A Visit to Snakebite Restaurant Idaho Falls, Idaho

Happening Upon A Culinary Adventure: Exploring the Irresistible Flavors of Snakebite Restaurant in Comparable Idaho Falls, Idaho

On the corner of one of the busier intersections in the heart of Idaho Falls, Idaho, SnakeBite Restaurant is a well-rounded dining experience. Serving up traditional American fare such as burgers, steaks, and sandwiches, as well as a wide variety of specialty dishes, with vegetarian, and gluten-free options; SnakeBite has been a local favorite since its opening in 2002. Housed in a historic building in downtown Idaho Falls, originally an early 1900s bank, the restaurant offers a rustic atmosphere with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and a cozy fireplace. The eatery also offers a full-service bar with a wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits, and for those looking for something a little different, there are also specialty cocktails that combine unique ingredients with fresh fruit and herbs.

            It’s near impossible for me to think of an Idaho Falls experience that hasn’t included SnakeBite Restaurant. I was in IF at the tail end of COVID and would be in town for three days. I wanted to spend my first evening at SnakeBite. I rounded the corner on foot, nearing the restaurant, and was disappointed to see that it was closed, not permanently, but situationally. Each day for the following three days I stopped by SnakeBite at different times of the day hoping to catch them. I was beginning to get discouraged. On a side note, I was aware that my ex-wife was living in Idaho Falls, and knowing that I would be in town I debated reaching out to her—she was newly remarried, and we hadn’t talked much in the previous few years—and because I didn’t have the time to coordinate a meetup and manage any unexpected awkwardness, I decided to not tell her that I would be in town. Over the same weekend, there was an art market along the Snake River, and walking around the market was a pleasant distraction from the empty restaurant just a couple of blocks away.

Idaho Falls, for me, is a small town; it was when I started visiting in 2006, and will continue to be forever, regardless of the fact that the city has been one of the fastest growing in the country. Regardless of how much the town may have grown, there are still only a small handful of spots in Idaho Falls that I care to visit, it’s an incredibly commercial town, and I’m not particularly fond of the McDonaldization of America (which, I imagine, makes a place like SnakeBite that much more welcoming). On my last day in IF, on this particular visit, I again stopped by SnakeBite, and this time the restaurant was bustling with hungry patrons, it was the middle of the day, and there were few available tables. Luckily, there was a table opening up that had not yet been cleared outside along the sidewalk. As I walked toward the front entrance I noticed, sitting at a table directly outside the front doors, was my ex-wife, her new husband, and her grandmother. I didn’t join them, nevertheless I sat outside, and only a few tables down from where the trio was dining. I ordered the Blue Snake River Burger—a favorite of mine—and sipped on a Lager. The universe can sometimes make a habit of putting us—me—in interesting positions, nevertheless when happening at a restaurant as good as the SnakeBite, at least the experience is enjoyable. 

         Downtown Idaho Falls

 

The main dining room is a small open space with wood floors and exposed brick, and there’s a fireplace at the rear center of the room, the room is surrounded by bay windows so that you can enjoy the happenings of the developing downtown area, and on one of the more prominent city blocks. I prefer to sit in the back—or outside, weather permitting—the “back,” has always felt more comfortable to me, and less formal. The bar is at the back of the restaurant, and although it’s a small bar with only four or five stools, the two adjacent rooms with scattered high-top tables and nook seating, feel friendlier than the main dining room. During my most recent visit to Idaho Falls, I stopped by SnakeBite, after checking in to my hotel, and sat near the fireplace (it wasn’t lit). I ordered the Cowboy Burger—it was delicious, as always—and the SnakeBite: a ½ Lager, ½ Cider, concoction with a bit of a dramatic bite. I’m not sure I would order the drink again (at least with the evening's choice of Ciders: a Chai Spiced Cider), although it did pair fairly well with the burger. Afterward I walked around the busier downtown blocks a few times, and then along the river. It was dark by then, but I could feel the moisture from the Snake River and hear the nearby falls—the sound of water has always been a favorite sound of mine—before walking to my car and calling it a night.

The next time I was at the SnakeBite, I was meeting a friend at their bar. We each ordered a margarita (and a second) and sat there talking. It was mid-afternoon, we didn’t order anything to eat, instead we sat there for hours enjoying the ambiance and one another’s company, in what would become a pleasantly memorable day. Idaho Falls, is a rather bland town, there’s very little you can do there that you couldn’t do anywhere else, however, like anywhere, moments can be noteworthy, regardless your location or situation, and between walking around the river, sitting quietly in the Japanese Friendship Garden, grabbing a coffee at the Villa, and sitting with a good friend at SnakeBite eating or simply having a drink finding a way to make the days enjoyable isn’t too difficult.

The food at SnakeBite is always fresh and cooked to order, and the prices are reasonable. The portions are generous, and the flavors are bold and flavorful. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or an intimate dinner, SnakeBite Restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy a delicious meal in the heart of Idaho Falls, Idaho. With its unique atmosphere, friendly service, and delicious food, SnakeBite, whether you’re running into your ex-wife, meeting a friend for drinks, or biting your time on your way out of town, is sure to be a memorable dining experience.

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