Food: it’s not just a necessity - it’s an experience! That’s how these restaurants scattered throughout the Treasure Valley operate. Whether you are looking for yourself or to wow your guests from out of town, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings from breakfast to a midnight snack.
Some of the greatest places to catch a pancake or snag an omelette are the smallest ones- that’s where we’ll start our journey. Express Cafe on Fairview Ave might not have an eye-catching storefront, but that’s because they focus on crafting amazing french toast and donuts that will make you wish you could bring home the chef! The rest of the welcoming staff will also amaze as they serve you a cup of coffee and a newspaper with a smile. The Cafe opens at 6am and closes at 2:30pm, so early birds- grab a stool, and late risers- make a point to scramble out of bed for a great breakfast experience that will be worth those extra few winks. With a menu of good, hometown style meals, you will want to come here time and again.
Next up on the breakfast train is the Egg Factory. If omelettes tickle your fancy, then you should grab the crew and scoot on over to one of their three locations. From corned beef hash to the famous “factory potatoes”, the menu has a plethora of items from which to choose. We’d be foolish to forget the wonderful omelettes and egg platters for which this place is named. They fry a mean over-easy and fill their omelettes to the brim with scrumptious ingredients that will make your taste buds beg for more. If you have a sweet tooth that’s aching for cinnamon, make sure to tack a giant cinnamon roll on to your order- you will not be disappointed. This mouthwatering pastry will satisfy any sugar lover. The daytime cafe is open until 3pm, so hop in your car as soon as the rooster crows and start your day off right.
For those who may be crunched for time or just looking for something to sip on their way to work, Dutch Bros is a one stop drink shop for quality coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Seasonally, they offer pumpkin spice drinks that will warm you to your bones- just in time for fall festivities. Peppermint is another fun flavor offered during the winter months. The employees who work here are incredibly friendly and genuinely wish you well as they hand off the delectable nectar. If you have allergy restrictions, Dutch Bros has you covered. They offer non-dairy options such as soy, almond, and coconut milk. A major plus is that their hours are from 5am-11pm and even extend to 24 hours in some locations. This means that any time you need a pick-me-up, morning, noon, or night, you can pop on by and take a sip. You’ll be in and out and on your way in no time. Make sure to ask for recommendations and try to circle your way around their numerous combinations!
Rick’s Press Room is a marvelous restaurant that makes headlines. Located off of Idaho Street in Meridian, Rick Press Room might not be on the main drag but it is worth the small detour. The walls are decorated with words and newspapers creating an atmosphere of class that comes second only to their food. Food Network’s Guy Fieri agrees that this place is a must-try and they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you love pasta, the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken is a fan favorite and the Crab Dip is particularly delicious for the seafood aficionados. Another recommendation is the Press Room Burger that offers customization of cheeses, meats, eggs, and veggies. This great establishment is open for lunch and dinner, so swing on by and prepare to be wowed.
Speaking of being wowed, pizza lovers will flip over Flatbread Pizza! Flatbread specializes in gourmet pizza that will tickle your tastebuds. They also offer fabulous gluten free pizza crust for $1.50 extra. Almost everywhere you sit inside will give you a view of the enormous pizza oven, and the wait staff are phenomenal. This pizzeria is proud to serve pizza in the same style as those in Napoli- to be folded or eaten with a fork and knife. For an experience like no other, Flatbread is a great option.
Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill has televisions that will allow you to watch the game while you look over the menu. With many options including the Insalata Napoli- a salad with artichoke hearts, bacon, penne pasta, and chicken, you’ll find that this restaurant is much more than just a pizzeria. There are items for even the pickiest of eaters, and the wait staff will do everything they can to make sure you enjoy your meal. One suggestion for people who love spices would be the Ragin’ Cajun- a pasta dish inspired by cajun style cooking. If pizza sounds more up your alley and you are looking for a spicy kick, go for the Smoky pizza. It’s got jalapeños and bell pepper that add a great amount of heat along with the pepperoni that bring in flavor. The salmon, however, is a great dish for fish lovers and doesn’t light your mouth on fire. Served with dill aioli, this fish is cooked to perfection with the moisture sealed in. Swing by on your birthday and get a free meal. You won’t regret it!
If you are in the mood for Mexican food, stop by Chapala Mexican Restaurant. The massive wall murals and brick detailing offer a cool theming inside as you view the expansive menu. They offer a fantastic grilled chimichanga- a different take on the traditional chimichanga. The chefs are great with cooking meat so that it holds all the flavor, but doesn’t come out too dry. The salsa that is served when you sit down has a wonderful flavor and slight kick to it. Every bite of your meal will be packed with flavors that will leave your stomach satisfied and your tongue begging you to come back again and again.
Whether you long for a taste of Italy, are dying for a delectable drink, or want a breakfast that will start your day off with a smile- the Treasure Valley has got a place for you. There are so many impressive restaurants in the Treasure Valley- it’s hard to name just a few. If you have a hankering for a great dining experience, these are some great options. Try a few of these places or make a goal to try them all!