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  • Writer's pictureJenna King


The Boise Bench is one of the most eclectic and unique neighborhoods. This section of the city contains not only charming homes and the famous Boise Depot but also amazing restaurants where patrons can find appetizing, global-inspired dishes.

Cucina di Paolo

Cucina di Paolo has been a Boise institute since Paul and Mary Jean Wegner opened the restaurant in 1993. The first thing to catch the attention of patrons is Betty, the famous motorized washwoman perched on the restaurant’s sign.

The dessert displays will probably be the next eye-catching feature of this small, brick restaurant. Mary Jean’s baked creations will make anyone’s mouth water. Here at Cucina di Paolo, you’ll find Italian and Northwest American cuisine on the menu. Almost everything is made from scratch, including the slow-roasted lasagna sauce. Hungry yet?


BBQ4LIFE is the epitome of Boise’s Bench neighborhood. This restaurant serves up traditional BBQ smoked in pecan wood and vegan dishes. That’s right, the meat lover and vegan can share a table at BBQ4LIFE and find something to please them both.

The restaurant began as a food truck in 2013, before moving into their Bench location. Whether you’re craving pulled pork or want some smoked tempeh, BBQ4LIFE delivers. They even can cater your next event!

Tango’s Empanadas

You’ll find a taste of Argentina at Tango’s Empanadas. Bite into the fluffy empanada to discover amazing combinations of flavor like chipotle sauce, potatoes, or handmade refried beans. Each of the empanadas at Tango’s is made to order, there’s no heating lamp in sight! Feel free to ask for substitutions, there are even gluten-free options.

Tango’s is opening a Meridian location soon, so keep an eye out in case you find yourself in that area of the Treasure Valley and craving a hot, tasty empanada!

Petite 4

Find a slice of France on Boise’s Bench at Petite 4. This charming bistro’s menu rotates often, but you’ll find specials that include a tartine, oyster, entrée and dessert. The restaurant has only been open since spring 2018, but it’s already gained fame including being named one of Yelp’s top 100 places to eat.

On the weekends, grab breakfast at Petite 4! The bistro dishes up ricotta donuts, juice, and coffee on Saturday mornings to be taken home or enjoyed on the patio. A prix-fixe brunch is served one Sunday a month with a unique theme.

Have you been to any of these amazing Bench restaurants, or do you have another favorite that I didn’t mention? If you’d love to learn more about Boise’s Bench neighborhood, let me know!

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