Sure, people come to Twin Falls and the Magic Valley for the stunning scenery, but they linger for this region's fabulous foodie scene.
You won’t go hungry in Southern Idaho, where a thriving dining scene is one of the region’s best features.
Places to eat in Twin Falls and the Magic Valley range from authentic Mexican to homestyle American favorites to globally influenced fusion cuisine, ensuring that locals and visitors alike have happy taste buds and full bellies.
Because Idaho is an agriculture hub, restaurants source
their ingredients locally. The best meats, dairy and produce
are right in their own backyards.
“We get the pick of the litter when it comes to getting product,” says Shane Cook, owner of KOTO Brewing Co. Twin Falls. “We use as many locally sourced ingredients as we can in our beers and our restaurant. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”
KOTO is Cook’s second project. His first was Twin Falls Sandwich Co. just down the street, where they source local ingredients like bread from Stone Ground Bakery, meat from Falls Brand Meats and cheese from Glanbia Cheese Marketplace. And they roast their own beef, turkey and pastrami. KOTO is named for the Japanese family that built the building the brewery is housed in, so there’s Asian influence threaded throughout the menu.
Beer, Wine and So Much More
Idaho is one of the country’s top producers of hops, so opening a brewery seemed like the next logical step.
Tom Nickel, a veteran Sun Valley restaurateur, had no plans to open new places in Twin Falls, but he fell in love with the panoramic view at the newly constructed Elevation 486 and the historic feel at Milner’s Gate and used his own experiences as a basis for the menus.
“Twin Falls has really grown and is filled in. Old buildings have been renovated and have become cool spots you’d expect to see in a big city,” Nickel says. “We buy as much from Idaho as we can. The wine scene is exploding and getting better all the time, we have fish from an aquaculture operation just down river, our beef is Snake River Farms grass-fed American Kobe Wagyu beef, and we get some of the best dairy and produce in the country from the Magic Valley.”
Food Hall Trend Hits Region
Across the region, there are dining options aplenty. Hopping on the food hall trend, 2nd South Market in Twin Falls features seven vendors ranging from coffee and ice cream to barbecue and sushi.
“We are thrilled to bring our food hall concept and Idaho’s first food hall to Twin Falls,” says Lisa Buddecke, owner of 2nd South Market. “With our large indoor and dog-friendly outdoor space, including cornhole games, fire pits, more seating and a stage for live music, 2nd South Market offers a year-round experience.”
Other Great Regional Finds
Ketchum Burritos, which has locations across the state, serves a slew of burritos, many made from locally sourced ingredients. Stevo’s in Heyburn is known for its loaded baked potatoes, topped with everything from steak to chicken, and a menu of sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads.
Those looking for down-home cooking need look no further than the Snake River Grill in Hagerman, where Idaho sturgeon, gourmet burgers from locally raised beef, and barbecue are on the menu (finish it off with a slice of their homemade pie). In Jerome, Mountain View Barn, a historic barn turned events venue, is the place to gather – not only for its delicious breakfast and lunch, but for special occasions.
Burley hasn’t seen the same growth as Twin Falls, but when Brek Pilling couldn’t find a place to take clients out to eat, he decided to open one. Kassiani, whose name is derived from Cassia County’s musical talent (which is often showcased at the restaurant) and the name of a ninth-century composer, combines the best of artisan breads, high quality oils and vinegars, a menu of upscale American classics, beer brewed in-house, and live music.
“Part of our goal was to introduce people to different flavors and to make a culinary experience here more exciting,” Pilling says. “We’ve seen a gradual shift that our community is starting to accept nontraditional food, with people coming in to taste cuisines from different cultures.”
5 Must-Visit Farmers Markets
1. Twin Falls Downtown Markers Market
About 30 vendors set up each Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May through October.
2. BlueRock Farm Market, Twin Falls
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; operates in growing season.
3. Countryside Market, Twin Falls
Open from June through October, stocking an array of unprocessed items.
4. Jerome Farmers Market
Runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays from May to October.
5. Buhl Farmers Market
Visit from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Wednesday from July to September.