There are certain cuisines that Idaho is known for. Italian’s not necessarily one of them, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not some downright delicious destinations around the state.
When you think of Idaho’s best cuisines what comes to mind first? Finger Steaks? That’s fair. As legend has it, finger steaks were first served at Milo’s Torch Lounge years before it was a gentlemen's club. The original recipe was allegedly shared on Facebook last spring and broke the internet.
Maybe Basque food? That’s fair. Boise is home to the largest concentration of Basques in the United States. Thanks to places like Basque Market, Bar Gernika, Txikiteo and Epi’s there are plenty of delicious places to enjoy traditional Basque cuisine.
Anything Huckleberry would be another fair guess. The purple gold only grows at certain elevations and Idaho is the perfect place for them to thrive. That’s why we have huckleberry everything: wine, vodka, pies, jams, pancakes, ice cream…huckleberry everything!
So, yeah…Italian isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. That said, when Eat This, Eat That put together their list of the “Best Italian Restaurant in Every State” they weren’t going to leave Idaho off just because there aren’t as many here as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or even Northeast Ohio.
So who did they hand the honor for Idaho to? None other than a Boise legend, Cucina di Paolo on Vista Avenue. Cucina di Paolo is well known for being the home of one of the city’s most well known landmarks, Betty the Washer Woman. But they’re even more well known for their famous take and bake lasagnas. After co-owner, Paul Wegner, passed away suddenly in 2020, they’ve gone back to their roots, offering lasagnas, chicken pot pies and a selection of MJ Wegner’s scrumptious baked goods.
Lasagna choices include traditional ground beef and sausage, sausage and mushroom, chicken and spinach, chunky vegetarian and veggie cheese. They’re available Wednesday-Saturday.
So, what if you’re looking for somewhere to sit down and have a good Italian meal? These are other highly rated Italian restaurants in and around Boise.