Idaho’s Very Best Family Pizza Joint is 7 Hours from Boise
Naming the best pizza joint in Idaho is a daunting task, especially when there are well over 350 different choices across the entire state of Idaho. The folks at “Family Minded” decided that it's a task that they were sort of up for.
We say sort of, because the media brand didn’t dig into all of the options. Instead, they wanted to focus on choices that appeal to families looking to enjoy pizza together. That could mean coming to celebrate someone’s good report card. It could mean a post-season party for a kids soccer team. It could mean just bringing the family in on Friday night because it’s been a long work week and both mom and dad are just too burnt out to cook.
So which lucky restaurant did they choose for Idaho? In order to enjoy it, you’ll have to travel a little bit over seven hours north of Boise to sink your teeth into a pie at the “Best Family Pizza Joint in Idaho.” Family Minded chose Embers by the Lake in Hauser, ID.
While we haven’t had the privilege of eating there yet, we do love this pick if the theme of the list is “family.” Embers on the Lake opened in Hauser in 2014 after Chris Hammons and his wife, Jane, decided to buy a defunct upscale restaurant and transform it into a family-friendly, wood ford pizzeria. Something that Hammons knows that he wasn’t overly qualified for at first. It’s not a knock on him, it’s the truth. Hammons spent a great deal of his life as an educator and eventually retired from his principal job after 32 in the teaching field.
According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, he’d taken a few workshops on wood-fired ovens and how to cook that particular style of pizza. Luckily, Jane had some background in the restaurant industry after holding a leadership position with Pita Pit USA. Together, the couple did create the gathering place they hoped would bring the community of less than 700 residents together.
They ran it successfully for four years, but then one day Jane’s mind began to wander while out for a walk. According to a post on the pizzeria’s Facebook page, she really wanted Chris to be able to enjoy his retirement rather than handling building, repair and troubleshooting responsibilities at the restaurant. She prayed on it as she walked and all of a sudden, one of Embers’s loyal customers pulled her car over to chat with Jane. She told Jane that if the Hammons ever considered selling the pizzeria, she and her husband would like to be considered as potential buyers.
That couple was Allison and Rob Burnett. They had a history of restaurant ownership in the family and were Hauser locals who didn’t want to change a thing about their favorite place for pizza. It was an easy and smart transition for the Hammons.
Hauser has grown to a population of just over 1,000 and Embers on the Lake has grown too. The Burnetts took what was already great about the original pizzeria and brought it to a second location, Embers by the Green, in Post Falls near Highlands Golf Course in 2021.
In choosing Embers by the Lake as the best family pizza joint in Idaho, Family Minded said:
Embers by the Lake is located in the town of Hauser, and while it may be hard to get to, it’s definitely worth the drive. The restaurant's delicious wood-fired pizzas pack the place on weekends, the prices are reasonable, and there's a gorgeous view of the lake from the patio. What more can you ask for in a dining experience?
They’ve got over 25 pizzas on the menu, including two deep dish options. Names like Truffleupagus, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Notorious P.I.G. and Yo Adrian show that they live up to their mission of being “all about FUN!”
Some of the pizzas have some unique ingredients too. They serve a “Keep Clam & Carry On” pie that’s topped with sautéed clams with bacon and jalapeno and a “She’s Krafty” pizza made with an alfredo base that’s topped with mac & cheese.
With a 4.8 star rating on Google and 4.5 star rating on Yelp, it’s clear that locals think Embers is pretty deserving of the honor!
Of course, if you’re reading this from our neck of the woods, seven hours might be awfully far to drive for a good pizza. We recently asked our listeners to tell us what Boise area pizza shops were serving excellent pizza and deserve more attention for it. This is what you told us.