Special Issues » Coldest Beer in Boise

Coldest Beer of Boise 2007: The Temps

by

2 comments

29.4° PF Chang’s China Bistro

Beer tested: Bud ($3.71) served in a frosted (ice-covered!) glass

One lonely little degree may not be much when it comes to an already sweltering July afternoon, but when it comes to beer, this chain restaurant proves that one digit can make all the difference between last year’s 8th place and this year’s win. 2 TVs, 391 S. 8 St., 208-342-8100; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight

The Coldest: PF Chang's - FRANCIS DELAPENA

29.6° Red Robin, eagle road

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.49) served in a frosted glass

Sure, it might be a chain, but it can still be fun. The often loud, high-energy restaurant features a large bar area with both booths and stools. One warning—this place breeds birthdays. It's not uncommon to be assaulted by servers singing a variety of birthday songs multiple times during the evening. Be kind; it's their job to sing. 9 TVs, video games. 1475 N Eagle Rd., 208-401-0184; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

29.8° TGI Fridays

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.79) served in a chilled glass

Ice-cold beer and friendly service, and we mean ice-cold, frosty beer. We felt like Homer Simpson sipping a cold one at this pop-culture-decorated eatery. Mmmmm ... Beer ... 5 TVs. 600 N. Milwaukee, 208-373-0889; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m. -11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

30° Outpost Cafe

Beer tested: Bud ($4.87) served in a frosted glass

Open nice 'n' early at Boise Airport, and it's located just before travelers reach the security station. You're not an alcoholic if you stop by at 6:10 a.m.; you're just calming your nerves before dealing with turbulence and long delays. 2 TVs. Boise Airport, 208-424-1061; Mon.-Sun. 6 a.m.-2 a.m.

30.2° Red Robin, parkcenter

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.49) served in a chilled glass

The Red Robin on ParkCenter serves up ice-cold beer and some of Boise's best burgers. How do we know this? Our readers kept voting them the tops for best burger in Boise year after year. In fact, they're in the Hall of Fame. 7 TVs, volleyball court, patio. 211 E. ParkCenter Blvd., 208-344-7471; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

30.9° Lindy's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a frosted mug

Without fail, Lindy's places near the top of this contest every year (reference the 2004 Coldest Beer Hall of Fame trophy tucked onto a shelf behind the bar for further evidence). But the joint deserves two awards that have absolutely nothing to do with beer. The first for its fingersteaks, of which one fat little tender example rendered one beer tester completely mute for several minutes. The second is for its cleanliness. Despite 11 years of smoke and dust, we swear you could white glove even the most suspect of objects without collecting a single speck. 9 TVs, Golden Tee, ATM, jukebox, dart board, 2 pool tables and a shuffleboard. 12249 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-376-4258; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-close

31° 8th St. Wine Co.

Beer tested: Snake River Pilsner ($4.77) served in a chilled glass

It's the perfect place to observe the rites of Dionysis with your choice of a cozy burgundy-colored room or an airy one the shade of Dijon. Or forget the interior completely and settle in for an evening on the patio. Don't forget to look up and check out the two wine-glass chandeliers. 405 S. 8th St. Suite 100, 208-426-9463; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

31.3° Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, state street

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

Billed as your "neighborhood" restaurant, it definitely has that appeal, in a mass-market sort of way. The atmosphere is welcoming, and the bar is at the center of everything. 4 TVs. 7253 W. State St., 208-853-2330; Mon.-Thu., Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight

32° Players Pub & Grill

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

With NASCAR posters on the walls and a bowling alley next door, there's a definite sports theme here. The furnishings are simple, but the service friendly. 7 TVs, Westy's Garden Lanes bowling alley. 5504 W. Alworth St., 208-376-6563; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.

31.6° Lucky Dog Tavern

Beer Tested: Bud ($3) in a frosted glass.

The Lucky Dog sits in the space previously occupied by the Locker Room, a bar known for catering to a very specific clientele (for more on that, dig up the Boise episode of Insomniac with Dave Attell). It will soon be yet something else since the Dog is moving to newer digs at the address below. 2 TVs, 1 dart board, 1 pool table, 1 video game, 1 rec room. 2223 Fairview Ave., 208-333-0074; Mon.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

32.2° On the Border

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.18) served in a VERY frosted mug

With frosted mugs so cold your hands might stick, comfortable bar stools you can sit on for hours and really great bottomless chips and salsa, On the Border is a great place to spend a lazy summer day. 5 TVs. 7802 Spectrum Dr., 208-322-8145; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

32.4° Chili's Grill & Bar, broadway

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.70) served in a frosted mug

This is a bar within a dining section, if you want to stop of for a quick South-of-the-border bite and an frosty-cold beer. And we mean frosty, because we had ice forming in our glass right after it was poured. 3 TVs. 916 Broadway Ave., 208-389-2200; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

32.4° Village Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.75) served in a chilled mug

Just a half-block off Fairview Ave., this pub's beer is served in an ice-cold mug and set on an oven mitt. Yeah, it confused us, too, but the beer is cold. Then we realized they might be the greenest bar in town, single-handedly saving the world for Al Gore. Way to be innovative and create reusable coasters. 5 TVs, 3 pool tables, 1 video game, and a jukebox. 9936 Fairview Ave., 208-322-9153; Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-midnight, Sat. noon-midnight, Sun. noon-close

32.7° Chili's Grill & Bar, franklin

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.29) served in frosted mug

Chili's serves south-of-the-border cuisine at its finest. With its cold beer, why make a trip Mexico when you can venture to this mall area eatery? 3 TVs. 7997 Franklin Rd., 208-327-0088; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

32.9° The Ram, Meridian

Beer Tested: Clearwater Kolsch ($4) served in a frosted glass

This suburban version of the Park Boulevard location doesn't quite match in a comparison. Without the Boise location's two greatest assets—the on-site brewery and riverside location—this Ram is merely another building in a row of Eagle Road chain eateries. 11 TVs. 3272 Pine St., Meridian, 208-888-0314; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

33° Smoky Mountain Pizza and Pasta, fairview

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

A relatively new location for the local chain, this one still feels all shiny and new. It has a large interior seating area as well as a large outdoor patio. 5 TVs. 980 E. Fairview Ave., 208-884-1067; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.

33.1° Ves's Broadway Bar

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

Once upon a time, there was a bar, where glorious creatures knew the right stiff-drink booze-to-mixer ratio. One day, a tester came to record the temperature of the bar's beer. Though it was not the coldest, the tester was pleased to report this little bar may well be the most inexpensive in the kingdom. 5 TVs, 1 video game, 1 shuffleboard, 2 pool tables, jukebox. 1712 Broadway Ave., 208-342-9951; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 a.m.

33.3° Cheesecake Factory

Beer Tested: Fat Tire ($5) served in a glass

Skip the beer and go for the cheesecake, that's what we say. With only Stella Artois, Hefeweizen and Fat Tire on tap, the factory isn't a taphead's heaven. Dessert lovers, however, should just pack their bags and camp out next to the dessert counter. Look for our tent there. 2 TVs. 350 N. Milwaukee St., 208-377-4466; Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Mon-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight

33.3° End Zone

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

End Zone is currently undergoing updates left and right to keep up with other local bars. Whether you're inside playing pool, siting in the grass out back or playing horseshoes, this is a Boise State fan bar all the way. Several TVs, dart board, shuffleboard, horseshoe pit, 1 foosball. 1010 Broadway Ave., 208-384-0613; Mon.-Sun. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

33.3° Opa Cocktail Lounge

Beer Tested: Bud ($1.75) served in a glass

Opa is the kind of place you feel comfortable in whether it's your regular haunt or you're stepping inside for the first time. The staff is always friendly and the place has a cool vibe and cold drinks—try the Opanator or the Turkish Coffee-tini. Don't be scared when the bartender yells, "Opa!" as you come through the door: that's just their way of saying, "Hi, we're glad you're here. Pull up a stool." 6 TVs. 213 N. 8th St., 208-342-6555; Mon.-Sun. 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

33.4° The Crescent "No Lawyers" Bar & Grill

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

This place is as famous for its courtroom mural as it is for its "no lawyers" policy. We didn't see one lawyer in the wide-open, game-filled bar and restaurant, but then again, we surmise they drink here incognito (or don't drink here at all). Too many TVs to count! 1 video game, foosball, 6 pool tables. 5500 W. Franklin Rd., 208-322-9856; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., closed Sunday.

