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Boise’s growing restaurant scene is a blessing — until you find yourself on the wrong end of a keyboard, forced to choose just a few eateries. Then, it feels a bit like a curse!

Below, we’ve gathered a handful of the city’s choicest bites, including local favorites and new hotspots. As you read, keep in mind that like art, great meals are subjective. One person’s death row dream might be another’s least favorite place in town.

For a more comprehensive list of Boise eateries, check out our annual “Best of Boise” issue at idahopress.com/boiseweekly/best_of_boise/2021_best_of.

Burgers & Fries

Bittercreek Alehouse – Bitterceek’s locally-sourced burgers have blown Boiseans away since 1995. Try the Bittercreek Burger or mix it up with the Halloumi Cheese Burger with artichokes, hazelnut romesco and local greens.

246 N. Eighth St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-345-1813; bittercreekalehouse.com

Brixx Craft House – Created by the owners of The BrickYard Steakhouse, Brixx offers a fine burger selection including the Elk Burger with locally-raised elk, bacon aioli, gouda, pickled onions, tomato and butter leaf lettuce. Don’t forget the poutine!

7700 W. State St. #110, Boise, ID 83714; 208-608-5474; brixxcrafthouse.com

Hawkins Pac-Out – Scratch your burger itch after a day at Bogus Basin with the Hungry Boy Burger — a 1/3-pound double with double American cheese, ham and bacon — and a side of French fries.

2315 Bogus Basin Road, Boise, ID 83702; 208-338-9627; hawkinspacout.com

Pizza

The Wylder – Have you had pizza crust made with a 50-plus-year-old sourdough starter? Here, you can top it with pepperoni or a mouthwatering combination of parmesan cream sauce, Italian sausage, ricotta, caramelized onions and spicy honey.

501 W. Broad St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-209-3837; thewylderboise.com

Red Bench Pizza – Pioneered by the owners of Juniper, this hotspot has locations in both Boise and Eagle, as well as its own delivery service. Go for the Lunch Special (an 8-inch pie and green salad for $10) and choose from 20 pizzas.

1204 S. Vista Ave. Boise, ID 83705; 208-344-6600; redbenchpizza.com

Casanova Pizzeria – After closing in 2015, Casanova Pizza resurrected itself in 2021! It offers a plethora of vegetarian options and bakes its hand-stretched pizzas in a 700-degree oven.

2431 W Fairview Ave., Boise ID 83702; 208-995-2662; casanovapizzeria.com

Sushi

Yoi Tomo Sushi & Grill – Located across from the Edwards Theater, Yoi Tomo serves up rolls named after popular movies like “Pretty Woman,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Fast and Furious.” Check out both the all-day and all-you-can eat menus.

405 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702; 208-344-3375; yoitomo.us

Mai Thai – At Mai Thai in Boise, the curated sushi menu is matched in elegance by the ambiance. Sit under the blown glass light fixtures and enjoy a Boise State Roll (spicy tuna and crab topped with shrimp, salmon, avocado and sweet chili sauce) or order delivery from the Boise or Meridian locations.

750 W. Idaho S. Idaho St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-344-8424; maithaigroup.com

Lost Shack – This Harris Ranch outpost is a collaboration between Lost Grove Brewing and the Sushi Shack food truck. Go for the diverse menu of nigiri, sashimi, poke, and more, and stay for the craft beer.

3724 S. Eckert Road #110, Boise, ID 83716; 208-286-2945; lostshack.com

Vegetarian/Vegan

High Note Cafe – In 2019, High Note transitioned to a 100% plant-based menu. Stop in for specials like the famous breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu, red potatoes, black bean puree, and fixings.

225 N. Fifth St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-429-1911; highnotecafeboise.com

The Void – This new plant-based food truck and delivery service offers quality vegan “fast food” like fried “chik’n” sandwiches, double-stacked burgers, tacos, and fries.

Location varies; 208-900-8701; thevoidboise.com

Wild Root Cafe – Wild Root’s menu features options for every diet, including marked plant-based fare and substitutions on dishes like the Avocado Breakfast Toast, served with sunny side up eggs or a tofu scramble.

276 N. Eighth St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-856-8956; wildrootcafe.com

Fine Dining

Chandlers – Located inside Hotel 43, Chandlers is a downtown Boise destination for its premium hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and live jazz. The restaurant also boasts a Best Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.

981 W. Grove St., Boise, Idaho 83702; 208-383-4300; chandlersboise.com

Little Pearl Oyster Bar – This chef-owned gem is the brainchild of Cal Elliott, formerly of the Michelin-starred restaurant Dressler. It offers a rotating menu of seafood and bar snacks in an intimate setting.

160 N. Eighth St.; @littlepearlboise on Instagram

The Lively – The Lively is also run by a Michelin-starred chef: Edward Higgins of Insieme Restaurant. It offers both a la carte and chefs table experiences featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

505 W. Bannock St., Boise, ID, 83702; 208-209-5503; thelivelyboise.com

International Eats

Andrade’s Restaurant – This cantina’s slogan is, “My competition is in Mexico” and it has the chops to prove it. Drop in for the house-made taquitos, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tamales, tortas, and more.

4620 W. Overland Road, Boise, ID 83705; 208-344-1234; andradesrestaurant.com

Madhuban Indian Cuisine – Yes, some of Boise’s best Indian food is tucked into a strip mall. Start with one of the 10 types of naan, then let your tastebuds steer you to your favorite biryani, curry, or tandoori dish. If you’re unsure of your spice tolerance, aim low!

6930 W State St.,Boise, ID 83714; 208-853-8215; madhubanindiancuisine.com

Ansots – Boise is home to many incredible Basque restaurants, but Ansots is the newest. Run by Chef Dan Ansotegui and his family, it opened in 2020 and specializes in house-made meats, including chorizo and Basque bacon.

560 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83702; 208-336-9166; ansots.com

One-of-a-Kind

KIN – The upscale family-style dining experience at KIN is unlike anything else in Boise. Reserve your seats to enjoy a rotating five-course tasting menu and beverage pairing or an exclusive Saturday night Supper Club. James Beard Award Semi-Finalist Chef Kris Komori highlights local flavors in small, elegant plates.

999 W. Main St., Ste. P101, Boise, ID 83702; 208-342-0600; kinboise.com

Alyonka Russian Cuisine – This bright, funky cafe brings the taste of Russia to Boise! Claim one of its few tables for a memorable meal of borscht, beef stroganoff, vareniki, and honey cake from Kazakhstan-born Chef Elena DeYoung.

2870 W. State St., Boise 83702; 208-344-8996; alyonkarussiancuisine.com

Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Restaurant – You don’t need utensils at this authentic African eatery. The meat-based and vegetarian dishes are served on discs of injera — a tasty sourdough-like flatbread made from teff — with more on the side for scooping!

3506 W. State St., Boise, ID 83703; 208-917-8005; kibromsfood.com

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