Treasure Valley Eateries


It doesn't matter if you are here for a day, or if you are here to stay, there are a handful of great restaurants that you need to take the time to experience. In the Treasure Valley there are thousands of restaurants and among them are a number of legendary eateries that every visitor to Boise must visit. These places have been on television shows, received amazing awards for their food, and, most importantly, won over the hearts of the locals.

Merritt's Cafe

As you pass Merritt's Cafe while you drive down State Street, you may have high expectation. Its shabby, yet elegant, exterior and haphazard additions make it seem like it's a struggling business and you wouldn't expect it to be a community favorite. Once you enter in the door, however, and you are hit with the sweet smell of their home style cooking and feel the charming atmosphere it has, you too will find yourself falling in love with Merritt's Cafe.

For people who visit Merritt's Cafe, one of the number one things they come for is the food. You see, at Merritt's Cafe, they put their food first, taking pride in their work. They have been committed to providing delectable dishes for over 30 years and have only gotten better with age.

On their menu, among the other great options they have available, the most popular item is the scone. In fact, there are many people who go there just for the scones. Made from a home-style recipe, these piping hot culinary creations are cloaked in honey butter and dusted with heavenly powdered sugar. These delectable desserts are large and delicious - coming to your table the size of the plate they're served on. If you've eaten a whole meal at Merritt's already, you might want to get your scone to go - that is how large and filling they are.

After the food, the atmosphere and ambiance is another draw for Merritt's Cafe visitors. With their classic jukebox, comfortable booth and table seating, and friendly staff, Merritt's Cafe rivals even the best small town diners. It is a warm and inviting place and they do a great job of making you feel right at home. If you are searching for a great place to spend an afternoon or evening, go to Merritt's Cafe, you won't go home hungry.

Big Jud's Restaurant

Another classic Boise restaurant, Big Jud's is one of the most famous. Big Jud's has been featured on several television shows making it famous on a national scale. However, much like Merritt's Cafe, it's hard to decide wither it is the food or the fun that gets people inside. But, what makes it so heavily trafficked? The answer: their specialty burgers.

Like most restaurants, Big Jud's has its own specialty burgers, but these are unlike anything you've ever seen; the Big Jud's specialty burgers are the 1-pounder and the 2-pounders. Now, this isn't just a 1-pound or a 2-pound burger, these are 1 and 2-pound patties, don't forget you still need to add on the bun and condiments. Needless to say, these burgers are beasts, and it takes a lot to finish them off. But why would someone subject themselves to that? The answer: that's the challenge.

The Big Jud's Challenge is a Boise tradition and it consists of eating either the 1 or 2-pound burger with a large order of fries and milkshake. But that's not all, you must finish it in less than 30 minutes. The Big Jud's website boasts that many have tried, but few have succeeded in accomplishing the challenge, and all those who do can find their pictures on the wall of fame. And for those who finish the 2-pound challenge in under 30 minutes, then the meal is free. If you only eat the 1-pounder or don't finish either one of them, you must pay.

The Flying Pie Pizzeria

If you come to Boise, and you are craving pizza, you need to swing by the Flying Pie Pizzeria. With three locations all around the Treasure Valley, it is easy to see why this place makes it onto our list of favorite. Originally, the Flying Pie was only one store located off of Broadway in downtown Boise. They opened their doors over 30 years and have since branched out to share their delicious pizzas with the world. Currently, now that they first store has closed its doors, there is a store on Fairview in Boise, on State Street in Garden City, and even one in Meridian.

But, a long legacy isn't what brings people to their doors, it's the tasty pies that they cook up every day. What makes them so good, though? Well, for starters, they have a larger collection of pizzas and topping combinations than any other pizzeria in the valley. They have all sorts of pizzas from the traditional to the bizarre and, currently, they have a special on spicy pizzas - especially the habanero pizza.

Their delicious flavors are also thanks to their many years of experience and experimentation.

The Cottonwood Grille

Easily the newest restaurant on this list, the Cottonwood Grille is one of Boise's most well-loved bars and grills. Not to mention it is the best place to go for an elegant dining experience. Each one of their specialty menus presents a host of delectable dishes for every kind of palate.

Usually, a plate at the Cottonwood Grille will cost anywhere from $30 on up, but it will be worth every penny. Every day their food gets outstanding reviews and recommendations from customers with full stomachs. Not to mention that the Cottonwood Grille is also an event center which can be booked for any kind of event.

Now, these are definitely not the only worthwhile restaurants in the valley - in fact, there is much more where these came from. So, if you want to have a traditional Boise experience, try out one of these, or some of the other fantastic restaurants that this city has to offer.