Best Al Fresco Dining in Boise

What's New — By njensen on August 24, 2011 at 1:47 am

Summer is running out of time, so dining outside is prime on my list these days. Any restaurant can put tables outside and claim to have “patio” seating. Sometimes, though, it’s inches from the busiest street in town. Or it’s used by smokers, and you don’t necessarily want smoke with your meal. Here are my choices for the most enjoyable outdoor dining spots in Boise. In no particular order:

1. Bardenay‘s outdoor area is covered with a screen, so it doesn’t block out the sun entirely, just enough so you don’t roast. It’s situated along the Basque Block in Boise, which is virtually car-free.

2. Berryhill is located in an alcove off the street, so the outdoor area is several yards in from the street. The food is excellent and the music is always special.

3. Brick Oven Bistro has a beautiful outdoor seating area right on The Grove Plaza in downtown Boise. The fountain, a water sculpture, and plenty of umbrellas make this a quiet delight.

4. Cottonwood Grille’s outdoor dining is romantic, comfortable, and scenic. The Boise River Greenbelt goes right past, the sounds of the river are soft and sweet. No traffic.

5. Lucky 13 is located in southeast Boise off of Warm Springs Avenue as it starts to turn into Highway 21. But the deck seating gets no traffic noise. If anything, the noise is from the conversations going on all around you as people enjoy their pizza and bear.

6. Piper Pub and Grill has a balcony overlooking downtown Boise. You get some street noise, but you also have a terrific view.

7. The Ram, like Cottonwood, is located just along the Boise River, so the atmosphere is very outdoorsy.

8. The Reef has a tropical roof-top area where you can get the food and drinks to match.

9. Rick’s American Cafe is a sweet patio with a pergola and plenty of lush plants and a fountain. Very quiet and cozy.

10. Smoky Mountain Pizza’s State St. location has an interior patio, away from the street. However, if you eat during trash hauling day, you’ll have to listen to the garbage trucks in the alley.