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Drink Up: 10 Bloody Marys Worth Waking Up For

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The Bloody Mary is the cocktail world's most popular, and populist, kitchen sink of a drink. Anyone can make one, and you can add as many (or as few) ingredients as you wish. They're also versatile, meaning that even though they pair best with morning eggs, they can be knocked back any time. And sometimes, thanks to our city's aggressive picklers, they're so packed with garnishes you don't even need to order food. But you should, because you're a grownup now.

With Cocktail Week dragging its tired self to a close, there may be no better time to treat yourself to a tall glass of bloodshot-eye-opening vodka obscured by garlic, tomatoes and peppers, topped with pickled salads, meat sticks and whatever else your bartender finds in the fridge. Just about every bar in town has its own signature Bloody Mary, from neighborhood dives to high-end dens of craft mixology. These just happen to be our picks for 10 solid versions in range of choices and neighborhoods. Find a new one to try, and if you've got a favorite to share, let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Blossoming Lotus

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1713 NE 15th Ave
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 228-0048
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It’s not listed on their (online) menu, but Irvington’s vegan (and often raw) eatery makes one mean Bloody. If you like ‘em thick and chewy, you’ll like this one, thanks in large part to some coarsely chopped garlic. But BL’s Bloody also comes across as a sort of drinkable vegan chili — yes, what you’re tasting there are liberal doses of both cumin and freshly pressed cilantro juice.

2. Cafe Nell

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1987 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 295-6487
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Owner Vanessa Preston says Cafe Nell’s Mary Nell is probably the most photographed Bloody in town. Spiked and skewered with celery, discs of Olympic Provisions chorizo, Tillamook cheddar cheese cubes, pepperoncini, and cocktail olives and onions, it’s certainly one of the most salad-y. What’s in the mix, though, remains a mystery: The recipe’s so closely guarded that the bar manager mixes up a batch only after the cafe’s doors get locked for the night.

3. Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar

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7937 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 408-1414
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You’re brunching at Adam and Jackie Sappington’s Country Cat for the chicken, but their Proud Mary — a smokey, cayenne-rimmed Bloody served in a glass mug — should help table your hunger until it arrives. And if your belly gets to too much rumbling, you can always gnaw on the drink’s strip of candied house-cured beef jerky.

4. Cricket Café

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3159 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-9348

Sunnyside’s corner breakfast (and lunch) cafe offers a half-dozen Bloody Marys, and all of them, save the Bloody Maven, get progressively spicier. That said, the Maven’s much milder mix lets the flavors of the sake and the cucumber-infused vodka shine through. (Comes with a pearly cocktail onion served plum in the crux of a pair of half-split chopsticks.)

5. Genies Cafe

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1101 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 445-9777
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Here be Bloody Marys — 14 of them in fact, ranging in spice from simple black pepper, horseradish and Scotch bonnet all the way up to the throbbing, Scoville-chart-topping Scorpion Bloody. For that one, the mix is stirred with vodka infused with Trinidad Moruga scorpion peppers, while the garnish comes with pepperoncinis, peppadews and, you guessed it, a real scorpion.

6. Oso Market & Bar

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726 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

Anchored by its trifecta of Kachka, Oso Market, and Dig A Pony, the corner of SE Grand and Morrison just might be the city’s hottest little pocket when it comes to late night eats and drinks. But on weekend mornings Oso rules the roost with an abbreviated brunch service that hits all the right spots, especially with its garlicky and pimentón-spiced Bloody Mary.

7. Radar

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3951 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227
(503) 841-6948
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Named after co-owner Lily Tollefsen’s pops, Radar offers some pretty mean brunch plates — the mousse-smooth bluefish pâté and the smoked pork shoulder are both keepers (which explains why they’re featured on the dinner menu, too) — and either pairs exceptionally well with Tollefsen’s well-blended roasted peppercorns and garlic Bloody, made with top-shelf Swedish potato vodka.

8. Smokehouse 21

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413 NW 21st
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 373-8990
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This barbecue joint doesn’t do brunch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink off last night’s final rounds with a round (or two) of their Mason jar Bloody Marys. Each one comes with a meat-and-veggie garden’s worth of fixin's (including a fat hot-link coin), and for the coup de grâce, a salted rim made from the same rub that gets massaged into the pigs that are smoked into pulled pork.

9. Trinket

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Gina Helvie’s open-daily breakfast spot is known for its duck eggs Benedict and its spot-on French dips, but the slow-burning Cure — Helvie’s “healthier” version of the Bloody Mary made with carrot, beet, and ginger juice shots — restores you, even if your goal is to get decidedly un-restored.