33.4° Hooters

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.95) served in a chilled glass

This stop was last year's second-place winner with a temperature of 28.5. It must be the smokin' hot Hooters girls heating things up around the place. Known around the country as "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined," we couldn't agree more. 13 TVs. 8000 W. Franklin Rd., 208-321-4668; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

33.4° Symposion

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

"Symposion," not "symposium." The owner says it's from ancient Greek, and describes "a drinking together time." That's the idea at this no-frills tavern with a padded bar (which makes it easier to belly up). You will probably see a dog inside. 2 pool tables, 1 video game, 1 video poker, Internet jukebox. 2801 Fletcher St., 208-342-9420; Mon.-Sat. 1 p.m.-close, Sun. 4 p.m.-close.

33.4° Texas Roadhouse

Beer tested: Bud Light ($2.25) served in a frosted mug

There ain't nothin' wrong with a place started by Willie Nelson and covered in pictures of the red-haired stranger. They have peanuts, beer and down-home-style food on the menu. This place is usually pretty busy, so be prepared to wait. 4 TVs. 3801 E. Fairview Ave., 208-887-9401; Mon.-Fri. 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

33.4° The Torch

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

Purple and silver is the color scheme with a livelier, younger vibe than your average dark and gloomy strip club. Look for couples and groups getting all sexed up for their night's adventures. 5 TVs, 2 pool tables, 2 video games. 1826 W. Main St., 208-344-0218; Mon.-Sat. 2 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 4 p.m. -2 a.m.

33.6° Little Dutch Garden

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

If you looked up "neighborhood bar" in the dictionary, there would probably be a picture of this Bench bar. Around since before brews were micro, LDG serves a cold glass (or can) of Bud. You can play some horseshoes or just have a place that's really like a home away from home since LDG is actually in a house. 3 TVs, 2 horseshoes, 1 foosball table, 1 pool table, 1 jukebox. 1910 Owyhee St., 208-342-9034. Mon.-Thu. 2 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. noon-midnight, Sun. noon-8 p.m.

33.7° Falcon Tavern

Beer Tested: Mothership Organic Wheat ($2.25) served in a glass

If you're walking west on the north side of Main Street, you might walk right by this cozy, bright little bar. The sweet location, friendly service, delicious pub fare and frosty-cold beer make it well worth looking for. You'll leave kicking yourself for not having gone there all along. 4 TVs. 780 W. Idaho St., 208-947-3111; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-late, closed Sun.

33.8° Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta, eagle

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3.71) served in a frosted glass

The bar area at the Eagle location is more of a server station than a proper elbow-bending spot. Compared to some of the more-spacious joints in the area, the red-checkered, old-school ski-themed restaurant would downright qualify as a hole in the wall, which is a fantastic reputation to have when it comes to food. 34 E. State St., Eagle, 208-939-0212; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.

33.9° Brews Brothers

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a frosted glass

The mauve-, mint green- and peach-colored decor is a surly disguise for this "man's man" bar. It's the kind of place where everyone has his own seat. Regulars have their own mugs and the bartender spends an inordinate amount of time matching the proper name-embossed mug to the proper regular. 4 TVs, 1 shuffleboard, jukebox. 6928 W. State St., 208-853-0526; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 10:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

33.9° Montego Bay

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

This is one bar that's hard to pin down. Hang around inside at one of two bars, or head outside to one of the three decks served by their own outdoor bar. They have ponds, thatched roofs, tiki-head glasses, a lakeside location and a full food menu, as well as a specialty drink menu. 3 TVs, 3 decks, lakeside location. 3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane, 208-853-5070; Mon-Thu. 3 p.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

34° Boulevard Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

The bartender pours the stiffest drink in town and there are plenty of gritty, rowdy regulars who know it. Lively pool tables, free-flowing booze and plenty of hootin' and hollerin'. Go on out and holler some yourself. 2 TVs, 1 dartboard, 2 pool tables, 2 video games, Internet jukebox. 4079 Chinden Blvd., 208-342-9906; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

34° Overland Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($1) served in a chilled glass

Good vibes are all around at the Overland Bar, from the smiling clientele to the friendly bar staff. It's a bit on the smoky side and low on trendy (read: snooty) ambience. Your basic all-American, 100 percent through and through, real bar. 2 TVs, 1 pool table. 1 shuffleboard, ATM, jukebox. 3907 Overland Rd., 208-336-4707; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

34.2° Bittercreek Ale House

Beer Tested: Snake River Lager ($4) served in a glass

Bittercreek offers bar amenities in a pub atmosphere. Friendly service, delicious food like gourmet burgers, fresh salads and soups and hundreds of liqueurs and liquors to pair with every meal make Bittercreek a favorite destination for folks from every walk of life. 4 TVs. 246 N. 8th St., 208-345-1813; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-close.

34.2° McCleary's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a frosted glass

One enthusiastic employee/customer declared McCleary's the best neighborhood bar in Boise. We can verify that it's about the friendliest watering hole in town and a favorite on our Coldest Beer list every year. 4 TVs, 1 dart board, 2 pool tables, 1 shuffleboard, 1 hunting video, 1 addictive bartop video game machine, 2 unidentified video game machines. 604 N. Orchard Ave., 208-342-3007; Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-midnight.

34.2 McCleary's - JOSHUA ROPER

34.3° FlatBread Community Oven

Beer Tested: Stella ($4) served in a frosted glass

Located in Bown Crossing—a development that conjures visions of Stepford wives—Flatbread has one of the best streetside patios in Boise. With a few more years beefing up its reputation, this will be the hot spot in the valley. Kickin' patio; 3139 S. Bown Way, 208-343-4177; Sun.-Thu. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

34.3° Proto's Pizza

Beer tested: PBR ($2.65) served in a glass

Watch professionals toss your pizza while you toss back a few cold ones at the patio bar. 1 TV; pizza oven. 345 S. 8th St., 208-331-1400; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

34.6° Koi

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.17) served in a chilled glass

This high-end eatery serves some of the best sushi in town in a plush atmosphere that would be at home in a huge metropolis. Fortunately it's right here in Boise. 1 TV. 800 W. Idaho St., 208-343-3474; Mon.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

34.7° Buster's Restaurant, state street

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

This well-lit suburban version lacks the surreptitious feel of its Broadway predecessor, giving the joint a family atmosphere. For those more interested in the well-known "busty" aspect of Buster's, have no fear; the Eagle location offers up plenty of smiling 'burb Barbies. 8 TVs. 1396 E. State St., Eagle, 208-938-1800; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

34.7° Lush

Beer Tested: Skinny Dip ($4) served in a glass

Lush is a fabulous lounge/bar. They serve up some wild martinis and a wide selection of beer, making it a must-stop on any night out on the town. Sit by the fire tube or relax on red leather couch. 6 TVs, fire tube, red leather sofas. 760 Main St., 208-342-5874; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

34.8° Spearmint Rhino

Beer Tested: Kokanee ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

Sure, there are larger-than-life airbrushed babe photos on the wall, and a massive fake rhino head over the bar, but the ambience still aims for classy. 3 TVs, 3 pool tables, 2 video games. 1500 W. Grove St., 208-429-8229; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

35° WhiteWater Saloon

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1) served in a chilled glass

At the Whitewater Saloon, the beer's cold and cheap, which is exactly what a lot of us are looking for on a blistering summer eve. So snag your drinking buddy and get your game on. 1646 N. Meridian Rd., 208-888-3063; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

35.1° The Buffalo Club

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Divided into three sections, the Buffalo Club offers up a variety of things to do. Hang out and dance the night away or just play some pool. This bar will provide you with hours of entertainment and fun. 13 TVs, 4 pool tables. 10206 Fairview Ave., 208-321-1811; Tue.-Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 6 p.m.-midnight

35.2° China Blue

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a glass

A weekend hot spot with one of the largest dance floors in Boise, this is a place to see and be seen. If you know the right people, you might get a chance to visit the VIP sections. 3 TVs, dance floor, D.J.s. 100 S. 6th St., 208-338-6604; Fri.-Sat. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

35.2° Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine

Beer Tested: PBR ($1.99) served in a glass

Last year Donnie Mac's took first place by a landslide with what we think may have been the coldest beer in the world. This year, to the fallen winner, we offer up this: Any bar with mac and cheese, corn dogs and PBR is A-OK with us. 1515 W. Grove St., 208-338-7813; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

35.3° Flying A Cafe

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.65) served in a chilled glass

Tucked in the Hidden Springs development, this bar is more of an old-fashioned mercantile with a snack shop, sandwiches and video rental area for residents. Patio, snack shop, video rentals. 5892 Hidden Springs, 208-229-2001; Mon.-Thu. 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

35.3° Stubs Sports Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.75) served in a frosted scooner

We can only hope 15 TVs is an accurate estimate, including and one so large (and flanked by recliners for an at-home-at-the-bar kind of feel) it should account for more. Pool sharks can get a free fix on Sundays. 15 TVs, 2 dart boards, 1 pool table and a PGA golf video game. 12505 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-378-8273; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 12-6 p.m.

