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Boise Eats: Tres Tacos, Por Favor

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Tacos are a source of stability in a world of uncertainty and impermanence. The classic combo of meat, toppings and cheese cuddling in a corn or flour tortilla is a street food concept so simple and elegant that it has never really had to change. Even so, Boise is undergoing something of a tacossance, and to guide the City of Trees through the maze, we've wrangled some of the greatest hits from three of Boise's newest taquerias.

- Madre Boutique Taqueria. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Madre Boutique Taqueria.

Madre Boutique Taqueria
"Boutique" is in Madre's name, and oh boy, does this place deliver. It makes all the classic foodie promises—local, sustainable ingredient sourcing, gorgeous plating and creative flavors—but keeps the execution simple. The Idaho spud and chorizo ($5) combines Basque sausage, Idaho's most famous crop and a surprising tomato mojo jalapeno pesto; and the crispy pork belly banh mi ($6) is nothing if not elegant. Diners can also go del mar with the Ensenada fish ($5), topped with shaved cabbage and a cream sauce that has just the right amount of kick.

- Calle 75 Street Tacos -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Calle 75 Street Tacos

Calle 75 Street Tacos
Now with two locations, including one in downtown Boise, Calle 75 Street Tacos has helped inaugurate a flourishing of taquerias in the City of Trees. Its downtown location quickly became a lunch hotspot and after-hours refuelling station for the Main Street bar scene. The gringa style, which features over-the-top grilled cheddar, jack cheese, cilantro, onion, habanero sauce and the patron's choice of meat, is a good place to start. The papas y rajas con crema, with its peppers and potatoes, onions and house cream sauce, is a tried-and-true hangover cure. Advanced students of the taco could take a lesson from the dos chiles pork belly, which is equal parts Mexican, American and divine. Specialty tacos are two for $8 or three for $11.

- The Funky Taco -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • The Funky Taco

The Funky Taco
For a long time, The Funky Taco served the most eclectic tacos in town out of an Airstream trailer, and it has brought the same wild creativity to its new home on Eighth Street in downtown Boise, which does triple duty as a music venue and art space. The Korean pastor ($10) comes with ground pork, diced pork belly and smoked ham. Kimchi, mango salsa and radishes round out this taco, which looks more like a museum piece than a food item. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too: The bahn mi mi ($10) turns up the funk with pickled vegetables and a toasted sesame aioli, and the fried flower ($9.50), with its panko cauliflower and "bomb sauce," is a crowd favorite.