Boise, Idaho, is often celebrated for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor adventures but is increasingly making a name for itself in the realm of international gastronomy. Boise’s foodie scene has undergone a fascinating evolution, transforming into a melting pot of diverse flavors and global influences. This blog features a few of the many establishments in Boise’s vibrant international culinary scene that are defining this burgeoning gastronomic landscape.
At Amano, the kitchen reflects a profound connection to Chef Salvador Alamilla’s familial heritage, with a focus on craftsmanship and the use of heirloom ingredients. The cochinita pibil tacos showcase the richness of Duroc pork, while the mole verde boasts a flavorful blend of poblano peppers and pistachios. For dessert, a smoky maize pudding, infused with the essence of burnt corn, completes the dining experience. It comes as no surprise that Alamilla earned a James Beard nomination in 2023 – a testament to the clear and delectable reasons behind his culinary acclaim.
Wepa Cafe stands out by proudly showcasing the exciting flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine. From the savory mofongo (a blend of mashed plantain with garlic butter and chicharron) to the delicious carne frita (Puerto Rican-spiced fried pork) and the enticing codfish fritters, Wepa Cafe captures the essence of Puerto Rican tradition. To top it off, a delightful pina colada cheesecake awaits, providing the perfect conclusion to a memorable dining experience.
Tango’s Empanadas stands out as a delightful exploration of an Argentine culinary staple. Since its establishment in 2006, the menu at Tango’s Empanadas has been a celebration of both traditional and inventive empanada fillings, offering a broad selection of savory and sweet options. The menu extends beyond empanadas to include a variety of sub sandwiches, featuring the South American chorizo specialty known as choripán.
Amina’s African Sambusas
In the rich tapestry of fried dumplings, sambusas highlight a handmade style originating from East African countries, such as Ethiopia and Kenya. Typically stuffed with a fusion of customary African spices and local ingredients, Amina’s African Sambusas brings vibrant flavors that extend beyond the perfectly brittle crust. For a genuine taste of cultural heritage, indulge in the goat and rice sambusa—a decadent, hearty and warming bite that encapsulates the essence of East African culinary traditions.
Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Restaurant
The husband and wife duo, Kibrom Milash and Tirhas Hailu, bring a unique and authentic flavor to Idaho’s capital, drawing from three years of culinary expertise gained at a refugee camp in North Ethiopia. The injera, with its chewy yet airy texture, serves as the ideal canvas for dishes like shiro, a nutty chickpea creation accompanied by an herbal sauce. For those who appreciate the delightful spongey wrap, the fir-fir—strips of injera coated in a tingling berbere sauce—is a must.
What truly sets this Italian eatery in downtown Boise apart is its commitment to flexibility, with over 90% of the menu, brimming with delectable Italian fare and freshly made pasta, available in egg and gluten-free options. Whether you crave the bold flavors of spicy sausage over pappardelle or the unique combination of duck confit with the distinctive screw-like trottole pasta, Alavita allows you to tailor your dining experience precisely to your preferences and dietary needs. Discovering an Italian restaurant with such versatility is indeed a rarity.
Alyonka Russian Cuisine
Chef Elena DeYoung, hailing from former Soviet Kazakhstan, serves up bold and characterful dishes. Prepare for a tantalizing experience with blini – Russian pancakes adorned with classy caviar. Alyonka also satisfies more modest palates with offerings like chebureki – a delightful fried turnover – and an array of Russian dumpling styles.
Nahm Thai & Burmese Cuisine
Having already run a successful Thai spot in San Francisco, Sunsanee Charoenyothin and her husband, Chauwalit Srivarawong, decided to introduce the distinct flavors of Burmese (Myanmar) cuisine to a city that lacked its unique culinary offerings. Today, Nahm Thai & Burmese Cuisine has become synonymous with dishes like the fermented tea leaf salad, featuring a medley of mixed vegetables, nuts, fried garlic and fresh citrus—a popular choice for carryout. While exploring the menu, you’ll likely find your favorite Thai dish, further enhancing the diverse and enticing dining experience at this restaurant.
From long-standing eateries to innovative newcomers, Boise’s restaurants and food establishments offer a delightful array of international cuisines that cater to every palate. Boise not only boasts picturesque landscapes but also a foodie scene that is both exciting and satisfying. If you are interested in calling Boise home, contact us today; we would value the opportunity to serve you.