Food & Drink

Cuban, Cajun, desserts, doughnuts: Hit these spots for a feast at Boise’s Saturday markets

Boise Farmers Market kicks off season

The Boise Farmers Market, located on 10th and Grove streets, celebrates its season-opening day in April 2016. Several new vendors joined the market to sell goods at the Saturday market.
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The Boise Farmers Market, located on 10th and Grove streets, celebrates its season-opening day in April 2016. Several new vendors joined the market to sell goods at the Saturday market.

Boise’s dueling Saturday markets opened last month, returning art, music, free samples and so much delicious food to thrilled Boise citizens. The Boise Farmers Market (9 a.m.-1 p.m. at 1500 Shoreline Drive) and the Capital City Public Market (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at 8th and Idaho) provide dozens of eating opportunities, but with two bustling markets taking over town in the same window of time, you might not be able to waste precious minutes searching for the right meal.

Here’s a guide of where to go on Saturday:


Boise Farmers Market

Some of the best flavors at the market belong to Adelfa’s Comida Cubana, where you can grab a plate of steamy white rice, seasoned kidney beans and picadillo — garlicky ground beef cooked with Spanish wine and studded with green olives and plump raisins. The beef is greasy in a good way, soaking into the otherwise unblemished rice. When the meal starts to feel a little short on texture, throw a crispy fried plantain into the fray.


Capital City Public Market

On the other side of the figurative Gulf of Mexico, Mountain Goat Foods is also making beans and rice – red beans and rice with andouille sausage. This purveyor of Cajun cuisine isn’t about to hand you a sample on a toothpick. From beloved gumbo to loaded po’ boys, these are hearty Southern meals that will leave you full and satisfied.

B-Town 4
What the heck is that, you ask? It’s a huckleberry grilled cheese from B-Town Bistro, and it might change your life. Henry Coffey For the Statesman


Boise Farmers Market

If the potato ever retires from its role as Idaho’s food mascot, the huckleberry grilled cheese will be ready to step into the spotlight. The B-Town Bistro slings decadent sandwiches with mozzarella, brie and white cheddar parading alongside sliced apples and huckleberry jalapeño jam, all between toasty slices of ACME Bakeshop sourdough. The blast of fruit and cheese nearly overwhelms, but the huckleberry is just restrained enough to hold the whole enterprise together. A small side of fruit is a nice bonus.


Capital City Public Market

You have to admire the crepe for its outstanding versatility. Every creation at The Creperie begins life as a splash of batter and twirls into a delicate golden pancake, but the fillings and toppings diverge from there. You can fill your crepe with spinach, salmon and lime cream sauce, or enjoy the classic French combination of ham and cheese with spicy pineapple mango sauce. Those savory choices might signal a certain level of maturity, but the fully loaded crepe is never better than when it’s slathered in Nutella and stuffed with fruit.

The Creperie 1
Look, you can stuff almost anything you want into a crepe from The Creperie and you’re going to enjoy it. That’s the beauty of it. Henry Coffey For the Statesman


Capital City Public Market

Abánhdance brings shameless puns and tasty Vietnamese baguettes to the market. Their understated sandwiches topped with bundles of jalapeño, jicama, carrot and cilantro will cleanse your sample-clogged palate.


Boise Farmers Market

When you first hear about chocolate salami, it’s reasonable to feel afraid. But you will quickly become excited when you realize that Cabruca’s flagship treat is 100% vegan. Originating in Portugal and Italy, chocolate salami owes its name to its mottled interior, which evokes cured meat, and Cabruca weaves dried fruits, nuts and spices into its logs of dark chocolate. Try the novel combination of almonds, hazelnuts, olive oil and garlic, and thank me later.


Both Markets

I know, I know, there’s nothing more delicious than those darn mini-doughnuts, which seem to generate a milelong line at every street fair and sporting event. But maybe you want something a little less guilt-inducing. Maybe you need better fuel for your weekend wandering. Maybe you’re bulking for next month’s bodybuilding showcase. In all of those scenarios, check out The Muscle Donut, whose baked “healthy donuts” offer a realistic compromise between a maple bar and a protein bar.

C4 Creamery 4
Just your basic decadent dessert at C4 Creamery. Henry Coffey For the Statesman


Capital City Public Market

Walk through either Saturday market and you will quickly be overwhelmed by the number of choices for dessert. How can you choose between a cavalcade of pies, croissants, chimney cones, chocolates and caramels? When in doubt, I recommend making your choice based on entertainment value. And nothing is more fun to watch than the rolled ice cream operation at C4 Creamery. In a matter of minutes, they’ll cover a fresh strawberry in cream, mince it into a delectable mush, spread it into a thin frozen sheet, and roll it into snazzy spiral tubes. The finished product looks so fancy that you won’t blame people for staring.