Portland Bar Guide

Portland’s Top 50 Bars

From happening new hot spots to longtime favorites, these are the best bars in the city right now.

By Shannon Daehnke, Ramona DeNies, Katherine Chew Hamilton, Michelle Harris, Andrew Jankowski, Conner Reed, Margaret Seiler, Julia Silverman, and Matthew Trueherz August 23, 2022 Published in the Fall 2022 issue of Portland Monthly

WHAT MAKES A BAR BELOVED? Is it the design, the atmosphere, the drinks, the food, the people-watching, the fact that it’s right around the corner from your office, or that the bathroom alone could make a mighty magazine spread? All of these and more—that’s where we landed. For our dive into Portland’s bar scene, we looked at fresh new arrivals, belly-filling stalwarts, and places to drink your blues away (or drink ’em down). This town has bars for everyone, whether you’re a Thorns fana year-round Halloween devotee, a vintage-vibes hound, or a tequila fanatic. Pull up a stool, and join us in a toast to the 50 best bars in Portland right now (and, in some cases, for the past several decades or near-century, too). Of course, the number of beloved drinking establishments in this city well exceeds 50. For other faves, check some of these:

Jump to your quadrant:
North / Northeast / Northwest / Southeast / Southwest


The Alibi

Turning 75 in summer 2022, the Alibi is one of our favorite baby boomers, born in the postwar frenzy for all things South Pacific. A tiki touchstone that's been a standard of the karaoke scene for as long as a karaoke scene has existed, this North Portland spot is the perfect place to forget you're not really in a tropical paradise. Inside, you are, and can belt out some Don Ho to prove it. 4024 N Interstate Ave —MS

Bar Bar

If the ironic name didn't lay it out for you, the abundance of PBR cans should do the trick. Though it serves as the bar for the adjoined concert venue Mississippi Studios, Bar Bar is its own beast. The sprawling patio, equipped with a fire pit and a dozen or so sidewalk picnic tables, makes Bar Bar feel like a permanent block party at the center of one of the city's busiest nightlife strips. 3943 N Mississippi Ave —MT

Florida Room

With its dark interior, opening hours that barely catch the daylight in winter, and smoker- and dog-friendly shaded patio, the Florida Room is a real grown-up bar, but for grown-ups who like sea creature murals, a back-room photo booth, pinball, a vending machine that includes mystery items from She Bop!, spiked slushies, and saucy marquee messages. 435 N Killingsworth St —MS


If a fortune teller ran their business out of their house but decided to serve drinks instead of palm reading—that's the mystical vibe inside this repurposed Mississippi street house. Its sideyard patio regularly hosts covered outdoor movie nights, screening classics like Spirited Away and Blue Velvet3560 N Mississippi Ave —MT

Tulip Shop Tavern

Who needs In-N-Out when Tulip Shop provides the city with its late-night burger needs—plus excellent fries, onion rings, a well-curated beer list, a no-BS cocktail menu, and a cozy covered back patio to boot? Come early on Wednesdays for the often-sold-out special: hand-dipped corn dogs. 825 N Killingsworth St —KCH


Victoria's expansive, bamboo-lined patio is a hot spot 365 days a year. (Literally and figuratively; they have an impressive amount of heaters.) Inside is an equally open space that's not too fancy and not too dive-y (they have the right kinds of glassware and ice for myriad cocktails, but they also have ironic, Portland-centric vending machines and a photo booth), serving up vegan friendly bites and well-executed versions of mostly classic cocktails. 4835 N Albina Ave —MT


Bar Cala

Bar Cala is, no doubt, a place to be seen. But pink neon and vibey tropical plants aside, this place knows how to put together a warm-weather cocktail 365 days a year. Expect loud music, cross your fingers you won't have to wait in line to get in, order the Tepaché Mode drink once you do, and snack on Bar Cala-monogrammed chips while you sip the fermented pineapple cocktail sitting on a gold stool at the bar. 2703 NE Alberta St —MT


Once a mini-empire with so many locations they had to be numbered (RIP to Chopsticks 3: How Can Be), the surviving Chopsticks remains the ultimate neighborhood karaoke bar with a little something extra. Expect a celebratory, not show-offy, scene. 3390 NE Sandy Blvd —MS

Don't spill your drink on the record player at Expatriate.


