Boise’s restaurant scene has flourished in the last few years, bringing the Treasure Valley a variety of incredible eateries to match its community-favorite stalwarts. The City of Trees has something delectable primed to appease even the most stubborn palates with a myriad of meat-free options, creative twists on the classics, and menu selections you’d expect to only see in Paris or Italy. From traditional Italian and tomahawk steaks to vegan barbeque and craft tacos, take off on a flavor-profile adventure with the best restaurants in Boise—your tastebuds will thank you.
Boise's Best Restaurants
$$ - $$$ | Italian, Craft Cocktails, Idaho Wines | Website
807 W Idaho St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 780-1100
With seasonally-changing twists on Italian fare, creative craft cocktails, and a loyalty to local and regionally-sourced ingredients, Àlavita, an “Italian Joint” by the creators of Fork, honors traditional osterias with a Salute to Life. Located in the historic 1890 Boise City National Bank Building, Àlavita is a treat for the eyes and palate. The restaurant’s designer, Mitch Thompson, created a stunning space of custom chandeliers, blue-granite bar countertops, and custom-built butcher block tables. Every piece reflects the heart of Àlavita: a locally-inspired Italian menu with fresh, house-made pasta and decadent desserts. Whether meeting colleagues, celebrating with friends, or out for a romantic night, Àlavita’s top-notch cuisine, gluten-free options, and extensive wine and cocktail list deliver a local-favorite dining experience.
- Black Ravioli: strikingly and purely delicious. Stuffed with butter-poached shrimp and fennel pollen and topped with spiced poached shrimp and lemon-fennel infused Cloverleaf cream sauce.
- Chef’s Market Risotto: this gluten-and-meat-free dish is an extension of the chef’s daily inspirations. Freshly prepared with market veggies and seasonal ingredients, you’re always in for a special treat.
- Cocktail: To top off this unique bite, we recommend the Basil Foam cocktail, a mixture of Idaho vodka, St. Germain “foam,” white peach puree, basil essence, and a splash of Prosecco.
2. Alyonka Russian Cuisine
$$ | Russian, Authentic | Website
2870 W State Street, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 344-8996
For owner and Chef Elena DeYoung, the decision to open Boise’s only Russian restaurant was simple. As the event coordinator for Boise’s Russian Food Festival, a 14-year-old event serving 4,000 Boiseans annually, she kept hearing the same question: where can we eat food like this year-round? The answer came in 2019 when the quaint, coveted restaurant space on the corner of State and Lemp gave Chef Elena her opportunity. Since its opening, Alyonka has stunned diners with its fresh ingredients, Michelin presentations, and incredible takes on authentic cuisine. From comfort foods like shish kebabs and beef stroganoff to a list of delectable, mouth-watering desserts, Alyonka’s chef-picked menu pairs perfectly with its intimate dining space—limited seating means reservations are a must for this taste of Russia.
- Pelmeni: a purely-authentic dish, these handmade Russian-style beef dumplings showcase the chef’s skill through a simple ingredient list and presentation. Available in a broth, Pelmeni is can’t-miss comfort food.
- Pavlova: named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this light and delicate Meringue Cake is known as one of the most difficult desserts to pull off correctly and a sure sign of a master baker. Topped with vanilla bean whip and garnished with fresh berries and cashews, save room for Alyonka’s dessert menu—if you can.
$$$$ | Steakhouse, Seafood, Fine Dining | Website
276 Bobwhite Ct, Boise, ID 83706 | (208) 338-5000
A striking, multi-dimensional experience, Barbacoa brings exotic flare to fine dining. Consistently awarded “Best Dessert,” “Best Cocktails,” and “Best Happy Hour,” the restaurant is part museum, part art gallery, and a 100% unique experience. From 14th-century castle doors leading to private rooms to the locally-produced, 3,127 piece glass chandelier focal point, Barbacoa’s sensory journey guides you from the grand foyer to a fusion of culinary delights. Influenced by and in tribute to the ranchers and cowboys of the Pacific Northwest, Barbacoa: an open-fire cooking method rooted in early American and Mexican history, combines the tastes of Mexico, Spain, and the Caribbean. With an expansive bar, enticing entrees like a hot-rock porterhouse, and creative takes on traditional meals, Barbacoa is one-of-a-kind Boise at its best.
