30 Best Places To Eat And Drink In Boise

Nestled near the border of Idaho and Oregon, Boise is the sort of city that will surprise you with its resounding food scene. These days, it claims several highly acclaimed chefs and restauranteurs, including James Beard nominees, winners, and Michelin Star-recognized talents, but the journey to get here hasn't been fast. In the 1800s, early waves of Spanish-Basque immigrants arrived in the area, and since then, the City of Trees has been on a slow burn, growing an international community of flavors with each passing year.

Boise's dining landscape is a treasure trove of global flavors that are beginning to deeper reflect the city's cultural tapestry. East Asian cuisines can be found alongside those from the Caribbean and South and Central America, while the prominent Basque culture is now sharing stomach space with Eastern European and African flavors as well. The options are as varied as they are delicious, and they equal one of America's most exciting, breakout culinary capitals. 

Wiseguy Pizza Pie

Wiseguy Pizza Pie, nestled in the heart of Boise, Idaho, delivers a laid-back, casual dining experience with serious pizza standards. Its menu boasts an array of handcrafted, New York-style pies loaded with premium toppings and a perfectly crisp crust. The White Trash Guy (Ranch, bacon, potato chips, scallions) tastes like that feeling you get from an episode of "Trailer Park Boys" — dreggy but carnally satisfied. Classic flavors, like a Margherita with premium ingredients, also exist. Not just pizzas, the Wiseguy menu extends to calzones, garlic knots, cheesesteaks, and all the other classic pizza side fare.

Neckar Coffee

Golden-lit, honey-colored wood accents, and a large mural exude a warm ambiance strong enough to draw anyone into neckar coffee on 10th Street. Some light brown leather seats offer up a perfect perch at the espresso bar, but even if the decor was drab, watching baristas create great, premium coffee beverages from behind vintage-styled, state-of-the-art, custom-made spirit duette would be worth a visit. Neckar roasts small-batch coffee and has a rotating lineup of single-origin beans that, more often than not, include either honey or naturally processed coffee. Light food is available, but it's the coffee that's habit-forming.


Chef Salvador Alamilla had been working in Boise kitchens for years prior to opening Amano in 2019, but he had been studying his mother's cooking and father's gardening nearly all his life before that. The focus and technique relayed through the kitchen at Amano are heavy with a familial sense of heritage and accentuated by the use of craft and heirloom ingredients. The cochinita pibil tacos feature unctuous Duroc pork, the mole verde is made of poblano and pistachio, and a maize pudding is smoky from burnt corn for dessert. Alamilla was a '23 James Beard nominee for clear, tasty reasons.

Certified Kitchen + Bakery, Breakfast + Lunch

Boise has a few restaurant groups, with Wylder Hospitality being a leading name thanks to locations like Certified Kitchen and Bakery. The restaurant, which is located in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood of Boise, has an urbane, humble atmosphere; breakfast and lunch are offered via counter service across bar seating and warm, burgundy-hew booths. A 55-year-old sourdough starter is used for baking English muffins that are just as delicious with butter and jam as topped with egg, arugula, and creme fraiche.

Goody's Soda Fountain

Idaho towns have a thing for their soda fountains. Goody's Soda Fountain has been filling that all-important role for the city of Boise since 1997. When it comes to ice cream, clapboard siding is more reminiscent of a salty seaside shack than a Western mining town, but Goody's is integral to eating in the City of Trees. Apart from the from-scratch ice cream and sorbets (churned multiple times per week), Goody's is stocked with curio toppings for your cone, retro candy bars, and more toothsome nostalgia than you could guess.

Janjou Pâtisserie

If there is one thing that's hard to square about Janjou Pâtisserie, it's that the stark white surfaces and clean lighting only tell one part of the pâtisserie's story. What the interior design accurately reveals is the level of surgical precision with which baker Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas approaches her craft as a two-time Beard nominee. The other side is that her shop's pastries are anything but sterile and feel more like a cozy hug for your palate. Janjou croissants have a cross-section worthy of any Instagram feed, but other delights, like tarte Tatin, are constantly rotating through the case.

