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06/05/19 The 25 Essential Restaurants in Boise


Where to find handmade tamales, jamon sandwiches, smoked trout, and finger steaks in Idaho’s woodsy wonderland

Boise was originally called Les Bois, or “wooded” in French, and Idaho’s City of Trees remains a forested oasis in the arid Northwestern mountains. While its food scene gets overshadowed by the ones in Portland and Seattle, Boise has a culinary culture all its own, with a medley of influences including American Indian, Basque, and Chinese (by the end of the gold rush, Chinese immigrants made up a full quarter of Boise’s population). Today, thanks to its low cost of living and rugged natural beauty, Boise has seen a population spike, and with it has come a wealth of new restaurants.

Stroll down the city’s unofficial Restaurant Row on Eighth Street these days and you’ll spot menus touting handmade tamales and jamon-manchego sandwiches, as well as local goodies like huckleberries, fry sauce, finger steaks, and potato croquettes. For dessert, try some local ice cream with regionally roasted coffee for a perfect Idahoan finish.



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 cocktails, then move onto the burrata with apricot-cherry mostarda or braised Alaskan octopus. Black ravioli stuffed with butter-poached shrimp and fontina make for an indulgent main course follow-up.

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(208) 780-1100 807 W. Idaho Street Boise, Idaho 83702 VIEW MAP