East Idaho Eats: The Rusty Lantern Diner is Ucon’s Hidden Secret

UCON – A local family restaurant is the hidden gem of Ucon, serving delicious food you might find at your grandma’s house.

Upon entering the Rusty Lantern Diner, a sign invites customers to turn off their phones, listen to cowboy tunes, and take a moment to enjoy the family atmosphere.

“Word of mouth is our best advertisement,” said Shera Hart, whose family owns the restaurant. “Every day I have someone say… it’s their first time, (and) they don’t know how they haven’t heard about it until now. It’s a hidden secret here at Ucon.

The Hart family opened Rusty Lantern in November 2010 and has now been serving the greater Idaho Falls community for over a decade. Over the years, the restaurant has prided itself on preparing freshly prepared traditional dishes.

“We like to do everything the hard way,” Hart said. “It’s the right way. Made from scratch. We like to put a lot of love into our food and our customers appreciate it.

People can find a range of items on the menu depending on the time of day. From homemade hot rolls in the morning to the restaurant’s signature Big Latern burger at other times of the day. The Hart family hopes the food will bring people back for more.

The Big Lantern Burger features two third-pound beef patties topped with bacon, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, pickle, lettuce, onion, and mayonnaise. The burger sits so high on the plate that it’s nearly impossible to take a single bite of the entire burger.

The Rusty Lantern also offers a Philly cheesesteak, a Ruben sandwich, fresh cut fries and soups of the day served with bread. Diners can find the restaurant’s Angus prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Once you get the food, you’ll be back,” Hart said. “We have people who come here three times a day.”

The Rusty Lantern Diner is open Monday through Saturday, and people can make reservations by calling (208) 522-2254. The restaurant is located at 10868 North Yellowstone Highway in Ucon.

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