As you might expect from power couple Kyle Linden Webster, bartender supreme, and Naomi Pomeroy, star Portland chef, the bar bites here are just as much of a draw as the craft cocktails. While the two-cheeseburger plate is perfect for sharing, our go-to dish is the crackly wonton nachos with Thai chile–kissed Velveeta, lime leaf, lemongrass beef, and mint. 5424 NE 30th Ave —KCH

A drink (and a work of art) at Hale Pele

Hale Pele

Grant Park
Perhaps Portland's most devout tiki bar, Hale Pele has the smoke machines and synchronized rainforest sound effects of a Disneyland ride, but you'd never know it from its beige strip-mall storefront. Getting a spot at this cozy slice of paradise can be tricky, but sipping a fully done-up piña colada while standing in front of a doughnut shop as you wait your turn has its own charms. 2733 NE Broadway —MT


The downstairs space at Les Caves


Les Caves/Le Clos

Les Caves is the basement drinking den with a speakeasy vibe and a funky wine selection, and Le Clos is its backyard annex, a partly enclosed fancy shack that was just what we needed in the pandemic. Hungry? Fancy grilled cheese sandwiches on Dos Hermanos sourdough, filled with the likes of Havarti, Georgian adjika pepper paste, mortadella, and Hood River apple butter, are the natural accompaniment to the wild and wonderful wines on offer. 1719 NE Alberta St —KCH


Retro vibes abound at the Lift Off Lounge, where you can kick back with an OnlyFans martini.


Lift Off Lounge

Rose City Park
The vibe of the Lift Off Lounge is best expressed as a question: What if swingers from space really loved the 1950s? This dimly lit art-deco watering hole sports rocket-shaped garbage cans, an anthropomorphic moon, and a free-to-play jukebox with such contemporary hits as “The Girl Can’t Help It” by Little Richard. The whole place glows Martian-green, and it occupies a sorely lacking middle ground in Portland’s bar scene—not quite pretentious, not quite a dive, with a clientele that spans gruff to yuppie with several stops in between. A mean, green grasshopper (think boozy Shamrock Shake) is the star of the menu, but don’t sleep on the OnlyFans martini, which pairs a passion fruit–forward mezcal moment with a cava chaser served on ice, or the Door County old-fashioned, which subs rye for cognac, Wisconsin-style. The food is not the point—though the surprisingly affordable (and well-battered) onion rings will keep you full, as will the perfectly acceptable chicken sandwich. It’s all about the ambience and the cocktails, baby. 5216 NE Sandy Blvd —CR

Moon & Sixpence

This dark-wood den is everything you want in a British pub: a smooth-topped bar counter where it's as easy to chat up a stranger as it is to sit alone with a book; a reliable menu with fish and chips, curry fries, Welsh rarebit, sausage rolls, and cottage pie; darts and a bookshelf with games to borrow; 20 taps that offer a mix of beer styles and cider, local and faraway; and a huge patio out back with tables for groups and a couple of cozy heated booths. 2014 NE 42nd Ave —MS


Jeffrey Morgenthaler (left) and Benjamin Amberg at Pacific Standard

Pacific Standard

The newest iteration of the bar at the Icelandic hotel group Kex’s Portland outpost, Pacific Standard fills an untapped niche: a distinctly Portland hotel bar. The expansive space is littered with faux-eclectic furniture and a myriad of sconces, to remind you that you’re in a hotel. A menu of crudités, old-fashioneds, and shrimp cocktails follows suit. But you’ll quickly recognize this as a space for locals, too. That menu, curated by local cocktail legend Jeffrey Morgenthaler, is a crafty brand of people pleasing. An “all-day” Bloody Mary is there for jet-lagged guests. A $54 crab Caesar salad and caviar-spiked French onion dip cater to those with expense accounts but sit comfortably next to the $16 “Drive Thru” burger for normal people. Cocktails range from no-proof to low-proof to a limit-two-per-customer espresso martini that refines the trendy drink; it’s translucent, mahogany-colored, and served in a quietly elegant Nick and Nora–style glass. A rosé negroni brings a sea-air spin to its bitter Italian muse: a touch of salt and fragrant lemon twist turn the pink drink more summer dress than double-breasted aperitif. Bring your laptop, or a hot date. 100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd —MT

