Sometimes, you just need a good ol’ fashioned burger. Pizza won’t cut it and noodles can’t do the trick. Sinking your teeth into a big, juicy burger topped with crunchy lettuce and pickles, and slathered with special sauce is the only thing that will hit the spot. Bonus points for a side of perfectly greasy tater tots dunked in fry sauce or a thick, chilled milkshake. From classic drive-ins to sit-down spots, you can find a superb burger at these restaurants in Boise, Idaho.
For an old school drive-in experience
State Street Location: 1929 W State St, Boise, ID
Parkcenter Location: 1113 E Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID
Westside Drive-In is a Boise staple. The bright pink and baby blue ‘50s-era drive-in has been in business since 1957 and is known for classic burgers, milkshakes and finger steaks and was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Westside has a huge diner-style menu, but you can’t go wrong with a classic cheeseburger, topped with the works and smothered with scratch-made sauce. Spice it up with the Cajun burger, topped with pepper jack cheese, grilled peppers and hot sauce. If you want something ridiculous, get the Famous Daddy-O, which has two patties, two ham slices, four bacon slices, swiss and cheddar cheese. Veggie lovers, Westside has a darn good Garden burger and an impossible burger, both topped with the works. All burgers are served with fries or tater tots (called gems) and a drink. Get a milkshake or ice cream baked potato for dessert. You’ll be stuffed but you won’t regret it!
Where meat eaters & vegans unite
5816 W Overland Rd Boise, ID
Big Bun is another of Boise’s traditional drive-in burger joints. They’ve been serving excellent burgers since 1954. The burger patties are always sustainably sourced, never frozen, and made to order. Get a classic bacon cheeseburger with special sauce and the works or try a creative combo like the Huckleberry Bacon Bleu Cheeseburger, topped with huckleberry pepper jelly, bacon, bleu cheese, lettuce and red onion. Big Bun also has a dedicated vegan menu with burgers, grilled cheese, fries, shakes and ice cream. To complete your meal, get an order of perfectly fried fries, tots, onion rings or the ever-popular mozzarella sticks. Be sure to try one of Big Bun’s 55 milkshake flavors or fresh-fruit-squeezed daily lemonades. It won’t take long for you to see why Big Bun is a Boise fave.
Sit down with a burger and a beer
246 N 8th Street, Boise, ID
Bittercreek Alehouse is a time-honored 8th Street Boise restaurant. From the beer to the burgers, Bittercreek is a one-stop shop to eat locally and delightfully. Go for the tried-and-true cheeseburger or take it up a notch with the Halloumi Cheese Burger, a 100 percent grass-fed beef patty topped with gooey fried Halloumi cheese, artichokes, hazelnut romesco and local greens. The Spicy Lamb Burger is also a hit, made with Lava Lakes grass-fed lamb patty and topped with feta, jalapeno, crispy onion and lettuce. Non-meat eaters will love the housemade Black Bean Sweet Potato Burger, finished with hazelnut romesco, lettuce, pickled onion and pepper jack. All burgers come with a side, and you cannot go wrong pairing with french fries and scratch-made ketchup or a side salad with housemade dressing. Get a local beer on tap and you’ll be in a state of Boise burger bliss.
2315 N Bogus Basin Rd, Boise, ID
Hawkins Pac Out is a family-owned and operated drive-thru burger joint in a prime location at the bottom of Bogus Basin Road. After a day on the mountain or a ride on the trails, nothing hits the spot like a burger and fries from Hawkins. Starting with a ¼ pound housemade beef patty, choose between classic combos like a mushroom Swiss or bacon cheeseburger or get adventurous with the Western Burger, topped with cheddar, an onion ring, BBQ sauce, mayo, and lettuce, or the mac & cheese burger loaded with American cheese, crispy mac & cheese bites, and mayo. Hawkins has two vegetarian options: a house-made spicy black bean burger and the Bogus burger made with a mushroom and rice patty and loaded with veggie toppings. Don’t leave without a seasonal shake!
Get a burger and watch the game
760 W. Main St. Boise, ID
Taphouse not only has some of the finest pub grub in town, they also have the most beers on tap in Boise with 44 rotating local and regional taps. No matter when you go, you can expect sports to be on all the TVs in Taphouse, making it the perfect place for a game and an amazing meal. Taphouse has a large menu, but the burgers are where it’s at. Try something off the menu or build a custom creation with a Custom Wagyu Blend patty, chicken breast, Balsamic marinated portabella cap, turkey burger, or a wild Sockeye salmon fillet, then top it with your favorite cheese and veggies and pair it with Taphouses’ signature rosemary garlic fries. Their fries are seriously some of the best in Boise. It’s a pairing straight outta paradise.
Boise Fry Company
A family-friendly burger
204 N Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID
3083 S Bown Way, Boise, ID
At Boise Fry Co., fries are just the start of deliciousness. Perfect for families with picky eaters, all the fries can be ordered based on favorite style of potato and cut. Then, you can turn your attention to the free-range, grass-fed, beef or bison burger options. Each person in your family can order their meal specific to their tastes, including an assortment of fun seasonings and sauces.
If those burgers aren’t enough to whet your appetite, try one of the famous patties from these beloved Boise restaurants and drive-ins:
- Bad Boy Burgers
- Big Jud’s
- 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
- Viking Drive In
- The Hungry Onion
- Fanci Freeze
Or, discover more delicious Boise restaurants here.