The local coffee shop — it’s one of the best places to experience a city like a local, especially in Boise.
In fact, Livability.com ranked Boise in their list of top 10 Unexpectedly Awesome Coffee Cities in 2019. Here, you’ll find long-time roasters with a crowd of regulars. You’ll find third wave coffee shops with a focus on sustainably-sourced beans and quality drinks. You’ll find quirky, hole-in-the wall hang outs filled with art and loud music.
Ready for a sip? Here are our top 10 favorite coffee shops in the greater Boise area.
The District Coffee House
A bright and early morning in Downtown Boise. Photo courtesy of The District.
This upscale cafe is housed in an airy loft in the west end of Downtown Boise with retro furniture, tropical plants and good vibes. The coffee here is all sustainably sourced from a local roaster in town, and the coffee shop often hosts pop-ups for local businesses and concerts during Treefort Music Fest.
The District focuses on mixing coffee with kindness. In addition to partnering up with numerous non-profits, the cafe has a unique pay-it-forward program of its own — Pending Coffee. Customers can order an extra coffee and add it to the Pending Coffee board, which can be donated to anyone who walks in and asks for it. No questions asked.
Cup of the Day: Get a mocha. They make their mocha mix in-house, and it blends seamlessly with the espresso.
Chill vibes at Western Collective.
“Western isn’t a direction so much as it’s a state of mind.” That’s the motto of this up-and-coming local hangout in Garden City. Part brewery and part coffee house, the vibe of Western Collective is all about the spirit of the West — adventurous and dynamic. Their spacious tap room is filled with rustic furniture inspired by the Wild West.
There’s plenty of spots here to hang out. Outside the taproom, there’s a garden patio outside that changes with the seasons. In the summer, you can lounge by a blowup pool and listen to live DJs on Sundays. In the fall, you can wander through a pumpkin patch with hay bales. In addition to espresso drinks and artisanal coffee, Western Collective serves 23 beers on tap, along with wine and “adult slushies.”
Cup of the Day: Sip on a cold brew with Irish creme. The cold brew is smooth and melds perfectly with the Irish creme liqueur.
Big City Coffee and Cafe
Quirky farmhouse decor and a vintage atmosphere make this a great spot for a hearty breakfast. Photo courtesy of Big City Coffee.
Vintage signs. Rustic farmhouse furniture. Hearty breakfasts. All paired with fresh-brewed coffee.
It’s no mystery as to why Big City Coffee is one of the most popular spots for breakfast in Downtown Boise. This cozy cafe serves up hearty breakfast burritos, loaded scrambled eggs and massive stacks of pancakes. The atmosphere is homey and down-to-earth and you’re welcome to stay a while.
Just a quick tip before you go: Give yourself some time when you come here. You may have to wait in line for a while — but it’s totally worth it.
Cup of the Day: Get a straightforward drip coffee to pair with your breakfast. Rich, dark and deliciously simple.
Form and Function
A simple menu and minimalist decor make for a relaxing hangout. Photo courtesy of Form and Function.
This minimalist coffee bar in Downtown Boise focuses on one thing — the coffee. The beans are roasted in-house and are carefully sourced from sustainable suppliers all across the world. In fact, many local coffee shops get their beans from Form and Function.
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Here, you’ll find a simple, straightforward selection of hand-crafted drinks, along with a handful of quick bites and fancy toasts. (Try the avocado toast. It’s piled high with fresh green avocado, chia seeds and a bit of lemon zest — arguably the best in town.)
The lofty space is full of natural light, making it a great spot for some solitude, reading a book or getting some work done.
Cup of the Day: Keep it simple. Order a pour-over coffee. (It’s what this spot is known for.) You’ll really get to taste the earthy richness of the coffee beans.
Flying M Coffee House
Local barista serves up fresh hot espresso. Photo courtesy of Flying M.
Funky furniture and quirky paintings. Pastries made from scratch. Mismatched mugs and good coffee.
Since 1995, this eclectic coffee shop has been bustling with locals and a welcoming hangout to Boise’s diverse community. It’s been voted Best in Boise by Boise Weekly for over a decade. Muffins, croissants and cinnamon rolls are all made from scratch, and the shop has been roasting its own beans from the beginning.
More recently, Flying M opened new locations in Nampa and Caldwell — each with their own local flair. Caldwell’s cozy shop is filled with quirky handmade art and is located in the heart of the city’s historic downtown core. A favorite hangout for students attending Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa’s location has a retro diner vibe and hosts live music on weekends.