10. The Woodsman Tavern

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4537 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206
(971) 373-8264
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You know those classic milkshakes? The ones served in long, tall, brimming glass that come with tall steel cups filled with what wouldn’t fit? The Woodsman’s Bloody is served sort of like that, except that it’s not made to order. In fact, each Bloody is self-contained in its own glass bottle and is made a full week before serving — the better to round off all its acidic edges, providing you with a far dryer (and smoother) brunch cocktail.

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1. Blossoming Lotus

1713 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

It’s not listed on their (online) menu, but Irvington’s vegan (and often raw) eatery makes one mean Bloody. If you like ‘em thick and chewy, you’ll like this one, thanks in large part to some coarsely chopped garlic. But BL’s Bloody also comes across as a sort of drinkable vegan chili — yes, what you’re tasting there are liberal doses of both cumin and freshly pressed cilantro juice.

1713 NE 15th Ave
Portland, OR 97212

2. Cafe Nell

1987 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR 97209

Owner Vanessa Preston says Cafe Nell’s Mary Nell is probably the most photographed Bloody in town. Spiked and skewered with celery, discs of Olympic Provisions chorizo, Tillamook cheddar cheese cubes, pepperoncini, and cocktail olives and onions, it’s certainly one of the most salad-y. What’s in the mix, though, remains a mystery: The recipe’s so closely guarded that the bar manager mixes up a batch only after the cafe’s doors get locked for the night.

1987 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209

3. Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar

7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

You’re brunching at Adam and Jackie Sappington’s Country Cat for the chicken, but their Proud Mary — a smokey, cayenne-rimmed Bloody served in a glass mug — should help table your hunger until it arrives. And if your belly gets to too much rumbling, you can always gnaw on the drink’s strip of candied house-cured beef jerky.

7937 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

4. Cricket Café

3159 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 97214

Sunnyside’s corner breakfast (and lunch) cafe offers a half-dozen Bloody Marys, and all of them, save the Bloody Maven, get progressively spicier. That said, the Maven’s much milder mix lets the flavors of the sake and the cucumber-infused vodka shine through. (Comes with a pearly cocktail onion served plum in the crux of a pair of half-split chopsticks.)

3159 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR 97214

5. Genies Cafe

1101 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Here be Bloody Marys — 14 of them in fact, ranging in spice from simple black pepper, horseradish and Scotch bonnet all the way up to the throbbing, Scoville-chart-topping Scorpion Bloody. For that one, the mix is stirred with vodka infused with Trinidad Moruga scorpion peppers, while the garnish comes with pepperoncinis, peppadews and, you guessed it, a real scorpion.

1101 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

6. Oso Market & Bar

726 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Anchored by its trifecta of Kachka, Oso Market, and Dig A Pony, the corner of SE Grand and Morrison just might be the city’s hottest little pocket when it comes to late night eats and drinks. But on weekend mornings Oso rules the roost with an abbreviated brunch service that hits all the right spots, especially with its garlicky and pimentón-spiced Bloody Mary.

726 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

7. Radar

3951 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227

Named after co-owner Lily Tollefsen’s pops, Radar offers some pretty mean brunch plates — the mousse-smooth bluefish pâté and the smoked pork shoulder are both keepers (which explains why they’re featured on the dinner menu, too) — and either pairs exceptionally well with Tollefsen’s well-blended roasted peppercorns and garlic Bloody, made with top-shelf Swedish potato vodka.

3951 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227

8. Smokehouse 21

413 NW 21st, Portland, OR 97209

This barbecue joint doesn’t do brunch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink off last night’s final rounds with a round (or two) of their Mason jar Bloody Marys. Each one comes with a meat-and-veggie garden’s worth of fixin's (including a fat hot-link coin), and for the coup de grâce, a salted rim made from the same rub that gets massaged into the pigs that are smoked into pulled pork.

413 NW 21st
Portland, OR 97209

9. Trinket

Portland, OR

Gina Helvie’s open-daily breakfast spot is known for its duck eggs Benedict and its spot-on French dips, but the slow-burning Cure — Helvie’s “healthier” version of the Bloody Mary made with carrot, beet, and ginger juice shots — restores you, even if your goal is to get decidedly un-restored.

10. The Woodsman Tavern

4537 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

You know those classic milkshakes? The ones served in long, tall, brimming glass that come with tall steel cups filled with what wouldn’t fit? The Woodsman’s Bloody is served sort of like that, except that it’s not made to order. In fact, each Bloody is self-contained in its own glass bottle and is made a full week before serving — the better to round off all its acidic edges, providing you with a far dryer (and smoother) brunch cocktail.

4537 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97206

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