Jessica Hirsch worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.

Delectable dishes served with a side of sustainability are one of the most prominent foodie trends of the year. Locally sourced menu items help reduce environmental impacts and allow diners to connect with local food purveyors. This locally sourced movement was front-and-center during my food-focused adventure in Boise.

polenta fries with a beer

Enjoy an order of polenta fries at Bittercreek Alehouse. Photo credit: Jessica Hirsch/Cheat Day Eats.

Bittercreek Alehouse was top-notch in this regard. It has implemented a mindset of regularly looking at all aspects of business and finding ways to decrease its carbon footprint. One example of this is the usage of ingredients from local farms such as 100% house-cut local organic potatoes and fresh Ballard Cheese curds from a farm about 100 miles away. Bittercreek Alehouse is totally transparent with its customers, and you can find a full list of its locally sourced food on its website.

macaroni and cheese with bacon

Bittercreek’s macaroni and cheese is delicious. Photo credit: Jessica Hirsch/Cheat Day Eats.

Bittercreek doesn’t stop at sustainable food; it utilizes this philosophy with its beverage menu as well. In the restaurant, you’ll notice mile markers affiliated with the taps, so you know just how far that specific beer had to travel to end up in your cup.  Bittercreek even hosts a “Low Power Happy Hour” where the lights are turned down to reduce energy consumption while guests enjoy discounted drinks and apps. In the basement of Bittercreek, you’ll find a worm farm that is utilized to help eliminate food waste—food scraps and even the menus (made of a special paper, safe for worm consumption) are used to create compost.

The STIL Ice Cream Shop in downtown Boise knows all about keeping it local. All the ice cream flavors are made with locally sourced ingredients.  The ice cream is made in-house using local Idaho dairy products. Plus, this dessert destination had something I’d never seen before—beer and wine flights paired with ice cream flights! It was voted best dessert in 2018 and 2019, and I can see why!

beer paired with ice cream at the stil

Dig in! Photo credit: Jessica Hirsch/Cheat Day Eats.

Boise Fry Company is another must-visit on your Boise trip. Yes, you can feel good about eating all the fries here! The company has moved towards being green and sustainable by using all-natural and local ingredients. The potatoes for the variety of fries crafted here are sourced from Buhl, Idaho (about 120 miles away) and are cooked in natural GMO-free sunflower oil. The fries themselves are unsalted, and you can choose whatever seasonings and dipping sauces you prefer—and there are dozens to choose from.

tray of french fries at boise fry company

These are the fries dreams are made of. Photo credit: Jessica Hirsch/Cheat Day Eats.

In addition to the amazing fries, Boise Fry Company cooks up burgers as well. The bison is sourced from just across the Idaho border in Oregon and is all-natural and grass-fed, while the beef is sourced from Double R Ranch, a Boise-based company. If meat isn’t what you’re looking for, try one of the vegan burgers, which are made from scratch and feature black beans and red quinoa along with herbs and spices. Even the buns used for all these delicious creations are prepared by Gaston’s Bakery based in Boise.

Boise is changing the game when it comes to the food scene and showing the rest of the country how it’s done without sacrificing quality and taste.

Feature image credited to Jessica Hirsch/Cheat Day Eats.

Published on March 3, 2020