One of America’s Best Outdoor Restaurants is Tucked Away in Downtown Boise
Everyone jokes that Idaho has 12 seasons. We’d like to argue there should be a 13th added to the count.
You know the meme we’re talking about right? The one that includes “Second Winter,” “Spring of Deception” and “Hell’s Front Porch” (which by the way, is where we’re at right now.) It always makes us giggle, because there’s some truth to its silliness. The season we’re proposing isn’t silly. It’s legitimate. Patio season. It’s a real thing in Downtown Boise!
There are dozens of fabulous patios where you can enjoy mouthwatering meals, sip on refreshing cocktails and do some of the best people watching in the city. In fact, one of the only good things that came out of the pandemic was 8th Street becoming pedestrian only. That allowed already great patios to expand and it was something the community loved so much that in May 2022, Boise City Council started working to redesign the downtown core to allow it to stay that way.
With so many choices, which Boise restaurant got named one of the best outdoor dining locations in the country? LoveFood built a list of the best places to enjoy an alfresco (open air) meal in every state. When they reached Idaho, they handed their nod to Leku Ona on the corner of 6th and Grove.
It’s a great pick because Leku Ona really does offer a taste of everything good that Boise has to offer! The way the Basque restaurant is set up you can enjoy fine dining, a pub style atmosphere, banquet room experience or grab a seat on the outdoor patio that earned it this honor.
Leku Ona is extremely authentic. Jose Mari Artiach opened the Boise restaurant in 2005. On their website, Leku Ona explains that he was born and raised in the Basque Country and emigrated to the United States as a Sheep Herder working for the Hammett Livestock Company. Artiach passed away at the age of 74 from COPD complications, but his legacy lives on through both the Leku Ona restaurant and hotel.
Their current chef, Asier Garcia, was also born and raised in the Basque Country. He helped Artiach open Leku Ona 17 years ago before returning to Bilbao for a few years. He’s now back in Boise making sure that an area famous for its Basque heritage has somewhere amazing to call home for dinner or for a whole evening.
Of course, the Basque restaurant is quite popular so if you show up and there’s no patio seating you may need to make plans to visit another evening. If you can’t find a seat, these are some other patios in and around Boise that are worth a visit!