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Two Wrongs’ tiled bar sits snug against a brick wall, with built-in mirrored bar shelving
The bar at Two Wrongs
Dina Avila/EPDX

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now in Portland

The hippest new bars in Portland, February 2020

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The bar at Two Wrongs
| Dina Avila/EPDX

Portland loves its cocktails, so much so that every bar and restaurant seems to sport a “craft” cocktail menu. While maps like the Essential Bars round up the best, longstanding watering holes, this map directs drinkers to the hottest or newest cocktail bars that are worth the hype. From overhauled cocktail menus to popular hangouts, here are the 15 buzziest places to grab a mixed drink in Portland. To start off the new year, the sleek modernist bar Wonderly makes room for night club Two Wrongs and a new sleek, modernist bar Someday.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Xica Cantina

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1668 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 548-6343)
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The companion to Southeast’s Xico, Xica Cantina brings the same style of Mexican cuisine and agave spirits to Northwest Portland, but with a greater emphasis on the bar side of things. The long, multi-seated bar puts out juicy, agave-fueled cocktails, from the classic margarita to more creative drinks with Mexican rum or mole-spiced Campari. Aside from cocktails, Xica Cantina also offers an expansive array of mezcals, with half-ounce, full ounce, and ounce-and-a-half options. The cheerful, colorful space has a small play area for kids, just in case parents are looking for a spot to unwind.

2. Bar Diane

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Entrance on NW 21st Ave through the gate next to Eb & Bean
Portland, OR 97210

Tucked behind Eb & Bean on NW 21st Avenue, the gorgeous, cheerful Bar Diane was originally going to be all wine, but the added cocktails are no afterthought. The menu is rooted entirely in classics, inspired by co-owner Sami Gaston’s grandparents who had a cocktail hour promptly at five that included staples like gimlets and rob roys. Drinks like martinis and sidecars come in cute tumblers, giving more of a casual European café vibe than a that of a cocktail lounge, while drinks like an Americano and a vermouth spritz maintain the wine-focused nature of the shop.

Bar Diane’s juicy, rich sidecar
A sidecar at Bar Diane
Alex Frane/Eater
716 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209

R&R is dedicated to vacation vibes — the intimate space sports a marbled blue bar the color of Caribbean waves, and the hardwood booths have astroturf under each of them, all creating a kitschy but charming environment. The drink menu doesn’t get too crazy, mostly sticking to recognizably tropical staples like mai tais and daiquiris, as well as some originals; still, all the drinks are balanced and never overly sweet. Its food menu is just as fun, with dishes like breaded shrimp with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce, sweet potato fries with jerk mayo, and spam musubi.

4. Two Wrongs Portland

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617 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 279-2667
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Two Wrongs has shaken off its growing pains: While still primarily a club destination — especially in the later part of the evening — the gorgeously tiled bar offers an appreciable drink menu. More serious cocktail aficionados will appreciate the solidly made Wrong Fashioned and the botanical, refreshing Naked and Famous with mezcal and chartreuse, while those just looking for a stiff, fun drink can go for the Faderade, an iconoclastic mix of vodka and blue Gatorade which actually is pretty refreshing after a few hours of dancing. The slushy margaritas are enjoyable, too.

Two Wrongs’ bar is lit beneath the bartop and behind the built-in shelves, which are carved into the bar’s original brick walls
Two Wrongs
Dina Avila/EPDX

5. Tulip Shop Tavern

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825 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 206-8483
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The drinks at Tulip Shop Tavern are deeply straightforward — almost entirely reasonably priced, well-known, classic drinks, made without any drastic twist. That being said, they’re all made with aplomb by the Portland bar veterans who run the shop, and the specials board often has a few off-the-cuff drinks worth a try. The bar rocks a friendly neighborhood haunt vibe, especially with its vintage brick walls and peanut shells strewn across the floor. Murals hang both inside and on the back patio, and visitors can catch a live show inside or play free darts outside on the partially-covered patio.

