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The 26 Essential Boise Restaurants

Where to try all the best Boise eats, from classic Idaho potato fries and fried fingersteaks to ropa vieja and oyster shooters.

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Boise was originally called Les Bois, or “wooded” in French, and Idaho’s City of Trees was once considered a hidden treasure for its low cost of living and easy access to the region’s iconic mountains, rivers, and forests. Then visitors and new residents discovered the state’s capital and largest city, which helped propel Idaho to its current status as one of the fastest growing states in the nation. Longtime locals may complain about the busier traffic and rising home prices, but the influx of newcomers has also brought diversity and excitement to the area’s restaurants. With a thriving Basque community, new immigrants bearing culinary traditions from all over the world, and James Beard Award-nominated chefs, Boise is coming into its own as a culinary capital in the Intermountain West.

The downtown area is compact and walkable, offering local craft beer, award-winning Idaho wines, and restaurants that run the gamut. In a few blocks you’ll find handmade Basque chorizo, Southern-style barbecue, locally sourced menus, creative tacos, lamb grinders, handmade pasta, and booze-infused craft ice cream. Stroll a little farther and you’ll find meals from Ethiopia, Cuba, India, Vietnam, and the Middle East. Or cruise to a down-home drive-in for the pure comfort of fresh-grilled hamburgers, finger steaks, and fries.

Update, June 2021: The City of Boise allowed restaurants and bars to expand outdoor seating into the sidewalk due to the pandemic. Along downtown’s N. 8th Street, the city went further and closed the thoroughfare to car traffic so pedestrians can walk on the street. These policies are expected to last into 2022, hopefully helping restaurateurs and bar owners not only recover economically but also recapture some of the excitement that characterized Boise’s pre-pandemic dining scene.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit Idaho Central District Health.

Scott Ki is a former editor and writer for Edible Idaho, and an ex-reporter for Boise State Public Radio and the Idaho Business Review. His work also has been carried by other media outlets, such as the Idaho Press, Idaho Statesman, NPR, and the AP.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kibrom's Ethiopean & Eritrean Food

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3506 W State St
Boise, ID 83703
(208) 917-8005
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Kibrom Milash and Tirhas Hailu, owners of the Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant Kibrom’s, offer classic Ethiopian dishes served with injera bread — such as doro wot (chicken simmered in berbere sauce) and tibs (sauteed lamb and onions) — as well as a number of vegetarian dishes, such as lentils (shiro) and alicha, a dish made with potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. Order a combination of entrees to share: This is not only the most economical option but also an easy way to taste everything.

2. Adelfa’s Comida Cubana

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1920 N 15th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 813-8767
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Owner Noel Argote-Herrera named his Cuban food cart after his mother, who cooked with him when he was growing up in Havana, Miami, and Los Angeles. He serves traditional dishes such as ropa vieja, carné con papás, and paella, along with rice, beans, and plantains. Be sure to try the juicy and citrusy lechon, or slow-cooked pork. You can find him at local breweries, the Boise Farmers Market, food truck parks, and from time to time, at a pop-up food stand alongside his house in the North End (aka El Barrio Norte), on the south side of W. Bella Street between N. 14th Street and N. 15th Street. Check his social media for updates.

A chef in his apron stands by a whiteboard decorated with the brand of his pop-up food stand and listed food items
Noel Argote-Herrera in front of his stand
Scott Ki

3. Alyonka Russian Cuisine

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2870 W State St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 344-8996
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If you’ve ever attended Boise’s annual Russian Food Festival, you’ve likely tasted Elena DeYoung’s culinary creations. She now offers them year-round at her restaurant, Alyonka Russian Cuisine, housed in the former State and Lemp space. If you have a hankering for the old country, she offers fresh takes on traditional fare like stuffed peppers, beef stroganoff, piroshkis, and blinis in the modern space. She also serves vegetarian borscht and shuba: layers of smoked salmon (instead of the typical herring), shredded potatoes, carrots, and beets that you’re unlikely to taste elsewhere in Boise. [$$-$$$]

