Boise is a fast growing city and also a great place to raise a family. I get lots of questions about which restaurants are both delicious and great for kids. As a foodie and father of 2 boys under the age of 10 here are my current favorites that are not fast food, not national chain, not buffets:
Big City Coffee & Cafe (Breakfast and lunch)
Expect GIANT portions here and tons of fun decor that will keep your kids delighted. The menu features a lot of different combinations of eggs, bacon, biscuits, oatmeal, and sandwiches. The most fun grown up dish is the Tamale Breakfast. Beware of the tempting desserts as you wait in line to order…..they look and taste amazing. Do yourself a favor and get one of those to-go because you won’t have room in your bell after you eat.
Waffle Me Up (Breakfast and Lunch)
Located almost directly in front of the Idaho State Capital Building. Expect made to order waffles with lots of topping options like strawberries, powdered sugar, sprinkles, whip cream, cookie butter, and Nutella.
The Griddle (Breakfast and Lunch)
The Griddle is what IHOP dreams it could be…..a diverse and delicious menu that is executed properly and quickly. My kids love so many of the choice. Think of crepes, French toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy and even some local specialties. My personal favorite for adults is the Choirzo Benedict: two poached eggs, avocado, and chorizo, perched on an English muffin & topped with a chipolte hollandaise sauce.
Donut Daze (Breakfast, lunch, and Dinner)
Located in the center of downtown Boise this new restaurant features a fun mix of donuts, fried chicken, and waffles. They are usually open for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Guru Donuts (Breakfast and lunch)
This is probably the best donut place for 100s of miles. They feature a rotating monthly list of creative flavors and even have lots of vegan options. They are also experts at coffees.
Boise Fry Company (Lunch and Dinner)
You won’t find a more diverse French fry menu anywhere in Idaho. Choose between 6 varieties of potatoes, 5 shapes, and about 6 varieties of dipping sauces. The burgers also have several different meat options and lots of toppings to pick from….because we know all of our kids like different things and different days. Go here and let them make their own decisions.
Bittercreek Alehouse (Lunch and Dinner)
Bittercreek makes your kiddos feel welcome while the adults get to enjoy a farm to table meal with a nice local craft beer. The kids could get their drinks in a Mason jar with special spill proof lid. They could order a kids meal that might come in a vintage metal lunch box that also includes a small toy for them to borrow and entertain themselves while they are there. It’s the small little touches that shows these business owners understand families.
Flatbread Neapolitan Pizza (lunch and dinner)
At Flatbread your child can seriously make their own pizza. The server will bring out the dough rolled with the pizza sauce and topping of their choice to assemble. Once assembled it goes straight into the oven and back out to your kiddo. End the meal with a warm chocolate chip cookie. Your kids will ask to go back and so will you. My favorite pizza is the Diavola which a spicy pie featuring Fior di Latte, San Marzano Pomodoro, Spicy Calabrese, Fresh Basil, Fresh Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper. Flatbread is certified as using classic Neapolitan techniques and ingredients.
Delsa’s (lunch and Dinner)
Delsa’s has 9 kids baskets that include burgers, finger steaks, pizza, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, or cheese sticks. More importantly after they eat a good meal they can enjoy one of Delsa’s imaginative flavors of ice cream. They have all of the traditional flavors as well as about 50 rotating fun flavors. I’ve seen flavors like avocado, huckleberry, cotton candy, coffee, and marionberry.
Hilltop Station (lunch and dinner)
Hilltop Station is located just outside of Boise on the way to Idaho City. Our family usually stops there on the way to the hot springs or hiking. You can see my son below as we serve him some of the mac and cheese pizza. Adults can enjoy Korean tacos, or pulled pork, or one of their many unique pizzas along with a draft beer.