6. Lulu

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726 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

Filling the space previously inhabited by the short-lived Lantern bar, Lulu opened in March with a tight menu of bright, juicy cocktails in line with the tropical trend that has gripped Portland. The Pretty Ugly is a standout, a vividly green cocktail of mezcal and kiwi. The drink matches the decor of the space, with a few plants and emerald wood-paneling standing out against the reserved, clean decor. A small list of draught beers, bottled beers, and a few wines by the glass fill out the drink menu, while the food involves tricked out banh mi and jojos.

7. Voysey

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615 SE Alder St
Portland, OR 97214

Only open Thursday through Saturday for now, the subterranean speakeasy Voysey mixes moody and elegant design with a cocktail menu that changes just about every week. The bar, helmed by industry veterans Jamie King and Katie Stipe, will eventually have a more permanent menu, but for now visitors will find all manner of bold, creative drinks, often with a weekly theme — for instance, an early January menu features ingredients thought of as “healthy” for the new year, like coconut water, turmeric, and green tea.

8. Scotch Lodge

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215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 208-2039
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The hotly anticipated Scotch Lodge from La Moule’s Tommy Klus has lived up to the hype in its time open. Its namesake cocktail — a smooth, rich, and smoky drink — is evocative of the whole affair: a bit playful, a bit elegant, and very bold. The veteran bar staff serves gorgeously garnished drinks while the kitchen puts out whimsically modern French bar food in an indigo-tinted den hidden from the bustle of the city.

9. Mestizo

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2910 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 384-2273
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A new Latin American restaurant from the owners of the next door vegan Thai restaurant Kati, Mestizo features colorful tiles, wide windows, and bright highlights. The cocktail menu offers a distinct take on “classics with a twist,” presenting a list of historic drinks that have been updated with agave spirits. For instance, the Medicina Latina is essentially a penicillin, with blanco tequila standing in for blended scotch, lime instead of lemon, ginger, honey, and a float of mezcal to mimic the smoky scotch that normally tops the drink. The Mezcal Al Pastor is a popular option, a cross between a margarita and a bloody mary, with pineapple, lime, mezcal, agave, and adobo sauce that adds some kick and savoriness. 

10. Someday

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3634 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

Helmed by two industry veterans, the warmly minimalist cocktail bar Someday is tucked down a colorfully painted alley and flanked by food carts. Here, owners Jessica Baesler and Graham Files embellish original concoctions with elements from the kitchen like tamarind and elevate rarer, more esoteric classic drinks from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Like the decor, the drinks are approachable, but elegant and complex. 

11. The Automatic Bar

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3652 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 206-5371
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Taking over the space formerly home to the beloved Victory Bar, the Automatic fills the niche of a comfy neighborhood bar with well-executed cocktails at reasonable prices. The main cocktail menu is full of bright, spritzy highballs and stiffer whiskey and mezcal drinks, but a menu of $5 cocktails during happy hour is where it really gets fun. Even the space feels a little brighter: The team pulled the old blinds from the windows, allowing more natural light to spill over the wall murals and tufted leather seating that adorn the space.

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Bacon Washed Bourbon Old Fashioned !

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12. Hi-Top Tavern

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5015 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 206-4308
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From the folks who delivered Old Gold and Paydirt’s “too much whiskey” bars, Hi-Top Tavern brings “too much liquor” to the Cully neighborhood, adding tequila and mezcal to the large collection of whiskey. Cocktails include well-worn classics with a twist and fun newbies like a basil-Campari spritz served in a pint. Hi-Top also brings a bold style with a fully mirrored, segmented back bar and cozy rooms tucked off the main one. As a bonus, it features a massive, half-covered patio.

13. The Lift Off Lounge

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5216 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

The emerald-green Lift Off Lounge rocks retro-futurist aesthetics mixed with an old-school Portland kind of vibe. The cocktail menu includes a pretty stellar banana daiquiri or thyme-infused gibson martini, but it’s fun, affordable, and well-executed. It’s easy to see the Lift Off Lounge being the locals’ new  neighborhood haunt.  