- Tableside Guacamole: while it’s true Barbacoa is a fine dining experience, their tableside guacamole is one of the best in Boise. Handmade by avocado-only chefs and served in a traditional stone mortar bowl, tables choose their spice level and garnishes, perfecting exactly how they want their guacamole.
- 2½ Pound Prime Porterhouse: served on their signature “hot rock,” this sizzling slab of choice meat is meant to be shared, creating a brilliant date night experience. Served with serrano chimichurri, habanero tequila barbeque sauce, and a signature cognac sauce, you’ve never had a steak like this.
4. Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery
$$ - $$$ | American, Pub, Distillery | Website
610 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 426-0538
One of Boise’s busiest spots also holds an impressive title as the first distillery restaurant in the nation. Bardenay’s signature gin, rum, and vodka all go through the distilling process right here in Boise, and when you order one of their cocktails at their downtown location, you’re drinking liquor crafted just feet from where you’re sitting. Bardenay’s bar is one of the best in the city, and although they’re beverage-focused, their food menu is also top-notch. With an expansive, well-attended patio, Bardenay offers a variety of uniquely Idaho meals and worldwide flavors to fill out its brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Serving Boise for more than 20 years, its Basque District local adds a friendly touch to every meal.
- Cinder-Brined Pork Chop: with its fall-off-the-bone tenderness, we recommend filling up with the all-natural, bone-in Frenched loin chop. Topped with caramelized fennel, candied apple cider gastrique, garlic smashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables, it’s a brilliantly cooked meal best served with any of Bardenay’s tasty cocktails.
- Albacore Tuna & Cheddar: inside a menu ranging from satays to tacos, this tuna and cheddar sandwich stands out. Featuring albacore tuna salad, lemon zest, mayonnaise, tomato, and melted Tillamook Cheddar on grilled sourdough slices, this simple sandwich is reminiscent of late lunches with Mom. Upscaling the meal a few notches, we recommend pairing it with the house-made jalapeno coleslaw or apricot-walnut couscous.
- Cocktail: while we say you should taste-test all of Bardenay’s handmade spirits, a trip is never complete without a Bardenay Bond Martini. Bardenay gin, Bardenay vodka, and Lillet Blanc are, of course, shaken, not stirred.
5. The Basque Market
$$-$$$ | Basque, Catering, Imported Wines | Website
608 West Grove Street, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 433-1208
From watching a traditional preparation of an 800-person paella on their patio to fresh tapas, frozen sangria, and incredible pintxos, The Basque Market has invigorated hungry Boiseans with a taste of the Basque Country since 2000. The hearty pintxos menu keeps the Basque tradition alive with a family-style food-sharing experience. Pintxos are small plates of food that come out as they’re ready, giving diners a chance to catch up and unwind while sharing small bites of hand-crafted deliciousness. The large, relaxing meals extend to The Basque Market’s popular party menu, where authentic group feasts continue the relax-and-share atmosphere. The restaurant also specializes in wines from the Basque Country, Spain, France, and Portugal, pairing the perfect sip with every hearty bite.
- Jamón ibérico: perfect for sharing, this meat platter holds Spain’s finest cured meats. Served with freshly baked baguettes, the thinly-sliced “Iberian ham” delicacy is accompanied by membrillo and piquillo pepper confit.
- Paella: best-known for its traditional Spanish paella, The Basque Market serves fresh seafood, chicken, and chorizo paella every Wednesday and Friday during Paella on the Patio, a large, Paella dinner on the first Thursday of every month, and even offers a call-ahead take-home custom order.
6. Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge
$$ - $$$ | Americana, Upscale, Cocktails | Website
246 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 429-6340
With its impressive tap list and comfortable atmosphere, Bittercreek Alehouse is a downtown Boise classic. The Idaho-American beer bar features one of the most locally-focused menus in town. As a seasoned Downtown standard, Bittercreek and its sister restaurant, Red Feather Lounge, are ubiquitous with dinners, drinks, and celebrations along Boise’s historic 8th Street. Red Feather, the more sophisticated of the pair, is a modern American lounge serving seasonal cuisine, fresh interpretations of the classic cocktail, and a signature lux atmosphere. With its imaginative drink lists, stunning glass-enclosed wine cellar, and spectacular brunch menu primed for those warm Saturday mornings on their patio, Red Feather and Bittercreek are a top-tier choice for a uniquely Boise meal.
- Bittercreek’s Spicy Lamb Burger: with Lava Lakes grass-fed lamb, feta, jalapeno, crispy onions, and lettuce all hugged by a toasted brioche bun, this lamb burger is a fusion of the traditional greek gyro and a classic American hamburger. Cooked to perfection, it pairs wonderfully with the drunken black beans or hand-cut fries.
- Red Feather’s Pan-Seared Trout: locally sourced from Hagerman, Idaho, this pan-seared rainbow trout is delicate, moist, and masterfully prepared. Served with black lentils, miso brown butter, and creme fraiche, it’s a light-but-filling meal that only gets better with a cocktail in hand.
- Cocktail: we recommend the Burnadette, a mix of mezcal, chartreuse, cherry, lime, and rhubarb bitters.
7. Chandlers Steakhouse
$$$$ | Steakhouse, Seafood, Cocktails | Website
981 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 383-4300
Steak, seafood, live jazz, and a full-service martini bar—Chandlers has provided fine Idaho dining since 1994. A Forbes Travel Guide recommended restaurant, this locally-owned, upscale location routinely ranks as one of the city’s best steaks. Chandlers specializes in Kobe-style beef, premium prime rib, and jet-fresh seafood, and their wine list features over 700 options. Ensuring your meal has the perfect drink to go along with it, the Martini Bar, created by master mixologist Pat Carden, has something special for every palate. Located under the luxurious Hotel 43, the menu covers all the bases of fine American-style dining, while the social hour menu makes it the perfect place for after-work drinks.
- A5 Japanese Wagyu Steak: a world-renowned treat, these steaks carry the highest-quality rating for any meat across the globe. The premiere, can’t-get-any-better-than-this filets range from 5-to-10oz portions, carry a fat-marbling ancient Greece would be jealous of, and, prepared by a master executive chef, literally melt in your mouth.
- Three-Course Prix Fixe: little-known, Chandlers offers a three-course meal that makes any night special. With an appetizer selection, choice between veal picatta, trout amandine, a steakhouse wagyu burger, and a few others, the night finishes with either chocolate torte, fromage blanc cheesecake, or butterscotch crème brûlée. While you’re there, be sure to peruse the wine menu or taste one of the can’t-miss martinis.
- Cocktail: we love The Jazzman, a new take on the classic that features Makers Mark, green chartreuse, orange bitters, and flamed orange peel.
$$ - $$$ | Northwest, Burgers | Website
199 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 287-1700
Ask locals where you should head for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and you’ll probably hear Fork mentioned more than a few times. Fork is a Treasure Valley restaurant icon. Spearheading the “Loyal to Local” movement, Cameron and Amanda Lumsden created Fork with a commitment to sourcing ingredients from Boise and Northwest farmers, ranchers, bakers, distillers, brewers, and cheesemakers. With 75% of their beverages coming from the Northwest, every bite or sip is a nod to the region. Fork’s carefully crafted, wide-ranging menu of everything from asparagus fries to chicken-and-waffles, award-winning bar, extensive brunch, and the restaurant’s home in the historic Boise City National Bank building create a comfortable-yet-upscale ambiance that makes every meal special.
