Where to get caffeinated with a side of community in the 208
So you’re in Idaho and you want some great coffee in Boise. Where should you go? While Portland is known for exceptional coffee with Heart Roasters, Stumptown Coffee and Coava Coffee (almond many, many others), little old Boise, Idaho is up and coming on the caffeine scene. Besides being a hidden gem of a small city, you should come here and scout out the best coffee shops in Boise.
What makes a great coffee shop experience?
It’s not just the coffee. My definition of a real coffee shop is a place that actually wants you to sit and drink their amazing coffee. If you plan to do any laptop work or business meetings, wifi is a must. A shop needs to have real mugs (not just paper and plastic), excellent coffee and a choice of milks.
I rarely do dairy or soy (allergies), so I expect a shop to have an offering of non-dairy milks and not just a sad ascetic container of generic soy milk. An almond milk latte is my benchmark for a great coffee.
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. – T.S. Eliot
Without further ado, here are my favorite coffee shops in the Treasure Valley (not in any ranked order).
Perks of Life
Located in Eagle, Idaho (just up the road from Boise), is a small coffee shop with a giant heart. Perks of Life is known for spending a year with a “pay what you want” business model so that everyone could afford a cup of coffee served with love. The owner, Heather Allen, has a heart of a gold and is constantly creating fundraisers through her baked goods to support the community. They serve breakfast and lunch and are also fully licensed and have a bar with local beer and wine!
1540 E Iron Eagle Dr.
Eagle, ID 83616
Slow by Slow Coffee
Slow by Slow is an artisanal coffee shop in the heart of the BODO district on 8th street. Hard to park, but easy to get stellar coffee by people who love coffee. And it might go without saying, but…don’t expect lightning quick coffee. Slow down and savor the experience.
405 S. 8th Street #155
Boise, ID 83702
Blok and Co.
Blok and Co is about a year old and is home of the famous cow portrait over the mantle. I think the cow’s name is Gertrude; she’s a local celebrity. Great coffee (roasted by local roaster Form and Function) and a bright, minimal space and is a great spot for a quick business meeting.. Their slogan is “where strangers become neighbors.” What’s not to love about that?
Something to note: their food is fantastic. A+ on the avocado toast.
Coffee is a language in itself. – Jackie Chan
1800 N Locust Grove Rd,
Meridian, ID 83646
Find them on Instagram
The District Coffee House
The District Coffee House is filled with natural light, hard working people and hope. On Sundays, it closes and converts into a real actual church…which I learned by scheduling to meet someone there on a Sunday morning. The District is a happening place downtown for business meetings and an after school teenage crowd. They have live music in the evenings and foster a sense of community and generosity.
From their site:
The District Coffee House is non-profit, created to support an orphanage network called Send Hope. Through Send Hope we are able to help financially support and raise awareness for hundreds of orphans in twelve different orphanages across India. Through your coffee purchases you are helping to provide food, a safe home, education, health care and love for these beautiful children.
I adore their tagline, “Freshly Roasted. Carefully Crafted. Made Possible by Love.”
219 N 10th St.
Form and Function
Form and Function is new on the scene and has already commanded the “Best in Idaho” nomination from Food and Wine magazine!
They created their space as a bright naturally lit two-story interior. They created community tables to force the phone-addicted to make eye contact and even occasional friends.
They have the pastries brought in from across town, including hand made baked goods from Perks of Life in Eagle. They offer a housemade cashew milk and are one of the only coffee shops in town to offer an Instagrammable avocado toast. 😉 You can also find them on Saturdays at the Boise Farmers’ Market.
511 W Broad St
Boise, ID 83702
Push and Pour
Push and Pour is a happening new joint in up and coming Garden City down by the river. It has a skateboard/surf vibe, great natural light and a beautiful seasonal patio that’s just a short walk to the epic Whitewater Wave Park and Corridor Surf. Coffee, skateboarding and art collide in a hip place by the river?! All of my caffeine dreams have come true. (As a side note, my 13-year old daughter is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her very first skateboard.)
These guys are not only cool, but they give a damn about coffee and your experience with their coffee.
214 E 34th St
Garden City ID 84703
Another local roaster that sells at stores across Treasure Valley. Their downtown location on 8th street is friendly and packed with regulars. Across the street is Thomas Hammer coffee which caters to the suit and tie Capitol Building crowd.
They are roasters and you can grab their whole bean and ground coffee at locations across the valley.
219 N. 8th St.
Boise, ID 83702
Find them on Facebook
To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions. – Hugh Jackman
Other popular local spots include:
For a quick drive through with good coffee
- The Human Bean – adds a chocolate covered espresso bean to each coffee, along with a big smile from their employees
- Black Rock Coffee
- Dutch Bros – has a cult following, loud music and fun teenage employees
The art of the professional coffee meeting from Creative Gangsters