Tango's Empanadas

Boise has a wide range of international cuisines throughout its dining scene. Tango's Empanadas offers a delectable journey into an Argentine staple. Since 2006, the menu has offered a diverse array of savory and sweet empanadas with traditional and inventive fillings. There are now two locations in the area, plus a food truck. Locals and visitors alike flock to the closest outpost in order to savor a homemade, authentic rendition of flaky pastry pockets. There's also a menu of sub sandwiches, including the South American chorizo special called choripán.

Antonio's Kitchen

Boise's food truck ecosystem deserves its own independent write-up, but even when looking at the restaurant industry as a whole, Antonio's Kitchen sticks out clearly as a culinary gem worth tracking down. Fortunately, it's not too much of a hunt. Mexico City-born Chef Antonio Ceballos serves his world-class birria tacos at a permanently parked home in West Boise, except for when out for events. Even way north in Idaho, Ceballos's Mexican food is some of the most authentic we've tried this side of the border while served with a unique flair: chicharron tacos, lengua burritos, and asada fries.

Amina's African Sambusas

There are a lot of fried dumplings types in the world. Sambusas are one handmade style that comes from East African countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, similar in size and fashion to samosas of India and Central Asia. Sambusas are often filled with a fusion of traditional African spices and local ingredients. Amina's African Sambusas bring vibrant flavors to Boise, but there's more than the perfectly brittle crust. For a real taste of cultural heritage, try the goat and rice, a decadent, hearty, warming bite.

Nahm Thai & Burmese cuisine

The building that currently houses Nahm Thai & Burmese Cuisine had been a Thai eatery long before Sunsanee Charoenyothin and her husband, Chauwalit Srivarawong, moved in with a new restaurant last year. They came from San Francisco, where they were already running a successful Thai spot, deciding that they wanted to share the flavors of Burmese (Myanmar) cuisine with a city currently lacking its flavors. Now, dishes like fermented tea leaf salad — with mixed vegetables, nuts, fried garlic, and fresh citrus — are becoming household phrases for carryout nights. However, your favorite Thai dish is probably also on this menu.

Mother Earth Brew Co.

It would be an easy mistake to make were you to hop in the car and drive over to the Mother Earth location. It's in Nampa, a town close enough (20 miles) to Boise; the taproom there hangs off a 40,000-square-foot brewery which is the largest in the state. Our advice, however, is to make for the smaller (by comparison) Mother Earth barroom located in downtown Boise. It has 30 rotating taps of craft seasonals, limited releases, and nitro brews, along with a cast of food trucks and plenty of entertainment.

Madre Boutique Taqueria

Boise is not short of quality Mexican food, and it can be hard to decide where to visit and how to avoid feeling bad for not reaching them all. Make sure Madre Boutique Taqueria is on your list. It's operated by husband and wife duo Chef John and Julie Cuevas. The Idaho Spud is a menu specialty studded with chorizo and topped by tangy mojo and biting jalapeño pesto. The inventive twists are thematic across a taco menu that also features Korean short rib, pork belly bahn mi, and an al pastor with bleu cheese and roasted poblano pepper cream.

The Modern Bar

Tucked within an old guest lodge renovated in contemporary style, The Modern Bar is self-descriptive. It is a watering hole known to draw early crowds of hotel guests as well as service industry workers just off their lunch service and looking for post-work sips. What gathers guests is an understated menu of thoughtful, seasonal picks. Look forward to refreshing creations like the jade coast (gin and pisco, som Thai basil, lime, pineapple gum) or wines from Lebanon, Georgia, Hungary, and the other suspects.

The Warehouse Food Hall

Unfortunately, not all food halls are created equal. If they were, they might all be a little closer to the image of The Warehouse Food Hall. At this glorified and centrally located food court (every city needs one), the stalls offer diverse choices without being too contrarian. Yes, there's the standard food hall poké or pizza selection, but there's also lobster rolls, barbecue, a grilled cheese shop, and Piedaho (self-explanatory). The general theme of American bar-slash-comfort foods is done lightly, but the cohesion helps make the final selection feel a little less challenging.

