Liquid Lowdown 

What you need to know to properly party in Boise

Maybe you're fresh off the bus from Salt Lake City for a weekend of Boise drinking. Or maybe you just recovered from the birthday that made you legal to drink. Here's what you need to know about tipping back a few in the crazy metropolis of Boise.


It has been a long day. You're thirsty. You're wallet is on fumes. The good news is, it's happy hour. The bad news is, you don't know where to start. Who has a good deal on what you want to eat or drink? And how are you supposed to know—randomly wander into a bar and ask? Nope. It's simple: download Cocktail Compass, Boise Weekly's happy hour app. That bad boy will geolocate you, tell you which happy hours are closest and who has what for deals. Who has two-for-one specials? Cocktail Compass. Want to belt out a little karaoke while you're de-stressing from the day? Cocktail Compass. It's now available on iPhone and will soon be on Android for all your drinking needs. (No phone? Turn to page 58 for "Best Bang for Your Buck," which includes a few of our favorite el cheapo suggestions.)


If you're in Boise just don't do it. If you're the kind of drinker who likes a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, off to Garden City with you. A recent smoking law in Boise has banned smoking in bars, but in Garden City smokers can puff with impunity.

Booze and Boobs

In Boise, the two don't mix. You have to pick your poison: Pasties and pop or bikinis and beers?

Hometown Brew

Boise is in the middle of a brew pubs and breweries boom. The recently opened Crooked Fence and Payette brewing companies have joined the longtime microbrewery line up in Boise and by year's end, we expect to see the opening of The Taphouse and Bend, Ore.—based 10 Barrel Brewing. In addition to local micros, the west end of the valley has what's quickly becoming an impressive collection of wineries. See for a full list of microbreweries and wineries.

The Details

An expired ID doesn't cut it in Idaho.

Bars close shop at 2 a.m., so expect last call about 1:45 a.m.

Need a taxi downtown on the weekend? You have to queue up outside the US Bank building at Idaho Street and Capital Boulevard or between Capitol Boulevard and Ninth Streets on Idaho Street.

Food makes the next morning more bearable. Late night food is available at the intersection of Sixth and Main streets and visit for a full list of late night eats.

And on behalf of the bartenders and servers who get we BW staffers cupped up on the regular: tip well, tip always and never, ever whistle. •

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