Anyone who knows me knows that I am somewhat of a foodie. There’s something magical about creating unique, interesting, and delicious dishes that turns my head. If I had my way and the metabolism to go with it, I’d eat out at Boise restaurants for every meal.
Although the Treasure Valley may not be known as a gourmet food mecca, there are several restaurants that I absolutely LOVE and visit time and time again. Some are old staples in the area, and some are newcomers...but one thing they have in common is the ability to please my palate.
So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorites restaurants (and their respective dishes) in the Boise area…
Based in Eagle, Idaho, Crave opened its doors smack dab in the middle of 2020. Undeterred by the pandemic, they built a new type of restaurant around 3 core principles: “...exceptional food that begins with quality, outstanding service based on teamwork and a culture of excellence devoted to our guest's satisfaction.”
After just my first visit there, I have to say, they nailed it. With indoor, outdoor, and rooftop dining, you’re sure to find an atmosphere to your liking. An extensive wine list and signature cocktails round out the seasonal and artisanal menu choices.
My personal favorites? For a mouth-watering starter, I typically go with the Tuna Tartare Guacamole and for my main meal, I choose the Autumn Cobb salad. It is a culinary delight with house-roasted chicken, heirloom tomatoes, roasted butternut squash, black pepper bacon, craisins, blue cheese, eggs, toasted pumpkin seeds, mixed greens and apple bourbon vinaigrette. Mmmm...delish!
Barbacoa isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience! From the funky decor to the giant cotton candy dessert, Barbacoa is meant to immerse yourself in a life of indulgence, if only for a moment.
The menu is eclectic and diverse. For an appetizer I generally choose the table-side guacamole with a side of jalapeños and veggie chips. They bring out all the fresh ingredients and make the guac right at your table...did I mention this place is an experience?
On to the main course, I go with the flaming hot rock steak, a signature 10 oz. filet mignon with flamed cognac sauce. Oh my word, if heaven has a taste this has got to be it! I usually am low carbing it so I don’t typically get any sides, but I would highly recommend the garlic mashed potatoes and the chipotle grilled corn on the cob.
Again, I don’t do dessert, but give the cotton candy a try (it’s to die for and a hit with the kiddos!)
Pueblo Lindo is located in Meridian on Eagle Rd near Ustick. It doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should because their Mexican cuisine is divine.
I am a sucker for a good pozole and Pueblo Lindo doesn’t disappoint. If you are unfamiliar with pozole, it is a traditional Mexican soup served with chunks of pork cooked with garlic in a mild, dry, pepper sauce with hominy and topped with green cabbage, onion, oregano, and lime. Add cilantro as well if you wish!
I always add a side of grilled jalapeños and their habanero salsa. If you like spicy, these will do the trick!
No list would be complete without a mention of Goldy’s. Established in 1999, Goldy’s has become an iconic staple in Boise’s downtown. The space they are in is super awkward and quirky, but surprisingly functional which is one of the reasons I love it.
Another reason to love it is the food. They are only open until 2pm and there is generally a waitlist to get in. And for good reason. Their made-to-order breakfasts, using only the freshest ingredients is a must-try.
My go-to is creating a veggie platter (no cheese) and I will add the spicy andouille sausage (pronounced “ann-dooey”). This is both healthy and filling.
If you are a carbophile I would highly suggest the biscuits and gravy...they have no parallel!
And finally on the list, last but certainly not least, is Yoi Tomo. Yoi Tomo is an all-you-can-eat sushi place in Bodo. Why Yoi Tomo? Because all-you-can-eat sushi...duh.
But seriously, Yoi Tomo has no equal in the sushi game. I have yet to find a roll or sushi that I didn’t like at Yoi Tomo. If I had to pick though, I would choose the Anger Management roll, the Poseidon, and the Diablo.
For apps I love their miso soup, fried gyoza, and jalapeño bombs. On the lighter side they also have a killer seaweed salad and the edamame is always hot and fresh.
If you go on a Friday or Saturday night, be prepared for a long wait to get in. This place is in high demand.
Pro Tip: they don’t take reservations, but you can get on the waitlist through Yelp. Just add your name to the list about 30 minutes before you head over and you typically will get in quickly. You’re welcome.
Phew, we made it! I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. And the next time you are searching for a place to eat, give one of these gems a try!
Until next time, bon appetit!