Gentle hills dotted with evergreens characterize the landscape of Northeast Meridian.
Orderly subdivisions seem to sprout overnight, working to civilize the desert. Idaho's best schools, a thriving economy and a central location attract busy families who want the good things in life right at their fingertips. Boise's western neighbor smiles brightly, a shiny modern suburb that promises stability and convenience.
This area makes a commuter's dream come true with its easy access to Interstate 84. Idaho's two largest cities wait just minutes away on either side of Meridian. Drive 9 miles east to downtown Boise or 13 miles west to Nampa.
Outdoor enthusiasts love this area's opportunities for skiing, hiking and fishing, but don't assume life here is one long camping trip. The arts play an important role in this community, and you find a wide range of entertainment and cultural events. Meridian puts the "gem" in Idaho's nickname, Gem State.
Schools in Northeast Meridian
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
This monument to suburban sprawl hides an unexpected variety of fusion and international cuisine among its ubiquitous chain restaurants. You won't find them lined up in a cute restaurant district, but they are well worth the search.
Shanaz may be the only soul-food restaurant in the state, but it's the food - not the singularity - that draws a horde of customers. Start every meal with a plate of hot cornbread and crispy macaroni and cheese balls. Follow up with authentic Southern-style fried chicken and waffles. The menu lacks dessert, but satisfy your sweet tooth with a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich dusted with powdered sugar. They don't guarantee healthy meals - just tasty ones.
Upscale pub fare makes headlines at Rick's Press Room Grill & Bar. Gourmet burgers and sandwiches feature prominently on the menu, but try Rick's Salmon in Potato - wild salmon wrapped in a crisp potato crust served with lemon garlic sauce. Chefs create different desserts each day, so end your meal with a surprise. Bring family or friends to this relaxed neighborhood establishment, and be sure to write your name on the big wall before you leave.
At Kahootz Steak & Alehouse, indulge your craving for meat and potatoes. The hand-cut, dry-aged steaks rival those of famous big city steakhouses. The quiet atmosphere and intimate dining area make this an ideal setting for a romantic evening. Order the perfectly marbled Junior New York with grilled prawns. To complement your meal, choose from over 40 draught beers. Save room for dessert, and split the huge portion of caramel apple bread pudding with your date.
Head to downtown Boise for dance clubs and loud music, or stay close to home and unwind after a hectic day. Nightlife in Meridian caters to a more mature crowd with classy cocktail bars and cozy pubs.
Drop by Hooligans Pub for a fun and friendly neighborhood beer-and-wine bar with your choice of 10 ice-cold draft beers on tap as well as a broad selection of bottled domestics and microbrews. Food here is typical pub fare, mostly burgers and sandwiches. The pub keeps a full schedule of entertainment activities here, ranging from billiards and sports to games and music - including a karaoke night. Head on into downtown Boise where The Piper Pub provides a community gathering place serving beer, wine and spirits, as well as fun and casual pub food. The bar's scenic patio stays open in warm weather, and live music can be enjoyed here on the weekends.
History & Culture
A relatively modern development, Meridian lacks historical significance. Settlers founded the town in 1891, and it remained a small farming community until the 1990s, when many of Boise's families began to migrate away from the city. Meridian became the fastest-growing city in Idaho, and its expansion included the building of the Northeast neighborhood.
Meridian's participation in arts and culture grows with its increasing population. Attend concerts by the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, or view the masterpieces of local artists at the Initial Point Gallery. The libraries sponsor free art and music programs for children, clubs for teens, and educational opportunities for adults.
Living in this neighborhood requires a car for commuting to work, shopping and running errands. Like most suburban areas, necessities spread out over distances too far to walk. Fortunately, you'll find free parking throughout the city. When you can't drive, call a taxi, as Uber is only available in Boise.
Unlike nearby Boise, residents generally don't use their bikes for travel around town, as only a few of the main roads offer bike lanes. Recreational bicycling remains immensely popular due to the city's miles of paved nature trails.
Meridian lacks comprehensive public transportation services. The ValleyRide bus company provides limited routes between the suburban cities and downtown Boise.
The cost of living in Northeast Meridian
is on par with the rest of the city, but it is significantly higher than the state average. Convenience doesn't come cheap – one-bedroom
apartments rent for nearly $700 a month.
Gas prices are just under 1 percent higher than the national average, making trips to the pump less painful than some areas. Public transportation is also inexpensive, with all bus rides priced at $3 or less. At the local pubs, expect to pay around $5 a pint.
Northeast Meridian residents don't travel far to shop. Purchase groceries from nearby Albertsons and Rosauers locations, as well as from several specialty markets. Accommodate dietary restrictions with fresh baked goods from Jake's Gluten Free Market, and find imported delicacies at Irena's European Fine Foods. Every Saturday, stop by the Meridian Farmers Market and Bazaar for fresh fruits, vegetables and handcrafted items.
Less than a mile away, the Village at Meridian affords an upscale shopping experience. This outdoor mall houses
the most popular high-end stores, as well as a theater and several restaurants. Unfortunately, this area does not supply locals with many independently owned shops or boutiques.
Belle Boutique provides formal wear and personalized style advice. Let the attentive staff help you put together a show-stopping outfit for your next big event. Undaunted by limited space, the owner stocks a wide range of sizes and styles, so you won't leave empty handed.
Coffee, yarn and comfortable armchairs create a knitting paradise at Ewe & Brew. Sip a latte while you browse baskets of woolly warmth and shelves of sumptuous silk. Sit down with your purchase and begin your new project in the company of fellow knitters. If a twist or tangle threatens to ruin your latest sweater, someone always comes to your rescue.
Northeast Meridian maintains a number of parks and playgrounds, but Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park stands out from the rest. This park encompasses 60 lush green acres that include ponds and waterways, walking trails, sports facilities and much more. Stroll the grand promenade and view contemporary sculptures by local artists, or play an intense game of sand volleyball. Escape the summer heat on the splash pad, or send the kids to the playground while you tend your community garden plot. A state-of-the-art senior center offers classes and recreational activities for elderly members of the community. Enter the park for free, and make sure your canine companions join you. Off-leash play is allowed during certain hours each day.
The focal point of this park is its bandshell and amphitheatre. Seating 2000, it provides a venue for events throughout the summer and fall. Bring the whole family to the annual free concert series – every week for six weeks, blues and jazz musicians arrive to entertain an enthusiastic audience. If you have good aim, enter the Disc Golf Fall Classic and attempt to win the trophy.