Fanci Freez is about as classic Boise as you can get. Like at an old-fashioned malt shop, you can get your fill of burgers, fries, tots and assorted drive-though classics, but you can find modern options, too—we’re pretty sure we never saw a meat-free mushroom burger on Leave it to Beaver. But the star is the soft-serve ice cream, served on cones, dipped in candy shells or mixed with a variety of toppings to create amazing shakes, including the awe-inspiring Boston Shake.
There’s something strangely reassuring about seeing the dough for your pizza crust spun in the air, as if your pizza somehow has more cred now that it has taken flight. Not only does Flying Pie do some hardcore pizza whirling but the crew tops those crusts with gourmet ingredients. The eclectic, family friendly eatery—and perennial Best of Boise winner—is getting better this year with the addition of a new Meridian location opening in May.
You can’t get a better people-watching spot than the patio at this Hyde Park favorite; but we double-dare you to look away from your food. After this location went through several incarnations, 13th Street Pub and Grill finally hit its stride with its traditional pub fare (baked brie, bruschetta and calamari), burgers, fish and chips and some fine-dining entrees (Idaho trout and Pale Ale mushroom risotto). Order some brews or fine wine and settle in for the evening. The kitchen also does a nice job with its weekend brunch and late-night fare.