The Bench may be the most quirkily named neighborhood in Boise, but its moniker isn’t entirely nonsensical: Located on a mesa, the Bench is perched above the rest of Boise. The Bench is known for its sunny, big lots, and wonderful diversity.
Back in the late 1800s, Boise’s canal system transformed the arid land of the Bench into farms producing a bonanza of crops such as cherries and apples and hay. (The canal system is still used today, and some lucky Bench homeowners get to flood irrigate their backyards every year.) After WWII, the Bench exploded with new housing as Boiseans expanded their families. You can find a huge range of home and property styles on the Bench — everything from mid-century modern gems to new construction with panoramic views of the Foothills.
Today’s Bench is divided into three distinct, active neighborhoods: The Depot Bench, which surrounds Boise’s iconic train depot; the Central Bench, with its established houses and canals; and the West Bench, with its access to shopping hubs.
The Bench is also a foodie’s paradise. It’s home to some of Boise’s best ethnic restaurants and shopping, including food and groceries from Thailand, Argentina, Bosnia, Nepal, India, Ethiopia, and many more.