35.4° Bungalow

Beer Tested: Stella ($4) served in a chilled footed beer glass

The newest version of Erik McLaughlin's North End hangout ditches the sushi for more of a bar feel. There are very few domestics to be found at this pub—but our reviewer was not complaining about a cold Stella. It was the perfect tonic for a hot summer night. 1 TV that is turned on for special occasions. 1520 N 13th St., 208-336-5122; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

35.4° McGrath's Fish House

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

Sure, it smells a little fishy upon arrival, but the friendly barkeeps at McGrath's and the dim lights of the bar make it worthwhile. Plus, watching lobsters swim around is always entertaining, and dang, they do taste good. 3 TVs. 1749 S. Cole Rd., 208-375-6300; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

35.4° Olive Garden

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.95) served in a chilled glass

It may be chain restaurant Italian cuisine in the mall belt, but the OG keeps packing in hungry Boiseans like it's the only noodle joint in town. 2 TVs. 320 N. Milwaukee, 208-322-3327; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

35.5° Outback Steakhouse

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3.25) served in a frosted glass

If your inner Sheila or Bloke is itching for the Americanized chain-restaurant version of Aussie BBQ, head on over and tie one on at the Outback. 2 TVs. 7189 W. Overland Rd., 208-323-4230; Mon.-Thu. 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m.-9 p.m.

35.6° Mac & Charlie's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

This is a college bar with the undergraduate crowd in mind. Loud music, plenty of room for playing pool and an open floor plan. 6 TVs, 2 foosball tables, 2 video games, 1 ping-pong. 509 W. Main St.; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

35.6° Murphy's Seafood & Chop House

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($4.50) served in a frosted glass

Serving some of the best seafood in the area, Murphy's is in the family with The Ram and Stonehouse. So they serve domestic drafts like everyone else, but they also have the same great beer they brew at The Ram. 11 TVs. 1555 Broadway Ave., 208-344-0037; Mon.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-midnight

35.7° Busted Shovel

Beer tested: Bud ($2.75) served in a frosted glass

Our first impression was: biker bar. But the owner—who looked like a biker—insisted it is not a biker bar. The bar itself is a great local hangout, attracting a cross-section of Meridian. Jethro Tull was singin' when we walked in and Lynyrd Skynyrd when we walked out. 5 TVs, 2 pool tables, 1 shuffleboard. 704 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-288-2217; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-close

35.7° Kit Kat Club

Beer tested: Bud ($3) served in a chilled glass

It's like Vegas in here. Hot girls and costume machines, bar games and nickel slots, golf games and red leather booths, oh my! Don't drive to Vegas. Head on over to the Kit Kat Klub and see how your teeth look under the black lights. 12 TVs, 6 pool tables, 4 video games. 4842 W. Franklin St., Meridian, 208-888-7731; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

35.7° Mai Thai

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) served in a frosted glass

The bar is the reception area; it's a set-up that makes it completely understated and the focal point all at once. If you love the sleek, smooth lines of the downtown location, the suburban location won't disappoint in familiarity, and you'll like the size of its outdoor dining facilities. 1 TV. 78 Eagle River St., Eagle, 208-938-8424; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sat. noon-2:30 p.m.; Mon-Thu. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

35.7° Mason's Pub and Eatery

Beer tested: Bud ($3.25) served in a chilled glass

Mason's is just your average watering hole with strange stuff on the tube. The patio is very popular, so think about heading to the bar. Diamond plate wall coverings seemed to be a theme and there were some groovy wooden booths on one wall. 11 TVs, 2 pool tables, 3 video games. 601 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-884-3737; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

35.8° The Bouquet

Beer Tested: PBR ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

With one of the oldest wooden bars in town, affordable drinks, great live music and kick-ass red beer, The Bouquet is exactly the kind of place we always imagined ourselves in. 4 TVs, 1 pool table, ping-pong and Guitar Hero every Wednesday. 1010 W. Main St., 208-345-6605; Sun.-Thu. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Fri.-Sat. 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

35.9° Blue Ribbon Bistro

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

At Blue Ribbon Bistro, you'll have a couple of tough decisions to make. You'll have to decide if you want to sit in the lush bar, the elegant restaurant or out on the beautiful patio. Pick the pork loin on the patio one time and opt for ribeye in the restaurant the next. See? Easy. 1441 N. Eagle Rd., 208-855-5858; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m. -3 p.m., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

35.9° Carrabba's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.99) in chilled mug

The entire place is suffused with the smell of Italian food. Whether you're looking for a place to have a business meeting or your next date night, the low-key atmosphere is ideal. Oh yeah, and they have a bar too. 2 TVs. 3284 E. Pine Ave., Meridian, 208-887-1270; Mon.-Thu. 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

35.9° Carino's, Fairview

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

Yep, it's another great Italian joint. The bar is set away from the hubbub of the restaurant, which makes for a quiet place to have a beer while you work up an appetite. 2 TVs. 3551 E. Fairview Ave., 208-888-7801; Sun-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri- Sat 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.

36° The Beerhouse

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

You'll find a lively crowd of down-home folks at this hideout, which is tucked inside a quiet subdivision near Mitchell and Ustick roads. The back yard is big enough to hold two volleyball courts and two horseshoe pits. 4 TVs, 3 dartboards, 1 pool table, 2 horseshoe pits, 1 video game, 2 volleyball courts. 9751 Cory Ln., 208-322-9958; Mon.-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

36° Casanova Pizzeria

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Sit at the small bar in this gourmet pizzeria and watch the Independent Film Channel or read from the extensive collection of reference materials—ranging from the Farmer's Almanac to a baseball almanac—while you wait for your clam and bacon pie. 1 TV, reading materials. 1204 Vista Ave., 208-331-3535; Thu. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

36° Goodwood Barbecue Co.

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25/pint) served in a frosted glass

Watch the chickens turn on the rotisserie while you enjoy breathing clean, smoke-free air and the wholesome good ol' country music at Goodwood's. They have great ribs, chicken, sandwiches and, golly, the best darned onion rings this side of Texas. Ummy. 2 TVs. 7849 Spectrum, 208-658-7173; Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

36° Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta, parkcenter

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

Smoky Mountain on ParkCenter delivers every time, whether it's pizza or beer. Great food and a great waitstaff make this place a regular favorite. Too bad the beer isn't on the delivery menu. 1 TV. 415 E. ParkCenter Blvd., 208-429-0011; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

36.1° Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, eagle road

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

Sadly and fortunately this one is like every Applebee's out there with a relaxed atmosphere and a bar at the center of everything. The half-price appetizers and beer specials during happy hour don't hurt either. 3 TVs. 1460 N. Eagle Rd., 208-855-0343; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight.

36.1° Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, emerald

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

Well, at least this chain restaurant has its consistency down, with two locations coming in at the same temp. Need to know more than it's your neighborhood grill and bar? Experience is the mother of knowledge. 4 TVs. 7845 Emerald, 208-378-1890; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight

36.1° Fireside Inn

Beer Tested: Bud ($1.75) served in a glass

This place has a feel and scent all its own. It's a little dark, a little dank, and the definition of a dive bar. 3 TVs, dart board, 2 pool tables, shuffleboard, 4 video games. 1610 N. 31st St., 208-342-9075; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

36.1° Lock Stock and Barrel

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3) served in a glass

LSB is a classy little joint that serves free popcorn (yeah, yeah, maybe "classy" and "popcorn" don't belong in the same sentence together, but beer testing does work up a bit of an appetite so we're not complaining). It's the sort of place where the business-casual crowd feels right at home. 3 TVs. 1100 W. Jefferson St., 208-336-4266; Sun.-Mon. 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Tue.-Sat. 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

36.1° The Pocket

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

Pool is definitely the main attraction, but the variety of $1 Jello shots certainly distracts a billiards player. We sampled a few, and our compliments go out to the Jello chef. 7 TVs, 1 dart board, 20 pool tables, 7 video games, 2 pinball machines. 1487 N. Curtis Rd., 208-375-2474; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

36.1° The Rendezvous

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

The former Burger & Brew has been cleaned up and cleaned out. Gone are the neon signs, and sports bar clutter. Now it's a tasteful environment with a dining menu featuring items like the pretzel-crusted trout. 4 TVs, 1 video game. 6125 Fairview Ave., 208-377-2800; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