- Asparagus Fries: a local and in-house favorite, you can’t take a trip to Fork without ordering their asparagus fries. Breaded, fresh-fried, and served with a homemade ranch dipper, they’re simple, delicious, and wildly addictive.
- Cajun Fried Chicken Sammy: While Fork is known for its burgers, you should consider their fried chicken sandwich—it’s one-of-a-kind, delectable indulgence at its finest. With fresh chicken breaded and fried to perfection, the moist meat, remoulade, and grilled radicchio sit on a beautiful, locally-baked Zeppole ciabatta bun. Served with natural-cut, chili-lime chips, you can spruce up your sandwich with egg, avocado, or applewood bacon.
9. The Funky Taco
$$ - $$$ | Locally-Sourced, Craft Tacos, Vegan | Website
801 W Bannock, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 488-4593
As one of the more eccentric restaurants on our list, The Funky Taco’s “farm to funk fare” has taken downtown Boise by storm. This upscale taco joint offers hand-crafted creations for every omnivore, carnivore, vegan, and vegetarian. The Funky Taco’s unorthodox style fits perfectly next to Boise’s Freak Alley, an incredible collage of locally-produced murals and art features. Whether you’re munching on Piggy Stardust, a slow-roasted, Yucatan-style pork taco, or enjoying a refreshing Bahn Mi Mi vegan taco, this off-beat restaurant finds a way to charm you with every bite. Along with a dynamic rotating beer, wine, and cocktail program, The Funky Taco hosts live music and events from local artists.
- Flower Power: without the server saying something, you probably wouldn’t know these tacos were vegan. With their panko-crusted cauliflower base, arugula slaw, bomb sauce, scallion, and radish served on a handmade tortilla, the Flower Power tacos are refreshing, unique, and 100% funky.
- Kimchi Quesadilla: while every taco is eccentrically delicious, you don’t want to miss The Funky Taco’s tantalizing quesadillas. Made from a house kimchi, smoked gouda, local honey, micro kale, carrot, and scallion, this quintessential quesadilla quandary bridges East and West in a beautiful, locally-perfected way.
$$ - $$$$ | Contemporary, Prix Fixe, Brunch, Cocktails | Website
999 West Main Street, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 342-0600
As a complete dining experience, KIN takes you on a gastronomic journey through its five-course, prix fixe meal. Available by reservation only, the exclusive menu features an optional beverage pairing primed for each specific flavor profile. Constantly evolving, KIN’s meals are an artistic expression of head chef and owner Kris Komori. KIN found its home in the iconic Downtown dining space at 10th and Main, the original location of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Adapting to their new surroundings, Komori and his partner, Remi McManus, saw the sunken, old amphitheater as an opportunity. KIN now hosts piKINics, a summer concert series where their open-to-the-public cocktail bar and ala carte small plates keep locals fed and entertained with extraordinary creations and live local performances.
- Five-Course Prix Fixe: come for the hand-selected menu, stay for the atmosphere. The tasting menu and curated beverage pairing change monthly, bringing something brand new to your palate twelve times a year. As Chef Kris pushes his team to always be better, expect a fusion of flavors and influences throughout the five plates. A pure expression of food, put your faith in KIN’s talents, and let them take you on an unforgettable gastronomy journey.
- Ramen: whether you’re there for a piKINic or just a quick bite, KIN’s bar serves a special ramen from 5-10 pm every day. With house-made noodles, broth, a soy egg, kimchi, pickled shiitake, scallion, and sesame seed, you can also order the Ramen to-go, bringing KIN’s deliciousness anywhere you need to be.
- Cocktail: If you’re staying, be sure to try one of their signature cocktails. We recommend the Shiso Pretty, a simple bourbon and Shiso-Rosehip lemonade.
