To my surprise, Boise in Idaho wasn’t all about potatoes, fries, and the famous American delicacies. The streets & restaurants in the town serve such incredible flavors that Boise soon became one of my favorite food hubs to visit.
It was hard to come down to a one-digit number of top restaurants in Boise; the city’s dining scene was so much more than what I’d expected.
Slowly rising as the popular culinary hub of Idaho and America, the town will serve you delicious farm-to-table cuisine, locally produced wines, international delicacies, and their town specialty in the most mouthwatering presentation.
Knowing I’m not the biggest fan of chain restaurants, Boise was a liberating hearty escape. Not only did they serve locally produced wineries, but they were also high in the game of coming up with great and unique recipes.
Eat and explore! That’s what I love about this town; it offers down-to-earth cuisine and satisfies every foodie buff traveler. Here are my top Boise restaurants everyone in the city must try.
Downtown Boise Restaurants
246 N. 8th St. // +12083451813
Instead of referring to the food guides, I usually prefer surveying locals for their favorite restaurants. But, it turns out, half of the population in Boise voted for Bittercreek Alehouse restaurant and for all the good reasons.
Established downtown, the restaurant offers a cozy ambiance with soothing background music to enjoy your lunch or dinner. With an aesthetic lookout, Bittercreek also topped in the food game.
For starters, I ordered their spicy Lamb Burger. Then, for the main course, I went for their popular Poutine dish. Both the recipes became one of my favorites in the city.
There’s something about Idaho’s potatoes; they never fail to amaze me. Poutine was a crispy-crunchy delight, prepared with mac cheese (Ballard curd), fries, brown sauce, braised pork, and scallions. Every flavor was well-balanced and stood out deliciously.
Also, don’t forget to try their Polenta Poutine, spicy lamb burger, and the famous Trout Board.
826 W. Bannock St. // +12083445870
The 10 BarrelBrewery had some great local beers to offer on a busy Thursday, especially the Black Magic. Located downtown, the pub-and-grub offers an active dining scene with delicious food.
They have a great selection of beer and, Brian Augello (their brewmaster) suggested to us his top choices and pretzels as the side dishes.
I visited the bar late in the evening at around 10 PM, and the dining room was still buzzing with regular customers and some food tour enthusiasts. I ordered the fried chicken Sando and fish tacos; they served my food pretty fast!
The fried Sando had all my favorite ingredients—their homemade cheese and buffalo sauce. If you love spicy food; Sando will stir up your night.
After that, relishing the Boise night with some Red Cap beer was the ending delight of my day. I must say, 10 Barrel has a great ambiance both inside and out, where there’s a patio with water facilities for the dogs.
800 W. Idaho St. // +12082864410
After Big Jud’s burger, my second favorite would be the Eureka on Freak Alley downtown, probably because I could have a beer with my order. Although a popular chain restaurant, Eureka is top-notch at presenting delicious burgers, fries, and all-American cultural food.
Eureka also serves fries, nachos, wings, and sandwiches. For sugar lovers, the restaurant offers bourbon caramel cake and also non-boozy beverages.
Hand-breaded chicken tenders and truffle cheese fries are a must-try at the restaurant. I ordered them both with wheat beer, and boy are their sauces good!
YES! Locally sourced cheese and hand-made sauces add delicious flavors to local dishes. Eureka is an excellent place for an evening date, given its aesthetics, ambiance, and outside patio for sunset dinner if you don’t mind chain restaurants.
Although most of the local restaurants in Boise don’t offer food deliveries, this one does. You can order their food online through uber-eats or other services. However, I’ll highly suggest visiting the restaurant for a good evening.
Big Jud’s Burger
1289 South Protest Road // +12083434439
If good taste and stomach-filling food is your platter, and you don’t care about the aesthetics, Big Jud’s will offer you massive burger challenges and taste.
I took the one-pound burger challenge and lost sourly, but it was delicious! I can say that Big Jud’s is one of a kind and probably the best in the town.
They serve multiple toppings, including mayo, mustard, ketchup, onions, tomatoes, etc. I asked to remove ketchup and onion rings—sorry! However, you can customize the ingredients however you like.
My personal favorite would be the double mushroom bacon burger. It was humongous and could feed the whole family. We added extra avocado to the burger, and it tasted so good!
Their menu also serves sandwiches, fried steaks, massive fries buckets, and ice cream. I had the huckleberry ice cream because everyone kept talking about it.
Boise restaurants are famous for huckleberries and huckleberry goodness. You will find a wide variety of this flavor in gummies, cakes, ice creams, and sweet bites.
981 W Grove St // +12083834300
Of course, I had to try Chandler’s steak and seafood; that’s what the city has been talking about! It wasn’t challenging to find Chandler’s, given its high popularity among locals.
