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12 Delicious Restaurants You Must Try in Downtown Boise

best restaurants in downtown boise

In recent years, Boise's food culture has exploded, providing the Treasure Valley with a wide range of great restaurants to match its cult-favorite mainstays. With a variety of meat-free options, inventive takes on traditional dishes, and menu items you'd expect to only find in Paris or Italy, The City of Trees has something scrumptious ready to satisfy even the most obstinate palates. Your tastebuds will thank you for embarking on a flavor-profile trip with the greatest restaurants in Boise, which offer everything from traditional Italian and tomahawk steaks to vegan barbeque and handmade tacos.

12 BEST Restaurants in Downtown Boise

1. Álavita

Álavita Restaurant
Álavita Restaurant (Image Source:

Lavita, an "Italian Joint" by the makers of Fork, pays tribute to historic osterias with a Salute to Life with seasonally-changing takes on Italian cuisine, inventive artisan cocktails, and a dedication to locally and regionally sourced products. Located in the famed Boise City National Bank Building from 1890, Lavita is a visual and gustatory delight. Mitch Thompson, the restaurant's designer, fashioned an exquisite interior with bespoke chandeliers, blue-granite bar tops, and butcher block tables. Each item captures the essence of La Vita: an Italian menu with a local flair that features delectable sweets and freshly prepared pasta. A local favorite, Lavita's top-notch cuisine, gluten-free selections, and wide wine and beverage list make it the perfect place to meet with coworkers, celebrate with friends, or go on a date.

2. Alyonka Russian Cuisine

Alyonka Russian Cuisine Restaurant
Alyonka Russian Cuisine Restaurant

The decision to launch Boise's only Russian restaurant was an easy one for the owner and chef Elena DeYoung. Where can we eat food like this year-round? was a common query she heard as the event supervisor for the 14-year-old Boise Russian Food Festival, which serves 4,000 residents each year. The solution arrived in 2019 when Chef Elena was given the chance by the charming, highly sought-after restaurant located at the intersection of State and Lemp. Since it first opened, Alyonka has astounded guests with its outstanding interpretations of genuine food, Michelin-starred presentations, and fresh ingredients. Alyonka's chef-selected menu features comfort meals like shish kebabs and beef stroganoff as well as a selection of delicious, mouthwatering desserts. Due to limited seating, reservations are required for this taste of Russia.

3. Barbacoa

Barbacoa adds exotic flair to excellent meals and is a spectacular, multidimensional experience. The restaurant, which is a mix of museum and art gallery, consistently wins awards for "Best Dessert," "Best Cocktails," and "Best Happy Hour." Barbacoa's sensory journey takes you from the magnificent entrance to a mix of gastronomic pleasures, with the help of 14th-century castle doors connecting to private chambers and the center point being a locally manufactured, 3,127-piece glass chandelier. Barbacoa is an early American and Mexican culinary technique that combines the flavors of Mexico, Spain, and the Caribbean. It was inspired by and created in homage to the ranchers and cowboys of the Pacific Northwest. Barbacoa is one-of-a-kind Boise at its best, including a sizable bar, tempting entrees like a hot-rock porterhouse, and inventive twists on classic dishes.

4. Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery

The fact that the first distillery restaurant in the country opened in one of Boise's busiest locations is an outstanding distinction. When you order a cocktail at Bardenay's downtown location, you are drinking booze made only a few feet away from where you are sitting because all of their famous gins, rums, and vodka are all distilled here in Boise. Although they specialize in beverages, Bardenay's bar is among the best in the city, and their food menu is excellent as well. The brunch, lunch, and dinner menus at Bardenay, which has a sizable, busy terrace, are filled with a range of dishes that are distinctively Idahoan and have cuisines from throughout the world. Serving Boise for almost 20 years, this Basque District local gives each meal a warm touch.

5. The Basque Market

Since 2000, The Basque Market has energized hungry Boiseans with a taste of the Basque Country, serving everything from fresh tapas, cold sangria, and exquisite pintxos to viewing traditional cooking of an 800-person paella on their terrace. The hearty pintxos menu maintains the Basque tradition by allowing guests to share meals in a family-style setting. Pintxos are small plates of food that are served when they are ready, giving guests a chance to chat and relax while savoring a few deliciously small morsels. Large, leisurely lunches are offered on The Basque Market's well-liked party menu as well, where genuine group feasts maintain the atmosphere of relaxation and sharing. To complement each hearty mouthful, the restaurant also specializes in wines from the Basque Country, Spain, France, and Portugal.

6. Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge

Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge
Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge

Bittercreek Alehouse is a downtown Boise institution thanks to its extensive tap roster and welcoming ambiance. The menu at the Idaho-American beer pub is among the most regionally specialized in the area. Along Boise's historic 8th Street, dinners, drinks, and celebrations are frequently held at Bittercreek and its sibling establishment, Red Feather Lounge. The most upscale of the two, Red Feather is a modern American lounge that offers seasonal cuisine, inventive takes on traditional cocktails, and a distinctively opulent ambiance. Red Feather and Bittercreek are a good pick for a distinctively Boise dinner thanks to their creative drink menus, gorgeous glass-enclosed wine cellar, and fantastic brunch buffet prepared for those warm Saturday mornings on their terrace.