4. Hyde Park Wine Shop

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1304 W Alturas St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 385-0250
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Owner-operators Scott and Caitlin McCoy opened Camel’s Crossing in Boise’s North End as a wine bar in 2017, featuring a dozen wines by the glass, about a hundred different bottles, and shareable small and large plates. It expanded into a full-fledged restaurant soon afterward. When COVID-19 hit, they went through various iterations and decided to return to their more casual roots with the Hyde Park Wine Shop. Diners nosh on seasonal fare in the front room, surrounded by display shelves of wine that line the walls, or at clubby semicircular booths in the back room. In May, they launched a new menu offering tapas-style small bites, served a la carte or as part of a tasting menu with wine pairings.

5. Cross-Culinary Kits & Classes

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1607 W Jefferson St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 336-4222
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For the past several years, the Idaho Office for Refugees has organized a Restaurant Week during which refugees team up with local chefs to cook cuisine from their countries of origin. Since the pandemic, the program has moved online. Every month, Treasure Valley residents can order online to receive a kit of dry ingredients and produce (perishable meat not included) from local farms, ethnic markets, and Global Gardens (a community garden and CSA program that supports refugee farmers). Kit in hand, students participate in a live, interactive Zoom webinar with a local chef, who not only teaches viewers about cooking the dish, but also talks about the history and culture associated with it. Recent classes have featured Noel Argote-Herrera of Adelfa’s on black beans with maduros, Ouxi Zhu of the Idaho Capital Asian Market making sweet and sour pork ribs with hand-torn pancakes, and chef Shadi Ismail making Syrian kefta and Arabic salad. Kits cost $25 each, serve four people, and are available for pickup.

Egg rolls frying in a pot beside finished rolls in wax paper
Egg rolls
Cross-Culinary Kits & Classes [Official Photo]

6. Txikiteo

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175 N 14th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 813-6178
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Owned and operated by the folks who run the Modern Hotel and Bar a block down the street, Txikiteo serves Basque-style breakfast, lunch, and tapas (aka pintxos) in a cozy yet sleek space. The jamon sandwich, which has been on the menu from the start, balances fatty, salty serrano ham with nutty manchego, creamy aioli spread, and sweet mostarda. Also try tapas like sardines with lemon and capers, or the Spanish tortilla with romesco sauce. [$-$$]

From above, the top slice of a sandwich laid aside to reveal the contents: ham, manchego, and mostarda, on a plate on a wooden counter
Jamon sandwich
Sofia Jaramillo

7. Lemon Tree Co.

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224 N 10th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 343-6167
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Owner Jasson Parra is behind the creative sandwich combos at Lemon Tree Co., which include the mushroom and artichoke “cheesesteak,” sausage and pear, and a creation called ham, yam, and jam. Try some fresh lemonade, which comes in rotating flavors like strawberry-basil or prickly pear, enjoyed on their own or as a bubbly-spiked “lemosa.”

Breakfast sandwich at Lemon Tree Co.
Lemon Tree official

8. Wild Root Café

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5816, 276 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 856-8956
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Wild Root Café is a local favorite for a healthy-skewing breakfasts and lunches. Located on Boise’s restaurant row, the crew here create colorful salads, handhelds, bowls, and other dishes meant to nourish and satisfy, including a variety of plant-based preparations. In good weather, patio seating is the move.

Sabich at Wild Root Café
Wild Root Café/Facebook

9. Bacon

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121 N 9th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 387-3553
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With all-day brunch, primo bloody marys, and five different kinds of bacon, what’s not to love? This Boise dining destination sells more than eight tons of bacon a year. The menu features breakfast dishes like omelets, biscuit sandwiches, and bacon shots — a sampling of the restaurant’s five bacon flavors. The lunch menu has earned this place more than a few TV spots too, with indulgences like cheesy bacon lasagna, and mac and cheese with tomatoes, mushrooms, and, you guessed it, bacon.