11. The Lively
$$$ - $$$$ | Fine Dining, American Contemporary, Craft Cocktails | Website
505 West Bannock St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 209-5503
With its Eat, Drink, and Be Lively creed, The Lively is a sophisticated dining experience drawing inspiration from our regional bounties. Its carefully sourced menu celebrates the farmers, ranchers, and artisans of the Treasure Valley—The Lively is warm, welcoming fine dining at its absolute best. At the table, the limited menu highlights Executive Chef Edward Higgins’ vision for locally-sourced brilliance. With options like Ruby Trout “Nicoise” and American Wagyu Culotte, the Bar Gibbon, which sits downstairs from the dining room, offers stunning cocktails and spirits to match the refined restaurant experience. For an even more memorable experience, The Lively also features interactive Chef’s Table meals, private dining rooms, and a tucked-away speakeasy for quaint special events.
- New York Style Reuben: The Lively’s lunch menu is just as exquisite as its dinner offerings, and you won’t want to miss their Reuben. Topped with a healthy portion of house-smoked pastrami, homemade sauerkraut, and a light, Thousand Island-style dressing, a brilliantly-baked rye bread finishes off this classic, finely-crafted sandwich.
- Lasagne Verdi Alla Bolognese: With its limited dinner menu, you can’t miss on any of the specially-designed creations. Our favorite is the lasagne. Bringing a local take on the classic bolognese, this bechamel and spinach pasta lasagne is creamy, hearty goodness.
- Cocktail: referred to as “beguiling cocktails,” Bar Gibbon’s list of house creations and forgotten classics may require a few return visits just to try them all. We love the Member of Parliament, a concoction of gin, Aperol, St. Germain, sparkling Rosé, citrus, and Peychaud’s bitters.
12. Petite 4
$$$ - $$$$ | French Contemporary, Wine | Website
4 North Latah Street, Boise, ID 83706 | (208) 345-1055
A niche, eclectic, and retro-chic bistro offering French-inspired fare. Petite 4 is a whimsical restaurant that showcases a love for good food, drink, and all things fancy. The laid-back and intimate space brings a playfulness to match its floor-to-ceiling green and gold decor. Petite 4’s creators wanted to combine their favorite things in a single restaurant. From a dedicated coffee and donut menu to a robust wine list, dinners feature delicious treats like Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, Leek Fonduta, Duck Confit, and Sticky Toffee Pudding. Petite 4 is an aesthetic experience, and with an inventive and changing menu and a “petite” space to enjoy it all, you’ll want to get your reservations well in advance.
- Fried Oyster Egg: start your meal with your pinky out. Fancy, delectable, and surprisingly delicious, these oysters on the half shell are topped with a jammy egg, wing sauce, bleu aioli, and caviar.
- Bistro Steak: as a French-inspired restaurant, the Snake River Farms’ premier-quality steak feels a little out-of-place until it’s set in front of you. Prepared in the traditional French style, this incredible cut is served with Verde butter, goddess sauce, and gold and green onion rings, topping off the whimsy of a meal at Petite 4.
13. Saint Lawrence Gridiron
$$ - $$$ | Southern Inspired Pub, Barbecue | Website
705 W Bannock St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 433-5598
It’s hard not to love this quirky, original, and impressive restaurant. Saint Lawrence Gridiron believes in “exploring the roots of American cuisine,” which they achieve through an expert team of chefs and barristers. Their menu features southern-inspired items you can’t find anywhere else in Boise. Grits, succotash, bones and toast—their exceptionally-unique offerings are only topped by a seat on their impressive Downtown Boise patio. From the sights and sounds of the bustling city to the scents of low-and-slow smoked and roasted meats, Saint Lawrence Gridiron cherishes the classics while pushing the boundaries of exactly what barbeque can be. While a quick glance at the laidback, casual atmosphere may have you underestimating the meals, the masterfully-crafted offerings are BBQ with class. Paired with a creative cocktail list, you’re in for a mouth-watering treat at Saint Lawrence Gridiron.
