The Villa Coffeehouse
Found in the historic downtown area of Idaho Falls, the independently-owned Villa Coffeehouse offers great coffee and food in a fantastic environment. The wood-floored, cosy venue is lined with books and art, with an old-fashioned fireplace to complete the domestic atmosphere. And with comfortable couches to sit on, customers can pick a book from a small library and just let the world pass by. For those who come to experience the full menu though, the food ranges from Denver quiche and pumpkin butternut soup to apple crumb pie and particularly colourful cheesecake.
Family-run SnakeBite has stuck to its hometown roots as its popularity has grown since it opened in 1994. Many of its recipes are a closely-guarded secret, and it shows; much of the cuisine is truly one-of-a-kind, though there’s nothing too unfamiliar either. One speciality is the Hells Canyon Chicken sandwich, consisting of Cajun spiced grilled chicken breast, laden with blue cheese and green chili. Don’t miss the draft beer selection either, often considered the best that Idaho Falls has to offer.
Republic American Grill and Tapas
A stone’s throw from the whitewater falls of the Snake River, the Republican American Grill and Tapas, has an eclectic interior full of original art. Most of the artists featured on the walls are local, and where possible the restaurant sources local Idaho ingredients for its Hispanic-American cuisine. The unusual yet delicious dishes include bacon-wrapped dates and grilled apple and pear with brie on rye. There is also a selection of great microbrews and more vegetarian options than you’re likely to see anywhere else in Idaho Falls.
An authentic American diner experience, Dixie’s Diner offers classic North American cuisine with fast and friendly service, big portions and low prices, not to mention quirky decor. The BBQ pulled pork sandwich is a particular highlight for lunch, but its varied breakfast menu is also well worth the trip. Customers can enjoy some 1950s ambience as they kick back with a real ice cream milkshake and even pick a track from their table’s personal jukebox.
Located in an old converted house next to the railway tracks, this small restaurant maintains a somewhat bohemian, punk vibe, reflected in its somewhat edgier and more interesting clientele (and the eclectic decor). But it’s more than a place to meet interesting people – with food prepared from scratch in-house there’s plenty to enjoy on the menu as well. D’Railed is known for various preparations of skirt steak, along with a mix of accompanying stir-fried vegetables topped with a dusting of cheddar. Fundamentally, for anyone who wants great food at a place a little different from most of what Idaho Falls dining has to offer, D’Railed is a good bet.
D’Railed, 468 N Eastern Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, United States, +1 208-881-5105
Featuring cooking styles from the Jaliscan area of Mexico, Jalisco’s Restaurant offers some of the best Mexican cuisine you’re likely to get north of the border, let alone within Idaho Falls itself. Visitors can sit on a small patio overlooking the Snake River as they enjoy customer favourites such as the pollo fundido (chicken tortillas with vegetables, spices and Monterey Jack cheese), The macho burrito, with shrimp fajitas and trout options also come highly recommended. Complimentary chips are provided, but diners with spicy palates will want to request a hotter salsa, as the default option can be a little mild.
Jalisco’s, 325 River Pkwy, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, United States, +1 208-612-0102
Snow Eagle Brewing
The small Snow Eagle microbrewery has a great assortment of dishes for all tastes, from grilled steak, (cooked to perfection) to wood-fired pizza and sushi; but it’s the beers that really bring the crowds. Customers have the option to try two house-crafted brews before they settle on their drink for the night, and whether they’re looking for German lagers or Mangy Wolf blond ales, they’re bound to be satisfied. Staff are attentive and offer helpful suggestions without being pushy, which, along with large food portions and a great location near the falls, make Snow Eagle worth the visit.
Chef Shane’s Perspective
More upscale and ritzy than many of the restaurants in Idaho Falls, Chef Shane’s Perspective is also a little out of the way and buried in a strip mall, but don’t let that put you off. It is definitely worth seeking out for a special treat. Every meal starts with European-style crusty bread with sweet herb oil, before moving on to delicious and well-presented dishes such as flatbread with chorizo-Romesco sauce (a nut and red pepper-based sauce that originated from Tarragona in Catalonia) and goat’s cheese and sweet potato gnocchi with mushrooms and spinach.
Smitty’s Pancake and Steak House
This reasonably priced restaurant is an excellent place for breakfast, and as the rather dated decor suggests, Smitty’s has managed to stick around for a long while. The reason? People just keep coming back for more. The cuisine is no-frills, so foodies could be disappointed, but for good standard diner fare it can’t be beaten. Top-rated breakfast food includes huge, light potato pancakes with bacon, while lunch options include tasty chicken fried steak or cod fillets, finished with a particularly delicious lemon cream cake.
Intended to be a casual dining experience specializing in steaks, seafood and pasta, the Sandpiper Restaurant has kept its aims clear. All steaks are hand-cut on site, while fish and seafood is flown in daily to be accompanied by homemade sauces, soups and desserts. Well known for their savoury prime rib, large crab legs and nightly seafood specials, the restaurant also offers the area’s largest selection of scotches, along with a wide variety of beers, wine and speciality martinis. And if customers want more, Sandpiper has a sister restaurant over in Pocatello.