36.1° willy's Stagecoach Inn Restaurant & Lounge

Beer Tested: Bud ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

Attentive service, killer bar prawns and thick slabs of prime rib have kept 'em coming back for 48 years. The dark-paneled interior is often home to many of Boise's power brokers. 3 TVs, ask to see the turtles. 3132 Chinden Blvd., 208-342-4161; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 4 p.m.-midnight, closed Sunday

36.2° Cafe Ole

Beer tested: Bud ($2.75) served in a mug

Downtown Cafe Ole is a classic cantina with white plaster, heavy wooden beams and red tile floors. Stepping into this cool labyrinth means stepping into something timeless. 1 TV, complementary chips and ,7 kinds of salsa. 404 S. 8th St., 208-344-3222; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

36.2° Hooligan's Pub

Beer Tested: Bud ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Hooligan's is a neighborhood bar in a strip mall. Friendly bartenders recognize you when you come in, and with happy hour specials you can afford to become a regular installation on their barstools. 8 TVs, 2 dart boards, 4 pool tables, 1 video game, 1 jukebox. 10704 W. Overland Rd., 208-376-9800; Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Wed. 11 a.m.-midnight, Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

36.3° Humpin' Hannah's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

This downtown bar has a reputation for attracting crowds of all ages. Get lost in its multiple levels with bars and pool tables around every corner. 7 TVs, 7 pool tables, 1 foosball table. 621 W. Main St., 208-345-7557; Wed.-Fri. 3 p.m.-close, Sat. 7 p.m.-close.

36.5° Emerald Lanes

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.25) served in a plastic cup

When you get tired of throwing your ball straight into the gutter, head for the bar. When you need to little realignment in your swing to knock down that last pin to score a spare, head for the bar. When your friends drag you out bowling and your enthusiasm just isn't there, fake a wrist sprain and ... head for the bar. 22 TVs, 7 pool tables, 1 foosball table, 15 video games, 1 dart board, 1 air hockey table. 4860 W. Emerald St., 208-344-2695; Sun.-Thu. midnight-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. noon-1 a.m.

36.5° Harry's Parkcenter

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

Southeast Boise finally has a nice little neighborhood bar for those times when a beer and dinner just won't materialize from your empty fridge. Besides, this could very well be the only place on ParkCenter to catch a game of pool. 5 TVs, 1 pool table. 404 E. ParkCenter Blvd. Suite 300, 208-424-8211; Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-close, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

36.5° Muggsy's

Beer tested: Bud ($3) served in a frosted glass

Nice pine rustic stools contrast with the joint's glass, stainless steel and touch-screen jukebox. Check out the Boise State worship corner with signed memorabilia—if you can remove the frozen mug from your hands that is. 7 TVs, 2 dart boards, 2 pool tables, 1 video game. 501 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-898-9470; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

36.6° Gil's K-9 Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($1.75) served in a chilled glass

This is a local bar that seems to have been around for as long as there have been locals. It's a simple, to-the-point bar where regular customers greet newcomers with a smile and a bad joke. Nothing fancy here, but who needs it? 2 TVs, Jukebox. 2506 Main St., 208-345-4420; Mon.-Sun. 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m.

36.6° Ha' Penny Bridge Irish Pub and Grill

Beer tested: PBR ($3.25) must request a chilled/frosted glass

The low, wide stage and world-wise barmaids carry on Irish tradition amid plaid-covered booths in Boise's only traditional Irish pub. 5 TVs, 1 St. Patrick's Day digital countdown clock. 855 Broad St. Suite 250, 208-343-5568; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-close, Sat.-Sun. noon-close

36.6° Louie's Pizza & Italian Restaurant

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.92) served in a chilled glass

This west-valley location is now the only location of the Boise landmark now that the downtown location has closed. The restaurant is usually packed on the weekends with large groups taking advantage of its expansive private rooms. The good news is there's a bar to wait in. 3 TVs, patio. 2500 E. Fairview Ave. Meridian, 208-884-5200; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

36.7° Old Spaghetti Factory

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a frosted glass

Downtown's newest chain restaurant. Lounge in the lounge and people-spy on the patio or just sink into the brand-spanking-new booths and sip on beer until the aroma of Mizithra thoroughly soaks into your skin, and causes a craving that can only be satisfied with a plate of pasta. 2 TVs. 610 W. Idaho St., 208-336-2900; Mon.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.

36.8° Cactus Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

The Cactus has had a facelift and a tummy tuck since last year's Coldest Beer, and we're proud to report that she's looking like a million bucks. And we're loving the patio! Best of all, you can buy a beer, smokes, peanuts, Certs and Cheetos (this joint is cash only, so be prepared). 3 TVs, 1 pool table, 1 jukebox. 517 W. Main St., 208-342-9732; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

36.8° Terrapin Station

Beer Tested: PBR ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Boise's only Grateful Dead bar is a cozy, little haunt where they take tasty beer seriously. Note: The microbrews are colder than the cheap stuff. 1 dart board, 2 pinball machines, 1 video game. 1519 W. Main St., 208-342-1776; Mon.-Sun. 1 p.m.-close.

36.9° Leku Ona

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

The patio is a new addition to the multi-level dining experience that is Leku Ona. With pinxtos deals during happy hour and a full bar, you can easily waltz your way straight into dinner. 3 TVs. 117 S. 6th St., 208-345-6665; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., closed Sunday

36.9° the Bar at the Grove Hotel

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.28) served in a chilled glass

Your standard open bar area in the hotel lobby, which always feels like an afterthought but still manages to take the edge off. This one though, has some class. 1 TV. 245 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-333-8000; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m.-midnight.

37° The Plank

Beer tested: Bud ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

A galley's worth of deep-fried goodies and 55 beers, surrounded by two patios and pirate-themed gewgaws will make you feel like you're in Pittsburgh. Try all 55, and they'll issue you a personalized 20-ounce mug identifying you as a member of the "Mug Club." 2 TVs, pool table, 2 video games, dart board, jukebox. 650 S. Vista Ave., 208-336-1790; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-2 a.m.

37° KB's Burritos

Beer tested: Bud ($2.50) served in a glass

A transplant from the Wood River Valley, KB's has brought Ketchum's famous burritos to the hearts of Boiseans. And, they're the only joint in town to boast Heineken on tap. Chill inside, or sit outside and watch pedestrians attempt to cross Capitol Boulevard during rush hour. 1 TV, group portraits of American troops in desert; witty retorts ("You can come in and make your own happy hour."). 405 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-336-3390; Mon.-Thu. 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

37.2° Eastside Tavern

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

The Eastside is a hangout for one BW staffer and friends who consider themselves fine connoisseurs of the Karaoke Bar. They claim the large selection of music (and a stage on which they can fine-tune their lounge act) is gonna help make them big stars one day. 3 TVs, 5 video games, 1 dart board, 3 pool tables. 610 E. Boise Ave., 208-388-8700; Mon.-Sat. 3 p.m.-close, sun. 7 a.m.-close

37.2° Ranch Club

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

Back in the saddle after a brief hiatus, it's almost like the Ranch Club never left at all. It's a Boise classic inside and with that rearing pony outside, a Garden City landmark, too. 10 TVs, 1 dart board, 4 pool tables, 1 foosball table, 1 shuffleboard, 1 video game, Dragon Punch punching bag. 3544 Chinden Blvd., 208-343-7447; Mon.-Sun. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.

37.2° Red Lobster

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

Walking into this seafood-themed chain restaurant, one wonders: How much crab do you really need to eat? With a wide variety of surf-and-turf entrees, this is the place to come and test your sea-worthiness. After a couple of beers, we weren't too sure of ours. 4 TVs. 550 N. Milwaukee St., 208-672-1188; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

37.2° Vista Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a frosted glass

A rowdy crew packs this A-frame nightly looking for cheap drinks and classic rock from the jukebox. Don't put quarters on the table unless you're willing to take on challengers. 2 TVs, 1 pool table, 2 video games, jukebox, Wifi. 813 Vista Ave., 208-342-9911; Mon.-Fri. noon-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

37.3° Willowcreek Grill

Beer tested: Coors Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

Sit down in the restaurant for some freshly fired flesh from the grill, or scooch up to the steel bar to ogle a beer selection that gives props to both the in-state and the international. 3 TVs. 2273 S. Vista Ave., Suite 150, 208-343-5544; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-close, closed Sunday.