Chandler’s offers something other than burgers and fries, especially cooked steaks and seafood that looked sizzling! These were just the starters! Every food on the menu sounded like heaven, from tuna tower to seafood platter, fresh oysters, prawn cocktail, shrimp scampi, and so much more.
I went with Oscar-style crab meat, Filet Mignon (American Wagyu beef), Day Boat Scallops, and Ahi Tuna for the main course. I also called for fresh Oyster Rockefeller and crab cake for the appetizers (we were a group of people).
Roasted vegetables in cheese and Burrata salad are also a delicious recommendation as side dishes. For dessert, go for their famous Chocolate Souffle and specialty wine. What a delightful dinner night! If you are into fine dining, Chandler’s will serve a mouthwatering menu at a great location.
With live music and cozy ambiance, Chandler’s is the perfect place for a luxurious evening date. The food wasn’t scanty, but neither was it over-filling; every platter offered decent-sized portions.
199 N. 8th St. // +12082871700
While visiting a restaurant, always order the main course instead of fast food. The main course introduces you to the restaurant’s flavors, unique recipes, and taste. The local and famous restaurant Fork in Boise had some great entrees platters to offer.
The menu consists of Mexican-style food, BBQ, starters, samples, seafood, meaty goodness, kids’ platters, and dessert.
I was lucky to have visited Fork on Monday. As a main course dinner, they were serving slow-smoked BBQ short ribs. I relish BBQ dinners, especially when they include bread/tortillas.
Fork presents BBQ short ribs with green beans, homemade cornbread muffin, and orange honey butter. A delicious combination!
With the ribs, I also ordered vegetarian enchiladas Mexican style with black beans, salsa verde, chevre crema (served throughout the week), Tomato Basil Fondue & Grilled Cheese, and soup of the soul. For dessert, I went with Fork’s signature warm butter cake.
Talk about ambiance, and I’ll surely remember Fork’s patio dining with golden light dangling at the top in the open night.
807 W. Idaho St. // +12087801100
Experience the world’s most exquisite Italian food here in Alavita in Boise. For me, it was a tough call between Fork’s BBQ short ribs and Alavita’s braised short ribs, but I chose both and dined twice at each place.
With Alavita’s unmatched Italian food and classic food scene, you are bound to witness one of the most delicious treats in the world.
Alavita has a unique old-school vibe, artistic architecture, and golden lights with a soft music background.
I usually prefer visiting restaurants at night, and Alavita offers a great outlook. Wanting to taste their Italian delicacies, I ordered house-special Black Ravioli, pappardelle. I also ordered their meatballs, burrata, grilled chicken house salad, and Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut.
The dinner was marvelous; every Italian flavor stood out so beautifully, it stunned me! Not only was their Italian good, but their chicken goodness was also heavenly! I can eat this shrewd combination for years and never be bored!
The Basque Market
608 W. Grove St. // +12084331208
The Boise crowd directed me to the Basque Market to experience one of their on-site patio food events offering delicious Valencia’s Chicken and Seafood Paella. On a bright Friday, I visited The Market for lunch on a recommendation.
The massive Paella dishes on the patio looked appetizing, and I wanted to try them right away! Valencia Spain Paella is an exotic combination of meat, seafood, and rice. You can enjoy a large portion of paella at the event; it’s delicious and filling! I was glad to know that The Basque Market organizes paella dinners every first Thursday of the month.
I decided to visit it once more at night to relish their Spanish-style cuisine. First, try their Gazta Eta Haragia combination of chorizo and Spanish/Basque cheese. Then, for desserts, order Arroz Con Leche, a traditional rice pudding.
750 W. Idaho St. // +12083448424
I must agree, although slightly spicy, Asian cuisine is a heaven of flavors! Their rich culture represents not only delicious food but also includes healthy herbs and spices. Mai Thai was culture heaven among Boise Restaurants.
This spot has some great sushi recipes on the menu. I ordered street-style Thai Stew and drunken noodles with Panang curry and moo ping.
The flavors were unique; I enjoyed my rare Asian meal of the day and especially relished the noodle combination with moo ping—crunchy and spicy!
Thai food is exceptionally lightweight, and you can enjoy two desserts easily after entrees—matcha Lava—a warm chocolate cake, and Thai Banana roti. Delicious and warming desserts!
It would be a shame to visit a sushi restaurant and not sip on some chilled sake. You should purchase a sake bottle as a souvenir; it looks so traditional. But, overall, this conventional visit was lovely! I love cultural food, and Mai Thai was delicious and artistic!
Wrapping Up The 9 Amazing Boise Restaurants
Boise, as a city, is so rich in classic food, I never knew! From American pop delicacies to international diversity, the town has some delicious Spanish and Thai cuisine.
Boise is a great city for its cuisine, divine outdoors, modern ambiance, and cozy locality.
I enjoyed my stay here, and these Boise restaurants encouraged my love for the city even more. So if you are coming here for business or a quick trip, mark these spots as a must!