BoEx Boise Sandwiches

Part Eastern European market, part sandwich shop and deli, BoEx Boise Sandwiches (Bosnian Express) is where you need to go for a quick, inexpensive meal. It's also great for packing a picnic. The menu isn't large, focusing mainly on freshly baked bread made into paninis and gyros. BoEx doesn't skimp on the quantity or quality of sandwich fillings either. A long wall of wines lines the stark dancefloor of a dining room, letting diners know that a cocktail or beer is only ever one order away.

Ansots Basque Chorizo

There are quite a few places in Boise where you can have Basque food. None of them put as much attention into the art of chorizo as Ansots. Run by two-time James Beard nominee Dan Ansotegui and his family, this pandemic-defying shop sells a plethora of nuanced, specialty chorizo styles by the pound and also across a wide range of small plates and bocadíllos (sandwiches). Go for the Solomo, a smoldering pork loin paired with vegetally-sweet piquillo pepper on ciabatta.

Little Pearl Oyster Bar

You might not expect prime seafood to be found in the Mountain West, but a few years back, you might not have expected to find many Michelin-starred chefs in Boise, either. These days, you can have both at Little Pearl Oyster Bar. Helmed by Chef Cal Elliot (formerly of NYC's Dressler, Rye, and others), LPOB was designed as a call back to the chef's impactful time in NYC. The menu centers between five to 10 oyster species on any given day. Shipped live from top farms across the country, you can have an elite oyster program at 2,700 hundred feet above sea level. What a world.

Bar Gernika

Long before Chef Dan Ansotegui began his deep dive into hyper-regional varieties of chorizo at Ansots, he founded Bar Gernika, which has been a low-key Basque bar and eatery since 1991. Gernika has long since changed hands, but the tightly packed pub is operated by a long-time employee who has maintained the bar's reputation through service and quality. Order a Spanish kalimotxo and some croquettes or the lamb grinder sandwich. Touch them both up with the fiery finish of Gernika's tiger sauce.

Flying M Coffeehouse

Flying M is a small chain found in Boise and the surrounding suburbs. Upon first glance at the West Idaho Street location, you'll see a giant, purple, neon "Open" sign giving "Central Perk" in the best way possible. Large gallery walls are flush with local art, eccentric furniture sprawls through the space, and a nostalgic Gift Shack makes an intriguing place to sip your java. It's all small-batch roasted at Flying M, a perfect pairing for scratch-baked pastries (some of which utilize gluten-free teff grain).

Kibrom's Ethiopian & Eritrean Restaurant

Kibrom's Ethiopian & Eritrean Restaurant has been an important part of Boise's food culture since it opened. Husband and wife Kibrom Milash and Tirhas Hailu cooked for three years at a refugee camp in North Ethiopia before coming to America. Idaho's capital is better off for having the pair and their cuisine. The injera is chewy but not dense, the perfect vessel for shiro, a nutty chickpea dish with an herbal sauce. If you enjoy the spongey wrap as much as we do, go for the fir-fir, which are strips of injera covered in a tingling berbere sauce.

Cloud 9 Brewery

It's hard to narrow down the many breweries around the City of Trees. The landscape becomes a lot more clear when you evaluate which taproom has both good beer and a gourmet pub kitchen slinging top-quality modern American food. Cloud 9 Brewery offers a few benefits in addition to these, including the fact that it is the only certified organic brewery in Idaho. The pub's production is microscopic in comparison to other beer makers across the state, but that keeps the taps fresh alongside a fresh menu special every evening. As cooler weather approaches, we're keeping our eyes peeled for the pumpkin lager.

Epi's Basque Restaurant

If you were to trace the family lineage of Boise's most prolific Basque restaurants to its end, you would eventually arrive at a woman named Maria Epifania Lamiquis-Inchausti, otherwise known as Epi. The matriarchal ancestor of prominent local chefs Dan and Chris Ansotegui, Epi was the family cook, so in 1999, this restaurant was opened and named in her honor. Despite changing ownership in 2019, Epi's Basque Restaurant has served grilled Basque staples for 24 years, including mingaina (beef tongue in pepper-tomato sauce), tximinoiak (baby squid in leek sauce), and gateau Basque (citrusy pudding cake with raspberry).

