Nestled in a city that is home to 791 residents, this locally owned restaurant is among an elite list of places worth pulling off major freeways to enjoy! 

24/7 Tempo put together a list of the Best Hidden Gem Restaurant in Every State and the choice for Idaho is in one of our state’s most interesting small towns - Wallace. The once booming silver mining town proclaimed itself the “Center of the Universe” in 2004, because no one could prove that it wasn’t. According to Atlas Obscura, They installed a manhole cover to prove it and designed it to include initials of the towns four main mines that resulted in producing over 1.2 billion dollars in silver. 

Get our free mobile app

Of course, the mining history isn’t the only intriguing part of a visit to Wallace. Home to the Oasis Bordello Museum, there were still brothels operating there clear into the late 1980s. The madams at the brothels had a friendly and philanthropic relationship with the town’s residents and law enforcement. The Bordello Museum was one of those that was suddenly abandoned in 1988. The tour walks you through their hasty departure and is relatively untouched from that day. Another one of the brothels has been remodeled into a ritzy Airbnb and another is on the market.  (Keep scrolling to see a tour of the property after the restaurant reveal!)

Sarah Murphy/Local Real Estate
Sarah Murphy/Local Real Estate
loading...

It’s also close to one of the most impressive bike trails in Idaho, the Route of the Hiawatha and is where Pierce Brosnan shot Dante’s Peak. 

There’s no doubt there’s a lot of reasons to pull off Highway 90 to explore Wallace, but 24/7 Tempo’s reason is totally culinary. Their reason is Blackboard Cafe, Idaho’s representative on their list of Best Hidden Gem Restaurants. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps
loading...

According to the Blackboard Cafe’s description on Yelp, the restaurant first opened in 2016 as a sandwich shop but two months in, owners Rob and Luanne, decided to expand to a dual concept restaurant that served an Italian menu during dinner hours.  Rob has a 20 year culinary career that’s taken him everywhere from Reno to Long Beach to Alaska to Taos, New Mexico and eventually to Wallace, where the couple now calls home. 

In choosing Blackboard 24/7 Tempo said: 

“Just off Interstate 90, but otherwise what most people would call remote, tiny Wallace, Idaho, is home to a handful of good eateries. The best one, according to its patrons, is the Blackboard Café. The menu is standard Italian fare without a lot of flash, but it is cooked from scratch and is consistently delicious.”

We’re not quite sure that we agree that there isn’t a lot of flash to items on the menu at Blackboard. Just look at this Benedict burger that’s on the lunch menu. It’s a ½ pound of organic beef, topped with Swiss cheese, tomato and slathered in hollandaise sauce. 

Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
loading...

Or this delicious lobster roll made with tarragon butter sauce and served on a brioche roll. 

Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
loading...

And those are just lunch menu items! Just look at these dinner menu items, like lobster truffle pasta.

Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
loading...

Or this Osso Busco, a braised lamb shank made with herbed butter and served with potato puree. 

Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
Facebook/Blackboard Cafe
loading...

We see a lot of flash on this menu, so we’re not sure why Tempo 24/7 couldn’t see the creativity, but we sure are happy they gave us one more reason to stop into Wallace on our next adventure! Speak of adventure, here’s a look at that brothel for sale there in case you consider relocating there from the big city of Boise. 

KEEP READING: See Inside A Historic and Naughty Idaho Brothel for Sale

Located at 611 Cedar in Wallace, ID this property used to be a well known brothel. What used to be its sister property was remodeled into an upscale bed and breakfast with artwork honoring the gals that used to work there. Will its next owner do something similar to this property?

15 More Small Town Idaho Restaurants That Are Worth the Drive

Last fall, we put together a list of 15 small town restaurants and hidden gems that are worth making the trip to as you explore the great state of Idaho! We're not surprised that you told us that some of your favorites didn't make that list, so we put together a part two!

Eerie Video Shows What's Left of One of Idaho's Most Unique Ghost Towns

The back of one of these historic postcards describes Burke, ID like this "This quaint show-piece of the area’s early-day mining is jammed in a canyon with hardly room for its street, railroad and stream. Shoshone county is one of the world’s great mining regions and has produced over 2 billion dollars - mostly in lead, silver and zinc." Burke's mining operations came to a halt in 1991 and the remaining residents left town. Today, the structures that have survived look like the town that time forgot. Read more about the history of Burke HERE.