From kitschy, clever, and sometimes slightly over the top to subtle with tasteful touches of whimsy, Idaho is home to more than a few restaurants and pubs that play by their own rules when it comes to decor and cuisine. This week as you decide where to grab a bite to eat, skip the boring chain restaurant and check out one of these 10 uniquely themed restaurants instead – you’ll thank us later!
1. The Reef, Boise
Tiki torches, surfboards, and island-style drinks and cuisine are awesome enough on their own. But add in the stunning rooftop patio -- complete with grass and bamboo awnings and live music -- and you have a tropical paradise without the kitsch that is right in the heart of Idaho.
2. Jalisco's, Idaho Falls
It's not unusual for a Mexican restaurant to feature south-of-the-border themed decor, but Jalisco's takes it to another level with intricately carved chairs, terra cotta details, and bright colors.
3. Taphouse Unchained, Coeur d'Alene
Make your own margarita by hopping on a bike-powered blender. Dine under bicycle wheel lighting and sit on bicycle tire bar stools. Bicycle memorabilia fills this unique pub in Coeur d'Alene, perfectly situated near the Centennial Bicycle Trail in downtown CDA.
4. Rick's Press Room, Meridian
Subtle but with personality, this tiny news-themed restaurant in Meridian has made a name for itself already with incredible food that you won't find anywhere else. But the homemade touches also inspired the decor as well, which features walls covered in news clippings and headlines, as well as a wall for guests to leave their own personal mark on.
5. The Fedora Pub and Grille, Coeur d'Alene
Subtle '20s decor that pays tribute to the gentleman's hat of the era, a cozy bar area complete with sofas and easy chairs, and a chill, modern vibe make the Fedora an incredible place to relax or dine out in Northern Idaho. The atmosphere is one of a smooth, chic jazz lounge -- and the food is just as phenomenal. Even the bread is made from scratch!
6. Barbacoa, Boise
This Latin-American fusion restaurant has some of the most unique decor you'll ever see. A rustic-chic blend of heavy woods, metals, and funky local art, combined with stunning sculptures and a lighted barfront make this gem an art-noveau masterpiece just as much as it is a restaurant. But the food is absolutely spectacular as well, and is a work of art on its own.
7. Shorty's Diner, Hailey
Sleek surfaces, vintage memorabilia, and the retro tile you remember from the '50s is what Shorty's is all about -- that and true-to-the-era cuisine and music.
8. Guppies Hot Rod Grille, Twin Falls
One man with a passion for classic hot rods takes his dream to the next level with a diner themed around vintage flames, pinup culture, and an edgier side of the '50s. Depending on where you sit, you'll find yourself surrounded by hand painted graffiti-tattoo style tables, vintage rims, plenty of chrome, and all the muscle car artwork you could possibly dream of.
9. Capitol Cellars, Boise
Uniquely themed to pay tribute to Idaho's capitol building just a few blocks away, this restaurant features vintage photos of the capitol's architecture, stately finishes, legislative seals, and the added beauty of stonework to enhance the cellar atmosphere.
10. Snake River Roadhouse, Swan Valley
Like the western gem we are, Idaho is filled with western and cowboy-themed saloons, steakhouses, and restaurants. But Snake River Roadhouse is a slightly hidden gem that is all too often overlooked, despite its rustic setting, wood paneled walls, tasteful wagon pioneer ambiance, and quaint Oregon trail touches -- classic saloon doors included!
You definitely won’t miss traditional restaurants after trying one of these epic establishments. Do you know of any more fun, themed restaurants right here in Idaho? Let us know!