(image from Juniper website)
Boise completely exceeded my expectations. Mark my word, 5 years from now this city will be THE SPOT. Until then, I will continue to enjoy the calm before the storm.
One thing that was pretty impressive to me, and very Portland like, was their dietary options. You can find great vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options just about anywhere. I also really liked their use of fresh produce and meats from local farms; and of course, their seasonal dishes that are everywhere. Go Boise! Which, by the way, is pronounced "boy-see," I learned that quickly when I kept saying "I love "Boy-Z!" : )
Best Healthy Breakfast Spots
1. Wild Root Cafe (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): Whatever you do, don't leave Boise without trying this place, especially if you are a total health nut. I loved the egg dish, Wild Skillet. They use a cashew "cheese" and you can even order the dish with vegan eggs (I just ordered regular, cage-free eggs). Oh, and their avocado toast! I want to eat that every.single.day. Seriously!
2. Fork (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): This spot is a sure bet for brunch. They pride themselves on local, sustainable foods (some they get the same day at the city market!!). They have so many great options and it is a true Northwest fare.
3. Bacon (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): This is the perfect spot to go if you have a healthy foodie AND a meat-eating- 'don't really care if it is healthy or not' foodie. It is a great place to grab brunch with a group and their Bloody Mary's are the best in town! I ordered The Poser for breakfast, which was a nice, light, egg white dish and it was deeeelicious.
4. Slow by Slow (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): This is the cutest little coffee shop with some great pastries and quick things like granola and tasty, local kombucha.
5. Java (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): A great place for either breakfast or lunch. They've got great drinks and super tasty breakfast burritos.
Best Healthy Lunch Spots
1. Bleubird (Gluten-Free Options): This was one of my favorite places for lunch in Boise. They change their menu depending on the season, but I highly recommend the grilled cheese (insert excited emoji). This is great spin on a traditional deli!
2. Boise Co-op (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): This is such an amazing Co-op! If you want to grab something on-the-fly and affordably, you can find just about anything you would want here.
3. Jenny's Lunch Line (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): You will find some delicious soups, salads and sandwiches made from scratch here. They change their menu monthly too, so it is always fun to see what is new and seasonal here. This place is so yummy!
Best Healthy Dinner Spots
1. Bittercreek (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): I loved this place! It is the perfect spot to go with a group or girls and guys. Everything we ate (and drank) was super tasty. I ordered an Old Fashioned and the veggie burger and was one happy camper!
2. Juniper (Vegan/Gluten-Free Options): The ambiance and decor here is what first sold me, but their menu seals the deal! This is the perfect dinner date spot. They have really good, crafty cocktails and are also extremely food allergy friendly.
3.State & Lemp (Vegan/Vegetarian Options): This is the best spot if you are looking for a culinary experience. This is a reservation-only, prixe fixe menu and features a really beautiful Northwest cuisine. It doesn't get any fresher than their food. And (bonus), they are extremely accommodating to anyone with dietary restrictions!
4. Barbacoa (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options): This is a really great dinner option (with a great view). It is a bit on the pricey side, but you get a ton of food, so make sure you go there hungry! I would highly suggest one of their seafood dishes.