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The Cactus



Website: N/A (When you're an infamous dive bar, you don't need an online presence)
Address: 517 W Main Street Boise, ID 83702
Phone Number: (208) 342-9732




Total Score
3.5/ 5

User Rating
7 total ratings



The cheapest, strongest drinks you'll find around


Did we mention the cheapest, strongest drinks you'll find around?

Bottom Line

Boise’s favorite dive bar stays busy shelling out stiff drinks at a fair price.

Posted June 6, 2013 by

Full Article

The Cactus is Downtown Boise’s most popular dive bar. It’s especially known for its cheap drinks that will have you on the floor in no time! This Downtown establishment has changed its location a few times during its 50 year run, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the value of the drinks. At only $2 for well drinks, it’s easy to get in an altered state of mind pretty quick.

Self-described as a whiskey bar, the Cactus has enough hooch on hand to make Ernest Hemingway jealous. However, feel free to try out a whole array of drinks from their nightly specials to their Infused Vodka Bloody Mary (A BBG favorite) to their 17 different beers on tap. And with them starting at only $2, you can afford the variety. Just remember to bring your George Washingtons, though, as the Cactus is a cash-only bar.

With a pool table, pinball, an assortment of arcade games, big screen TVs and a covered patio, the Cactus offers plenty of space and activities to join your Cacti-brethren for a couple cocktails. Even if the “dive bar” scene isn’t your thing, fear not. The Cactus enjoys patronage from college students to business men to the quintessential biker dude. And at the heart of the Downtown bar scene, it’s a great place to start a night out.

Quick Shots

    • Opened: Approximately 1960
    • House Specialty: Infused Vodka Bloody Mary, a spicy concoction that is sure to relieve the worst of hangovers.
    • Cheapest drinks: $2 wells, domestic drafts and 16 oz. PBR cans.
    • Strongest drink: The always potent AMF
    • Most popular drink: $2 well whiskey (choose your favorite mixer, if you so desire)
    • Beers on tap: 17, including 10 micro-brews, ranging from Coors Light to Shock Top to Sam Adams.
    • Activities: Pool (1), Pinball and a couple arcade games.


    • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m., 365 days a year (a firm believer in the “Hair of the Dog” philosophy)

Happy Hour

Who needs a Happy Hours when your wells are always $2?

Mike Says

The Cactus is probably my favorite bar to start off a night Downtown. The cheap drinks, quick, knowledgeable bartenders and eclectic crowd always makes it a fun place. It is a smoking bar, so for those of you who don’t enjoy that, the patio on a nice Summer night is pretty sweet. And it’s pretty much open all the time, so it’s probably the most reliable bar for a bad day Downtown. (Note: we don’t encourage drinking away problems). The one downfall about the Cactus is the bathrooms, at least the men’s. So if you’re pee-shy, I’d recommend another restroom. However, this is a small price to pay, given everything else.”

Matt Says

A self proclaimed Downtown dive bar and will someday be in the dictionary under the phrase “Dive Bar.” A great patio area really ties the bar together. For the cheap drunks, you can go and talk with friends on the patio. For the classy drunks, you can play pool at the pool table. And if you can pull yourself out of your parent’s basement, the nerdy drunks can play pin ball and classic arcade games. The Bartenders are friendly and the drinks are great! It is a fun place to go and quench your thirst after you spent all your quarters on laundry, pizza, and that $10.00 necklace from Wal-Mart that will help you “seal the deal” with the hottie from the party last night.”

Ryan Says

The Cactus is a great place to go for cheap strong drinks and it never has a cover charge. They claim to be a whiskey bar, but they have some amazing house infused vodka and house made tomato juice. Which, when combined, makes one hell of a Bloody Mary. With $2 wells and $2 domestics from 10am to 2am every day of the week, the Cactus is definitely a cheap place to get your drink on. For bar snacks, they offer jerky and pickled eggs.”

Ryan Schulz

Profile photo of Ryan Schulz


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