Sandy Hut

Going on 100 years of business, the Sandy Hut is half diner, half dive, and wholly a huge patio out back with tables for groups and a couple of cozy heated booths. It's full of wood paneling, faux leather and kooky paintings of vintage celebrities that never set foot in the place, making it feel a bit like your grandma's living room—which is probably why it's always packed. 1430 NE Sandy Blvd —MT



The game is afoot at the Sports Bra.


Sports Bra

Sullivan's Gulch
Any game day—for WNBA, NWSL, women’s tennis or golf, college softball, and more—can bring a crowd to this minors-allowed sports bar dedicated to showing women and nonbinary athletes. People aren’t swarming in for the food and drink, though the fried cauliflower in a shallow pool of cilantro tahini is crave-worthy, the cocktail menu (backed by woman-owned Freeland Spirits) will make you stand at attention for the bourbon-peach Title IX or the Balance Beam’s take on an old-fashioned, and the tap list showcasing women brewers offers a good mix for hop-hounds and easy-drinking lagerheads alike. No, the crowds are here for the joy of not having to ask someone to please turn on a women’s game, and the thrilled of watching the thing you’re most excited about in public with other people who are just as pleased to be there. If there’s no live game, expect replays or highlights series. On a really slow sports day, a vintage Jane Fonda workout might pop up. 2512 NE Broadway —MS


Come here on the gloomiest November day and pretend that you are somewhere else. Everyone else is having their signature pina colada, with fresh pineapple, coconut, and Salem dark cherries—you should too. And it's worth the few extra bucks to super-size it, so you can drink from the pineapple shell. 2337 NE Glisan St —JS


Pinball is a hell of a lot more fun when you aren’t sinking handfuls of quarters. Gorge yourself on unlimited pinball for a cool $12 while enjoying burgers, house-made chicken nuggets, and fruity cocktails. Play an impressive selection of over 20 rotating machines, from the soft glow of the 1979 Incredible Hulk to the flashy holograms of the 2020-made Led Zeppelin. 3728 NE Sandy Blvd —KCH


Were you craving some fried broccoli and a just-right burger with garlic dill pickles? Or were you after a rye-and-bitters cocktail and some face time with one of the friendliest bartenders in town? Or do you just live in Concordia and consider Wilder your second home? Whatever brought you in, you'll probably find plenty of new reasons to linger at this neighborhood favorite. 5501 NE 30th Ave —MS


Bar Diane


Bar Diane

Northwest District
Oysters and bubbles are the draw at this tucked-down-an-alley wine bar. What might be the longest list of tinned fish options (eight) in the city, and a much longer wine list make Bar Diane a go-to west-side spot for a classed-up happy hour. Entrance through the gate next to 645 NW 21st Ave —MT

M Bar

Northwest District
The diminutive M Bar has long been a favorite haunt of this town's ink-stained wretches, and one glance at the tightly edited wine and beer list shows why. No froufrou cocktails here, and almost no food save a cheese plate to which you can add tinned anchovies or sardines for an upcharge. But who cares, when the pours are generous and the gossip is prime? 417 NW 21st Ave —JS

Mary's Club

Old Town-Chinatown
A SW Broadway landmark for decades, Mary's is a souvenir-sweatshirt-worthy Portland institution, a multigenerational family business, and one of the only strip clubs in the world with a resident author. It hopped a few blocks to new home in December 2021 after a building sale, but regulars had no trouble settling right in. 503 W Burnside St —MS


Northwest District
Is Paymaster the only place in the city where you can play pool on a patio? The Slabtown spread is buzzing day and night and if you do make it inside (most of the bar is a large covered area served by a drink window) there's a photo booth waiting in the back. 1020 NW 17th Ave —MT

Pink Rabbit in the Pearl District


Pink Rabbit

Pearl District
Pink neon and a copper bar set the tone at this club-y Pearl District cocktail bar. It's loud and it's fun, the kind of place where lots of cocktails have garnishes clipped to their rims with miniature clothes pins. 232 NW 12th Ave —MT


Takibi’s bar has a view of the kitchen.



