Craft cocktails and chef-driven bar menus are great and all, but sometimes love cries out for a simpler poison: stiff pours, Rainier tall boys, and greasy piles of crispy-fried potatoes in a variety of shapes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our sordid little town practically runs on the back of its neighborhood dives — the beloved spots with stained carpets, blacked out windows, and iconic outdoor signage which acts like a beacon for those looking for a low-key bar experience. It’s enough that several newer cocktail bars serve as homages to the old-school dive; however, this map is dedicated to the tried-and-true standards, authentically and endearingly dive-y.
While Portland has kept its dive bar scene alive better than other cities, they were still uniquely hurt by the pandemic and the safety precautions around it — pivoting to takeout isn’t really what dives are about, and the cocktail to-go legislation was basically meaningless to most, if not all, of them. But many managed to survive largely thanks to their diehard clientele, who supported them out on rainy patios and in socially-distanced dining rooms throughout the pandemic. Today, they’re a testament to Portlanders’ drive and loyalty while still being a reliable place for a quick, cheap drink.
Per usual, we’re not ranking these — the list is organized geographically.
Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.Read More