Few people think of humble Idaho when it comes to mindblowingly fresh seafood, but there’s no harm in keeping our secret safe with us, now is there? The alluring tastes, smells, and unique garnishes that make this “coastal” cuisine such an indispensable part of the American culinary scene are just as easy to find here in the Gem State as they are in New England… just without the salty sea breeze blowing sand and dust onto your plate (which is a perk all on its own).
Instead of fighting the seagulls for our entrees, we get to see it reeled in straight off the line from one of our local rivers and fried, steamed, boiled, battered, breaded, or grilled to perfection. And while it could be just me, I’ve always thought that seafood is best experienced in winter, when you can just picture that icy water swirling around a fresh catch and preserving all the delicious flavors… But of course fish isn’t the only thing we offer here when it comes to all things ocean-bound! Unranked and outrageously fresh, the following are 10 of what we consider to be the best restaurants in Idaho to find delicious seafood.
1. Cedars Floating Restaurant, Coeur d'Alene
Bobbing quietly just off of Blackwell Island in Coeur d'Alene, long-standing Cedars has been dishing up fresh seafood to match its floating locale since 1965. Authentic, Northwest, fresh, and totally Idaho, you can devour perfectly charred cedar plank salmon - a diner favorite - smoked trout, and more while you enjoy beautiful views of the water up close and personal.
Address: 1514 N. Marina Drive
2. Emilio's, Boise
This underrated gem may be tucked away inside the Grove Hotel, but the seafood entrees you'll find here are so fresh you'll think you were oceanfront. From Monk fish and chips, wrapped in pancetta and drizzled with a tangy blood orange sauce to wild Alaskan salmon served on a bed of spinach and lightly glazed with a lemon and sweet onion vinaigrette, everything is creative, flawless, and tastes fresh from the ocean.
Address: The Grove Hotel. 245 S Capitol Blvd. Boise, ID 83702
3. Lucky Fins, Boise/Meridian
Casual but impressive, this seafood mecca will tickle your tastebuds in all the right ways. Offering everything from fresh fish - hand-delivered by local Idahoans - to uniquely poppable lobster tots to sushi, there's something for everyone here. Pictured: The El Diablo Roll.
Address: 1441 N Eagle Rd. Meridian, ID 83642
4. Rupert's, McCall
One of McCall's best fine dining experiences also offers impeccable seafood that is both creative and fresh, served up in a picturesque setting that overlooks Payette Lake.
Address: 1101 N 3rd St. McCall, ID 83638
5. Lodgepole, Moscow
Moscow's newest high-end casual eatery takes loyal-to-local to new levels of fresh delishness with a creative, seasonal menu that changes with the local produce. Seafood stew, a smoked fish plate, crab cakes, and more are a treat for the senses with their crisp, fresh appeal and local twists.
Address: 106 N Main St. Moscow, ID 83843
6. Jollymore's, Lewiston
For fish so tender it falls apart at the touch of a fork, Jollymore's stands out from the crowd for both flavor and personality. Perfectly seared Steelhead and Sturgeon are diner favorites, but specials like brown sugar and herb glazed coho salmon will take your experience a step beyond.
Address: 1516 Main St. Lewiston, ID 83501
7. Beverly's, Coeur d'Alene
The Coeur d'Alene Resort's pinnacle restaurant is already an elegant, flawless place to wine and dine with a view unlike any other in Idaho. But try your hand at one of the seasonally-prepared seafood options here for a mouthwatering meal that will alight your tastebuds with the freshest Northwest fare that our region has to offer. Pictured: Pan-seared Copper River King Salmon on a bed of Squid Ink Fettuccini with Butter Poached Langoustines and a Chardonnay Cream Sauce.
Address: The Coeur d'Alene Resort, 115 S 2nd St. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
8. Sandpiper Restaurant, Pocatello
This throwback nautical delight goes above and beyond when it comes to tasty seafood that's hard to find elsewhere. Diners particularly rave about the crab and macadamia nut filet, but you can't go wrong with the perfectly prepared Scottish Salmon, either!
Address: 1400 Bench Rd. Pocatello, ID 83201
9. D'Railed, Idaho Falls
This unique and recently revived hidden gem alongside the railroad tracks is Idaho Falls is worth a visit for the the unique vibe alone. But get your hands on the sustainably harvested surf and turf special before they sell out!
Address: 468 N Eastern Ave. Idaho Falls, Idaho
10. Kahootz Steak and Alehouse, Meridian
New and totally unexpected, this casual pub-style seafood joint is known for creating seafood fare that appeals to the masses, like crab-stuffed mushroom balls.
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