The 10 Best Bars In Downtown Portland, Oregon

Photo of Sarah Lantz
9 February 2017

In downtown Portland, the food capital of the Northwest, you can’t go wrong with an adventure out to the bars. We’ve picked some of the best and most unusual bars in this Oregon city.

Ground Kontrol in downtown Portland | © Eddie Codel/Flickr

Ground Kontrol

Bar, Wine Bar, Pub Grub
Beer tasting at Bailey's Taproom
Beer tasting at Bailey's Taproom | © meli-lewis/Flickr
A classic game arcade, Ground Kontrol is the place to release your inner nerd, with more than 60 old-school videogames and 27 pinball games. It’s an excellent place to check out if you’re tired of the typical bar scene – it’s perfect for a non-traditional date night and includes a Ms. Pac-Man-themed women’s bathroom. Serving beer, wine, cider, and a selection of mixed drinks as well as a full menu of munchies, here you’ll find provisions enough to last the entire night.

Bailey’s Taproom

With a healthy list of draft beers and ciders and a happy bottle list, Bailey’s Taproom is the place to go for a good beer in Portland. Bailey’s Taproom offers 24 rotating taps that represent the entire range of beer styles, with a patronage to Oregon breweries. Try anything from a dry Irish stout on tap to a bottled Belgian blonde, all USA brewed.

213 SW Broadway Portland, OR USA +1 503-295-1004

Multnomah Whiskey Library

Bar, American, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Pub Grub, $$$

Located inside a library, Multnomah Whiskey Library lets you enjoy the company of your friends and satisfying cocktails in a secluded place or drink a dram of whiskey to yourself, curled up with a book. Try mixed drinks like the Old Fashioned or an Autumn Chu-Hai, made with Satsuma Shiranami Shochu, ginger-honey, and sparkling water. Or, simply taste a select variety of Scottish, Irish, and American whiskeys. A collection of Kentucky bourbons are also available, as well as brandies, rums, gins, vodkas and tequilas.

Slow Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, Beer
Brix Tavern
Brix Tavern | © EaterPDX/Flickr
Serving tasty drinks like Hot Buttered Rum with spices and apple cider and Slow Bar Manhattan with Fighting Cock bourbon and a dollop of sweet vermouth, the Slow Bar in downtown Portland is worth a visit. They’ve got a nice selection of wines from Willamette to Portugal to Argentina, from prosecco and sparkling bruts to reds, whites and rosés.

Brix Tavern

A refined, open tavern with mirrors and an exposed ceiling, Brix is a good choice for a relaxing evening with an elegant cocktail. Some sample drinks on their Early Happy Hour menu includes a flavorful Huckleberry Gimlet with a hint of fresh lime and a Honey Smoked Margarita with a dash of bitters. Their wine list comprises mostly West Coast reds and whites.

1338 NW Hoyt St. Portland, OR USA +1 503-943-5995

Paragon Restaurant & Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, Beer, $$$
Three Degrees at RiverPlace Hotel
Three Degrees at RiverPlace Hotel | © Terry F Luehmann/Flickr
Since Paragon has a happy hour menu that includes Street Tacos, Paragon Mac and Cheese, and Spicy Sweet Potatoes, you might as well make a meal out of your drink as well. Try a specialty cocktail like the Berry Infused Collins-Cooler-Drop with your choice of infused vodka. There are choice wines by the glass from house chardonnay to Lageder Pinot Grigio on the happy hour menu. Or you can go straight for the extensive wine menu. Located in the heart of the Pearl District of downtown Portland, Paragon Restaurant & Bar has an industrial and artsy vibe that is very Portland-esque.

Three Degrees

A delicious seafood and good eats restaurant in downtown Portland, Three Degrees also offers awesome cocktails. These include the Hawthorne Sour with Wild​ Turkey 101 bourbon, lemon, simple, angostura bitters, and soda and the Pina Picante with Herradura Silver tequila, pineapple, lime, ginger syrup, 5 Alarm pepper syrup, and Squirt. With a classy bar and dining ambiance, Three Degrees is everything you could want for a relaxing, yet refined happy hour.

RiverPlace Hotel 1510 SW Harbor Way Portland, OR USA +1 503-295-6166

La Merde

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, American, $$$
Driftwood Room
Driftwood Room | © miss.mallory/Flickr
Located next to its sister restaurant Le Bistro Montage, La Merde is an intimate, low-lit bar with exposed brick walls. Sip seasonal drinks like the daring Jabberjaw with Olmeca Plata Tequila, lemon, Bordeaux cherry juice, and Angostura Bitters on ice. Alternatively, try the sweet Hurricane Tia with Kraken rum, Bacardi Rum, passionfruit puree, and pomegranate syrup on ice. Happy hour bites include six different kinds of mac and cheese and mouthwatering Crawfish Hushpuppies.

Driftwood Room

Around since the 1950s, Driftwood Room is a swanky location in downtown Portland for a fine cocktail. Serving a hearty number of happy hour morsels like Sautéed Califlower and Grilled Flatbread, Driftwood Room dazzles with its food as well as wine list and cocktails. With seasonal cocktails like the Springtime in Paris with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, rhubarb bitters and champagne and signature cocktails like the Lavender Lemonade with Monopolowa Vodka, Farigoule French Thyme Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and lavender simple syrup, the Driftwood Room is a must-visit.

Hotel deluxe 729 SW 15th Ave Portland, OR USA +1 503-820-2076

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