14 Boise Foodie Destinations to Love

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“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” –George Bernard Shaw

This Valentine’s Day, we felt it appropriate to share a little love with some of our favorite local restaurants, just in time to share a special meal with that special someone. This is by no means an exhaustive list (there are many places about which we’ve heard rave reviews and have yet to try!), but here are my top 14.

1) a’Tavola Gourmet Marketplace & Café.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and Saturday brunch, a’Tavola is a satisfying answer to the question, “Where can I find fresh and delicious locally made food?” Inspired by Chef Lisa Peterson’s 20-year culinary background, a’Tavola’s ever-changing food menu features daily-made salads, sandwiches, and soups.

What’s to love: the simplicity and joy of freshly prepared food, pastries fit for a queen.


2) Bar Gernika.

Boise is home to the world’s second largest Basque population, so it stands to reason that our city would also be the perfect place to find authentic Basque fare. For a lamb grinder and a bread pudding that will knock your socks off, look no further than Bar Gernika, located in Old Boise Historic District.

What’s to love: beef tongue Saturdays, croquetas, a diverse beer selection with rotating taps.


3) Bleubird.

While this Downtown Boise hotspot is open only for lunch, and only on weekdays, it’s quickly becoming a Boise foodie’s staple—and for good reason. Lines are often out the door, so arrive early to grab seating, or order to-go.

What’s to love: sandwiches made on the spot, vegetarian options, house-made sodas.


On any given weekday, Bleubird is abuzz with sandwich-making, soda-slinging activity.

4) Bittercreek Alehouse (and Red Feather Lounge).

A list of my favorite Boise haunts wouldn’t be complete without this dynamic duo. The sister restaurants complement one another well; the alehouse is perfect for a laidback dinner with friends, and the adjacent lounge is ideal for cocktail hour.

What’s to love: Bittercreek’s extensive beer selection and great American grub, Red Feather’s hip, inventive drink menu and cool vibe.


5) Boise International Market.

The City of Trees is stepping up its game in the way of offering authentic foods from cultures all over the world, thanks to the Boise International Market. From Ethiopian/Eritrean food from Kibrom’s Restaurant, Middle Eastern fare from The Goodness Land, or Colombian from El Cafetal, these restaurants (and more to come) are well worth the visit.

What’s to love: ethnic foods with flair, Kahve Coffee’s Turkish coffee, Joyful Tea’s hot beverages and crumpets.


The Goodness Land (located in the Boise International Market) offers up tasty Middle Eastern fare.

6) Chiang Mai.

This is one of my favorite lunch spots, and I’m happy to be considered a regular. Despite its strip mall location, Chiang Mai offers some of Boise’s best authentic Thai food.

What’s to love: somtum papaya salad, crab rangoons, great service.


7) The Dish.

Dining here is always a pleasure; it’s apparent that the chefs have put the utmost care into preparing foods that will delight their guests, whether it’s a brie burger and fries or grilled salmon with coconut sauce and jasmine rice.

What’s to love: an innovative menu, local ingredients, gluten free options, intimate space.


The Dish provides a dining experience for all five senses.

8) Dutch Goose.

A perfect weekend activity is a bike ride to ‘the Goose’, as locals affectionately call this Boise mainstay. Here you can hang out and dine in a traditional pub setting with the entire family or watch the game (and play one of your own) with friends.

What’s to love: fingersteaks, chicken strips, horseshoe pits, pool tables.


9) Highlands Hollow

This Northend brewhouse is one of my family’s favorites, with its great food, great beer, and great atmosphere. Highlands Hollow offers growler specials every Monday, and live, local music on Wednesdays.

What’s to love: happy hour daily from 3-6 p.m., The Avalanche burger, huge plates of fresh-cut fries.


10) Kind Cuisine Café

Boise’s new fast casual vegetarian restaurant offers locally sourced, made-to-order entrees with a variety of vegan, raw, and gluten-free options.

What’s to love: rotating art shows, live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, from music and dance to poetry.


11) The Lift Bar & Grill.

We fell in love with The Lift back when they offered $2 fish tacos and 50 cent cans of Olympia on Tuesdays. Although they’ve stopped running that particular special, the rest of the menu is pretty great, and weekend brunch means $3 mimosas and bloody marys.

What’s to love: 50 cent wings on Monday nights, $7 all-you-can-eat spaghetti on Thursday (just through the winter).


12) Reel Foods Fish Market & Oyster Bar

Despite being the land-locked city it is, Boise still has access to some of the freshest seafood in the Northwest. It’s because of this availability I’ve been able to share my love of seafood with my young daughter (imagine my surprise at learning a 5 year old really likes clams!).

What’s to love: new lunch menu and oyster bar, fresh-made sushi, frequent cooking classes.


With its new oyster bar and lunch menu, Reel Foods is worth a visit.

13) Saint Lawrence Gridiron

Even the walk up to this food-truck-turned-restaurant makes an immediate impression, since meat is almost always smoking out front (and it always smells amazing). The menu changes frequently, but SLG’s brisket and pulled pork are standby items that make an appreciated appearance in several food items.

What’s to love: Saturday brunch (free glass of sangria when you bring your Capital City Public Market purchase), lunch buddy beer specials, poutine.


Smoked meats make a frequent appearance on Saint Lawrence Gridiron’s innovative menu.

14) Viking Drive-In.

I’d be remiss not to include this neighborhood burger joint, since it’s in the family, and they really do serve some of the most amazing milkshakes this side of the Boise River (along with burgers with flavor!).

What’s to love: the Eric 2 with grilled onions (yes, this is a burger), chocolate milkshakes, scotch and sodas.


Wherever you dine this holiday, we wish you a happy Valentine’s Day with the ones you love!


Shana Moore, Your Local Boise Real Estate Professional and source of real estate market trends in Boise Idaho

Shana Foster Moore

One Response to “14 Boise Foodie Destinations to Love”

  1. Julie Moore Says:

    This is great!

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