Off the Beaten Path

Restaurants Through Idaho's Seven Regions

From lush and verdant forests to sparkling alpine lakes, ancient lava fields, striking granite peaks, charming mountain towns, and rural reservoirs — Idaho is a mosaic of stunning outdoor landscapes and boundless adventure. And while it’s known that Idaho is a traveler’s dream, it’s lesser-known that it’s also a premier foodie destination. It makes sense though, right? With unparalleled atmosphere and groovy locals, great food is inherent. 

Northern Idaho

The Cedars

North Central Idaho

Lodgepole Restaurant

The views and the chews don’t stop in North Central Idaho. After a long day of play, you’ll be glad we shared these delicious insider restaurants with you. 

Nestled along the Idaho/Washington border is the Lodgepole Restaurant in Moscow. Here, the food is equal parts beautiful as it is delicious. Each dish is a celebration of the beauty of the Pacific and Inland Northwest. Sample their “New American Classic Menu,” which marries fresh, local ingredients, old school recipes, and new wave-techniques — we promise you’ve never tasted better homemade crabcakes and gnocchi. 

From Moscow, head 40 minutes south to Lewiston for world-class barbecue. You might be thinking: “North Central Idaho? For barbecue?” But we’re dead serious. The Lunch Box Deli is changing the BBQ game — from brisket, burnt ends, ribs, pork, chicken wings, and more, there’s no better place for some down-home cooking than The Lunch Box.

And to demonstrate even further the diversity of dining in the region, visit Hearthstone Restaurant and Bakery in Kamiah for unbeatable breakfast sandwiches, old-fashioned sodas, and homemade bread. Decked out with pressed tin roofs and old-world aesthetics, you would be remiss to skip this Idaho-classic diner.

Local Tip: Feeling thirsty? Then plan a trip to Colter’s Creek Winery. Sip and savor scores of handcrafted wines from Lewis-Clark Valley grapes. With two tasting rooms in Moscow and Juliaetta, Colter Creek is the perfect place to kick back and unwind while enjoying a glass of Idaho’s best wine.

Southwest Idaho

The Restaurant At North Shore Lodge

Local Tip: We know by now you’re craving a killer cup of joe. Don’t sweat it, the Mud Room has you covered. This family-owned and operated coffee shop serves Idaho local brews and divine homemade pastries. Refuel here before embarking on your next adventure.

South Idaho

El Caporal

Head a mere two hours southeast and you’re in Southern Idaho. Here, the old-growth forests begin to fade and give way to dormant volcanoes, dramatic waterfalls, and rolling lava fields. Put your X Games face on, because visitors to this region have access to some of the country’s best rock climbing, base jumping, and backcountry ATVing opportunities. With scenery this stunning, you’ll want to get out and play, and we’ve got the best restaurants in the region to keep you well-fueled for all your adventures.

For your first stop, check out the Snake River Grill in Hagerman. Fresh ingredients and seasonal spices contribute to making this eatery a step above the others. Enjoy American and seafood delicacies served with a classical French twang. Jonesing to try something completely new? Sample the French dip or their famous alligator nuggets.

Heading into Twin Falls, treat yourself to a meal at Emma’s Cafe. This Bosnian restaurant serves such classics as stuffed cabbage rolls, cevapi (traditional flatbread sandwiches), and spicy pljeskavica (ground beef and lamb patty stuffed with cheese and peppers between a homemade flatbread bun). With many of the vegetables grown in the owner’s very own garden, and meats locally sourced, you’ll never taste better Bosnian cuisine. Stray from the traditional road trip food and experience a delicious and indulgent Middle Eastern meal. Round the meal off with baklava.

Following Emma’s Cafe, finish your Southern Idaho food tour off at El Caporal Mexican Restaurant, with locations in Burley and Pocatello. This authentic Mexican restaurant is an instant hit. Savor freshly served dishes adapted from generations of family recipes. Crowd favorites include tacos el carbon, ribeye fajitas, and shrimp quesadillas.

Local Tip: Keep the spirit of adventure alive in Southern Idaho and make a trip to Shoshone Falls. Towering at an impressive 212 feet tall, this waterfall stands taller than Niagra. Order your meal for pick up and dine beneath the falls at one of the area’s local picnic tables.

Idaho Farm Country

Portneuf Grille

Local Tip: There’s no better drive-thru soda shop than Soda Sip in Soda Springs. Choose from a vast selection of customizable sodas, floats, and coffee for a sweet treat on your High Country expeditions. 

Eastern Idaho’s
Yellowstone-Teton Territory

Forage Bistro

Serving as a gateway to two of the nation’s most-visited and stunning national parks, Eastern Idaho is rife with overwhelming and breathtaking beauty. From the Teton and Swan Valleys to Idaho Falls and Island Park, this region is brimming with adventures. 

Make your first pit stop at Sandpiper Restaurant in Idaho Falls. This wildly popular regional chain delivers fine dining food paired with a casual atmosphere. Ranked among some of the best seafood and steak spots in the state, the Sandpiper is an excellent place for a romantic vacation dinner. Their fish and chips and filet oscar will leave you raving.

As you make your way further north toward the Bridger-Teton National Forest, set aside time to dine at White Sparrow Country Store in Rexburg. Here, former social media influencers and now owners Bud and Bree, serve unexpected and deliriously delicious fried pies. These scratch-made southern fried pies are the talk of the town and are served in both sweet and savory options. This restaurant is the ultimate example of a renovation “glow up.” Formerly an 1800s hardware store, this newly renovated restaurant and shop is a must stop. Pick up a pie (or a few) and shop their vast selection of down-home housewares. 

Once you’re stocked up on goodies from Rexburg, head to the farthest eastern reaches of the state. Located in the heart of the Teton Valley in Driggs, Forage Bistro and Lounge is a cut above the rest. With great food and comfortable ambiance, this family-owned and operated restaurant is a lovely little bistro to savor such regional favorites as Idaho trout chowder, braised elk, pear sausage, and spiced cream spinach.

Local Tip: There’s nothing more grizzly than missing out on an opportunity to experience Eastern Idaho’s indigenous wildlife. Make a trip to Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg and experience firsthand bison, Rocky Mountain goats, gray wolves, and grizzly bears. And the best part? This is a drive-through park, which enables you to get closer to the animals than ever before.

Central Idaho

Zou 75

Local Tip: Make reservations at the quaint and comfortable Tea Cup Bed and Breakfast in Challis. Made for adventurers, this B&B is located at the epicenter of the state and offers ease of access to all the surrounding attractions. And best of all, guests have access to the delicious Tea Cup Cafe, the on-site breakfast, pizza, and coffee bar.