10. Saint Lawrence Gridiron

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705 W Bannock St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 433-5598
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Located just steps from the State Capitol, Saint Lawrence Gridiron is a place you’ll smell before you see it. This onetime food truck turned brick-and-mortar business delivers bold Southern flavors. A giant smoker on the front patio is where all of the meat-smoking magic happens. You’ll regret not ordering the brisket platter, although the pulled-pork sandwich, shrimp and grits, and side of succotash are all solid choices.

Brisket platter at Saint Lawrence Gridiron
St. Lawrence Gridiron official

11. Diablo & Sons Saloon

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246 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 345-1813
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With a vibe that mixes modern slick with motifs of an Old West bordello, Diablo and Sons is an ode to open-flame cooking. Combine a grilled entree like a tomahawk pork chop with some deviled eggs and a couple of a la carte tacos for a shareable spread, or grab a cocktail and a few tacos on the extended patio.

Tacos at Diablo & Sons
Diablo & Sons official

12. Bittercreek Alehouse

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246 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 429-6340
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Bittercreek Alehouse offers one of the largest beer lists in town. The menu leans heavy on beer-friendly foods, like poutine, polenta fries, a smoked Idaho trout board, and a juicy house-ground burger. Bittercreek (and its sister restaurant Diablo and Sons) is locally sourced, with photos of area farmers and food purveyors gracing the walls.

Idaho fingersteaks at Bittercreek Alehouse
Bittercreek Alehouse/Facebook

13. Alavita

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807 W Idaho St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 780-1100
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This cozy osteria in the old Boise City National Bank building serves locally inspired Italian dishes and delicate house-made pastas. Start with a signature cocktail, then move on to the burrata with apricot-cherry mostarda or calamari fritti. Black ravioli stuffed with butter-poached shrimp and fontina make for an indulgent main course follow-up.

Ravioli at Alavita
Alavita official

14. KIN

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999 W Main St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 342-0600
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The seasonal and locally sourced fare at Kin changes frequently. Along with craft cocktails, chef Kris Komori and his team — including many from the former State and Lemp — recently served up assorted skewers (Japanese turnips, black cod, and pork belly), trout tartare, and a smoky house-made hot dog. They also offer PiKINic, a series of outdoor dinners featuring entertainment from local arts and music groups, which runs through October.

15. Fork

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199 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 287-1700
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If you’ve ever visited friends or family in Boise, chances are they’ve taken you to Fork. Located in the old Boise City National Bank building, Fork is a favorite destination for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Everyone is sure to find something they like in the wide-ranging menu, with offerings that runs the gamut from asparagus fries to fried chicken and waffles to its signature dessert, warm butter cake.

Crispy brussels sprouts at Fork
Fork Restaurant official

16. Boise Fry Company

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204 N Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 949-7523
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Yeah, potatoes, Idaho — it’s a thing. Boise Fry Company’s motto, “burgers on the side,” says it all. With a handful of locations in the Boise area, Fry Company serves a bevy of potato varietals and cuts like Yukon gold curly or homestyle purple (or Brussels sprouts if you prefer), along with an extensive array of sauces like blueberry ketchup for your dipping pleasure. Burger options include patties of beef, bison, mushroom, or turkey; there’s a vegan option, too. [$-$$]

Sweet potato fries with blueberry ketchup at Boise Fry Company
Boise Fry Company official

17. Ansots Basque Chorizos

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560 W Main St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 336-9166
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Since opening Ansots in September 2020, the Ansotegui family — Dan, Tamara, and Ellie — have offered traditional and contemporary Basque fare in the Old Boise Pioneer Building on Main Street. No stranger to Basque cuisine and culture, Dan started Bar Gernika and the Basque Market in the 1990s. (Although he’s no longer associated with those establishments, they’re still popular anchors of the Basque Block just down the street.) Ansots offers three types of sausages in appetizers and sandwiches, including the flavorful motzak chorizo with rosemary and garlic, as well as meatballs, croquetas, and roasted pepper pork belly with chorizero (Basque pepper) rub. They also cater and sell croquetas, chorizo, bacon, and marinated pork loin (solomo) by the pound for cooking at home. [$$]

