12 Unique Restaurants in Idaho: From Historic Inns to Ethiopian Spices

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Idaho
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Eager to discover Idaho’s most unique restaurants? I’m here to guide you through places where tropical vibes meet rooftop dining and Basque traditions thrive. Join me as we dive into the coolest restaurants in Idaho.

Ever think of Idaho as a hotspot for foodies? Let me take you on a tour that’ll change your mind.

The Gem State is secretly packing some of the most unique spots to grab a bite. I’m talking about places that’ll surprise you with every dish they serve. From the aromatic spices of Persia to the cozy vibes of the Basque country right here in our backyard, this Pacific Northwest gem has it all.

I’ve been to each spot, tasted their offerings, and let me tell you, the experience was. anything but ordinary. These are the kinds of places you brag to your friends about.

Ready for a tour of the coolest places to eat in Idaho? I promise, it’s a ride full of surprises at every turn!

The top restaurants to visit in Idaho right now

Unusual places to eat in ID

Ready to explore Idaho’s best eateries? We’ve got everything from Persian delights to historic bakeries. Join me on a tour of the quirkiest places to eat in Idaho.

Ever thought about enjoying flavors from Russia or Ethiopia right here in Boise? Idaho’s dining scene has it all, ready for you to discover, making it one of the top places to live and visit in the Pacific Northwest. Let’s dive into the most unique restaurants in ID.

1. Taste of Persia

Heading over to Taste of Persia in Boise feels like a mini getaway. Imagine sitting down, the buzz of conversation around you, and then diving into a world of Persian delights. The dishes here are made fresh, right after you order.

I had the lamb chops last time, and they were off-the-charts good. Along with that, I tried stuffed naan which was packed with flavors I can’t even begin to describe. You’ve got to try the Manti – these little dumplings will make you wonder why you haven’t had them before. Make sure you try the Persian chai, too. It’s like a warm hug in a cup, perfect for winding down.

Now, dessert was a tough choice between shirini morabaii (jam cookies) and halva. I say, go for both; you won’t regret it.

A little pro tip: this place gets busy. A quick call ahead to book a spot might be a good idea. And after, why not take a walk around Boise? It’s the perfect way to cap off a great meal.

Taste of Persia is one of those unique Idaho restaurants where each visit feels like the first. It’s a spot you’ll want to bring your friends to or where you’ll want to take someone special.

Taste of Persia is one of the unique restaurants in Idaho.
At Taste of Persia in Boise, dive into fresh Persian delights amidst lively conversation. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

2. Peaceful Belly

Next up is Peaceful Belly in Caldwell. Imagine this: you’ve spent the afternoon sipping your way through the stunning Sunnyslope Wine Trail. What’s the perfect cap to such a day? A meal at Peaceful Belly, where “farm to fork” isn’t just a catchy phrase; it’s their whole philosophy. This place is a gem in Idaho, with dishes featuring the freshest ingredients from their own farm or local vendors.

Sitting outside on their patio, you’re in the heart of Idaho’s natural beauty. And let me tell you about their homemade cider – it’s a game-changer. Opting for a cider flight is the way to go, sampling their craft alongside your meal.

The menu? It’s like a weekly surprise, always changing with the seasons, which means every visit offers something new. They’ve got a solid mix of vegetarian and meat options. I went for the Eggplant Parmesan Flatbread, and it was an absolute hit. The flavors, the freshness – it’s clear they put a lot of love into their dishes.

No meal here is complete without diving into dessert. The Peach Pie is a must. Picture this: a mini pie, but loaded with sweet peaches, wrapped in the flakiest crust, and then topped with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla whipped cream. Yeah, it’s as amazing as it sounds.

Peaceful Belly is an experience that connects you with the land and the season. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Idaho that leaves you planning your next visit before you’ve even left.

At Peaceful Belly in Caldwell, enjoy farm-fresh dishes after exploring Sunnyslope Wine Trail.
At Peaceful Belly in Caldwell, enjoy farm-fresh dishes after exploring Sunnyslope Wine Trail.

