Red Fir Hideaway has been in my family for almost 50 years and has been one of my favorite vacation destinations for as long as I can remember. Summer trips were highlighted with boat rides on the lake, feeding deer in the front yard and, of course, huckleberry picking so that Grandma could bake us a huckleberry pie.
In recent years, my parents have spent a lot more time in the area than I have and know the local restaurant scene well. So when I started to write this post on where to dine out near Red Fir Hideaway, I looked to my mom for recommendations. Read on for her top picks!
The Floating Restaurant – at Hope Marina
“The Floater, as the locals call it, never disappoints! They always have fresh fish and meat specials and their standard menu options are great as well. What we love is that they use local ingredients, so most of their specials incorporate what really is fresh that day. We happened to eat there tonight and the chef/owner’s husband was “wheeling in” a batch of freshly picked (by locals) morel mushrooms that would be used for the appetizer special of the night – how cool! They have two levels of outdoor deck seating as well as indoor seating if the weather is misbehaving. We also like to sit at the bar sometimes and have a drink and appetizer. Their crispy garlic-pepper shrimp is amazing!”
Pearl’s on the Lake Hope – at Beyond Hope Resort
“New to the Hope Peninsula, Pearl’s on the Lake (owned by the same chef/owner of Pack River Store) just opened in early May. We happen to be huge fans of the Pack River Store, so we were super excited when we heard they were opening on the peninsula (a little closer to home). The menu at Pearl’s is a little different from PRS (a little more refined and higher end), but just as delicious. The menu for now is limited, but we found that there are a handful of nightly specials that round it out. We have been there for lunch and dinner and highly recommend. Great wine list too!!”
Drift Lakeside Kitchen & Bar – in Hope
“Drift is another new restaurant to our little community, and one we were excited to try. Chef Josh Dorrell has some roots in our home town of La Quinta (working in numerous chef positions at PGA West) and has also been the Executive Chef at Two Bunch Palms – one of our very favorite “staycation” spa resorts in Desert Hot Springs. They feature live music on the weekends and great food to go along with it. I tried the hangar steak with chimichurri sauce and it was amazing – tender and tasty. Our friend tried the steamed mussels (special) and said they were delicious. Service was excellent. I don’t think Josh can go wrong here!”
Cabinet Mountain Bar & Grill – in Clark Fork
“If you want to check out a real “local bar” in the area, this is where you need to go. They have ice cold beer on tap, plus a full bar (I have never ordered wine there because it doesn’t seem appropriate). Cabinet Mountain has, by far, the best burger I have ever eaten. They also have prime rib every Friday and Saturday night and, when the weather gets warmer, they start grilling on the patio. Like every great local bar, the lights are dim and the music is playing – it is something that everyone who visits Hope or Clark Fork needs to experience. Patio dining is available in the summer and live music is featured sporadically on the weekends. Just go!”
Clark Fork Pantry – In Clark Fork
“Another one of Dad’s (and my) favorites. Delicious homemade soups (different flavors made daily), made to order deli sandwiches, take and bake pizzas and amazing, fresh-baked items from bread to pies that you can’t resist. During huckleberry season you can preorder a homemade huckleberry pie (my mouth is watering as I type this). They also have a small amount of fresh grocery items, baking supplies, spices and locally made products. This is an almost daily stop for us!”
Pack River Store – A little farther, but worth the drive
“This is a great lunch spot. Eat outside on the patio along the Pack River and enjoy the amazing food of Chef Alex Jacobson, who also owns Pearl’s on the Lake [see above]. The food here is a little more casual than Pearl’s, and equally delicious. They also feature monthly, five-course, tasting menu dinners and wine dinners that sell out quickly. Like Pearl’s, ask about the daily specials, they are always amazing!”
Hoot Owl Café – in Ponderay
“What can I say – Dad and I love this place. I am sure everything there is delicious, but this is our “go-to” place for breakfast at any time of day. If we happen to be in the area at any time between breakfast and late lunch, Dad will suddenly be “craving pancakes”. So I’m told the pancakes are great, but I’m a biscuit and gravy kind of girl and let me tell you, you can’t go wrong with The Moon Man. Carb overload, but worth every calorie!”
Click here to learn more about Red Fir Hideaway and book your summer stay in beautiful Northern Idaho!