The Idaho Basque community estimates their membership at between 10,000 to 15,000 people. Although some are descended from Basques who came to the area in the 1800s to work as sheepherders, most are more recent arrivals. Some fled Spain during the reign of military dictator Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1974, when Basque language and culture was oppressed. Fortunately for us, they brought their culinary skills with them to the Treasure Valley. Basque cuisine is often prepared in a dish with tomatoes and sweet or hot red peppers. Meat and fish are often grilled over hot coals. Traditional dishes include Bacalo (salt cod), Marmitako (tuna, potatoes, onions and more), Ttoro (fish stew), Txipirones (baby squid in their ink) and Porrusalda (potato soup). Basques are big on locally sourced ingredients. Come take your taste buds on vacation at one (or more) of the Basque restaurants in the Basque Block and Greater Boise. Bring stretchy pants and pace yourself.
Come shop at The Basque Market for authentic Basque food and wines or order a few Basque favorites like croquetas, Basque meatballs, chorizo sandwiches and calamari. Wednesday and Fridays are paella days, made fresh on a gas-heated, kettledrum-sized skillet.
Bar Gernika’s menu includes lamb stew, chorizo and croquetas (cheesy, potato ball), lamb grinders, tuna melts, pork tenderloin, plus a full bar with regional wines, beer on tap, and by the bottle.
This restaurant/hotel serves authentic Basque dishes like lamb stew, fried chorizo, and paella and regional wines. When weather permits, patio seating is a must-do.
Ansots was started by the founders of Bar Gernika. They make and sell authentic Basque chorizo and have a broad offering of Basque dishes available for catering.
Epis takes its name from the owner’s Basque-immigrant grandfather. If you find yourself in Boise’s neighbor to the west, Meridian, treat yourself to fresh dishes and appetizers like seafood, lamb and steak prepared in the Basque style. Try the ham croquetas, calamari, sauteed mushrooms and chorizos too.