3. Reef

If you’re itching for a tropical vibe but Idaho’s mountains are the closest you’ve got to a getaway, then Reef has you covered. This place is a blast, decked out with a tiki bar and a rooftop bar. The menu’s got everything from your comfort food staples like burgers and fries to island-inspired dishes that’ll have you dreaming of sand between your toes.

The rooftop is the ultimate spot to catch the sunset in Boise. It’s pretty cool inside, too. You’ll find everything from Hukilau posters that add just the right touch of authenticity to an impressive collection of Tiki mugs displayed on your way to the restrooms. It’s clear they’ve thought of every detail to transport you to the tropics.

Next time you’re craving some island flair, Reef is where you wanna be. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for cool restaurants in Idaho.

Reef in Idaho offers a tropical vibe with a tiki bar and rooftop, serving comfort food and island-inspired dishes.
Reef offers a tropical vibe with a tiki bar and rooftop, serving comfort food and island-inspired dishes.

4. Alyonka Russian Cuisine

Alyonka Russian Cuisine in Boise is like stepping into a little slice of Russia right here in Idaho. From the get-go, the vibe is spot-on: cozy yet with a touch of elegance. It’s one of those places where you feel at ease the moment you walk in. And talk about clean! You can peek into the kitchen from the counter, and it’s spotless. It tells you everything you need to know about the care they put into their food.

Alyonka serves up the best Russian food I’ve tasted stateside. The salad sampler is a great start, letting you dip into a variety of flavors. Then there’s olivie and shuba – both are must-tries. For mains, you can’t go wrong with their stroganoff or golubtsi; it’s comfort food taken to the next level. And the crepes? Divine. Make sure to save room for dessert because everything sweet here is out of this world.

A little tip: make a reservation. This isn’t a place you rush through. The meal is part of the experience, a chance to slow down and savor. If you’re in Boise and looking for unique places to eat in Idaho, this is your spot. Trust me, it’s a meal you’ll be telling friends about.

Alyonka Russian Cuisine: cozy elegance and spotless kitchens for an authentic Russian experience in Idaho.
Alyonka Russian Cuisine: cozy elegance and spotless kitchens for an authentic Russian experience in Idaho. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

5. Anderson Reserve

If you’re ever in Sweet, you’ve got to check out Anderson Reserve. The building and grounds scream attention to detail, and it’s all about that family-owned charm. They’ve got this cigar and whiskey silo that’s as cool as it sounds.

When I ate here last summer, I went for the New York Strip Oscar. It was perfect. The steak was cooked to juicy, medium rare perfection, then topped with blue crab meat and bearnaise sauce. It comes with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, and baby carrots on the side. Every bite was a mix of flavors that just danced together perfectly.

Before leaving, I couldn’t resist grabbing some of their house-made chorizo. Cooking it up with eggs the next morning? Absolute breakfast win.

And the patio! It’s this gorgeous, spacious outdoor area with views that’ll have you pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and digest all that deliciousness.

One of the best places to eat in Idaho, Anderson Reserve is one of those restaurants where you come for the food but stay for the whole vibe. Definitely make a reservation if you can, and maybe plan a little stroll around Sweet afterward.

Don't miss Anderson Reserve for its attention to detail and family-owned charm, featuring a cool cigar and whiskey silo.
Don’t miss Anderson Reserve for its attention to detail and family-owned charm, featuring a cool cigar and whiskey silo.

6. Feist Creek Restaurant

One of Idaho’s hidden gems is Feist Creek Restaurant, situated in Bonners Ferry. Tucked away in the woods, this place wraps you up in homey charm the second you step through the door. The whole setup is cozy, with a real waterfall—yes, an actual waterfall—flowing right outside the dining room window. They’ve even got an outdoor terrace that feels like you’re dining in the heart of the forest.

