If a full bar is your altar of choice come Sundays, you proudly display and perform daily dustings and bottle-shinings on your prized rare Scotch collection while your wedding photos sit neglected and unframed in a box under the bed, and your personal motto is Shaken And Slurred, these Portland cocktail bars should probably be in your iPhone’s “Favorites” section.
If this weren’t Portland, the small town city where you’re almost sure to run into someone you know within 1 minute/1 mile of leaving your home, this dark and sultry little hotel bar would be the perfect place to have an affair. And it’s really easy to get a room after one too many Springtime in Paris champagne cocktails. Not that I’m encouraging your sordid antics.
Girls’ night, date night, weeknight, bad day at work night…somehow this stylish, lofty-ceilinged Italian restaurant meets any going-out criteria, and don’t even get me started on the late night happy hour--$6 wood-fired thin crust pizzas and $5 Campari & sodas? Yes, please!
There are plenty of good reasons to spend the evening here—sexy lighting, good looking hipster crowd, excellent cocktails, great prices, but number one on my list is the incomparable spaetzle.
Even if you aren’t normally a cocktail person (Huh? What?) order one of hottie bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s creations—the barrel-aged Negroni is a perfect accompaniment to the beautiful people-watching. PS: Now serving brunch on weekends--think black trumpet mushroom quiche, buttermilk waffles with chicken-fried quail, and beignets with maple cream.
Gorgeous, cerebral cocktails (like the Flip Kelly with grapefruit oil and a whole duck egg) and the cuisine to match (like the cabbage-stuffed rabbit saddle), in a sleek inner SE space that's kind of hard to find.
'Twas never a hipper place to sip a bottle of Miller High Life or cocktail, nosh on "gourmet stoner food", and gather with your most attractive friends to watch the Blazers/Timbers/etc game. If you're inspired to take up a sport yourself, but want to ease into things, there's pop-a-shot, pinball, skeeball, and foosball available.
It doesn’t get much more Frenchy la la than this achingly cute Clinton Street bistro, with its drippy candles, puff pastry-crowned escargot, and attached patisserie. Passing on the warm mini-madeleines would be up there with your starter marriage in the Biggest Life Mistakes file.
Easily in my top three favorite Portland cocktail bars, this handsome little space tucked behind Gruner restaurant is THE place to take your cocktail snob friends when downtown. Try the Bootstrap Buck or Heaven's Kickback.
When I get a ramen attack, and this happens fairly often, I make a dash for the counter of this buzzy Southeast noodle bar. Not only because I’m keen on the abura soba with spicy carrot, but because everyone knows that if you clean your ramen bowl, you get dessert, and Wafu’s desserts are usually something special. If the yuzu cream puff’s in stock, don’t hesitate.
Come weekdays, this Mississippi Avenue gastropub is the coziest of spots for a bottle of Manhattans (yes, they come by the bottle) and a pork loin sandwich; come weekends, stumble in and temper the effects of one too many bottles of Manhattans with a Bloody Mary and the cowboy rancheros.
A solid neighborhood joint with hip aesthetics and great food, thanks to chef-owner Eric Moore, who makes some dangerously delicious smoked mac 'n cheese. Love the wedge salad too. Hidden patio out back!