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Sapna Dalal worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.

Boise, Idaho, known for its breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, is also home to a flourishing vegetarian food scene that caters to both locals and visitors alike. As the demand for plant-based options continues to rise, Boise has stepped up to the plate (literally!), offering a diverse range of vegetarian eats around the city.

While exploring the Boise vegetarian scene, I was surprised by the variety of international cuisine options ranging from Thai to Indian to Ethiopian (to a name a few), as well as the strong focus on sourcing produce from local farms to create the freshest dishes possible. I was pleasantly surprised by these two observations alone, and of course all the delicious offerings I discovered along the way. By no means an exhaustive list of the plethora of vegetarian options available in Boise, here are some favorite places (in no particular order) that should be on your list.

Boise’s Lemon Tree showcases a menu that not only has vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, but also emphasizes locally sourced ingredients. Lemon Tree has gained a reputation for its innovative sandwiches and has three locations: downtown Boise, Harris Ranch and Parkcenter.

a vegetarian sandwich sits on a plate.
Enjoy an explosion of flavors at Lemon Tree Co, and head to their Parkcenter location for a larger menu selection! Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

One of the most unique sandwiches (and my personal favorite) was the Massaman curry vegan banh mi with roasted yams, spicy peanut butter, cucumber, jalapeno, pickled carrot, daikon radish, cilantro and curry aioli served on hot ciabatta bread. Other vegetarian favorites include the cauliflower tacos and the jalapeno burger made with an Impossible Burger patty and roasted jalapenos. And order a refreshing lemonade with flavors like strawberry basil or prickly pear to round out your meal.

Located in downtown Boise, Broadcast Coffee is not just a coffee shop but a destination for anyone seeking a cozy and inviting atmosphere; I loved the décor and ambiance! Broadcast Coffee sources coffee from family farms and cooperatives with a focus on roasting for balance and sweetness.

two coffees sit on a table next to a pastry.
Who doesn’t love an oatmilk latte and a tasty scone in the morning! Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

Besides serving exceptional coffee, Broadcast Coffee offers a limited menu of breakfast items and pastries (with vegetarian options available). Opt for a creamy latte with house made caramel or vanilla syrup and pair it with the best orange cranberry scone for a perfect start to the day, just like I did.

A beautiful and bright café, come for the coffee and definitely stay for the food. I ordered the Northender sandwich (toasted Acme levain, cream cheese, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, cucumber, arugula) and the farmers market burrito (local flour tortilla, quinoa, sweet potatoes, organic black beans, purple cabbage, kale, white cheddar, green onion, house made mean green sauce) and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, both were sincerely delicious.

a wrap and sandwich sit on a table.
If you’re looking for something delicious and healthy, check out this spot. Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

Quite possibly the most surprising discovery was New York Ritchie’s Pizza. This unassuming Garden City restaurant has an entire menu of Indian pizza offerings. Clearly a hit amongst locals, this spot was consistently busy during our visit.

a pizza
The mashup of traditional pizza and Indian flavors is on full display at New York Ritchie’s. Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

In addition to typical New York style pizzas, options include the Paneer tikka masala pizza with paneer (Indian cheese), red onions, bell pepper, fresh spinach, cilantro and a creamy tikka masala sauce as the base. I was absolutely blown away by this pizza, it was spicy and flavorful and a unique fusion of two types of cuisines. I highly recommend trying out these delicious pizzas.

No exploration of Boise’s downtown vegetarian food scene would be complete without a visit to Guru Donuts, a local favorite.

a donut
These donuts are incredible, and worth flying to Boise to grab a box! Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

From classics to inventive flavor combinations, there are also gluten-free and vegan options available as well.  I had a tough time figuring out which donut to order from all the beautiful and delicious looking varieties, so I went for the Hipsterberry; a vegan raised donut with a blackberry, blueberry and lavender glaze. It was light, fluffy and flavorful and best of all, not too sweet.

This fast casual eatery in the Bench neighborhood of Boise calls itself a “modern roadside kitchen,” serving up bowls, burgers and fries alongside beer and wine. The perfect stop for a quick bite.

a vegetarian burger
A perfect combo does exist! Photo Credit: Sapna Dalal.

One of the standout vegetarian items on the menu is the falafel burger with cucumber, tomato, red onion, sprouts and herb tzatziki on a toasted bun. Make sure to pair it with the freshly made Idaho potato French fries, where you have the choice of dipping sauce like fry sauce (ketchup + mayo) as well as the Wylder ranch, to name a few (both were excellent choices). And don’t leave without a slice of Yaya’s peanut butter pie (graham cracker crust, peanut butter cream and chocolate sauce) it’s decadent and delicious, the perfect sweet bite to end your meal.

Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, Boise has truly embraced the rising demand for vegetarian and vegan dining options. Next time you find yourself in the City of Trees, be sure to explore its vibrant vegetarian food scene and savor the flavors that make Boise a hidden gem for plant-based dining.

Published on March 19, 2024