A man stands over a full lamb spit-roasted in front of a blue sky and mountain range
Dan Ansotegui with spit-roasted lamb
Ansots Basque Chorizos [Official Photo]

18. Epi's Basque Restaurant

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1115 N Main St
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 884-0142
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For more than two decades, Epi’s has been bringing traditional Basque dishes from grandma Epi’s kitchen to the residents of the Treasure Valley, including grilled seafood and meats adorned with red and green sauces in a nod to the colors of the Basque flag. Go for the croquetas, the lamb stew with green peppers and pimentos, meatballs in a Basque-style tomato sauce, or the baby squid in a briny, jet-black broth. No visit is complete without gateau Basque for dessert. [$$-$$$$]

Basque croquetas at Epi’s
Epi’s Basque Restaurant/Facebook

19. Trillium Restaurant

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245 S Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 333-8002
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Located inside the Grove Hotel, Trillium is a true Boise gem, complete with chic decor and new American menu. The kitchen’s unwavering commitment to local ingredients is evident in dishes like smoked trout poutine, bison meatloaf, and huckleberry short ribs. Trillium is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features an evening happy hour with discounts on beer, wine, and appetizers. [$$-$$$$]

20. The STIL

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786 W Broad St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 953-7007

The name is an acronym for Sweetest Things in Life, and this popular ice cream shop is no doubt one of the sweetest places in Boise. Custom ice creams include dairy-free and vegan options, as well as booze-infused flavors, all of which can be enjoyed either on their own or as part of a custom ice cream sandwich, an affogato, or a beer or wine float. Feeling indecisive? There are ice cream tasting flights that can be paired with a beer or wine flight as well. [$-$$]

A flight of ice cream, wine, and beer at the STIL
The STIL/Facebook

21. Richard's

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500 S Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 472-1463
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With 25 years of experience in Boise, chef Richard Langston is a veteran of the local dining scene. His restaurant specializes in Italian-ish Northwestern fare, like house-made gnocchi with smoked pork belly, and cannelloni stuffed with sausage and spinach. The wine list is famous, and pastry chef Rebecca McManus churns out some of the sweetest endings in town, like a flourless chocolate cake with hazelnuts. [$$-$$$$]

Leg and thigh with 40 cloves of garlic at Richard’s
Richard’s Boise/Facebook

22. The Wylder

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501 W Broad St
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 209-3837
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The Wylder is a relative newcomer to the Boise food scene, but the pizza parlor already feels like family. Maybe it’s the 50-plus-year-old sourdough starter, or the family-secret lasagna recipe, or the desserts lovingly baked each day. Local favorites include the Honey Badger (a white pizza with Italian sausage, ricotta, caramelized onions, and spicy honey), the Bronco (a red pie with salumi, pickled Fresno chiles, and burrata), and such nightly supper options as lasagna and fried chicken. [$$-$$$]

Pizza at the Wylder
The Wylder/Facebook

23. Madre Boutique Taqueria

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1034 S La Pointe St
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 432-1100
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Where there are hungry college students, there will be tacos. Situated near the campus of Boise State University, this spiffy taqueria slings a la carte varieties, like the Idaho spud and chorizo, and the braised short rib with kimchi and peanut sauce. Beyond tacos, there are also chips with guacamole, and a chicken tinga salad with beans, assorted veggies, corn, pickled onions, and cilantro vinaigrette that will not disappoint. [$$]

Tacos at Madre
Madre official

24. Petite 4

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4 N Latah St
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 345-1055
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At Petite 4 on the Bench, chef Sarah Kelly and her husband, David (“DK”), offer casual French bistro fare. The menu is filled with classics such as duck terrine, moules frites, and a coulotte steak with fries, along with more modern items like a bloody mary oyster shooter or wine-based cocktails. Reservations are a must, though walk-ins may have luck on the patio or at the bar. Stop by for the Friday Afternoon Club on the Southside patio for shucked oysters, tallboys, and “bubbles” from their oyster trailer (which can be reserved for private outdoor events). Or come on Saturday morning to pick up coffee and doughnuts or pastries. [$-$$$]

Note: Petite 4’s famous Sunday family chicken dinners are currently on hold, but may return.

