Renowned as the hipster capital of the USA, it is an uncontested fact that Portland, Oregon has some of the best night-life in the country. Enjoy a variety of places from the city’s traditional establishments to its more eclectic ones like Jones Bar. Here are 10 of the best bars in this fascinating city.
On the southeast side of Portland you can find one of the most deliberately old-school cocktail joints in the city. Rum Club, part tiki bar, part dive bar, offers an atmosphere few other establishments can top. Stop by during the day for one of their expertly crafted cocktails, like the popular Old Quartermaster, which includes aged Guyana rums, blended and smoky scotch, px sherry, Benedictine, and orange oil.
The Tannery has a good food menu and some delicious cocktails, with choice such as the Quince Jones (white dog whiskey, sour byrrh, quince shrub, and soda). With its list of wines and in-house fermented barley wines, this bar is an essential stop on a tour of Portland waterholes.
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Grab a freshly baked pretzel and a few frothy pints of Bavarian beer and join the fun at Prost! on Portland’s north side. This inviting neighborhood pub offers the best selection of German beers on tap in Portland, along with some of the best small plate options in the city as well. Head out to the outdoor biergarten with friends to share the two-liter ‘das boot’ with some traditional landjäger sausage.
Functioning as the upstairs bar of Raven & Rose Restaurant in the historic Ladd Carriage House is The Rookery Bar, one of Portland’s most impressive night spots. This bar is brimming with history, achieving a majestic ambiance through its overhead wooden beams, dark-marbled bar, and leather upholstery. Come for the full barrels of bourbon and tequila, which deliver on a host of craft cocktails including the Pisco Punch and Sloe Gin Fizz, and come back for the live music, and the Irish music on Tuesday nights in particular.
For one of the best burger bars in Portland, come to Tilt, a self-professed ‘blue-collar’ establishment committed to serving American classics such as hamburgers, pies, and beer. Portions are generous and there are some delicious cocktails made fresh to order. The cobb salad and woody royal burger – with bbq brisket, bacon, jalapeno slaw, cheese, and onion rings – are particularly good.
Paddy’s Bar, Portland, Oregon | Ryan Harvey/Flickr
For an eclectic dance club that shows off Portland’s 1980s and 1990s dedication, head to Jones Bar in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood. Jones Bar is a popular spot for Portlanders looking to dance to classic tunes. Make sure you visit during Happy Hour.
Located in Portland’s historic Power’s Building in the downtown area, Paddy’s Bar offers an old-school pub ambiance. Featuring an inventory of 500+ spirits, the largest proportion being whiskey, Paddy’s Bar elevates the reputation of the old familiar Irish pub. Be sure to try the fish and chips and shepherd’s pie.
Underneath Clyde Common on the city’s southwest side lies Pépé Le Moko, Portland’s finest subterranean bar. Served from a fluorescent lit and stainless steel bar, the bartenders tweak classics like the ‘grasshopper’, adding a few drops of Fernet and a touch of sea salt to reinvigorate this favorite.
In the Sabin neighborhood of northeast Portland lies Free House, a remarkable bar that too often goes unnoticed by tourists and those new to the neighborhood. With a cozy interior and an inviting patio out back, Free House has mastered the art of making patrons feel welcome, by delivering a subtle yet effective menu of small plates and inventive cocktails, classic bar food, and a local tap list.
Connected to Higgins restaurant, a venue known for featuring local and sustainable dishes, Higgins Restaurant & Bar is a natural addition to one of the most upstanding restaurants in the city. With a cocktail list that has stood the test of time, its no wonder Higgins Restaurant & Bar has remained largely unchanged over the years.