The Wylder

Journey down to West Broad Street for a pie at The Wylder, and what will strike you first is the restaurant's cozy feel, imparted by the Danish design scene of concrete and light wood contrasts. The wide dining room is spacious and open and should be as comfortable as the rest, but actually begins to feel disconcerting once you take your first bite. This is the kind of pizza you want to be alone with. Fresh, sultry cheese and deluxe toppings cover 10 pies, listed across from an entree and salad menu. Even better, each pizza is supported by a pillowy, charred crust made with a 50+-year-old starter.


KIN is the home of 2023 James Beard Best Chef: Mountain Region, Kris Komori. Komori's cooking takes the form of a prix fixe fine dining menu that changes every five weeks to encompass the ever-shifting abundance of local foodways, prioritizing the flavor of farm-to-table ingredients over a single, limited theme. This rotation holds the restaurant true to its mission of creating a communal dining experience, as does the KIN Kind program, which Komori uses to support local nonprofits doing work in spheres of social justice, food insecurity, and sustainability. It can be tough to get in but look for KIN's Saturday late-night Super Club, which is a dressed-down fine dining experience.

Guru Donuts

According to Guru Donuts, "Nothing spreads faster than a secret." These donuts are no longer sold discreetly out of a garage speakeasy as they first were in 2012, though they still move fast across the local chain's three locations. Par for the course in Boise's progressive food scene, there are gluten-free and vegan donut options along with limited-time creations and a shockingly large standard menu wheeling out everything from a Drive-In donut covered in popcorn to maple-topped donuts made from potatoes.

Push & Pour

Push & Pour has three café locations across the Boise metro area. Each one has its own identity, but they're all pulled together by a few shared threads: Neoteric illustrations are handpainted right onto the walls, the coffee is affordably priced and roasted with skill, and the regular crowd is full of movers and shakers. Push & Pour once installed a grind rail through its café in order to host a skating competition. Not every weekend is that extreme, but there's always something jumping at these cafés.

Wepa Cafe

Wepa Cafe is the only Puerto Rican restaurant in Idaho's Treasure Valley, but the chefs behind the scenes put on for the island's cuisine in a big way. The menu touts authentic features: mofongo (mashed plantain with garlic butter and chicharron), carne frita (Puerto Rican-spiced fried pork), and codfish fritters are a few of many. Plantain rules the menu, as do great prices and gluten-free options. Plus, there's a pina colada cheesecake for a perfect finish.

The Yardarm

Boise is well-regarded for its green spaces and miles of trail, which run alongside the Boise River. Tucked along a spot on the water's path is a hollowed-out shipping container with a fenced-in yard, sandy floor, and gleaming taps that pour both beer and wine for courtyard guests. Yardarm is made up of entirely recycled and upcycled materials decorated to give it a beachside feel. Across the street at the Boise Whitewater Park, views of river surfers immediately boost the bar past the vibe check. Rotating food trucks offer quality eats to round out a perfect neighborhood spot.

Alyonka Russian Cuisine

Alyonka restaurant is a previous alum of Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," as this eatery isn't one of the three ... it's just small. All the same, Chef Elena DeYoung, born in former Soviet Kazhakstan, offers bold dishes with character for every customer, whether they be the King of Flavortown or an average Joe. If you consider yourself a fellow resident of Fieri's territory, your tastebuds will scintillate at classy caviar-topped Russian pancakes called blini. But there's plenty to satisfy the humble palates as well, including chebureki, a fried turnover, and a host of Russian dumpling styles.


Custom-made butcher block tables aren't the only thing that stands out at downtown Boise's Alavita. Over 90% of the menu — chock full of Italian foods and freshly made pasta — can be made egg- and gluten-free. An Italian restaurant where gluten is optional? A rare sight. Whether you want to indulge in a spicy sausage over pappardelle or duck confit mixed with the squat, screw form of trottole pasta, you can do so exactly how you want and need at Álavita.