14. 5 & Dime

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6535 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

From two bartenders with serious cocktail backgrounds, the drinks at 5 & Dime are remarkably reserved: The bulk of the cocktail menu is devoted to straightforward classics, from “serious” drinks like old-fashioneds to more playful drinks like mai tais; still, a smaller list of original cocktails allows the bartenders to flex their creative muscles. The neighborhood-cocktail-bar vibe is made whole with its pricing (drinks average around $9 and $10), as well as the industrial but stylish interior, with green library lamps along the sprawling bar and tufted green leather furniture throughout.

1. Xica Cantina

1668 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

The companion to Southeast’s Xico, Xica Cantina brings the same style of Mexican cuisine and agave spirits to Northwest Portland, but with a greater emphasis on the bar side of things. The long, multi-seated bar puts out juicy, agave-fueled cocktails, from the classic margarita to more creative drinks with Mexican rum or mole-spiced Campari. Aside from cocktails, Xica Cantina also offers an expansive array of mezcals, with half-ounce, full ounce, and ounce-and-a-half options. The cheerful, colorful space has a small play area for kids, just in case parents are looking for a spot to unwind.

1668 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

2. Bar Diane

Entrance on NW 21st Ave through the gate next to Eb & Bean, Portland, OR 97210
Bar Diane’s juicy, rich sidecar
A sidecar at Bar Diane
Alex Frane/Eater

Tucked behind Eb & Bean on NW 21st Avenue, the gorgeous, cheerful Bar Diane was originally going to be all wine, but the added cocktails are no afterthought. The menu is rooted entirely in classics, inspired by co-owner Sami Gaston’s grandparents who had a cocktail hour promptly at five that included staples like gimlets and rob roys. Drinks like martinis and sidecars come in cute tumblers, giving more of a casual European café vibe than a that of a cocktail lounge, while drinks like an Americano and a vermouth spritz maintain the wine-focused nature of the shop.

Entrance on NW 21st Ave through the gate next to Eb & Bean
Portland, OR 97210

3. R&R

716 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

R&R is dedicated to vacation vibes — the intimate space sports a marbled blue bar the color of Caribbean waves, and the hardwood booths have astroturf under each of them, all creating a kitschy but charming environment. The drink menu doesn’t get too crazy, mostly sticking to recognizably tropical staples like mai tais and daiquiris, as well as some originals; still, all the drinks are balanced and never overly sweet. Its food menu is just as fun, with dishes like breaded shrimp with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce, sweet potato fries with jerk mayo, and spam musubi.

716 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209

4. Two Wrongs Portland

617 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Two Wrongs’ bar is lit beneath the bartop and behind the built-in shelves, which are carved into the bar’s original brick walls
Two Wrongs
Dina Avila/EPDX

Two Wrongs has shaken off its growing pains: While still primarily a club destination — especially in the later part of the evening — the gorgeously tiled bar offers an appreciable drink menu. More serious cocktail aficionados will appreciate the solidly made Wrong Fashioned and the botanical, refreshing Naked and Famous with mezcal and chartreuse, while those just looking for a stiff, fun drink can go for the Faderade, an iconoclastic mix of vodka and blue Gatorade which actually is pretty refreshing after a few hours of dancing. The slushy margaritas are enjoyable, too.

617 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

5. Tulip Shop Tavern

825 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

The drinks at Tulip Shop Tavern are deeply straightforward — almost entirely reasonably priced, well-known, classic drinks, made without any drastic twist. That being said, they’re all made with aplomb by the Portland bar veterans who run the shop, and the specials board often has a few off-the-cuff drinks worth a try. The bar rocks a friendly neighborhood haunt vibe, especially with its vintage brick walls and peanut shells strewn across the floor. Murals hang both inside and on the back patio, and visitors can catch a live show inside or play free darts outside on the partially-covered patio.

825 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

6. Lulu

726 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Filling the space previously inhabited by the short-lived Lantern bar, Lulu opened in March with a tight menu of bright, juicy cocktails in line with the tropical trend that has gripped Portland. The Pretty Ugly is a standout, a vividly green cocktail of mezcal and kiwi. The drink matches the decor of the space, with a few plants and emerald wood-paneling standing out against the reserved, clean decor. A small list of draught beers, bottled beers, and a few wines by the glass fill out the drink menu, while the food involves tricked out banh mi and jojos.