A sandwich wrapped in tin foil, with lettuce, and aioli spilling out, on a metal quarter tray beside a mound of potato chips
Filet o fish sandwich at Petite 4
Petite 4 [Official Photo]

25. Barbacoa Grill

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276 West Bobwhite Court
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 338-5000
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Barbacoa is a fitting name for this restaurant, whose kitchen is centered around an open-fire grill, where bold flavors arrive from Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The happy hour crew flocks for cocktail specials and assorted appetizers, like tableside guacamole and seafood dishes. At dinner, it’s about sizzling cuts of beef, lamb, and charred kebabs and ribs. [$$-$$$$]

Coulotte steak and cajun shrimp at Barbacoa Grill
Barbacoa Grill/Facebook

26. Genki Takoyaki

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1118 S Vista Ave
Boise, ID 83705
(208) 869-1237
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The Genki Takoyaki food cart serves up its namesake Japanese dumplings, with octopus or chashu pork, as well as specialties such as ramen, karaage fried chicken, okonomiyaki, and kimchi tater tots at locations all around Boise. Once or twice a month, cart owners Rhett Atagi and Christy Beavers also offer Sushi Saturday platters. These feed two or more people and are available for pickup at Reel Foods Fish Market. Marcus Bonilla, owner of Reel Foods on the Bench, supplies the location and seafood, such as bluefin tuna from San Diego, Ōra King salmon from New Zealand, dungeness crab, uni, and ankimo (monkfish liver). [$-$$]

A large circular platter with an array of types of sushi with drizzled toppings
Sushi platter
Genki Takoyaki [Official Photo]

1. Kibrom's Ethiopean & Eritrean Food

3506 W State St, Boise, ID 83703

Kibrom Milash and Tirhas Hailu, owners of the Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant Kibrom’s, offer classic Ethiopian dishes served with injera bread — such as doro wot (chicken simmered in berbere sauce) and tibs (sauteed lamb and onions) — as well as a number of vegetarian dishes, such as lentils (shiro) and alicha, a dish made with potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. Order a combination of entrees to share: This is not only the most economical option but also an easy way to taste everything.

3506 W State St
Boise, ID 83703

2. Adelfa’s Comida Cubana

1920 N 15th St, Boise, ID 83702
A chef in his apron stands by a whiteboard decorated with the brand of his pop-up food stand and listed food items
Noel Argote-Herrera in front of his stand
Scott Ki

Owner Noel Argote-Herrera named his Cuban food cart after his mother, who cooked with him when he was growing up in Havana, Miami, and Los Angeles. He serves traditional dishes such as ropa vieja, carné con papás, and paella, along with rice, beans, and plantains. Be sure to try the juicy and citrusy lechon, or slow-cooked pork. You can find him at local breweries, the Boise Farmers Market, food truck parks, and from time to time, at a pop-up food stand alongside his house in the North End (aka El Barrio Norte), on the south side of W. Bella Street between N. 14th Street and N. 15th Street. Check his social media for updates.