Northwest District
This Japan- and Oregon-inspired restaurant doubles as a modern, charmingly spare cocktail bar, serving libations with the likes of umeboshi and Japanese whiskey. Adding to the quirkiness: titanium mugs and foldable backpacking chopsticks from the attached Japanese camping boutique Snow Peak. Bar manager Lydia McLuen, who’s worked at Bar Casa Vale and the Hoxton, was one of Imbibe magazine’s 2022 list of 75 people changing the industry nationwide. Beverage director Jim Meehan, of legendary New York bar PDT, has authored some of the industry’s most definitive guides to mixed drinks. If you’re feeling snackish, Cody Auger, former chef at Nimblefish, helms the kitchen, serving the likes of fried oysters, sashimi, and wood-fired trout. Cocktails overflow with inventive combinations. Our top choice is the Violet Hour, McLuen’s take on the New York Sour. Here, piquette from Willamette Valley’s Dionystic replaces the wine, and Stone Barn Brandyworks’ haskap berry liqueur adds cheer. Or try the Rose City, with two vermouths, cherry matsutake brandy (another Stone Barn number), and Ayers Creek red currant preserves for a drink that’s bold and tangy. 2275 NW Flanders St —KCH


Teardrop Cocktail Lounge

Mixology gets graphic at this cocktail bar, where drinks are placed from lighter to heavier on the x-axis, and with qualities like “bright and crisp,” “arid and aromatic,” and “spicy and bold” along the y-axis. Or choose from a list of seasonal drinks, or allow the bartenders to create a custom drink. Owner Daniel Shoemaker was a pioneer in Portland’s craft cocktail scene, opening this bar in 2007, but despite its legendary status, it doesn’t take itself too seriously: your drink might arrive in a vintage art deco–style coupe, but it’s equally likely to be served in a Baby Yoda tiki mug. 1015 NW Everett St —KCH


Aalto Lounge

While this bar wasn't designed by its namesake (you have to go the Mt Angel Abbey to find the nearest Alvar Aalto building, the monastery's library), its sleek midcentury look is a firm nod to the Finnish architect. But even if it looked like an ill-lit department store dressing room, we'd be lured in at happy hour for the $4 cocktails and $4 grilled cheese. 3356 SE Belmont St —MS


This menu-less spot has big-city cool. Northeast 28th is knee deep in bars, but Angelface stands out with its deep mix of made-how-you-like-them drinks. Action orbits around a horseshoe bar and the space blends hip speakeasy and Parisian sidewalk café vibes, making for a surprisingly approachable if not quasi-escapist experience. 14 NE 28th Ave —MT

Bar Norman

The move at this breezy natural wine bar is to go with whatever they're pouring, order a board of cheese and charcuterie, and people watch from the street-side covered patio on SE Clinton Street. The staff of wine geeks will steer you towards a glass of whichever bottle floating around the ice chest that sits on the bar they're most excited about at the moment. Ask questions, since this spot takes a lot of the presumed exclusivity out of the natural wine game. 2615 SE Clinton St —MT


Mt Tabor
This high-ceilinged Victorian bar is the perfect date spot, with an expansive, dog-friendly patio for that initial meet-up and intimate pub booths for when things are a little further along. A good burger, vegetable side dishes prepared with attention, and A-plus chickpea fritters can help fill any awkward silences, not to mention the expert cocktails. 6031 SE Stark St —MS

Bible Club

This Prohibition-era speakeasy is resplendent with antiques: glassware and chandeliers, a tin ceiling, and an ornate, turn-of-the-century cash register all keep the world-building air of time-travel alive. 6716 SE 16th Ave —MT