726 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

7. Voysey

615 SE Alder St, Portland, OR 97214

Only open Thursday through Saturday for now, the subterranean speakeasy Voysey mixes moody and elegant design with a cocktail menu that changes just about every week. The bar, helmed by industry veterans Jamie King and Katie Stipe, will eventually have a more permanent menu, but for now visitors will find all manner of bold, creative drinks, often with a weekly theme — for instance, an early January menu features ingredients thought of as “healthy” for the new year, like coconut water, turmeric, and green tea.

615 SE Alder St
Portland, OR 97214

8. Scotch Lodge

215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, OR 97214

The hotly anticipated Scotch Lodge from La Moule’s Tommy Klus has lived up to the hype in its time open. Its namesake cocktail — a smooth, rich, and smoky drink — is evocative of the whole affair: a bit playful, a bit elegant, and very bold. The veteran bar staff serves gorgeously garnished drinks while the kitchen puts out whimsically modern French bar food in an indigo-tinted den hidden from the bustle of the city.

215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102
Portland, OR 97214

9. Mestizo

2910 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

A new Latin American restaurant from the owners of the next door vegan Thai restaurant Kati, Mestizo features colorful tiles, wide windows, and bright highlights. The cocktail menu offers a distinct take on “classics with a twist,” presenting a list of historic drinks that have been updated with agave spirits. For instance, the Medicina Latina is essentially a penicillin, with blanco tequila standing in for blended scotch, lime instead of lemon, ginger, honey, and a float of mezcal to mimic the smoky scotch that normally tops the drink. The Mezcal Al Pastor is a popular option, a cross between a margarita and a bloody mary, with pineapple, lime, mezcal, agave, and adobo sauce that adds some kick and savoriness. 

2910 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

10. Someday

3634 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Helmed by two industry veterans, the warmly minimalist cocktail bar Someday is tucked down a colorfully painted alley and flanked by food carts. Here, owners Jessica Baesler and Graham Files embellish original concoctions with elements from the kitchen like tamarind and elevate rarer, more esoteric classic drinks from the ‘20s and ‘30s. Like the decor, the drinks are approachable, but elegant and complex. 

3634 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

11. The Automatic Bar

3652 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97211

Taking over the space formerly home to the beloved Victory Bar, the Automatic fills the niche of a comfy neighborhood bar with well-executed cocktails at reasonable prices. The main cocktail menu is full of bright, spritzy highballs and stiffer whiskey and mezcal drinks, but a menu of $5 cocktails during happy hour is where it really gets fun. Even the space feels a little brighter: The team pulled the old blinds from the windows, allowing more natural light to spill over the wall murals and tufted leather seating that adorn the space.

3652 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97211

12. Hi-Top Tavern

5015 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213

From the folks who delivered Old Gold and Paydirt’s “too much whiskey” bars, Hi-Top Tavern brings “too much liquor” to the Cully neighborhood, adding tequila and mezcal to the large collection of whiskey. Cocktails include well-worn classics with a twist and fun newbies like a basil-Campari spritz served in a pint. Hi-Top also brings a bold style with a fully mirrored, segmented back bar and cozy rooms tucked off the main one. As a bonus, it features a massive, half-covered patio.

5015 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97213

13. The Lift Off Lounge

5216 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213

The emerald-green Lift Off Lounge rocks retro-futurist aesthetics mixed with an old-school Portland kind of vibe. The cocktail menu includes a pretty stellar banana daiquiri or thyme-infused gibson martini, but it’s fun, affordable, and well-executed. It’s easy to see the Lift Off Lounge being the locals’ new  neighborhood haunt.  

5216 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

14. 5 & Dime

6535 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

From two bartenders with serious cocktail backgrounds, the drinks at 5 & Dime are remarkably reserved: The bulk of the cocktail menu is devoted to straightforward classics, from “serious” drinks like old-fashioneds to more playful drinks like mai tais; still, a smaller list of original cocktails allows the bartenders to flex their creative muscles. The neighborhood-cocktail-bar vibe is made whole with its pricing (drinks average around $9 and $10), as well as the industrial but stylish interior, with green library lamps along the sprawling bar and tufted green leather furniture throughout.

6535 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

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