Finger steaks. Huckleberries. Basque cuisine. While outsiders might not believe it, Idaho’s actually known for more foods than just potatoes! Food is basically a love language in the Gem State and we’re so lucky to have so many festivals themed around celebrating it! 

In fact, one publication thinks that Idaho is home to one of the Best Food Festivals in the entire country. Eat This, Not That published a list titled “The Best Food Festival in Every State” and we’re sure that choosing just one festival for Idaho couldn’t have been an easy job.

READ MORE: 15 More Small town Idaho Restaurants That Are Worth the Drive

Between Boise’s tzatziki-soaked Greek Food Festival and the Basque and Soul Food festivals that are still yet to come, we can think of three solid contenders from the area alone. 

Photo by Scott Madore on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Madore on Unsplash

Take a road trip outside of Boise? Donnelly’s Huckleberry Festival or lamb dishes derived during the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum deserve to be in the mix, too! So which event took Idaho’s top spot? 

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None of those. Eat This, Not That chose a long-running event happening just under 50 minutes for Boise - the Emmett Cherry Festival! Most locals wouldn’t consider it a true “food festival” because most of the fun revolves around carnival rides, a car show, fireman hose competition, live music and an incredible parade. The pride that Emmett takes in their event is why it’s still one of the best Idaho events, 89 years running! It routinely draws over 55,000 attendees a year. 

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

And it’s not like they’ve forgotten the fruit that the festival is meant to celebrate. The Chamber of Commerce, which does an A+ job of organizing the event, will be selling fresh, local cherries during the festival. Festival goers can count on a cherry pie eating contest and cherry pit spit contest every year! In fact, you’ve got the opportunity to see those contests in person this weekend. 

The Emmett Cherry Festival runs Wednesday, June 12 through Saturday, June 15! You can grab the complete schedule of the “Let the Cherry Times Roll” festival HERE

Willing to travel to sample more cuisine? Here’s the events that Eat This, Not That chose in our neighboring states:

  • Washington: Walla Walla sweet Onion Festival, Walla Walla
  • Oregon: Mochitsuki Portland, Portland (Japanese cuisine)
  • Nevada: Best in the West Rib cook Off, Sparks
  • Utah: Tastemakers, Salt Lake City
  • Wyoming: Frontier Days, Cheyenne
  • Montana: Huckleberry Festival, Trout Creek

KEEP READING: 15 Small Town Idaho Restaurants That Are Worth the Drive

Last fall, we put together a list of 15 small town restaurants and hidden gems that are worth making the trip to as you explore the great state of Idaho! We're not surprised that you told us that some of your favorites didn't make that list, so we put together a part two!

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10 Well Known Boise Restaurants Famous for a Single Menu Item

The whole menu at these Boise mainstays is delicious, but it's THESE specific items that get people through the door the first time!

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9 Idaho Restaurants Praised on National Television Have Sadly Closed

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Man v. Food and several other foodie TV shows have come to Idaho over the years. Sadly, you can't visit all the restaurants you see on those shows. Some of them have closed for good after being in the spotlight.

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