Surprising Data Shows Boise is NOT the Greatest Food City in Idaho
When you’re the largest city in Idaho by more than 100,000 people and have the ringing endorsement of a well-respected publication like Food & Wine, how could you not actually be the best food city in the state?
Not all that long ago, Food & Wine named Boise one of “America’s Next Great Food Cities” and said that we can now hold our own against “northwest food hubs” like Seattle and Portland. In their flattering write-up, they complimented all the greatest parts of Boise’s food scene: basque cuisine, new fine dining options, wineries, food trucks…
But when the news and education site, “MediaFeed” put their list “The Greatest Food City in Every State” they didn’t choose Boise. We’re disappointed, but we would’ve understood if they echoed the choice that Thrillist and Love Food made when they put together similar lists. Both of those publications chose Coeur d’Alene.
That’s fair. Coeur d’Alene has some really impressive fine dining like Beverly’s at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Tony’s on the Lake, a phenomenal Italian restaurant in Benet Bay. Two of their restaurants, Capone’s and Jimmy’s Down the Street, appeared on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The bicycle-themed Taphouse Unchained was named the most fun restaurant in the entire state. Coeur d’Alene is a worthy rival for Boise when it comes to crowning Idaho’s best food city.
But do you know who MediaFeed picked? Twin Falls. Read that again. Twin Falls. HUH?! Don’t get us wrong, Elevation 486 could be one of the best restaurants in the entire state. And Milner’s Gate has maintained a perfect five-star rating on Tripadvisor since it opened in 2019, but we hardly think of Twin as a culinary mecca.
So how did they get the title? MediaFeed basically ran numbers per capita: number of full-service restaurants, number of mobile restaurants, number of grocery stores, and number of specialty food stores per 100,000. They also factored in a “dining cost” for each city. A city could get bonus points if they ended up on CozyMeal’s international list of best food cities. (Twin Falls did not get those bonus points.)
When they crunched the numbers, Twin had a “foodie score” of 40.8, 26% higher than the rest of the state. Their food and dining price index was 71.3. So apparently having a lot of food choices and fair prices at them, makes you the best food city in the state. Who knew?