7. Chandlers Steakhouse

Since 1994, Chandlers has served up exquisite Idaho cuisine, including steak, seafood, live jazz, and a full-service martini bar. This family-run, premium restaurant, which Forbes Travel Guide recommends, consistently ranks as serving some of the best steaks in the area. Over 700 different wines are available at Chandlers, which specializes in Kobe-style steak, premium prime rib, and jet-fresh seafood. The Martini Bar, created by renowned mixologist Pat Carden, provides something special for every palette, making sure your meal gets the ideal cocktail to go with it. The restaurant is housed beneath the opulent Hotel 43, and the social hour menu makes it the ideal spot for after-work cocktails. The menu includes all the essentials of good American-style eating.

8. Fork

Fork Restaurant Boise
Fork Restaurant Boise

You'll certainly hear Fork mentioned more than a few times when asking locals where they recommend going for brunch, lunch, or dinner. The Treasure Valley's Fork restaurant is legendary. Cameron and Amanda Lumsden, pioneers of the "Loyal to Local" movement, founded Fork with a dedication to obtaining ingredients from Boise and Northwest farmers, ranchers, bakers, distillers, brewers, and cheesemakers. Every bite and sip pays homage to the Northwest because 75% of their beverages originate there. Every meal at Fork is special because of its expertly created, vast menu, which includes everything from asparagus fries to chicken-and-waffles, an award-winning bar, extended brunch, and location inside the historic Boise City National Bank building.

9. The Funky Taco

The Funky Taco Restaurant Boise
The Funky Taco Restaurant Boise

The Funky Taco, one of the more unusual eateries on our list, is known for its "farm to funk food," which has become extremely popular in downtown Boise. For every omnivore, carnivore, vegan, and vegetarian, this upmarket taco joint provides hand-crafted creations. The Funky Taco's unconventional design is a fantastic complement to Boise's Freak Alley, an amazing collage of murals and other works of local art. This unique eatery manages to enchant you with each mouthful, whether you're snacking on Piggy Stardust, a slow-roasted, Yucatan-style pig taco, or savoring a cool Bahn Mi Mi vegan taco. The Funky Taco offers a dynamic, rotating beer, wine, and cocktail menu in addition to live performances by regional musicians and events.

10. KIN

KIN Restaurant boise
KIN Restaurant boise

KIN's five-course, prix fixe menu takes you on a gastronomic journey as part of a full dining experience. The special menu, which is only available by reservation, offers optional beverage pairings that are tailored to each distinctive flavor character. KIN's food is an artistic expression of its owner and head chef Kris Komori and is always growing. The original site of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, at 10th and Main, is where KIN found its permanent residence. As they adjusted to their new environment, Komori and his collaborator Remi McManus spotted an opportunity in the old, underground amphitheater. KIN currently presents piKINics, a summer concert series where its ala carte small dishes and open-to-the-public cocktail bar keep locals satiated and entertained with unique concoctions and live local performers.

11. The Lively

With its motto of "Eat, Drink, and Be Lively," The Lively is a chic eating establishment that draws inspiration from our local bounty. The Lively is warm, welcoming gourmet dining at its finest. Its thoughtfully sourced menu honors the farmers, ranchers, and craftspeople of the Treasure Valley. The limited menu at the table shows Executive Chef Edward Higgins' passion for great locally sourced food. Ruby Trout "Nicoise" and American Wagyu Culotte are just a couple of the delectable dishes available at the Bar Gibbon, which is located downstairs from the dining area. These drinks are designed to complement the elegant restaurant experience. The Lively also offers interactive Chef's Table meals, private dining areas, and a hidden speakeasy for charming special occasions, making for an even more unforgettable experience.

12. Petite 4

Petite 4 Menu Card Image
Petite 4 Menu Card Image

a retro-chic, quirky, and specialized bistro serving food with French influences. A quirky eatery that celebrates a love of fine dining, cocktails, and all things upscale is called Petite 4. The relaxed and private setting adds a whimsical element to go with the floor-to-ceiling green and gold decoration. The owners of Petite 4 wanted to open a restaurant that featured all of their favorite things. Dinners include delectable dishes like Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, Leek Fonduta, Duck Confit, and Sticky Toffee Pudding, in addition to a specialized coffee and doughnut menu and a sizable wine selection. You should make reservations for Petite 4 well in advance because it is an aesthetic experience with an inventive and changing cuisine and a "petite" area to enjoy it all.


Boise has such a wide variety of traditional foods, that you’ll be filled within minutes but won’t be satisfied! The town offers exquisite Spanish and Thai cuisine, as well as American pop delicacies and international cuisine.

Boise is a wonderful city with delicious food, gorgeous scenery, a contemporary vibe, and a friendly atmosphere.

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