Idaho April 05, 2016
Guest Contributor 5 Great Underrated Restaurants Everyone Should Visit In Boise
Boise is full of great, local restaurants that any long-time resident will tell you should be essential parts of your to-do list while visiting. Many of these have existed for several decades and have earned their loyal customers after years of positive experiences. Others have gained fans through advertising. Then there are other restaurants — those with almost no traditional advertising, relying on social media and word of mouth to expand their clientele — that are loved by the few people in the know. Here are the top 5 underrated Boise restaurants:
1. Tango's Subs and Empanadas
If you find yourself in this small Argentinian restaurant and don’t know what an empanada is, don’t worry! The shop’s incredibly friendly owners have a cute, clay model to demonstrate. It’s a little goofy, but don’t let that deter you. Legitimately everything here is fantastic. Empanadas are little deep-fried pouches full of a variety of ingredients. Ranging from traditional to Americanized to cross-cultural, the recipes all work perfectly in the little deep-fried pouches called empanadas.
Tango’s also wins the award for least expensive restaurant on this list. Expect to spend less than $10 on a single person.
The gaucho empanada is the first item on the menu, and for good reason. This is one of the most traditional recipes, with beef, onions, bell peppers, egg, olives, and spices. You won’t be disappointed by this one.
Chances are if you don’t live or work downtown, you may have never eaten here. With the most limited schedule on this list,
Bleubird is open 11AM - 4:30 PM on weekdays only. They don’t need to worry about losing business, however. During lunch hours, a line out the door is a common sight. But the wait is always worth it. This shop has arguably the best sandwiches in town, and they’re made entirely from local ingredients. The flavor combinations are always unique and always delicious and go great with Bleubird’s housemade sodas.
The turkey and brie sandwich is an easy go-to for a first-time visitor. Made with shaved apple, fig preserves, greens, dijon mustard, and herbs, this sandwich will immediately convert you into a loyal, returning customer.
3. Pat's Thai Kitchen
This Boise gem goes unnoticed by most people who aren’t looking for it. Tucked into a plaza at the corner of Broadway and Park,
Pat’s Thai Kitchen is the most hidden restaurant on this list, but once you find it, you’ll be returning often. A variety of Thai dishes are available here at the spicy-level of your choice, and they’ll make it
if you want it. Rarely too busy, Pat’s Thai Kitchen is an excellent place for a quiet lunch or dinner date.
As with any Thai restaurant, pad thai is the most popular dish, and this place makes it well. But if you’re looking to try something new, the staff suggest one of their many curries with eggplant.
4. The High Note Cafe
While the description of this cafe may sound similar to many others,
the High Note is totally unique. The sandwiches are made on bread baked in-house and are, like the soups, pies, and everything else, made from scratch. You won’t find a restaurant that feels more homemade than the High Note. Decorated with local art, this cafe hosts local and touring bands for evening concerts, always staying involved in Boise’s artistic community.
The cuban is among the most requested items on this restaurant’s menu, made with ham, pulled pork, swiss cheese, and pickles. When paired with a side of tomato-coconut-basil soup, you’ll forever be disappointed by your grandmother’s cooking.
5. Bar Germika
By far the oldest restaurant on this list,
is a small pub and eatery in Boise’s historic Basque block. Specializing in traditional Basque dishes and pub food, this restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a beer to drink. Anyone who has been here will rave about their croquetas: small fried rolls made of butter, flour, milk, onion, and chicken. While Bar Gernika is a small restaurant that fills up fast, the lack of TV’s and loud music make it a cozy spot with a hometown vibe. Despite it’s age, Bar Gernika is still relatively unknown outside of Boise’s downtown community.
Both the solomo sandwich, made with marinated pork loin, and the lamb grinder are popular picks at Bar Gernika that will be hard to find elsewhere in the northwestern U.S. Of course if you’re only looking for a light snack, croquetas are a must.
Have you been to any of these underrated Boise restaurants? What other eateries would you add to this list?