37.4° Q's Billiards & Eatery

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

Come to Q's Billiards and full advantage of the many different games, pool tables, dart boards and a jukebox. Don't forget, they're also an eatery serving up burgers and fries. 9 TVs, 5 dart boards, 11 pool tables, 8 video games, jukebox. 6570 Fairview Ave., 208-322-9122; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

37.5° Character's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

Located in the Red Lion Boise Downtowner, Character's is one of the few hotel bars in town that draws a local crowd, too. The digs are decidedly "hotel," but with a sports memorabilia bent—well, fixation, really. 8 TVs, 2 dart boards, 2 pool tables, 1 foosball table, jukebox, video games. 1800 Fairview Ave., 208-344-7691; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

37.5° Terry's State Street Saloon

Beer Tested: Miller Lite ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

This is a dive bar in the finest tradition. With a sweet bartender, a large stage dominating one end of the bar, it's a great place for live music or karaoke. Nothing pretentious here. 1 video game, 2 foosball tables. 3301 Collister St., 208-342-9739; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

37.8° Sockeye Grill & Brewery

Beer Tested: Galena Summit Kolsch ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

All 10 taps at Sockeye pour handcrafted microbrews made on site, so you'll find no Bud here. Sip in cool air-conditioned comfort inside the clean pub or relax on the breezy pine-shaded patio. 3 TVs, 2 pool tables, 1 video game, live music Tuesday and Friday. 3019 N. Cole Rd., 208-658-1533; Sun.-Mon. 11 a.m.-close, Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m. -10 p.m.

37.8° Suds Tavern

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Suds is a true college bar, from the remnants of blue astroturf to the student-loan-budget-priced drinks. When football season rolls around and you need to upgrade that tailgating beer to something more substantial, Suds is there for all of your imbibing needs. 6 TVs, 2 video games, 2 pool tables. 1024 Broadway Ave., 208-345-9656; Mon.-Sun. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

37.9° Jim's Alibi

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

The Alibi may boast the best drinks sales between 7 and 9 a.m. in the valley, as droves of Micron employees gather post-graveyard shift to fill the rafters with tales of narrowly averted fabrication and engineering disasters. Oh, to be a fly on the wall. 5 TVs, 2 dart boards, 2 pool tables, 1 horseshoes, 3 video games. 2710 Broadway Ave., 208-342-9220; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 a.m.

37.9° Navajo Room

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2) served in a glass

The Navajo is a quaint neighborhood hangout with a great display of Western art lining the walls. Be sure to check out the variety of pickled delicacies behind the bar. 5 TVs, 2 pool tables, 2 video games, dart board, jukebox. 4900 Emerald St., 208-343-5817; Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

37.9 Navajo Room - FRANCIS DELAPENA

37.9° Shorty's Country and Western Saloon

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

Can you give a big yee haw? It's smoky, it's loud, there are pool tables and beer—what else can you ask for out of a place called a saloon? There are dance lessons, regular live music and 98-cent beer on Thursday. 4 pool tables, jukebox, dance floor, stage. 5467 Glenwood, 208-672-9090; Mon.-Sun.: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

38° Carino's, Entertainment

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.45) served in a chilled glass

The recently dropped "Johnny" from Carino's name doesn't indicate that slack has been dropped in other areas. It's still the same tasty, inexpensive chain Italian with a dimly lit bar for a pre- or post-meal cocktail. 2 TVs. 1700 S. Entertainment Ave., 208-373-4968; Sun.-Thu. 11 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

38.1° Buddies Pub & Deli

Beer Tested: Bud ($1.50) must request a frosted glass

Very, very clean with lots of booths and tables, a long bar, 16 beers on tap and a friendly bar staff. You may find yourself hanging out more and more at this little strip-mall hideaway. 4 TVs (2 widescreens), 4 pool tables, 4 video games, popcorn, ATM. 8654 W. Overland Rd., 208-658-0906; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-midnight.

38.1° Old Chicago, Downtown

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a mug

On a sweltering Thursday night, our first bar to test for the night was Old Chicago downtown. And, coincidentally, it was Nic the bartender's first night on the job. He did us right and—along with the great pub food and hundreds of beers to choose from—reminded us why Old Chicago is one of downtown's most popular hangouts. 11 TVs, 1 video game, 2 pool tables. 730 W. Idaho St., 208-363-0037; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

38.1° Stubs Sports Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

Maybe they should rename this place "Your Best Pal's Rec Room." Order from the big selection of delicious sandwiches and cold drinks and then get comfortable in one of the lounge chairs and enjoy a game on the giant-screen TV. 13 TVs, 1 video game, popcorn maker. 3662 Findley Ave., 208-336-7882; Mon.-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.

38.2° Legends

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.25) served in a frosted glass

It's the only bar in Boise where you'll see naked male torsos sweating up a storm (besides the Balcony, that is). The summer volleyball tourneys are on and happening at Legends (formerly the Sports Zone). Get a cold one after a good game outside. 18 TVs, 8 pool tables, bar trivia, 1 video game, air hockey, lose your money toy claw, jukebox, outdoor patio and beach volleyball. 7609 Overland Rd., 208-377-1819; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight.

38.3° Cafe Ole, milwaukee

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

Newly expanded to serve you better, their margaritas seem bigger, too. It was truly a test to drink a beer and not a blended margarita on a hot summer day during Cafe Ole's great happy hour. 4 TVs. 210 N. Milwaukee, 208-322-0222; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

38.3° Lone Star SteakHouse

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.95) served in a frosted mug

They're famous for their steaks but since we were working on Coldest Beer and not Best Beef, we sat down at a long bar and time-warped back to the Wild West and ordered a chilly mug full of ale. 3 TVs. 8799 W. Franklin Rd., 208-377-5565; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

38.3° Quinn's Lounge

Beer tested: Bud ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

The Quinn's drinking game: Chug every time someone calls you "hon." Dig the TV selection at this neighborly Bench restaurant/bar side-by-sider; simultaneously showing CNN, ESPN and the Food Channel, each on their own big-screen. 3 TVs. 1005 S. Vista Ave., 208-345-0135; Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

38.3° The Torch 2

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

There's a white Caddy and a row of souped-up pickups parked in front of this strip club on the Bench. Ask yourself this: If you were to walk into a bar and see a sign telling you the exact date and time that you can party with "two hot blondes," what would you do? TVs-but who's watching the TVs here?, pool table, video game, dart board. 610 S. Vista Ave., 208-336-4747; Mon.-Sat.: 2 p.m-2 a.m.

38.4° Satchel's Grill

Beer Tested: Mothership Organic Ale ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

Few places in Boise are as well-rounded as this little space squeezed carefully into the concrete jungle. Music and outdoor movies, paninis and sandwiches, great beer or wine, indoor and outdoor, Satchel's has it all. 705 W. Bannock St., 208-344-3752; Sun.-Tue. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-close, Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

38.5° Club Max

Beer Tested: Coors ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

One of the cleanest lounges in Garden City. Regulars come for bartenders veteran Nancy and Cindy. It's a popular party spot for birthdays or bachelor/bachelorette hoedowns at the sparkling disco. 6 TVs, 2 dartboards, 2 pool tables, 3 video games. 2900 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-343-1871; Sun.-Thu. 4 p.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

38.5° Stonehouse

Beer Tested: America Blonde ($2) served in a chilled glass

The sometimes forgotten stepsister of the Ram, we found the same beer selection and size that we had ordered next door, to be two dollars and 25 cents cheaper. Enjoy the large patio located right off the Greenbelt. 9 TVs, 1 video game, 3 pool tables. 709 E. Park Blvd., 208-345-2173; Mon.-Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 4 p.m.-1 a.m.

38.5° Tom Grainey's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

Regular live music coupled with Grainey's historic, old-school charm guarantees you'll always have a good time. Plus, it's a regular stop for bachelorette parties during the "treasure hunt" portion of their night. 1 TV, 1 pool table. 109 S. 6th St., 208-345-2505; Mon.-Fri. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat. 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 7 p.m.-midnight.

38.6° Bill & Lynn's Place

Beer tested: Bud ($1.75) served in a frosted glass

Bill & Lynn's is a rockin' cowboy bar where everybody's welcome. The best thing there is the "Buy a Friend a Drink" board. Buy a friend a drink, and it doesn't matter when your pal stops in, if his or her name is on the board, there will be a drink waiting. There's karaoke entertainment, too, just in case you've ever wondered about Meridian's singing talent. 4 TVs, 2 dart boards, 1 pool table, 2 horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, 2 video games. 229 W. Franklin Rd., Meridian, 208-888.4075; Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. -2 a.m., closed Sundays.