Cup of the Day: Grab a latte. Feel free to get creative with your order — add vanilla, hazelnut, cinnamon, honey — whatever you can imagine. Each one often comes with a little bit of latte art.
Push and Pour
Push and Pour is just steps away from the Boise River Greenbelt.
Inspired by the owner’s own passion for skateboarding, this hip coffee shop (once an old autobody repair shop) is filled with 70s-era skateboards mounted to the walls and fixtures made from old skateboards. It’s located right along the Greenbelt in the heart of Garden City — an industrial sector turned artsy, up-and-coming neighborhood.
It’s a place where skaters, artists and musicians can come to meet up over a cup of coffee. Grab a cup here and go for a stroll along the Boise River.
Cup of the Day: Try their hemp milk cortado. Rich in Omega-3’s, the hemp milk is creamy and subtle — the perfect addition to rich espresso.
Dawson Taylor – Downtown
A crisp fall afternoon on Dawson Taylor’s patio right along 8th Street.
Housed in an unassuming old store front right along Boise’s 8th street dining scene, this quirky little shop has been serving specialty-roasted coffee since 1995. There’s a whole group of regulars who love to relax, work and hang out here. Many of the baristas know them all by name, and there’s a special sense of hominess as soon as you walk in the door. With a laid-back atmosphere and patio seating, it’s a great spot to experience Boise like a local.
Dawson Taylor roasts its coffee beans at their roastery just across from Boise State University. There, you can buy the beans in bulk and order a handcrafted pour-over coffee.
Cup of the Day: Try an Americano. You won’t need to put in too much cream or sweetener. The beans are roasted just right, not too bitter or acidic.
Java – Hyde Park
A bright chilly morning walking to Java’s cozy bungalow in Hyde Park.
Housed in a cozy mid-century bungalow, this relaxed cafe is in the heart of one of Boise’s most iconic neighborhoods. Java has been roasting its own fair-trade coffee since 1991, and its Hyde Park location has been a favorite local hangout for years.
This is a down-to-Earth spot with quirky mismatched furniture, loud music and the smell of fresh-roasted coffee beans. The kitchen serves up hearty breakfast burritos, loaded scrambled eggs and more. It’s a great spot to catch up with friends and treat yourself to a laid-back brunch.
Afterward, go and explore the historic homes, quirky shop fronts and tree-lined streets of Hyde Park. (If you’d prefer to stay close to Downtown Boise, there’s a Java location there, too!)
Cup of the Day: Treat yourself to a Bowl of Soul. This is Java’s signature drink — a thick, creamy, rich mocha with a hint of spice at the end of each sip. It’s heavenly.
Slow by Slow Coffee
A bright fall morning in BoDo at Slow by Slow.
Slow by Slow — “It’s the mindset that everything should be done with the time and care it deserves.”
Written on the wall right across the entrance, this simple saying defines everything about the retro coffee bar in Boise’s artsy BoDo district. Here, the baristas treat making coffee as an art form — from the way they source their coffee beans to how they pour the milk to form little leaves on the surface of a foamy latte.
You’re invited to take it slow here. Sit back. Sip. Savor. The chic space is a great spot to read a book, respond to emails or just listen to the records played on the shop’s own vintage turntable.
Cup of the Day: Order a cappuccino here. The baristas take a purist approach to the drink — Bitter yet creamy, simple and understated.
A petite almond milk latte served with an adorable pistachio tea cake from Janjou Patisserie.
Sleek and modern decor. Elegant mugs. Pastries baked just hours ago.
This is third wave coffee at its finest.
Tucked away in a narrow brick-and-mortar storefront along 10th Street, Neckar is still somewhat of a local secret in Downtown Boise. The up-and-coming coffee bar got its start just a few years ago as a stand at the Boise Farmers Market. With a high-end menu and petite cup sizes, Neckar quickly made a name for itself serving up artisanal pour-overs, lattes and cortados. It’s a sweet little refuge from the city where you can treat yourself to something elegant.
Cup of the Day: Treat yourself to an affogato. The bitter richness of the espresso is balanced by creamy vanilla ice cream.
In Boise’s coffee shops, you come for the coffee, but you stay for the atmosphere. Chat it up with the locals. Read a book. Listen to the music and stay a while. You’ll feel like a local.
Looking for other coffee shops in SW Idaho? Check out our Top 7 SW Idaho Coffee Shops guide.