For those unfamiliar with the area, Boise can be a bit of a surprise, the picturesque mountain setting a perfect backdrop to a drinking tour or two through the city. The Boise dive bar scene lives up to its surroundings, a handful of gems found across the small but vibrant city core.
Maybe most indicative of Boise’s dive bar vibe is Little Dutch Garden
, a dive bar built around a sprawling back yard home to horseshoes and a “BYOM” fire pit where visitors can bring-their-own-meats for grill and (maybe) sharing. One the opposite end of the ubran spectrum, Navajo Room
sits in the middle of a strip mall in the city’s Central Rim district, a multi-color, icon of a sign over the front door. Resembling a wooden shack outside, the vibe is surprisingly cozy inside thanks to a working fireplace and plush, red bench seating.
No discussion of Boise dive bars is complete without mentioning Cactus Bar
, of course, the downtown Boise dive bar that frequently shows up on lists of the best dive bar in each state. Cactus Bar dates back to 1936, likely qualifying it as a city institution, the pricing here notoriously affordable.
Few cities offer the beauty of Boise’s mountain-adjacent location, making drinking and exploring the city a pleasure. The spots listed below serve as just the starting point for a beer-soaked tour through Boise’s impressive patchwork of city neighborhoods.