38.6° Meridian Bowling Lanes

Beer tested: Bud ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

The snack bar next to the real bar serves any kind of fried food you could possibly want. They make a mean cheese stick, but you might try the corndog bites, too. Inside the bar is a no-frills environment with no TVs to distract you from shooting the breeze with the very friendly, and rather funny, bar staff. And if you just wanna shut up and bowl? Duh. It is called Meridian Bowling Lanes. 7 dartboards, 2 pool tables, 20 video games. 324 S. Meridian Rd., Meridian, 208-888-2048; Mon.-Fri. noon-2 a.m., Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.

38.7° Warm springs Golf Course

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.75) served in a frosted mug

Warm Springs is one of the most beloved public golf courses in the valley. After a round of golf, you can pick up a round of beers, sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the Boise Foothills and the Greenbelt along the Boise River. 2 TVs. 2495 Warm Springs Ave., 208-343-5661; 8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily.

38.8° Cheerleaders Sports Bar & Grill

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.50) served in a frosted glass

On a slow, two-for-one kind of Sunday afternoon, the notorious rah-rah-uniforms have been replaced with simple black tops and skirts (even for the male staff—OK, OK, we're kidding about that). The atmosphere? It's straight sports pub from the menus to the murals, and the sweetest part of any visit is a quick drool over the signed Shelby. So many TVs, we lost count. 287 E. Shore Dr., Eagle, 208-939-9209; Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

38.8° Club Savvy's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

Theme parties and a variety of music help Club Savvy's appeal to a wide cross section of clubbers. Whether you're into pajamas, bikinis or vampire garb, or listen to hip-hop or country, Savvy's has you covered. Count on the Professor behind the bar to pour your poison. 6 TVs, 2 dartboards, 3 pool tables, horseshoes coming soon, 1 foosball table, 6 video games. 3933 Chinden Blvd., 208-429-9339; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

38.8° The Ram-park boulevard

Beer Tested: American Blonde ($4.25) served in a chilled glass

The Ram was voted Best Sports Bar 2006 and we know why. It's a shining example for anyone who wants to see what a sports bar should look like. The Ram not only brews its own beer but has at least a dozen different sports games on TV. 23 TVs, large bar area. 709 E. Park Blvd., 208-345-2929; Mon. 11 a.m.-midnight, Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-close, Sun. 11 a.m.-midnight.

38.8° Sports Zone

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.25 plus tax) served in a chilled glass

If the Sport Zone were in any other city it would be the hoppin'-est place in town. With a couple of floors, a balcony over downtown, a view of the rink/arena/ring, this hotel bar has the potential to be a multi-faceted club for sports events, dancing and just plain hanging out. At least it has A/C and it's close to Alive After Five. 245 S. Capitol Blvd., 208--424-2238; millions of TVs. Wed. 5-9 p.m., open during events at the Qwest Arena.

38.9° Neurolux

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a glass

You go to Neurolux for two things: kick-ass shows and drinks that will knock you on your duff. They have a stage for the former and deep red booths for the latter. 1 TV, 1 pool table, 3 video games. 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886; Mon.-Sun. noon-close

39° Angell's Bar & Grill

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3.25) served in a glass

Angell's is definitely old-school and a great place to schmooze a potential client. Sink into one of the large leather chairs in the lounge and admire all the wildlife hanging from the walls. 3 TVs. 999 Main St., 208-342-4900; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sun. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

39° Hyde Park Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

This North End staple has friendly regulars, great beers and a fun atmosphere. You can walk in this bar alone and come out with some new pals. The Cheers comparison is trite but it holds so true at this bar. 5 TVs, 1 pool table. 1501 N. 13th St., 208-336-9260; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

39.2° Big Easy/Bourbon Street Saloon

Beer tested: Bud ($3.25) served in a glass

Even if you don't have access to the VIP room, this club—-with great acoustics and tons of room—is one of the best places in town to catch a concert. 5 TVs. 416 S. 9th St., 208-367-1212; Tue.-Sat. 4 p.m.-9 p.m., 4 p.m-close on show nights.

39.3° Funny Bone Comedy Club

Beer tested: Bud ($3) served in a glass

From the moment you enter the Funny Bone—covered floor to ceiling with autographed headshots—you'll realize why it's a favorite BoDo spot with some of the funniest people in the country playing there. The club owners take funny very seriously. 1 candle per table; lots of funny people. 405 S. 8th St., 208-331-2663; 7 p.m-close on show nights.

39.3° Mulligan's

Beer Tested: Pabst ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

Mulligan's is a no-nonsense sports bar that welcomes hipsters, hippies and truckers alike. The bartender knows her regulars by name. Looking for a hoity-toity pretentious place to hang out? Go elsewhere. 7 TVs, 2 dart boards, 6 pool tables, 6 video games. 1009 Main St., 208-336-6998; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 1 p.m.-2 a.m.

39.3° Turner's Sports Bar

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a glass

Tucked next to a bait shop off State Street, Turner's is one-of-a-kind (mainly because of the bait shop thing). The bar is dark and smoky, but you can't beat the service—not over-the-top, but the kind that sort of reminds you of your mom. 6 TVs, 1 dart board, 2 pool tables, 2 video games. 4022 W. State St., 208-342-9090; Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-close.

39.5° Gas Light Lounge

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

Gas Light is a BYOB joint. Bring Your Own Ball, that is. Duh! Squirreled away in the back corner of 20th Century Bowling Lanes, the Gas Light is more like the supporting act of a headliner, the fry sauce to your fries, the David Hasselhoff to ... well, you get the point. In other news, Monday is service industry night for you restaurant types with a pay stub. 2 TVs, 1 dartboard, Golden Tee. 4712 W. State St., 208-342-8695; Mon. 9 a.m.-midnight, Tues.-Fri. 8 a.m.-1 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-midnight.

39.6° Tavern At Bown

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) served in a glass

The eye in the center of the Bown Crossing hurricane. When you need to just hunker down with a cold one, Tavern at Bown is the place to go. The upstairs patio offers uninterrupted views of the Foothills. 2 TVs. 3111 S. Bown St., 208-345-2277; Mon.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

39.7° Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery, grove street

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3/pint) served in a chilled glass

Housed in a cavernous brick building, the Bardenay people have fancy bar basics down to a science—they even have their own still—but you can also get a plate of simple, delicious pub fare. Plus, they almost always have '80s music coming out of the PA. Sweet. 4 TVs. 610 W. Grove St., 208-426-0538; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-close; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-close.

39.7° Romano's Macaroni Grill

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

This little slice of Italian countryside was a nice place to relax and grab a drink. The bartender was friendly, and we suspect that on the weekends, this place gets as packed as an Italian plaza on a warm summer night. 2 TVs. 980 N. Milwaukee, 208-323-4445; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

39.9° Basque Center

Beer Tested: Bud ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

A smoke-a-licious alcove that's one of our favorite places in which to "bask" with a brew in hand (pun intended). And since the proceeds from the place benefit the Basque Center and Museum, you're drinking for a good cause. 1 TV, 1 pool table. 601 W. Grove St., 208-342--9983; Tue.-Wed. 3 p.m.-9 p.m., Thu. 3 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 2 p.m.-1 a.m., Sun. 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

39.9° Lulu's Fine Pizza

Beer Tested: Widmer Pale Ale ($4.51) served in a glass

Cruise by on your cruiser for a slice or lounge on the patio and dine on a full pie and a bottle of wine. 1 TV. 2594 N. Bogus Basin Rd., 208-387-4992; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sat. noon-9 p.m., Sun. noon-8:30 p.m.

39.9° SixOneSix

Beer Tested: Stella Artois ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

And who cares how cold the beer is when what you should be doing is paying attention to wine pairing? But if you do find yourself without reservations (shame, shame) and waiting for a table, then luck is on your side because SixOneSix's bar is a good place to temporarily cool your heels, quaff a draft and work up an appetite. 1 TV in the lounge. 1065 E. Winding Creek Dr., Eagle, 208-938-3010; Mon-Sat. 5- p.m.-10 p.m.

