Most of us know the larger, popular lakeside restaurants in the Inland Northwest. This list of 8 lakeside dining and imbibing destinations off the beaten path goes outside the “boat” — smaller, out-of-the-way spots with incredible views, good food, and excellent drinks.
Lake Coeur d’Alene
The Buoy Bar & Grill CDA, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The Buoy started as a burger boat delivering delicious food to boaters. Now, they have a sweet spot in McEuen Park at the top of the public dock serving juicy burgers, fish tacos, and a variety of margaritas, beers, and other drinks. Enjoy live music with lake views in a family-friendly environment.
Rowan’s Island Grill, Harrison, Idaho
This new Hawaiian food truck has quickly become popular with the Harrison locals! Grab a plate of teriyaki chicken, Kalua pig, or spam musubi and eat at the park or public beach. Vegan and gluten free options available.
Latitudes, Carlin Bay, Harrison, Idaho
Voted the Inlander’s 2022 Best Food Truck in North Idaho, Latitudes offers their own twist on fine dining. From flatbreads and burgers to an extensive kids’ menu, coconut shrimp, and famous twice-a-week “Prime Night,” they cover the bases. There is plenty of outdoor seating, live music, and a new pagoda too.
Conkling Marina & Resort, Worley, Idaho
Find a spot to park the boat and enjoy a memorable meal at the Steamboat Grill or an ice-cold drink at the Starboard Lounge. You can even order your Quinoa Salad and Braised Short Rib Tacos online and have a boat lunch on the water.
The Boathouse, Hayden Lake, Idaho
Situated on the south side of the Hayden Lake, the Boathouse is a lakeside dining spot that offers both food and a convenience store. The bistro menu features burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and there’s a full bar. New this year: soft serve ice cream!
Tyee Coffee + Goods, Coolin, Idaho
This cool café offers an appetizing breakfast and lunch menu to enjoy on the expansive deck with views of the lake. And Tyee’s coffee is pretty good too.
Lake Pend Oreille
Dish at Dover Bay, Dover, Idaho
With menu items like edamame tossed with truffle oil and black sesame seeds, Crispy Bourbon Chicken Fritters, and Grilled Hawaiian Escolar with honey-gochujang sauce, this out-of-the-way restaurant has made a name for itself. Dish At Dover Bay also has a full bar, long wine list, beer taps, and waterfront patio.
The Lake House Bar and Grill, Bayview, Idaho
This floating restaurant immerses you in lake views while you sip a craft cocktail. The menu is wide ranging, from Avocado Fries, a Smoked Pastrami Sandwich, Salmon BLT, and Strawberry Float Cake.
The View Café, 462109 US-95, Cocolalla, Idaho
This modest café with outdoor seating overlooking the lake sources meat locally and serves breakfast all day. The burger and sandwich menu is comprehensive and creative, and there are a few salads choices too.
Embers by the Lake, Hauser, Idaho
This fun lakeside restaurant serves wood-fired artisan pizza all day long and is the perfect place to hang out. The deck features a fire pit for roasting s’mores.
Sedlmayer’s Resort & Restaurant, Spirit Lake, Idaho
Previously the Boars Nest bar, Sedlmayers reopened in 2021 under new ownership with a new look and menu with Sunday morning breakfast, weekend lunch and dinner, a full bar, and live music.
Edgewater Lounge, Newport, Wash.
Edgewater’s chef brings 20 years of culinary experience to this classy lakeside restaurant that uses local meats and other local products when available. Dine in or take out breakfast, lunch, or dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
Originally published as “Lakeside Gems Off the Beaten Path: Dining & Imbibing On the Water” in the July-August 2022 issue.