1920 N 15th St
Boise, ID 83702

3. Alyonka Russian Cuisine

2870 W State St, Boise, ID 83702

If you’ve ever attended Boise’s annual Russian Food Festival, you’ve likely tasted Elena DeYoung’s culinary creations. She now offers them year-round at her restaurant, Alyonka Russian Cuisine, housed in the former State and Lemp space. If you have a hankering for the old country, she offers fresh takes on traditional fare like stuffed peppers, beef stroganoff, piroshkis, and blinis in the modern space. She also serves vegetarian borscht and shuba: layers of smoked salmon (instead of the typical herring), shredded potatoes, carrots, and beets that you’re unlikely to taste elsewhere in Boise. [$$-$$$]

2870 W State St
Boise, ID 83702

4. Hyde Park Wine Shop

1304 W Alturas St, Boise, ID 83702

Owner-operators Scott and Caitlin McCoy opened Camel’s Crossing in Boise’s North End as a wine bar in 2017, featuring a dozen wines by the glass, about a hundred different bottles, and shareable small and large plates. It expanded into a full-fledged restaurant soon afterward. When COVID-19 hit, they went through various iterations and decided to return to their more casual roots with the Hyde Park Wine Shop. Diners nosh on seasonal fare in the front room, surrounded by display shelves of wine that line the walls, or at clubby semicircular booths in the back room. In May, they launched a new menu offering tapas-style small bites, served a la carte or as part of a tasting menu with wine pairings.

1304 W Alturas St
Boise, ID 83702

5. Cross-Culinary Kits & Classes

1607 W Jefferson St, Boise, ID 83702
Egg rolls frying in a pot beside finished rolls in wax paper
Egg rolls
Cross-Culinary Kits & Classes [Official Photo]

For the past several years, the Idaho Office for Refugees has organized a Restaurant Week during which refugees team up with local chefs to cook cuisine from their countries of origin. Since the pandemic, the program has moved online. Every month, Treasure Valley residents can order online to receive a kit of dry ingredients and produce (perishable meat not included) from local farms, ethnic markets, and Global Gardens (a community garden and CSA program that supports refugee farmers). Kit in hand, students participate in a live, interactive Zoom webinar with a local chef, who not only teaches viewers about cooking the dish, but also talks about the history and culture associated with it. Recent classes have featured Noel Argote-Herrera of Adelfa’s on black beans with maduros, Ouxi Zhu of the Idaho Capital Asian Market making sweet and sour pork ribs with hand-torn pancakes, and chef Shadi Ismail making Syrian kefta and Arabic salad. Kits cost $25 each, serve four people, and are available for pickup.

1607 W Jefferson St
Boise, ID 83702

6. Txikiteo

175 N 14th St, Boise, ID 83702
From above, the top slice of a sandwich laid aside to reveal the contents: ham, manchego, and mostarda, on a plate on a wooden counter
Jamon sandwich
Sofia Jaramillo

Owned and operated by the folks who run the Modern Hotel and Bar a block down the street, Txikiteo serves Basque-style breakfast, lunch, and tapas (aka pintxos) in a cozy yet sleek space. The jamon sandwich, which has been on the menu from the start, balances fatty, salty serrano ham with nutty manchego, creamy aioli spread, and sweet mostarda. Also try tapas like sardines with lemon and capers, or the Spanish tortilla with romesco sauce. [$-$$]

175 N 14th St
Boise, ID 83702

7. Lemon Tree Co.

224 N 10th St, Boise, ID 83702
Breakfast sandwich at Lemon Tree Co.
Lemon Tree official

Owner Jasson Parra is behind the creative sandwich combos at Lemon Tree Co., which include the mushroom and artichoke “cheesesteak,” sausage and pear, and a creation called ham, yam, and jam. Try some fresh lemonade, which comes in rotating flavors like strawberry-basil or prickly pear, enjoyed on their own or as a bubbly-spiked “lemosa.”

224 N 10th St
Boise, ID 83702

8. Wild Root Café

5816, 276 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702
Sabich at Wild Root Café
Wild Root Café/Facebook

Wild Root Café is a local favorite for a healthy-skewing breakfasts and lunches. Located on Boise’s restaurant row, the crew here create colorful salads, handhelds, bowls, and other dishes meant to nourish and satisfy, including a variety of plant-based preparations. In good weather, patio seating is the move.

