Where To Eat In Nampa, Idaho, Top 9 Restaurants You Should Try
Idaho’s second-largest city is a fast growing and with Nampa’s social and cultural growth comes a constantly evolving dining scene, where local recipes cross paths with ethnic cuisines and home-style bistros. From fine dining restaurants to artsy cafes, these are 10 of the best cultural restaurants to try in Nampa, Idaho.
Italian To Go is a little gem of a restaurant serving flavorful authentic Italian cuisine. Using only the freshest ingredients and making dough from scratch daily, the people at Italian To Go create delicious fare with recipes that have been handed down for generations. Highlights from the menu include salad with their signature dressing; Auntie Angie’s signature lasagne; and the vegetarian calzone stuffed with fresh vegetables and cheese. While it is primarily a takeaway and delivery establishment, indoor and outdoor seating are available for those wishing to dine in a cozy atmosphere.
The Flying M Coffee Garage is a popular joint where locals go to satisfy their craving for great coffee and delicious baked goods, which are proudly made with local and regional ingredients. Housed in an old auto shop in Nampa’s historic downtown area, this coffee shop serves locally roasted coffee and made-from-scratch muffins, cookies, scones, and more in an inviting eclectic atmosphere. They also offer many vegan and wheat-free options ensuring that a wide variety of tastes will be satisfied. The Flying M hosts many cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, benefit fashion shows and craft markets.
In 1973 Ron Le Baron purchased the little Honker Café, a staple in Nampa since the 1930s, renamed it Le Baron’s Honker Café and gradually transformed it into a larger establishment, all the while keeping it family friendly. Popular with the local residents, Le Baron’s serves delicious food made from scratch with breakfast, lunch and dinner all available, including vegetarian options. Highlights from the menu include the garden omelette made with fresh vegetables, the Baron sandwich with slow-roasted beef, onion, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and horseradish sauce on a French roll, and fresh Alaskan salmon. As for something sweet, try the famous jumbo cinnamon roll, it will not disappoint.
Chicken Apple Salad | Image Courtesy of Brick 29 Bistro
Tucked away in the basement of the old Nampa Masonic Temple, Brick 29 Bistro serves delicious ‘comfort food reinvented’. Chef Dustan Bristol prides himself on creating dishes using only the freshest local ingredients available, which means changing menus to highlight seasonal produce. The chef’s and, indeed, locals’ favorites include the bistro chicken with mushrooms, shallot, bourbon, and cream served on a bed of crispy polenta and the BLT pizza with Bristol bacon, garlic alfredo, fresh tomato, and Monterey Jack cheese. Keeping with the locally sourced theme, many of the wines here come from vineyards in the Snake River Valley.
Nampa residents who are looking for a bit of paradise head to the local joint Island Kine Grinds. A little piece of Hawaiian heaven tucked away in a strip mall, this restaurant serves authentic Hawaiian fare at affordable prices, all in a laid-back atmosphere. With influences from many Asian cultures, the food featured on the menu is packed full of flavor: delicious dishes include shoyu chicken, slow cooked chicken thighs with ginger, brown sugar and aloha shoyu and kalua pig, which is Hawaiian-style pulled pork. Visitors may enter this place as strangers, but they will leave feeling like ohana, or family.
Alfalfa and Omega Pizza | Image Courtesy of Messenger Pizza & Brewery
Part-gift shop and part-restaurant, Café de Coco is a unique establishment located in historic downtown Nampa. This cozy café is known for its generous portions of delicious homemade sandwiches, quiches, wraps, and luscious desserts, with delicacies such as the turkey focaccia with cream cheese and cranberries; and quiche with asparagus, bacon, and cheddar cheese being house specialities. Cinnamon rolls and triple lemon cake are just a couple of melt-in-your-mouth selections from the dessert menu. Café de Coco also boasts an extensive tea menu, making this great place for a relaxed afternoon away from home.
Messenger Pizza and Brewery is a brightly colored eclectic pizza joint downtown serving up delicious pies and great selection of microbrews that anyone can enjoy. With a choice of four types of dough, including whole wheat and gluten-free, several sauces and cheese, many meat toppings, and an extensive list of veggies, diners can get creative and build their own pizza or they may try one of the speciality pies. Highlights include the zesty Chuck Norris with pesto, sausage, garlic, red roasted peppers, and jalapeños or the Jalapeño Popper, which is topped with sweet cream cheese, jalapeños, and pineapple. A lively spot popular with the younger crowd, Messenger is perfect for a night out with friends.
Do not be fooled by the strip mall exterior or the name; Thailand Express is a great restaurant. It’s a favorite among locals, serving flavorful authentic Thai cuisine in an inviting, Thai-inspired atmosphere. Owned and run by Chef Pong, the restaurant serves delicious fare made to order using only the best ingredients. The extensive menu features appetizers, soups, salads, noodle dishes, curries, and more, plus most of the entrées can be made vegetarian. Delicious options include the spicy green garden curry and the succulent honey crispy duck. Several Asian beverages are also available, including Thai tea and various beers.
The Egg Factory is a popular hotspot serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week. As the name implies, the restaurant’s menu is heavily egg-based with a variety of Benedicts, scrambles, and omelettes. But there are plenty of other delicious American dishes made with the freshest ingredients available. The breakfast menu also features pancakes, French toast, and waffles all in a variety of flavors; while hamburgers and sandwiches are plentiful on the lunch menu. A couple of unique choices to note include the Hawaiian pancakes, which are inspired by the pina colada (minus the rum) and the Philly Benedict with grilled steak, mushrooms, and onions on top of a croissant topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; both tasty choices for the diner seeking something a little different.