Decked out with clown dolls and a large painting of John Quincy Adams with eyes that seem to follow wherever you go, this Central Eastside spot lives up to its name. The low-lit bar stays relatively dark even during daytime, with octopus chandeliers and red leather booths. It’s like stepping inside a haunted mansion, only you can order stiff drinks and burgers. 627 SE Morrison St —MH


Crush has pivoted away from its reputation as a cabaret bar since the pandemic started, leaning instead on its kitchen and cocktail menu. Southeast Portland’s longest-running queer bar tends to attract a more middle-aged crowd than some of its contemporaries, ranging from elder millennials to silver-hued Gen X’ers taking in artisan old-fashioneds and citrus-infused cocktails. 1400 SE Morrison St —AJ


Cocktails find a fine-dining, future-focused edge at this sleek, off-the-beaten-path Southeast Portland bar. Maybe your full-flavored drink has been centrifuged to become completely clear? Or maybe it somehow marries chocolate and cumin in a refreshingly citrusy sipper. 2133 SE 11th Ave —MT


The Oaxacan Sunrise at Hey Love

Image: Michael Novak

Hey Love

There's nothing like day-drinking at Hey Love, the in-house bar at the terminally hip Jupiter Next hotel, to make you feel like you're part of the in crowd. A pioneer in the city's boozy slushy scene, we're partial to their "Master of Karate and Friendship," which packs a wallop by mixing up "funky" rums, puréed strawberries, lime, and rosé for $11. Charlie and Dennis would approve. 920 E Burnside St —JS


Bartender Lil shakes it up at Holy Ghost.


Holy Ghost

This neighborhood “haunt” on the corner of SE 28th and Gladstone (the corner once home to the Pub at the End of the Universe) is a little bit of everything: part tequila bar, part swanky saloon, and wholly home to celebrity cocktail mixing appliance Jake the Shake (a.k.a. Shake Gyllenhaal), which delivers a very foam-forward “5 Minute Ramos Gin Fizz.” If you don’t want to wait the “extremely long time” (as the menu warns) for the gin to fizz, try the refreshing coconut pineapple “Siete” Ranch Water—it’s what tequila soda wishes it could be, and we’d come back for the grapefruit salt rim alone. Honorable mentions include the intriguing “PBR Bucket: 4 PBRs in a Shiny Bucket” and the selection of mocktails using N/A whiskey and gin. Check out the attached microrestaruants for food: you can precariously carry an entire mushroom pizza from the Electric Pizza Company back to the bar with you. 4101 SE 28th Ave —SD

Horse Brass Pub

Perhaps the most authentic of Portland's British pubs, the Horse Brass no longer deserves its storied reputation for smoke-filled air, but it's still among your best bets for fish and chips, bangers and mash, and no fewer than 59 beers on tap—just what the doctor ordered on a cozy, rainy Portland night. 4534 SE Belmont St —JS

Reel M Inn

Surprisingly, fish and chips are not the draw at this fishing-themed dive bar. Instead, Reel M Inn offers the city’s best fried chicken and jojos—well worth the long wait. And in the meantime you can soak up the holiday lights and shoot some pool. 2430 SE Division St —KCH

Rum Club

Come for the city's best daiquiris, stay for the late-night shot-skis and mini cuban sandwiches. Rum Club straddles the line of after-hours industry bar, and halfway-classy cocktail spot, making great use of its tiny triangle-shaped, Sandy Boulevard footprint. 720 SE Sandy Blvd —MT

Sapphire Hotel

Mt Tabor
The dimly lit Sapphire Hotel seems tailor-made for assignations, preferably of the illicit kind. Our pick off their reliably creative cocktail menu: the Going Up, with serrano tequila, lime, cilantro, and salt, served up, of course. Get a room, you two! 5008 SE Hawthorne Blvd —JS


Much scotch at Scotch Lodge

Scotch Lodge


At this dark-wood whiskey grotto tucked into the Central Eastside Industrial District space formerly occupied by ramen shop Biwa, the burly “Namesake” cocktail (Bowmore 12, maybe, spiked with cherry and Cynar) is just a gateway quaff. Behind the deep marble bar are hundreds of coveted bottles, from a cask-strength Glenfarclas 105 to a Long-row Campbelltown single malt. 215 SE Ninth Ave —RD