5816, 276 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702

9. Bacon

121 N 9th St, Boise, ID 83702

With all-day brunch, primo bloody marys, and five different kinds of bacon, what’s not to love? This Boise dining destination sells more than eight tons of bacon a year. The menu features breakfast dishes like omelets, biscuit sandwiches, and bacon shots — a sampling of the restaurant’s five bacon flavors. The lunch menu has earned this place more than a few TV spots too, with indulgences like cheesy bacon lasagna, and mac and cheese with tomatoes, mushrooms, and, you guessed it, bacon.

121 N 9th St
Boise, ID 83702

10. Saint Lawrence Gridiron

705 W Bannock St, Boise, ID 83702
Brisket platter at Saint Lawrence Gridiron
St. Lawrence Gridiron official

Located just steps from the State Capitol, Saint Lawrence Gridiron is a place you’ll smell before you see it. This onetime food truck turned brick-and-mortar business delivers bold Southern flavors. A giant smoker on the front patio is where all of the meat-smoking magic happens. You’ll regret not ordering the brisket platter, although the pulled-pork sandwich, shrimp and grits, and side of succotash are all solid choices.

705 W Bannock St
Boise, ID 83702

11. Diablo & Sons Saloon

246 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702
Tacos at Diablo & Sons
Diablo & Sons official

With a vibe that mixes modern slick with motifs of an Old West bordello, Diablo and Sons is an ode to open-flame cooking. Combine a grilled entree like a tomahawk pork chop with some deviled eggs and a couple of a la carte tacos for a shareable spread, or grab a cocktail and a few tacos on the extended patio.

246 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702

12. Bittercreek Alehouse

246 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702
Idaho fingersteaks at Bittercreek Alehouse
Bittercreek Alehouse/Facebook

Bittercreek Alehouse offers one of the largest beer lists in town. The menu leans heavy on beer-friendly foods, like poutine, polenta fries, a smoked Idaho trout board, and a juicy house-ground burger. Bittercreek (and its sister restaurant Diablo and Sons) is locally sourced, with photos of area farmers and food purveyors gracing the walls.

246 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702

13. Alavita

807 W Idaho St, Boise, ID 83702
Ravioli at Alavita
Alavita official

This cozy osteria in the old Boise City National Bank building serves locally inspired Italian dishes and delicate house-made pastas. Start with a signature cocktail, then move on to the burrata with apricot-cherry mostarda or calamari fritti. Black ravioli stuffed with butter-poached shrimp and fontina make for an indulgent main course follow-up.

807 W Idaho St
Boise, ID 83702

14. KIN

999 W Main St, Boise, ID 83702

The seasonal and locally sourced fare at Kin changes frequently. Along with craft cocktails, chef Kris Komori and his team — including many from the former State and Lemp — recently served up assorted skewers (Japanese turnips, black cod, and pork belly), trout tartare, and a smoky house-made hot dog. They also offer PiKINic, a series of outdoor dinners featuring entertainment from local arts and music groups, which runs through October.

999 W Main St
Boise, ID 83702

15. Fork

199 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702
Crispy brussels sprouts at Fork
Fork Restaurant official

If you’ve ever visited friends or family in Boise, chances are they’ve taken you to Fork. Located in the old Boise City National Bank building, Fork is a favorite destination for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Everyone is sure to find something they like in the wide-ranging menu, with offerings that runs the gamut from asparagus fries to fried chicken and waffles to its signature dessert, warm butter cake.

199 N 8th St
Boise, ID 83702

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16. Boise Fry Company

204 N Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702
Sweet potato fries with blueberry ketchup at Boise Fry Company
Boise Fry Company official

Yeah, potatoes, Idaho — it’s a thing. Boise Fry Company’s motto, “burgers on the side,” says it all. With a handful of locations in the Boise area, Fry Company serves a bevy of potato varietals and cuts like Yukon gold curly or homestyle purple (or Brussels sprouts if you prefer), along with an extensive array of sauces like blueberry ketchup for your dipping pleasure. Burger options include patties of beef, bison, mushroom, or turkey; there’s a vegan option, too. [$-$$]