After a day hitting the trails, this spot hits just right. It’s one of the coolest restaurants in Idaho where relaxation meets dining. They’re famous for their huckleberry cheesecake. This dessert alone is a crowd-pleaser. It’s creamy, it’s fruity, it’s everything you want in a cheesecake and more.

Dining here connects you with the beauty of Idaho’s outdoors in a comfortable setting. It’s a place well worth visiting, especially for those who appreciate a meal with a view.

Feist Creek Restaurant in Bonners Ferry: homey charm in the woods with a real waterfall view from the dining room.
Feist Creek Restaurant in Bonners Ferry: homey charm in the woods with a real waterfall view from the dining room.

7. The White House Grill

If you’re a fan of garlic, The White House Grill is your dream spot. Located near Coeur d’Alene, in Post Falls, it’s a Mediterranean haven with Greek architecture that stands out as soon as you see it. Let me tell you, they love their garlic here. There are even mouthwash stations in the bathrooms!

On my visit, the garlicky chicken alfredo was a standout, rich and creamy with just the right kick. My wife opted for the Büftek, a hearty plate of steak, potatoes, and green beans, all generously seasoned with garlic. It’s the kind of meal that leaves a lasting impression — and yes, a bit of garlic breath, but totally worth it!

Their martinis are another highlight, each with a unique theme and perfectly mixed.

Heading to The White House Grill? Booking ahead is a smart move. It’s a popular spot for a reason, and you’ll want to dive right into those garlicky delights without a wait. Trust me, it’s one of those fun places to eat in Idaho where the meal turns into an experience.

The White House Grill: a Mediterranean haven for garlic lovers, complete with mouthwash stations in the bathrooms!
The White House Grill: a Mediterranean haven for garlic lovers, complete with mouthwash stations in the bathrooms!

8. Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Food

At Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Food in Boise, you’re in for a treat that goes beyond the ordinary. This place nails traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, with plenty of options for everyone, including vegans and vegetarians. It’s all about the experience here, from the vibrant flavors to the unique way of eating with your hands.

I tried the red tibs with chicken and rice, and let me tell you, it was superb. The combination of spices in this dish will have your taste buds dancing. And you absolutely must try the Ethiopian coffee. Brewed in a traditional jebena, it’s the perfect way to cap off your meal.

Eating here means getting hands-on with your food, scooping up delicious bites with injera. It’s fun and incredibly satisfying. This experience is something you don’t see everyday. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best Idaho restaurants.

After diving into the flavors at Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Food, why not keep the adventure going? There are lots of fun things to do in Boise, from cool spots to unwind to scenic views that are perfect for walking off a fantastic meal, making it one of the top things to live and visit in Idaho.

Kibrom's serves traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine for everyone, with vibrant flavors and a unique hand-eating experience.
Kibrom’s serves traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine for everyone, with vibrant flavors and a unique hand-eating experience.

9. The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen

The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen in Deary is a spot you can’t miss. This cozy spot isn’t just about serving up delicious meals. They take it up a notch by making their own cheeses in the creamery next door. And when you step inside, it’s like entering a local artisan’s dream. The walls are adorned with crafts, foods, and art, all locally made, creating an ambiance that’s as inviting as it gets.

I had the Reuben sandwich, featuring their house-made pastrami, which was outstanding. Pair that with the Market Salad, which was fresh and dressed perfectly, and you’ve got yourself a meal to remember. But the real showstopper? The cherry pie. It’s the kind of dessert that makes you pause after the first bite just to savor it.

The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen is one of the most fun restaurants in Idaho where everything you try is a hit. Seriously, if you’re ever in Deary, you have to check it out. It’s a visit that’s as satisfying as sinking your teeth into that perfect slice of pie.

The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen in Deary serves delicious meals with their own cheeses made next door.
The Pie Safe Bakery & Kitchen in Deary serves delicious meals with their own cheeses made next door.

