Tara Morgan worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.
There’s no better place to soak in the sunshine and breathe in the lilac-scented spring air than an outdoor patio. And there’s no better time to linger over a decadent meal and mimosas than brunch. Boiseans know this well. Just stroll down Eighth Street on a springy Sunday afternoon and you’ll find patio tables spilling into the street, packed with brunchers binging on benedicts and bloody marys. Whether you prefer to try your luck in the thick of Boise’s brunch block or find a quiet table in a more laid-back location, there are plenty of spots to enjoy sunny-side-up eggs in a sunny locale.
A relative newcomer on Boise’s brunch scene, Southern chain Tupelo Honey goes all out with fried fare. Whether you opt for the popular panko-crusted fried green tomatoes or the fried pickles dunked in garlic buttermilk ranch, at Tupelo Honey batter is better. Case in point: the Sriracha Honey Fried Chicken and Waffles. With just the right lick of heat and a deep brown crunch, this spicy fried chicken can accommodate a thick drizzle of syrup without teetering into cloying. Pair that with a buttermilk waffle—or if you’re feeling extra, a mac ’n’ cheese waffle—and you’ve got a feast brunch dreams are made of. Saddle up to one of the restaurant’s leafy second-story patio tables for people watching and don’t forget the beverage: Tupelo Honey offers an assortment of bloody marys with pickled okra and bacon along with fruity mimosas that come in regular or “mega.”
Known for its adaptogen-laden bone broths and ample plant-based options, Wild Root has the health market cornered with its veg-packed Power Bowl and Falafel Salad with harissa carrots. But the airy Eighth Street cafe also dabbles in decadence with its cocktail menu. Channel Saturday morning cartoon-vibes with the Memory Lane, made with Espolon Anejo tequila, banana and brown sugar-toasted almond cereal milk. Feeling more floral? Don’t skip the Secret Garden, with Botanist gin, housemade botanical soda and a flowery ice cube. These inventive libations are the prefect precursor to brunch, which includes options like Avocado Breakfast Toast (available with sunny eggs or tofu scramble) and Huevos Rancheros. Featuring three toasted corn tacos piled with pinto beans, chorizo, fire-roasted salsa, queso fresco and a scoop of guac, Wild Root’s huevos are a less-saucy, but equally flavorful, take on the classic.
Escape to 10th and Main, where you’ll find downtown dwellers and laptop laborers whiling away the day at ā Café. This quaint, minimalist space boasts a tiny shaded patio, an assortment of espresso drinks and a vibrant menu that turns standard cafe fare on its head. From cage-free scrambles and potato-packed breakfast bowls to veggie-forward salads and daily chef’s specials scrawled on a wall-mounted brown paper menu, ā Café’s offerings go above and beyond conventional coffee shop classics. For a hearty start to the day, don’t skip The Fregg, a fried egg draped in melted white cheddar with a few shakes of everything seasoning encased in a fluffy Acme brioche bun with avocado, tomato, and arugula. Tack on a few thick strips of bacon for a brunch that’ll power you well through the afternoon.
Diablo & Sons
Diablo & Sons, the latest addition to restauranteur Dave Krick’s Eight Street empire, has garnered acclaim for its chandelier-lit Wild West saloon vibe and fire-roasted menu. But now that the weather has warmed up, the eclectic spot is embracing a sunnier vibe. The bar windows have rolled up for additional Main Street seating and the patio tenting has been tucked away, exposing an assortment of outdoor tables and booths. Think all this extra seating means you can saunter up for brunch sans reservations? Think again. Diablo has brunchers lined up for its locally sourced, southwest-influenced fare, which features classics like biscuits and gravy along with chicken-fried steak, with grass-fed local beef ladled with smoked mushroom gravy, fried chiles, and an over-easy egg. You’ll want to plan ahead to enjoy brunch here.
Take a detour from downtown and pedal your cruiser over to nearby Hyde Park, where you can brunch in one of Boise’s oldest, tree-lined neighborhoods. Hyde House lures in locals with a bustling, dog-friendly patio and mimosa carafes, available with OJ or grapefruit juice. The weekend brunch menu is a pared-down version of the weekday breakfast menu. Options include French Toast Bread Pudding with vanilla chantilly cream or Sun-Dried Tomato and Brie Toast with fried eggs and chipotle aioli. Just don’t forget your sunglasses and floppy hat: The Hyde House patio has limited shaded seating.
St. Lawrence Gridiron
Follow your nose down Bannock Street to St. Lawrence Gridiron, where you’ll find a wood-fired smoker pumping out brisket-scented plumes. Outdoor brunch seating fills up fast at this meat mecca, which serves everything from a Monte Cristo with pulled pork and bacon to the Southern staple, Shrimp & Grits. The Brisket Benedict is one of St. Lawrence’s signatures, with slow-smoked brisket piled high on English muffins spooned with a yolky hollandaise and topped with poached eggs and pimentos. It’s a rich dish that begs for a sturdy cocktail, like the Practice What You Peach, filled with Buffalo Trace, peach syrup, orange, and a spherical ice cube.
Where will you go first?
Feature image credited to Tara Morgan.
Tara Morgan is a freelance food + booze writer and co-owner of the company Wild Plum Events. She loves an epic dinner party, good design, bad puns and pretty much every French rosé every made.
Published on May 4, 2021