You might be busy soaking up the last days of summer, but fall fun is just around the corner — and Meridian is ready to serve it up! Enjoy warm days and cool nights while exploring Southwestern Idaho’s epic local beers, wines, and foodie delights.
Tour the Wine Trail
Southwestern Idaho has steadily been building a reputation for excellent wines. Chalk that up to the region’s lush volcanic soil, perfect elevation, and low humidity, and hot days and cool nights. Idaho’s most celebrated wine region is just 30 minutes away from Meridian, which makes it the perfect day trip for curious experimenters and serious oenophiles. Hit the Sunnyslope Wine Trail and explore 17 Snake River Valley AVA wineries during the peak of harvest season, which typically runs from September through October (and sometimes even November). Please be sure to use a designated driver or enlist the services of a company like Meridian’s own Idaho Wine Tours.
Brew Up Some Fun
There’s no shortage of great beer in Meridian. Whether you prefer an easy-sipping pilsner, a thick and full stout, a super-hoppy IPA, or a tried-and-true lager, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to indulge this autumn.
Oktoberfest: Get ready to raise your stein and practice your “prost!” On October 1, more than 12 bars and restaurants will band together to transform Downtown Meridian into a supersized biergarten during the city’s inaugural Oktoberfest celebration. This daylong party, presented by sponsor First Federal Savings Bank and hosted by the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, will take place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The city will block off part of downtown to automobile traffic during this free-flowing event, with the center of the action at the corner of West Second Street and West Idaho Avenue. Grab a commemorative beer stein for $15 and meander through participating vendors, including Heritage Hop Hause, 830 Commons, Deja Brew Bistro, The Roosevelt, Pauly’s Bar Room, The Vault, and more. Nosh on bratwurst and other bites, test your skills at a cornhole tournament, enjoy exhibitions, and dance your way through the day with live music from RJ McGuinness, Broken Tip Jar, Red Light Challenge, and headliner Pilot Error.
Expect family-centered fun earlier in the day and traditional beer drinking games like Hammerschlagen as the evening progresses. There’s no admission fee for Oktoberfest, which promises to be the first of many new downtown-oriented festivals and events hosted by the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the chamber’s events section.
Loose Screw: The folks at Loose Screw make it easy to have a good time. This easygoing, pet-friendly haven has quickly become a Meridian favorite for cranking out concoctions such as the sessionable Modest Freak IPA, tasty Blonde Bombshell Blonde Ale, and the off-the-wall Wacko Mango, which is flavored with — you guessed it — over 150 pounds of mango. Loose Screw also serves up beers from around the West and has plenty of games on hand.
Ram Restaurant and Brewery: When you want plenty of room, a slice or a burger, and fun beers, the Ram is the place to go. The Ram serves its own beers, including the fruity Fun in the Suds IPA, Big Horn Hefeweizen, and Disorder Porter. Bonus: It’s kid-friendly.
Feed Your Inner Foodie
Meridian has no shortage of fantastic restaurants, but these independent eateries have become favorites of both locals and visitors alike. Round out your day of wine tasting or beer sipping at these cozy restaurants.
Kahootz Steak and Alehouse: Kahootz may have a funny name, but it’s seriously delicious. For 20 years, this Downtown Meridian steakhouse has been serving up classics made with fresh ingredients — thick and juicy ribeye steaks, crisp wedge salads topped with homemade dressing, and huge slices of caramel-apple bread pudding, just to name a few. FYI: Kahootz is first-come, first-served.
Epi’s: A Basque Restaurant: For more than 20 years, ravenous diners have been stepping into the front door of Epi’s — located in a cute old bungalow — and walking out stuffed to the brim with classic Basque specialties. Whether you tuck into sizzling garlic shrimp, lamb chops, ink fish, or more, each dish will be accompanied by more side dishes than the average human can reasonably handle. Be sure to make reservations, because this place fills up fast.
Il Sugo: This family-friendly intimate restaurant is high on comfort food and low on pretension.
At Il Sugo, you choose your pasta and your sauce for a completely customizable experience — and when the experience includes fresh pasta made by local experts Ferranti Pasta, you can’t go wrong!
Vintage ’61 Wine Bar and Kitchen: Vintage ’61 is based on a farm-to-table philosophy: super-fresh ingredients, prepared well, and served with some of the best wines in the world (including those from Idaho). Its location in a former house is cozy and makes it a great choice for date night.
Ramen House: When the weather starts to cool, there’s no better way to warm up than ramen. This family-owned restaurant serves up six different kinds — and if you walk away hungry, it’s your own fault.
Of course, there are hundreds more opportunities to feast your way through Meridian! For even more Meridian fun, check out the Events tab of our website.
While You’re Here …
Balance all that wonderful indulgence with some activity! There’s no shortage of things to do in Meridian, no matter the season.
- Top Golf is coming! This uber-popular entertainment venue is under construction just off I-84 and is one of the most anticipated openings in the Treasure Valley — well, ever! The venue’s famous hitting bays are set to open by the end of the year.
- The Village is a one-stop shop for dining, shopping, and entertainment — it’s not unusual to find you’ve spent the whole day there! From the on-site movie theater to dinner outside by the fountain, you’ll find plenty of ways to take leisure time to the next level.
- Both kids and adults will find something to love at Big Al’s. How could they not? With a wall of TVs broadcasting sports, a bowling alley, an arcade, and a full menu of food and adult beverages, Big Al’s is the perfect addition to a laid-back weekend.