- PBR Platter: there’s just something purely Boise and exceptionally American about this pork sampler platter. With their house-smoked brisket, tender pulled pork, and delectable pork ribs, the choice meats are revitalized by SLG’s kilt greens, cornbread, and house slaw. Served with a PBR tallboy—yes, it comes with a blue ribbon winner—the PBR platter takes you straight to backyard BBQ vibes.
- Shrimp and Grits: southern charm rings throughout this dish. With stone-ground grits, sausage and tomato gravy, and seared jumbo shrimp combined into a perfectly balanced, one-of-a-kind meal, you’ll wish you had found SLG faster.
- Cocktail: we say keep it classic at Saint Lawrence Gridiron. Their Old Fashioned shows off its long-lived and long-loved history with Old Forester signature, dem, bitters, and orange peel, all served over an ice rock.
14. Wild Root Café & Market
$$ - $$$ | Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly | Website
276 N 8th St, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 856-8956
Come for the tofu, stay for the pork belly—Wild Root Cafe & Market has a health-conscious menu for all types of foodies. This vegan-friendly restaurant serves seasonal, craft comfort food and emphasizes local ingredients throughout their lunch, brunch, and dinner offerings. As a Downtown Boise favorite, Wild Root Cafe’s colorful flavors and well-plated meals make eating clean easy. With dog-friendly patio seating perfect for a warm summer day, rejuvenate your senses with a fresh-to-order Wild Root delight. Sporting a casual cafe vibe, uniquely-crafted cuisine, and a great selection of beer, wine, craft cocktails, and kombucha, this laid-back locale is a deliciously perfect choice for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diners.
- Power Bowl: fuel your body with the good stuff. We love how hearty this meal is, with its seasonal vegetables, baby kale, radishes, ancient grains, citrus, almonds, and golden balsamic vinaigrette. With A la Carte add-ons like sweet potato hash and grilled ciabatta toast, Wild Root warms you from your stomach to your soul.
- Huevos Rancheros: hit the patio with a healthy portion of huevos rancheros. Piled with avocado, queso fresco, pinto beans, scallions, fire-roasted salsa, corn tortillas, two eggs, cilantro, and chorizo, Wild Root also offers vegan substitutions to ensure everyone can enjoy this classic.
15. The Wylder
$$ - $$$ | Contemporary, Craft Pizza & Cocktails, Vegetarian Friendly | Website
501 West Broad Street, Boise, ID 83702 | (208) 209-3837
Pizza with a soul. Established in 2017, The Wylder’s hip atmosphere, craft pizzas, and creative cocktails bring an upscale revitalization of precisely what it means to share a slice. While still paying homage to traditional Italian cooking, The Wylder’s hand-crafted, slow-batch creations expand on everything a pizza can be. With five red sauce and five white sauce options, you’ll also find fresh salads, a list of Italian-inspired entrees, and a truly incredible range of craft cocktails. With drinks like True Grit, a bourbon and chili flake masterpiece, and pizzas like Gem State of Mind, a potato, onion, and sage beauty, The Wylder’s modern take on the traditional pizzeria is refreshing and purely Boise.
- Honey Badger: just like its namesake, this craft pizza is spicy, sweet, and surprisingly wholesome. With Italian sausage, ricotta, caramelized onion, and a spicy honey drizzle, this pizza’s handmade dough and parmesan cream sauce are intricately crafted to bring you an outstanding evolution of traditional pizza.
- Margherita: you can’t go wrong with a classic Margherita pizza. A staple of pizzerias worldwide, the beloved Margherita can make-or-break a pizza place’s reputation. Luckily, the Wylder knocks it out of the park with their simple mozzarella, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil pie. Guided by their spectacular dough, the thin, slow-baked slices bring wholehearted goodness to every bite.
- Cocktail: with their rotating featured cocktail bringing fresh flair to any meal, The Wylder also offers a refreshing seasonal sangria. With glasses or carafes available, the quenching sangria is the perfect accompaniment to any date, gathering, or celebration.
Lisa is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals. From Southeast Boise to the North End, up to Eagle and west to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise.