With the vast majority of new restaurants failing in their first year, it’s a huge accomplishment to run a successful dining establishment. But to thrive for not years, but
decades truly speaks to food quality and attention to detail! As monumental as that challenge may be, that’s exactly what these 10 restaurants and bars in Idaho have done, turning small mom & pop-type dreams into iconic eateries that are not only full of history but are inspiring in their legacies as well. Keep reading to learn more about these beloved restaurants that have stood the test of time:
1. White Horse Saloon, Spirit Lake
As the oldest operating saloon in the state and dating all the way back to 1907, this Idaho institution is classic in all the right ways. Original hardwood floors, a laid-back atmosphere, and succulent Northwest cuisine options make this gem hard to pass up.
2. BoJack's Broiler Pit, Lewiston
Started in 1951 by two Idaho gentlemen, Bob and Jack, Bojack's Broiler Pit is a Lewiston staple that is particularly renowned from its bite-sized steaks, spaghetti, and tucked away location. Out-of-the-box bar fare contrasts sharply with the relaxed dining atmosphere of the second level, but both showcase why this unique establishment has continued to thrive.
3. Corner Drug, Driggs
Home of the oldest soda fountain in Idaho, the Corner Drug today is a century-old classic that is hard to miss. Nestled at the corner of the only stoplight in town, this unassuming drugstore is
the place to stop for a delicious, hand-mixed milkshake made with real ice cream and toppings.
4. The Snake Pit, Enaville
Built in 1880, this rustic hideaway is the oldest restaurant in Idaho. While this lively establishment hasn't been without its challenges over the years, this historic gem continues to serve locals the same welcoming small-town atmosphere you crave, along with unexpectedly good eats.
5. Pioneer Saloon, Ketchum
The Pioneer Saloon originally opened as the Commercial Club in the 1940s, but has since then grown and evolved into a Sun Valley icon. Kitschy, western, and historic in all the right ways, this Idaho classic is often the first and last stop for visitors, as well as a regular treat for locals who come for the renowned prime rib and massive Idaho baked potatoes.
6. Bardenay, Boise
Come for the drinks and stay for the food at this Boise favorite, which is the capital's oldest distillery, and the nation's first restaurant-housed distillery. With a fantastic, open industrial-modern style ambiance and unique dishes for every taste, it's impossible to go wrong with a visit here.
7. Cedars Floating Restaurant, Coeur d'Alene
Northern Idaho's original floating restaurant has been thriving on Lake Coeur d'Alene since 1965, serving up fresh seafood entrees and unforgettable Northwest dishes with a side of epic 360-degree views.
Pictured: Macadamia crusted Mahi-Mahi. Yum!
8. Hudson's Hamburgers, Coeur d'Alene
This century-old classic has been a Northern Idaho gem for generations for good reason: a tried-and-true recipe for burgers grilled right in front of you and good old fashioned quality, no frills needed. Sometimes, honest to goodness simplicity is best, which is why Hudson's has been nationally recognized by Sunset Magazine and more over the years.
9. Wolf Lodge Steakhouse, Coeur d'Alene
Superb consistency, open fire grilling, massive fresh cuts of aged meat, and perfectly seared campfire taste that is second to none is what makes this decades-old classic one of the best restaurants in America. Western ambiance is a given, but the delicious cherrywood smoke aroma as you walk in will get your mouth watering before you even grab a seat.
10. Stagecoach Inn, Garden City
Labeled by Boise metro natives as a local institution that has been in our precious, western state "since the beginning of time," you might say that the aptly-named Stagecoach Inn has quite the history to it. World-famous prawns, tender prime rib and ribeyes, and a local, family-run vibe, loyals come here for the fantastic carnivorous options. Our recommendation? Don't miss out on the cream pies!
Idaho is full of restaurants with history. Do you have any memories about the early days of your favorite eateries?