After a summer of traveling, we’ve realized that there’s something special about Boise that you just don’t experience at other places around the country!
And that’s how much this community loves and supports locally-owned businesses, often consciously choosing them over chain restaurants and big box stores. These small businesses exist in nearly every category.
This summer Yelp and Entrepreneur Media set out on an impossible quest to celebrate the absolute BEST independently owned businesses in America. They settled on 10 different industries: arts & entertainment, fitness & instruction, beauty & spa, home & local services, shopping, event planning, food, restaurants, nightlife and hotels/travel. They picked 15 businesses for each category. For geographic diversity, only one business per state could be in each category. Some states like California and Arizona had a representative in every category. Other states like Minnesota, Wyoming and Montana didn’t have a single mom-and-pop business on the list.
Idaho was represented by THREE businesses and we think it’s pretty darn cool that all three of them are in the Treasure Valley. Here’s a look at those businesses and the categories they got the honor in!
We had to dig deep through the list to figure out how Yelp differentiated “restaurants” from “food” and how these two categories were different. It appears that the “food spots” focused primarily on one type of food and doing it right: ice cream, cheese, waffles…and in the case of the Idaho business that made the list? Empanadas!
That’s right, what’s already been an exciting year for Mamma Bremmer and her team just got better. Tango’s was chosen as the #14 best mom-and-pop “food spot” in the country! The restaurant, which prides itself on serving up a taste of Argentina, has been family-owned and operated since 2006. Their restaurant on Orchard in Boise gave Idaho its first real taste of empanadas and Argentinian hospitality. They opened a second location in 2022 and were featured on Guy Fierri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, in April 2023.
Nahm Thai & Burmese
How lucky are we that the #4 best mom-and-pop restaurant in the country is within walking distance of our radio station? (That’s your hint that you should stop there the next time you come to pick up a prize from us!) Nahm opened in the old Pat’s Thai Kitchen location on Park Boulevard in March 2022. Not only did they clearly win over Yelp! Users, but they also have a 4.9-star rating on Google Reviews. Some of their signature diseases include Pad Thai, Tom Kha Soup and Mango Sticky Rice.
Bond & Bevel
Leather goods and artisanal coffee? It's a combination we would've never thought of, but it works! In fact, it works well enough to make it the #14 mom-and-pop shopping destination in the United States. According to their website, Heath and Krista wanted to own leather goods that would last for long enough for them to pass them down to their kids but they didn’t want to pay a fortune for those items so they decided to make their own. They showed their first satchel to everyone they knew and sure enough, people wanted the couple to make them one too.
Unimpressed with how Oregon handled the pandemic, they eventually moved to Idaho and opened Bond & Bevel, where they sell their leather goods AND coffee in historic Downtown Caldwell.