were largely people coming from church, who've obviously been coming here for YEARS!!! A few multi-generational families, a few people who are obviously on their way to or from work on a Sunday ... in other words, people who won't waste their money on nonsense ... and the place was PACKED! We had about a 15 minute wait, and looked over the good-sized menu during our time. After narrowing it down to a couple of choices, we asked the waitress to help pick among them. No need to choose between breakfast and lunch at 1:00 on a Sunday ... we both had 2 eggs (mine scrambled, his fried) with pork schnitzel and sausage-laden country gravy, a HUGE portion of crispy hash browns, and well-buttered rye toast. Sure, plenty of places cover the table with food, but THIS REALLY WAS GOOD! The pork had flavor! The eggs were incredibly fresh and tasted like real country eggs! The country gravy was loaded with sausage, and very well seasoned! The rye bread seemed to be home- or at least locally- made. Finally, he also had a glass of milk, which was "old-time" creamy, which he loves. The only thing which could have been improved slightly was that the schnitzel was just a little bit greasy, but tender and so tasty, that's just a little quibble.
So, I know, I know ... that's just one meal, one day ... but I really don't think The Breakfast Nook would have the clientele it does if it didn't deliver the goods regularly! Did I mention that the waitstaff knows all its regulars by name? Did I mention that our feast came to $17.00?!?!
So, step back in time a bit - I don't think you can go wrong with the Breakfast Nook. I noticed that there are 3 locations - we were in CAD.
1719 N 4th St, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814
It’s sad to say but CDA dining has really gone down hill so there are really no ‘great’ restaurants there; and some of them are downright terrible. These are ones that I would recommend.
Café DOMA - nice breakfast cafe
Moontime (CDA) & The Porch (Hayden) same owners - similar concepts. (Think locally owned Applebee’s concept)
Syringa – Japanese and Sushi
The Olympia - Much better Greek food then The White House
Wolf Lodge Steakhouse – Think cowboy steakhouse, jeans, boots and a hat type dining experience, but the steaks are good and cooked correctly. This is a restaurant experience so if you like steaks I would recommend it – you child will fit right in.
Hudson’s Hamburgers is a local legend downtown. Very small, take it to-go and eat by the lake.
Canton Chinese - little hole in the wall – not the best Chinese food but good for the area.
Spokane (45 minutes west) has more dining options, if you want some suggestions over there let me know.
Popular Places I would avoid:
Tito Macaroni’s – perhaps the worst meals (party of 7) we have ever had in a sit-down restaurant, check out the yelp reviews.
Bonsai Bistro – They try so hard yet they are so wrong on so many things.
G.W. Hunter’s (Post Falls) – High priced 70’s coffee shop experience
(Unfortunately I will have to contradict another chowhound here)
White House (Post Falls) – An eight year old called it garlicky slop on a plate – my comment was hungry man meals gone horribly wrong. Greasy and garlicky, over cooked pasta, chewy tough lamb, dry stringy chicken, sauces the consistency of pudding and all doused in oodles of garlic. Yuck. They are very popular maybe they just screwed up all 8 of our orders but none of us had food that was very edible.
I have a few ideas for you...Post Falls...don't miss White House Grill. Garlic is an ingredient in every dish...great middle eastern food. Open kitchen...belly dancers...always crowded so nab a seat at the bar. Worth the wait. Loud environment so a four year old will fit right in. Boise has Bar Gernika a Basque restaurant you might enjoy. Another Basque option is Epi's in Meridian just outside Boise...they dote on kids and babies. Boise has a large Basque population...even the mayor is Basque (and a Dem in a red state). Idaho in general is not a food mecca but you can eat extremely well in Sun Valley. I'd take a walk around the town and pick a place. They have a very nice Asian restaurant (name is escaping me)...but a few places that are perfect for kids include KB Burritos for homemade delights, Grumpy's for burgers...not the best burger of your life but the beer is cold and it is a fun environment for kids. The Pioneer Saloon is another good spot.
Berryhill and Co, Cafe Vicino, Bardenay, and Cassanova Pizzeria are some of my faves. Just re read your post...oops! Guidos Pizzamaybe? Report back on your visit :) Have a fun trip!
Berryhill & Co
121 N 9th St,, Boise, ID 83702
808 W Fort Street, Boise, ID 83702
Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery
610 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702
1204 S Vista Ave, Boise, ID 83705
Guido's Original New York
235 N 5th St, Boise, ID 83702