39.9° Franco Latino

Beer Tested: Michelob Ultra ($3) served in a chilled glass

The bartop is sparkling red, the chairs cushioned in both gold and red and giant picture windows beckon the outside in so that diners can enjoy both the riverfront and air-conditioning simultaneously. (And if you prefer to be in the thick of it, the patio sprawls for miles.) 2 TVs in the bar. 775 S. Rivershore Ln., Eagle, 208-938-2850; Mon.-Thur. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

39.9° Idaho Pizza Company, Fairview

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) chilled glass

As old-school Boise restaurants drop off like flies in a cold autumn, Idaho Pizza Company is still alive and kicking. 7100 W. Fairview Ave., 208-375-4100; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

40.1° Burger N' Brew

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) chilled glass

This longtime Boise favorite landed squarely on the endangered species list after becoming the sole survivor of its compatriots this year. In step with its name, this is a simple joint, chock full of burgers, beers and regulars. 3 TVs in the bar and Golden Tee. 4295 W. State St., 208-345-7700; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

40.1° Buster's, broadway avenue

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled large mug

Step off of busy Broadway, through the heavy wooden door and into the cool, dark oasis that is Buster's. Get an eyeful while you get a mouthful on costume days, drink a mug of beer that's so big it requires two hands and watch a game on all 13 TVs at once. 13 TVs, 2 video games, patio. 1326 Broadway Ave., 208-345-5688; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight., Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

40.1° Chandler's Steakhouse

Beer Tested: Miller Genuine Draft ($3) served in a glass

Classy is the word here with white tablecloths and martini wizard Pat Carden as the bar manager. The beer isn't the coldest in town but with Pat behind the bar, you shouldn't be coming here for a frosty one. Order a martini, dammit! 981 W. Grove St., 208-383-4300; Bar opens Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-close

40.1° Red Robin,Milwaukee

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.49) served in a chilled glass

Not all Red Robins were created equally. This one may have drawn the short straw on scenery compared to its ParkCenter sister store, but if you're a shopper, it has "location, location, location" in spades. 11+ TVs. 267 N. Milwaukee, 208-323-0023; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

40.2° Dutch Goose

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

With games, weekly specials (including $1 beer Thursdays and two-for-one Tuesdays), a friendly, laid-back staff and famous clams, this is a great bar for just hanging out. 4 TVs, 2 pool tables, 4 video games, air hockey. 3515 W. State St., 208-342-8887; Mon.-Wed., Sun. 11 a.m.-midnight, Thur.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

40.2° Parrilla Grill

Beer Tested: PBR ($3) served in a plastic cup

Burritos and beer go together like peas and carrots at this Hyde Park institution. North End groupies swarm on the patio, and the grill has the most famous twin-brother bartending duo in town slinging the drinks. 2 TVs. 1512 N. 13th St., 208-323-4688; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-midnight.

40.3° Jumpin' Janet's

Beer Tested: Bud ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

A sweet beer selection (Pike IPA? Hooray!) and Jack's Favorite Cheeseburger (bacon/avocado/sauteed onions/cheese/horseradish? Hooray!) make Janet's a pleasant surprise in a Vista strip mall. Dig the Mike and Ikes in a chicken feeder by the cash register. 3 TVs, 4 pool tables, foosball, 2 video games, 2 dart boards. 572 Vista Ave., 208-342-7620; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

40.3° J.T. Toad's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) served in a chilled glass

J.T. Toad's is a hideaway bar with low ceilings and lots of nooks and crannies into which one can find sweet escape from the crowds upstairs at Grainey's and outside at the corner of Sixth and Main. With live music and DJs, it's a good change from time to time. 107 S. 6th St., 208-345-2506; Fri.-Sat. 9 p.m.-2 a.m., closed Sun.-Thu.

40.3° Reef

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

If the inside bar front and center in the dining room just isn't enough fun for you, check out the rooftop patio's tiki bar, order up a pina colada and get caught in the rain. (Or a dust storm, as is more likely in the summertime in Idaho.) 3 TVs, stage and live music some nights. 125 S. 6th St., 208-287-9200; Mon.-Tue. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

40.4° The Garage

Beer Tested: PBR ($2.50) served in a plastic cup

As the Garage's days come to a final end with the closing of Lucky 13, no one is quite sure what will become of the space. We, for one, have our fingers crossed for a reincarnation. 1 Porta Potty. 1602 N. 13th St., 208-344-6967; Wed.-Sat. 5 p.m.-midnight

40.4° McCleary's Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a glass

Rare is the occasion when a bar's outdoor area is actually bigger than its interior. This pub is all about the activities, with games galore inside and out. It's not hard to imagine kicking back and spending a sunny afternoon here. 2 TVs, 2 horseshoe pits, 3 video games, dart board, pool table. 9155 W. State St., 208-853-9910; Mon.-Sun. 8 a.m.-2 a.m.

40.6° Mai Thai, idaho street

Beer Tested: Bud ($3.17) must request a chilled/frosted glass

At the striking, modern black bar, visitors to the restaurant can wait for a table tucked into the recesses of the dark restaurant or dine stoolside whilst sipping on a fancy cosmopolitan. 1 TV. 750 W. Idaho St., 208-344-8424; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

41.1° Fuddrucker's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

Bright and colorful with lots of attic junk decorating the walls, Fuddrucker's is a cafeteria-style burger-rama. 2 TVs, 7 video games, animal claw money sucker, gumball machines. 1666 S. Entertainment Ave., 208-246-8639; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

41.2° Charlie Brown's

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

Charlie Brown's is next to Erotic City, so if you're looking to meet some exotic dancers between their shifts, this is the place to be. 3 TVs, 2 dart boards, 3 pool tables, 1 foosball table, 6 video games and a jukebox. 5783 Overland Rd., 208-322-9869; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-2 a.m.

41.4° Asiago's Ristorante

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

This perennial Best of Boise favorite may not have much in the way of bar games or big screens, but they do make their own pasta from scratch daily. 3423 N. Cole Rd., 208-323-1469; Mon.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

41.4° Cricket's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.25) served in a chilled glass

This neighborhood bar is a diamond in the rough. We stopped by on Taco Tuesday and were delighted to see a full all-you-can-eat taco bar for a mere two bucks with a drink purchase. Get your gut bomb and your drink on with barely a ten spot required. 3 TVs, 2 dart boards, 2 pool tables, 1 foosball, 1 shuffleboard, 4 video games. 1228 Oakland Ave., 208-344-6235; Mon. Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

41.5° Kessler's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

This cafe has a primo corner spot nailed down in Bown Crossing right where all the action happens. Transition from the coffee part of your day right into the cold beer part of your day all in one sitting at Kessler's. 3 TVs. 3110 S. Bown Way, 208-338-6632; Mon-Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

41.5° Balcony Club

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) served in a chilled glass

We've said it before and we'll say it yet again, the Balcony rocks. It's the best dancing in town; GLBT and straight-friendly. From the second story balcony, you can watch the world below. 4 TVs, 1 dart board, 2 pool tables. 150 N. 8th St. Suite 226, 208-336-1313; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

41.6° Emerald Club

Beer tested: Bud ($1.75 happy hour price) served in a glass

This Boise GLBT icon is steeped in tradition and just oozes goodwill to all. 2 TVs, 1 dart board, 2 pool tables, 3 video games, 1 Internet jukebox, 2 gumball machines filled with nuts (one cashews, one salted almonds), 1 Acme Crane Co. game (insert money for a chance to win a stuffed animal), 1 dance floor/DJ booth, 1 projection screen, 1 rainbow flag, 1 U.S. flag, 1 rainbow U.S. flag. 415 S. 9th St., 208-342-5446; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

41.7° Turf Club

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

From the Turf Club, sweeping views of the horseracing track and the Boise Front are worth whatever it takes to get invited up there. The clean, non-smoking environment and slightly professional atmosphere are in stark contrast to the smoky vibe in the Club House downstairs. 8 TVs, live horseracing and wagering. 5610 Glenwood Blvd., 208-322-7223; Mon., Wed., Thu., Sun. 10 a.m.-close, Tue., Fri., Sat. 6 p.m.-close.

41.8° Idaho Pizza Company, overland

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

If you've never been to an Idaho Pizza Company, you can't call yourself a true spud-stater. This location's adjoining game room is the size of Texas, making it paradise for gamers: cheap beer, slices o' pie and games galore. 4218 W. Overland Rd., 208-343-5455; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

41.9° Flying Pie pizzeria,Fairview

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

There's nothing better than a big pie and big beer. And there's nothing much cooler than having a specialty beer brewed just for you. Viva la Triple Pi! 2 video games. 6508 Fairview Ave., 208-376-3454; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

41.9° Gamekeeper

Beer Tested: Widmer Drop Top Ale ($4.50) served in a glass

A Boise classic. With live music several nights a week and Muzak picking up the slack, it's a posh little bar in which to relax. You'll find only two microbrews on tap. 1 TV. 1109 Main St., 208-343-4611; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

42.2° Sam's Place

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

This clean, well-lit bar has a squadron of fans overhead to help cut down the smoke. Hand-cut fingersteaks, the shrimp dinner and a gigantic plate of nachos help imbibers stay between the navigational beacons. 6 TVs, 2 pool tables, shuffleboard, 2 video games, jukebox, 3395 N. Five Mile Rd., 208-376-0074; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

42.2° Smoky Mountain Pizza, state street

Beer Tested: Coors ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

This cozy, comfortable pizzeria is just the place for a family, with large decks and indoor booths, as well as a small bar area. It's the place to go if food is the first thing on your mind. 1805 W. State St., 208-387-2727; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m.

