Idaho’s capital city is brimming with great restaurants. From drinks to dessert, Boise’s foodie scene has it covered. Here are our recommendations for the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Boise.
Best Breakfast – Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro
There’s a reason why Goldy’s is one of Boise’s top breakfast hot-spots. The atmosphere is lively, the service is wonderful, and the food is amazing. Try any of the their lip-smacking scrambles and omelets and you’ll agree.
The place is loud and always packed, but it’s also the perfect place for families with picky eaters. Goldy’s menu is completely customizable. There’s the normal breakfast choices—meat, potatoes, bread and pastries, but their make-your-own-breakfast combos are unbeatable. Goldy’s is set up to accommodate any diet or meal plan.
It’s a tiny place so expect a wait. No problem! Kill the time by exploring the neighborhood and have them call your cell phone when your table is ready.
(Tip – The place is always packed so factor in up to an hour wait to be seated.)
Potatoes (a la French Fries) are a big deal in Idaho. The state produces about 13 billion pounds of potatoes per year. Given the connection Idahoans have to their potatoes, it comes as no surprise that an Idaho fry shop would make some of the best fries in the country.
The Boise Fry Company is all about the deep fried potato. They advertise their fries first and foremost, as evidenced by their motto: “Burgers on the side.” The fries at the Boise Fry Company come with lots of options — first is the potato itself. BFC gives you a minimum of six choices of potato—classic russet, gold, red lady, sweet potato, yam, and purple. Next is the preparation—shoestring, regular, home-style, curly, or the famous po-balls. (Po-balls are Boise Fry Company’s version of the tator tot, essentially fried mashed potatoes.).
The fries come to you unsalted. You have your choice of eight different types of salt to sprinkle at your leisure, including cinnamon ginger, vanilla, jalapeno, Cajun, horseradish, hickory-smoked, plain sea salt, and my favorite, rosemary garlic. You also have eight different dipping sauces to play with. The combinations of potato, cut, seasoning, and dipping sauce are too numerous to count.
With all the emphasis on the fries you might think that the burger is an afterthought. But the Boise Fry Company’s burger is nothing to sniff at. You get to choose between beef and bison. The patty is small (four-ounce) but it’s just ‘the right size because you’ll be busy stuffing yourselves with the delicious Idaho fries.
(Tip – Allergy alert – the fries are deep-fried in peanut oil.)
Best Dinner – Fork
Located in the heart of downtown Boise, Fork offers classic farm-to-fork American cuisine with something for everyone. The restaurant is modern, casual, family-friendly, and on the verge of being upscale. With its emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients and its convenient central downtown location, Fork is the perfect spot for foodies to indulge their food fantasies.
Nothing on Fork’s menu will disappoint. Most menu items have some component that’s either locally grown or produced in the Northwest, such as the delicious cast-iron buttermilk fried chicken and cheddar waffle with local Ballard cheese and orange Idaho honey butter.
If you didn’t eat your weight in fries for lunch, try the Rosemary Parmesan Idaho French Fries. These fries are amazing. They don’t feel greasy. The fries have that ideal crunchy outside with a subtle rosemary-flavored Parmesan clinging to every inch. Pair the fries with the Urban Burger—a blend of brisket and ground sirloin, locally sourced with a mellow flavor best complimented by the local cheese.
Top off your meal and your day with one of their signature dessert—the warm butter cake or the bread pudding are both excellent. The kids absolutely loved the donuts. The peanut butter and chocolate dipping sauces put them right were perfect, but they are great plain.
The best thing about Fork, though, is it’s a “fancy” place you can take your kids. Very often “fine dining” and “small children” do not mix, but Fork pulls it off better than most. They offer coloring books for the kids, high chairs that were in good condition and buckled correctly, and the kids menu is pretty darn good. Although the restaurant is on the upscale side you can be comfortable in casual attire.
(Tip – They have outdoor terrace seating where your furry family members are welcome, too. It’s also a great place for people watching.)
Boise is an amazing place and is home to some great restaurants. It is too often overlooked but don’t under-estimate it a great family destination.