The vinous vistas of Boise, Idaho, may not be most wine lovers’ first thought for a travel destination, but its location in the middle of the up-and-coming Snake River Valley AVA is the ideal base from which to check out the area’s wine country. Boise’s blend of urban savvy, proximity to nature and entrepreneurial streak means the city—one of the 20 fastest-growing in the U.S.—won’t stay unsung for long.
Where to Drink
Southwest Urban Wine District
Though the heart of Idaho wine country is less than an hour from downtown Boise, there are several wineries and tasting rooms in the metropolitan area, particularly in the suburb of Garden City.
Try the new Coiled Wine Bar in downtown Boise, as well as high-elevation wines at Terra Nativa Vineyards made from classic French varieties. Also plan a visit to Cinder Wines, whose 2012 Tempranillo received 92 points from Wine Enthusiast in 2016—the highest to date of any Idaho wine. Enjoy the gorgeous riverfront patio at Telaya, where you can picnic in front of a fire pit while sipping one of their locally-produced, Old World-inspired wines.
Tip: Rent bikes and explore the entire 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt, ending at the urban wineries.
Press & Pony
This craft cocktail haven is pint-sized and perpetually packed, which might be aggravating if you were in any city less friendly than Boise. Bartenders here are happy to help you navigate a cocktail list that gives equal attention to both classic cocktails and cutting-edge mixology. Keep an eye out for the revolving selection of housemade tonics and sodas to pair with your spirit of choice.
Since 2012, Taphouse has offered the city’s widest selection of draft beer. It offers 44 choices on tap, including a selection of Boise-based brewers like Payette, Sockeye and Edge Brewing Co. All beers are available as 4-ounce pours that customers can use to create their own tasting flights, with pitchers and growlers also available (growlers are ubiquitous in Boise). Don’t miss their signature burgers and weekend brunches featuring fried chicken and waffles and $2 mimosas.
Almost all Bittercreek’s 40-plus draft beers and ciders are from the western U.S.; the adjoining Red Feather Lounge serves seasonal American cuisine and classic cocktails.
With a whopping 144 glass pours and an additional 600 bottles, Bodovino has the city’s largest wine selection, paired with cheeses and tapas.
PreFunk Beer Bar
A craft beer bar and growler filling station, PreFunk has dozens of choices on tap, and two locations in the Boise Metro area.