10. Epi’s A Basque Restaurant

Epi’s A Basque Restaurant in Meridian, just a stone’s throw from Boise, is a local favorite that’s all about celebrating Basque cuisine. The place might be on the smaller side, but that just adds to its charm. It’s somewhere I always recommend when people ask me where to eat in Idaho.

When you’re there, the vibe is all about warmth and hospitality, kind of like being welcomed into a family meal. And the food – it’s spectacular. You absolutely have to try the croquettes. They’re a standout that you won’t stop thinking about. I also tried their halibut, which was equally as delicious.

A heads-up from me: it’s a good idea to book ahead. With its cozy size, you’ll want to make sure you have a seat at the table. Definitely check it out when you’re looking for unique restaurants in ID.

Epi's A Basque Restaurant in Meridian celebrates Basque cuisine and is a local favorite near Boise.
Epi’s A Basque Restaurant in Meridian celebrates Basque cuisine and is a local favorite near Boise.

11. Ishtar Market & Restaurant

When you’re in Boise and craving Middle Eastern cuisine, Ishtar Market & Restaurant is the spot that hits all the right notes. This delightful small eatery, nestled next to a market selling Middle Eastern products, offers an authentic taste of the region that’s hard to beat.

I’m a big fan of Middle Eastern food, and Ishtar doesn’t disappoint. The karak tea here is a must-try. It’s as close to what I’ve had in Oman as you can get without boarding a plane. And let’s talk about the lamb shawarma – it’s cooked just right, with rice that’ll have you asking for seconds.

Before you head out, you’ve got to try their baklava. It’s the perfect end to a meal here, sweet and flaky, just as it should be.

Ishtar Market & Restaurant offers a dining experience that’s both delicious and authentic. It’s one of those unique places in Idaho to eat where you can enjoy flavors from afar right in your backyard. If you find yourself nearby, don’t miss out on this gem!

Ishtar Market & Restaurant offers authentic Middle Eastern cuisine next to a market selling Middle Eastern products.
Ishtar Market & Restaurant offers authentic Middle Eastern cuisine next to a market selling Middle Eastern products. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

12. Wepa Cafe

Dropping into Wepa Cafe in Garden City feels like hitting the jackpot if you’re into Puerto Rican cuisine. This place packs a punch with its menu.

I went all in on the lunch special, and wow, did it deliver. Picture this: a plantain, perfectly stuffed with savory picadillo, served up with a side of rice, beans, and veggies that are just bursting with flavor.

The cafe itself is on the smaller side, which adds to its charm but means it can fill up quickly. I recommend making reservations. That way, you’re guaranteed a spot to dive into their delicious offerings without the wait.

When you’re done, you’ve got Esther Simplot Park right next door. It’s the perfect place for a post-meal stroll. It’s easily one of my favorite places to visit in Boise.

Wepa Cafe is one of the unique restaurants in Idaho.
Wepa Cafe in Garden City is a jackpot for Puerto Rican cuisine lovers, with a menu that packs a punch. | Image Source: https://wepaprcuisine.com/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the quirkiest restaurants in Idaho

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Idaho? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Idaho’s most unique restaurants.

What food is Idaho famous for?

Idaho is famous for its potatoes, and rightly so. They’re versatile, delicious, and the backbone of many comfort dishes.

Is Boise a foodie city?

Boise is definitely a foodie city, offering a surprising array of cuisines that can satisfy any craving. You can find everything from Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Russian, as well as a wide variety of American and Mexican restaurants.

Colorful urban traffic at night in Boise, Idaho,  USA.
Colorful urban traffic at night in Boise, Idaho, USA.

What is one fun fact about Idaho?

A fun fact about Idaho is that it’s home to one of the top things to do in the state: exploring the deepest river gorge in North America, Hells Canyon, which is even deeper than the Grand Canyon!

Where is the prettiest place in Idaho?

The prettiest place in Idaho has got to be Shoshone Falls, often called the “Niagara of the West.” Its stunning views and thundering waters make it a must-visit natural wonder.

The top restaurants in Idaho for all types of travelers
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