42.4° Ben's Crow Inn

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Many a Boisean hops on two wheels and pedals out to Ben's for a Saturday afternoon of cold beer, clam buckets and horseshoes. And if you're more of the four-wheeling type, have no fear, there's ample parking. 2 TVs, patio. 6781 Warm Springs Ave., 208-342-9669; Mon.-Sun. 9:30 a.m.- close

42.4 Ben's Crow Inn - JOSHUA ROPER

42.4° Highlands Hollow

Beer Tested: Spoon Tongue Ale ($3.25) served in a chilled glass

This much-loved establishment has no desire to have the coldest beer in town because they understand that the coldest doesn't mean the best. 4 TVs and a giant fireplace. 2455 Harrison Hollow Rd., 208-343-6820; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

42.5° Da Vinci's

Beer Tested: Michelob Ultra ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

This former bank is a favorite stop every year in our quest for the coldest beer. This year, the bartender was convinced the taps were colder, so we had a look at last year's temp—a slightly warmer 45 degrees. Yep, it's colder this year. Coldest beer next year? 2 TVs. 190 E. State St., 208-939-2500; bar: Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-close.

42.6° The Lift Bar and Grill

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

With the unusually shaped stainless-steel counter (it kind of looks like a multi-humped camel on its side) this bar has a shiny-new feel to it. 4 TVs, 3 video games, 1 pool table. 4091 W. State St., 208-342-3250; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-close.

42.8° Kahootz Steak and Alehouse

Beer tested: Bud ($3.75) served in a chilled glass

There are 43 beers on tap. The bartender sometimes wears a T-shirt that reads, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." 1 TV. 1603 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-895-9861; Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

42.8° Mr. Lucky's

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Professional race car driver and bar owner Dave Parrie once wiped out in a race and walked away from the wreckage. He called his bar Mr. Lucky's. It's the premier NASCAR-themed bar in town. 6 TVs, 2 pool tables, 1 video game, 1 jukebox, 4902 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-327-0925; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

42.8° Old Chicago, Boise Towne Square

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

Three words: Drink And Shop. The new face on Towne Square expanded the seating area and we are delighted. How many days 'til Christmas? Who cares ... let's drink and shop now! 7 TVs. 350 N. Milwaukee, 208-321-0033; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

42.9° Cottonwood Grille

Beer tested: Bud ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

Lodge-like atmosphere, refined menu, and rocky patio make this the perfect place to catch up with friends (and possibly spot the ghost of Hemingway). 2 TVs, classical music. 913 W. River St. , 208-333-9800; Mon.-Satt. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

43° Pengilly's Saloon

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

After years of being a smoke-filled bar, Pengilly's is now smoke-free, and we love the change. It's still a classic saloon and the historic decor is a fantastic backdrop for the local acts that grace the stage. The bar regulars even offered up a pickled quail egg as an appetizer to our Official Tester. 1 TV. 513 W. Main St., 208-345-6344; Mon.-Sun. 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

43.1° Papa Joe's

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

Papa Joe's is a classic college hangout that features big sloppy sandwiches (we love the Capone) made from family recipes. Bring a change of shirt and save room for gelato. 2 TVs. 1301 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-344-7272; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

43.3° Flying Pie Pizzeria, state street

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a glass

Not so much a bar as a wide space with two bar stools. But it's not the atmosphere that draws customers here—it's the pizza. This is one of the smaller locations for the long-time Boise favorite, but it's still a great place to grab a meal and a beer. Some video games. 4320 W. State St., 208-345-8585; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

43.7° 10th Street Station

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($1.50) served in a chilled glass

The staircase descent to 10th Street Station conjures up memories of sitcom addiction ("Norm!"). Its underground location, memorabilia laden walls and smoky atmosphere make this the perfect neighborhood bar right in the heart of downtown. 2 TVs. 104 N. 10th St., 208-344-2677; Mon.-Thu. noon-1 a.m., Fri. noon-1:30 a.m., Sat. 5 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

43.7° O'Michael's Pub

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.75) served in a chilled glass

A big fireplace will warm you up after a day on the slopes, the dead animals on the wall will make you feel like you just got back from an African safari, and the legion of sociable regulars will make you feel like a regular, too. 6 TVs, 1 pool table. 2433 Bogus Basin Rd., 208-342-8948; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-close, Sun. 10 a.m.-close.

44.1° The MilkyWay

Beer Tested: Blue Moon ($4) served in a frosted glass

At the home of the Ten Minute Martini, it was hard to pass that up to get a beer instead. 205 N. 10th St. Suite 101, 208-343-4334; Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon.-Thu. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-midnight.

44.1° Piper Pub and Grill

Beer Tested: Bud ($2) served in a chilled glass

Piper Pub is the prodigal son of one of Boise's classic dining institutions, the Sandpiper. Piper Pub offers a vast selection of beer and cocktails and a menu chock full o' fine Americana fare. 5 TVs. 150 N. 8th St., 208-343-2444; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-1 a.m.

44.2° Lucky 13

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a plastic cup

Visit the legendary Hyde Park hangout while you can. As of August, we'll no longer be seeing middle-aged mountain bikers chilling in their soggy black shorts drinking beer and enjoying the eclectic pizza and sandwich offerings. When they move to their new location, it will really be a ride to get there—but it will be worth it. 2 TVs. 1602 N. 13th St., 208-344-6967; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

44.4° The New Frontier

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2) served in a chilled glass

The New Frontier takes the term "happy hour" to a new level. They also offer a welcoming environment and you'll always see folks there having a good time. They also feature live music so it's a great place to go dancing. Beer+games+music=a very happy time. Horseshoes, pool, video games. 116 E. Broadway Ave., Meridian, 208-888-9034; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

46.7° Gernika

Beer Tested: Scrimshaw ($3.50) served in a chilled glass

Ah, Gernika: the only place better than home. Simple, delicious Basque food and fabulous service keep the regulars going back. 202 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-344-2175; Mon. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

44.3° Bardenay, Eagle

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($3) must request chilled/frosted glass

With all the handcrafted spirits, the tap selection is hardly the specialty here. Half the size of its downtown location, Bardenay Eagle boasts a riverfront view. 4 TVs. 155 E. Riverside Dr., Eagle, 208-938-5093; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-close, Sun. 10 a.m.-close.

45.8° Front Door Pizza

Beer Tested: Widmer Pale Ale ($4) served in a frosted mug

This little restaurant is nestled in under its big brother, Reef. Front Door has an amazing selection of beer matched only by the delicious food.

5 TVs. 105 S. 6th St., 208-287-9201; Wed. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat. noon-2 a.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m.

47.7° Pair

Beer Tested: Coors Light ($2.75) served in a glass

When you walk into Pair, you notice the lounge feeling right away. They took home four Martini Mix-off 2007 Awards so start your weekend off right, and visit this location before you bar-hop downtown. 1 TV. 601 W. Main St., 208-343-7034; Mon.-Sun. 4 p.m.-close.

48.1° River Rock Ale House

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3) served in a chilled glass

The tap selection in this strip-mall joint is astounding and certainly lends credence to the claim of the bar and restaurant's name. In the years since its opening, River Rock has slowly come into its own, maturing into the kind of neighborhood stomping grounds so many places try to achieve. 4 TVs. 228 E. Plaza St., Eagle, 208-938-4788; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

49.4° Main Street Bistro

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($3.25) served in a glass

This is a great college bar with plenty of pool tables, TVs and places to sit and watch people go by. 20 TVs, 1 foosball table, 5 pool tables, beer pong. 609 W. Main St., 208-345-9515; 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

54.1° Idaho Pizza Company broadway

Beer Tested: Bud Light ($2.50) served in a chilled glass

If having a slice of pizza and a glass of beer are on your to-do list, stop here. Just bring your own ice. 2 TVs. 1677 Broadway Ave., 208-343-1011; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m.

2nd to warmest: Tablerock Brewpub and Grill - FRANCIS DELAPENA

53.9° Tablerock Brewpub and Grill

Beer tested: Woodpecker Ale ($2.50) served in a glass

Every wall is a different color, perhaps reflecting the variety of homemade beers available. 7 TVs, signboard next to entrance detailing Fulton St. parking rules. 705 Fulton St., 208-342-0944; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

 

Comments are closed.