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Jun 29, 2009 03:07 PM

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.

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  1. The West Side Drive in on State street in Boise is a good choice for dinner. It is a drive in with a good chef. Try the prime rib dinner on Friday or Saturday nights. Seating is outdoors, and it is a classic drive in.

    1 Reply
    1. re: brewhill

      Thanks brewhill, we will give it a try.

    2. 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

      Cafe Vicino
      808 W Fort Street, Boise, ID 83702

      Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery
      610 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702

      Casanova Pizzeria
      1204 S Vista Ave, Boise, ID 83705

      Guido's Original New York
      235 N 5th St, Boise, ID 83702

      1. 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.

        1. 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.


          1. 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.

            Breakfast Nook
            1719 N 4th St, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814