The Slammer

It's Christmas year-round on the ceiling of this ramshackle bar at the corner of Stark and Sandy that looks like series of fire code violations from the outside, and is one of the friendliest fodder-for-your-novel places in town on the inside. 500 SE Eighth Ave —MS


Abigail Hall in the Woodlark Hotel downtown

Abigail Hall

The poster child of a hotel bar that appeals to locals, we're especially fond of the "feeling spritz-y" section of the cocktail menu—citrus and bubbles in all kinds of creative combos. Plus, how can you not root for a place where the menu includes the express option to buy the entire room a shot? 813 SW Alder St —JS


Let's be clear: Departure is a special-occasion, Sunday-best kind of bar. You're paying for the view and the ambience, not just the drinks, which skew pan-Asian, like the rest of the menu. Try a 75-ish, with lychee-infused Timberline vodka and toasted coconut syrup, or pick from a long menu of sake-by-the-glass choices. 525 SW Morrison St —JS

Driftwood Room

Goose Hollow
Put on something nice and round up your classy Rat Pack to meet you at this sleek midcentury bar just off the lobby of the classic-film-obsessed Hotel deLuxe. Or just treat yourself to a solo drink at the bar and do your own Hollywood time warp. 729 SW 15th Ave —MS


For all the bounty of the Northwest, it can seem strange that the oldest restaurant in town has a reputation for ... turkey? The featured cocktail at the gorgeous bar in the back is just as geographically improbable yet a perfect match for the grand skylit space that feels like a cross between Grand Central Station and the Titanic: Spanish coffee, served with a magician's flair—not to mention flare, as the drink is on fire. 411 SW Third Ave —MS

Kelly’s Olympian

This downtown stalwart is equal parts office worker happy hour mainstay and late-night rock venue, with one of the best neon signs in the city and more motorcycle décor than seems called for. In a region where "Olympian" can mean a lot of things (athletes, mountains, charcuterie companies, etc.), it's heartening to know that the bar's name refers to the availability, when it opened in 1902, of Olympia beer. 426 SW Washington St —MS


Goth Disneyland is an inspiration at Raven’s Manor.


Raven’s Manor

Old Town-Chinatown

Whoever visited Disney’s Haunted Mansion and thought, “Hey, this would be a lot more fun if I had a glow-in-the-dark, potentially poisoned radioactive cocktail in my hand!” was, a visit to Raven’s Manor confirms, definitely right. Home of the fictional Dr. Raven—a mad scientist with a very vague backstory—this 5,000-square-foot themed cocktail lounge is decked out in kitschy cool haunted décor. Skeletons hang from the rafters, dolls sit eerily in chairs, the bathrooms are stained with fake blood, there are organs (both musical and anatomical), and plenty of creepy things pickling in jars. Enjoy a Bloody Eyeball shot—a lychee ball with a blueberry pupil and an uncannily eyeball-ish texture—in the candlelight, an absinthe and elderflower Necromancer cocktail that tastes like Halloween in springtime, or a tropical Ectoplasm served with dry ice in a frosty skull mug by someone who may be in costume or just sporting their everyday elf ears. 235 SW First Ave —SD


Scandals is the last surviving gay bar along the stretch of Harvey Milk Street once known as Vaseline Alley. The bar still hosts karaoke, drag shows, dance parties, art receptions, jazz concerts, and brunch, and started serving a small menu of bar staples shortly before its next-door neighbor the Roxy closed in March 2022. The bar has mellowed out over the past few years, but a lively mix of downtown office workers, college students, tourists, and residents keeps the place busy and worth popping into. 1125 SW Harvey Milk St —AJ

Yamhill Pub

This densely graffitied, heavily stickered, darkened downtown den of day drinkers on the MAX line should be the first stop on any real tour of Old Portland. Open since 1933. 233 SW Yamhill St —MS