- Marcelina Morfin
Idaho Falls, nestled in the Snake River Plain, is one of Eastern Idaho’s most beautiful communities. An outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, it also has a thriving art and culture community as well as many delicious dining options, from innovative American to Mexican food. Here we take an updated look at some of the best culinary offerings in Idaho Falls.
Buttercup Bakery & Bistro
Established in 2013 by Neccia Hahn, Buttercup Bakery and Bistro is a delightful venue specializing in baked goods of varying sorts. Foodies will find a delectable array of edibles, including artisan breads, bagels, muffins, scones, cookies and quick breads. Only the best quality ingredients, which are mostly organic and locally sourced, go into the food (which also includes sandwiches and soups). In addition to sweet treats like pumpkin chai muffins and maple bacon scones, guests may also dine on savory options, such as ‘le parisien’, which is ham and chive butter on a fresh-baked baguette. Another favorite is the ‘veg head’, consisting of various veggies, mozzarella, and pesto on fresh-baked ciabatta.
Buttercup Bakery & Bistro, 335 1st St., Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 524 9088
Chef Shane’s Perspective
Located in a nondescript strip mall, Chef Shane’s Perspective is a fine dining restaurant specializing in delectable American cuisine infused with Spanish, Caribbean and French flavors. Owned and operated by Chef Shane O’Dell and his wife Giani, guests will find succulent meats, fresh seafood, and a variety of other flavorful seasonal dishes plus specials, which are listed on a blackboard. Past highlights included lamb with a whole grain mustard, honey, and rosemary glaze; seared rib-eye with a mushroom and Gorgonzola demi-glace; and mussels with chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chipotle butter and white wine. Currently the number one rated restaurant in Idaho Falls on TripAdvisor, this eatery is a true gem.
Chef Shane’s Perspective, 3192 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 932 2727
Across the street from the Idaho Falls Greenbelt and Snake River sits the warm and inviting Copper Rill, a casual restaurant opened by Chef Jud Wilcox and Shandi Fujimoto in 2013. Featuring an array of eclectic American cuisine, the menu offers a variety of made-from-scratch sandwiches, pasta, and entrées that will appeal to many diners. Serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, guests can savor delectable dishes such as lightly pan-seared mahi-mahi tacos served with tomato, red onion, cabbage, and cilantro-lime sauce, plus corn tortillas and Thai lamb chops, which are marinated in hoi sen, honey, garlic, red curry, and sesame seeds accompanied by confetti orzo.
Copper Rill, 415 River Parkway, Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 529 5800
Deana Brower and Sarah Lange are the proud owners of Diablas Kitchen, a welcoming and chic restaurant and catering company specializing in ‘clean comfort food’. Striving to use the freshest ingredients available, they procure from local purveyors whenever possible, and the menu, in turn, changes often to reflect seasonal items. Delectable offerings include spicy corn chowder, a pulled pork panini with raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce, and a chicken salad croissant to name a few. This eatery serves breakfast and lunch during the week, a Sunday brunch, plus two special dinners each month: a beer pairing five-course dinner and a theme dinner, which is also a five-course event. Live music takes place on occasion adding to the already charming ambiance.
Diablas Kitchen, 368 A St., Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 522 1510
Guests wanting to experience a bit of the 1950s can make a visit to the friendly Dixie’s Diner. A classic American retro diner complete with vinyl booths and red, white and black chairs and jukeboxes at each table, this restaurant serves up American comfort food the entire family will enjoy. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, tasty options available include chocolate chip pancakes; the garlic mushroom hamburger; and chicken fried steak smothered with gravy accompanied by potatoes and corn on the cob. There are also sweet treats, including thick creamy milkshakes in a variety of flavors.
Dixie’s Diner, 2150 Channing Way, Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 542 1950
Jalisco’s Mexican Restaurant
Owned and operated by Humberto and Rhonda Ponce, Jalisco’s Mexican Restaurant, which has been named ‘Best Mexican Restaurant’ for four years, specializes in flavorful Mexican cuisine. With two locations in Idaho Falls — one opened in 2002 with another one in 2007 — diners can feast upon dishes that range from burritos to enchiladas and house specialties, all served in a festive atmosphere. Highlights from the menu include the burrito chipotle with chicken in a flour tortilla topped with cheese and a creamy chipotle sauce; pork nopales, which is pork sautéed with veggies and cactus; and mouth-watering fish tacos. With a large selection of beverages, guests can try an imported beer or fruity margarita to go along with their meal.
Jalisco’s, 325 River Pkwy, Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 612 0102
Jalisco’s, 2107 E. 17th St., Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 552 2021
Lucy’s New York Style Pizzeria
Voted by locals as having the best pizza in Idaho Falls, Lucy’s New York Style Pizzeria, as the name suggests, specializes in New York-style pizza. The pizza is hand-tossed with a thin crust. With three locations in Idaho plus one in Utah, it is easy to see why this pizza joint is so popular: the dough is made-from-scratch daily, the sauce is made in-house, plus they procure only the highest quality ingredients. Mouth-watering highlights from the menu include the ‘zestbian’, which is topped with a BBQ-ranch sauce, pepperoni, ham, chicken, pineapple, bacon, and jalapeños, and the buffalo chicken. Vegetarians and those abstaining from gluten will also be pleased with the variety of options available to them.
Pitmaster BarBQue Company
A meat lover’s paradise, Pitmaster BarBQue is all about slow-cooked meats and mouth-watering BBQ sauces and ribs. A strong presence on the BBQ competition scene, owner Rob Harding opened his family-run brick-and-mortar shop in 2013 to feature his award-winning BBQ. Using the highest quality ingredients available, the menu has an array of succulent dishes for visitors to dine on, including pork ribs served with cornbread and a side dish — enticing options include smokey mac n’ cheese and potato salad — and a Pitmaster blend burger with BBQ butter accompanied by fresh-cut fries. This friendly establishment also features house-made desserts.
Republic American Grill & Tapas Bar
Offering a beautiful view of the Snake River, Republic American Grill and Tapas Bar is a restaurant specializing in contemporary American cuisine using the best locally sourced ingredients when available. A trendy space featuring the work of local artists, this dining venue offers guests an array of appetizing dishes, from entrées featuring meat, poultry, and fish to vegetarian plates to small plates or tapas, which are all made-from-scratch. Choices to note are the beef tenderloin served with fried portabellas and a caramelized onion demi-glace, vegetarian lasagna, and goat cheese wrapped in ale dough then fried and served with cracked pepper honey.
The SnakeBite Restaurant
Established in 1994, The SnakeBite Restaurant is a cash-only eatery specializing in creative New American cuisine and is constantly voted as the ‘Best American Food’ in Idaho Falls. A warm and friendly establishment, this restaurant has lunch and dinner menus featuring steaks, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. The SnakeBite offers diners delightful recipes, such as the osso bucco, which is tender pork with a ginger-soy mahogany sauce served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Another favorite is the wild sockeye Alaskan salmon with a tequila lime honey glaze on a bed of rice topped with fresh salsa. Offering innovative fare plus a full bar with an array of beverages, it’s easy to see why people return again and again to SnakeBite.
The SnakeBite Restaurant, 401 Park Ave., Idaho Falls, ID, USA, +1 208 525 2522
By Marcelina Morfin