204 N Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702

17. Ansots Basque Chorizos

560 W Main St, Boise, ID 83702
A man stands over a full lamb spit-roasted in front of a blue sky and mountain range
Dan Ansotegui with spit-roasted lamb
Ansots Basque Chorizos [Official Photo]

Since opening Ansots in September 2020, the Ansotegui family — Dan, Tamara, and Ellie — have offered traditional and contemporary Basque fare in the Old Boise Pioneer Building on Main Street. No stranger to Basque cuisine and culture, Dan started Bar Gernika and the Basque Market in the 1990s. (Although he’s no longer associated with those establishments, they’re still popular anchors of the Basque Block just down the street.) Ansots offers three types of sausages in appetizers and sandwiches, including the flavorful motzak chorizo with rosemary and garlic, as well as meatballs, croquetas, and roasted pepper pork belly with chorizero (Basque pepper) rub. They also cater and sell croquetas, chorizo, bacon, and marinated pork loin (solomo) by the pound for cooking at home. [$$]

560 W Main St
Boise, ID 83702

18. Epi's Basque Restaurant

1115 N Main St, Meridian, ID 83642
Basque croquetas at Epi’s
Epi’s Basque Restaurant/Facebook

For more than two decades, Epi’s has been bringing traditional Basque dishes from grandma Epi’s kitchen to the residents of the Treasure Valley, including grilled seafood and meats adorned with red and green sauces in a nod to the colors of the Basque flag. Go for the croquetas, the lamb stew with green peppers and pimentos, meatballs in a Basque-style tomato sauce, or the baby squid in a briny, jet-black broth. No visit is complete without gateau Basque for dessert. [$$-$$$$]

1115 N Main St
Meridian, ID 83642

19. Trillium Restaurant

245 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Located inside the Grove Hotel, Trillium is a true Boise gem, complete with chic decor and new American menu. The kitchen’s unwavering commitment to local ingredients is evident in dishes like smoked trout poutine, bison meatloaf, and huckleberry short ribs. Trillium is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features an evening happy hour with discounts on beer, wine, and appetizers. [$$-$$$$]

245 S Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702

20. The STIL

786 W Broad St, Boise, ID 83702
A flight of ice cream, wine, and beer at the STIL
The STIL/Facebook

The name is an acronym for Sweetest Things in Life, and this popular ice cream shop is no doubt one of the sweetest places in Boise. Custom ice creams include dairy-free and vegan options, as well as booze-infused flavors, all of which can be enjoyed either on their own or as part of a custom ice cream sandwich, an affogato, or a beer or wine float. Feeling indecisive? There are ice cream tasting flights that can be paired with a beer or wine flight as well. [$-$$]

786 W Broad St
Boise, ID 83702

21. Richard's

500 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702
Leg and thigh with 40 cloves of garlic at Richard’s
Richard’s Boise/Facebook

With 25 years of experience in Boise, chef Richard Langston is a veteran of the local dining scene. His restaurant specializes in Italian-ish Northwestern fare, like house-made gnocchi with smoked pork belly, and cannelloni stuffed with sausage and spinach. The wine list is famous, and pastry chef Rebecca McManus churns out some of the sweetest endings in town, like a flourless chocolate cake with hazelnuts. [$$-$$$$]

500 S Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702

22. The Wylder

501 W Broad St, Boise, ID 83702
Pizza at the Wylder
The Wylder/Facebook

The Wylder is a relative newcomer to the Boise food scene, but the pizza parlor already feels like family. Maybe it’s the 50-plus-year-old sourdough starter, or the family-secret lasagna recipe, or the desserts lovingly baked each day. Local favorites include the Honey Badger (a white pizza with Italian sausage, ricotta, caramelized onions, and spicy honey), the Bronco (a red pie with salumi, pickled Fresno chiles, and burrata), and such nightly supper options as lasagna and fried chicken. [$$-$$$]

501 W Broad St
Boise, ID 83702

23. Madre Boutique Taqueria

1034 S La Pointe St, Boise, ID 83706