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A cocktail at The Houston Blacklight sits on a table with the mapo tofu fries and milk bread sausage pull-apart bread.
The This is Love cocktail and various snacks from the Houston Blacklight.
Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland

The Cocktail Heatmap: Where to Drink Right Now in Portland

The most exciting new bars in Portland, February 2024

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The This is Love cocktail and various snacks from the Houston Blacklight.
| Molly J. Smith/Eater Portland

Like its culinary scene, Portland’s bar world continues to evolve and grow, with new lounges and taverns opening all the time. At bars across the city, inventive, balanced cocktails arrive alongside creative bar snacks and full-on meals often tailored to the drink menu instead of the other way around. While the heatmap rounds up the best new restaurants and food carts, this map directs drinkers to the hottest or newest cocktail bars that are worth the hype — specifically ones that have been open for less than a year. For more bar options, the essential bar map rounds up the best, longstanding watering holes.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Dream House bar

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The Northeast Portland century-old foursquare house that was once home to the laidback watering hole Beech Street Parlor is once again inhabited by a bar. At Dream House, Brighid King and Tony Lambright shake and stir cocktails like serrano-infused margaritas and hibiscus toddies, all in the $12 to $15 range. The Autumn Sweater infuses bourbon with peppercorns, pairing it with Bonal and honey simple for a sweet, earthy rainy weather drink. While you can perch on the house’s front patio or in the living room bar, cozier drinking nooks can be found in the house’s upstairs rooms — be sure to check the bar’s Instagram for the DJ schedule.

Ami Taylor, Brighid King, and Tony Lambright outside Dream House. 
Dream House

The Uncanny

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The interior of this mysterious vibed bar looks much like its predecessor Psychic Bar, but offers an extensive menu of themed cocktails, including riffs on New Orleans classics  — think: Vieux Carrés with coconut Scotch and tepache sherry, or Sazeracs with chanterelle and wakame. The bar’s take on a Hemingway daiquiri is particularly fun, with a grapefruit-cinnamon cordial and passionfruit for a tiki element. Food includes bar standards like burgers, nachos, and Parmesan-garlic fries.

This vegan cocktail bar from the team behind the Sudra and Lightning Bar Collective pairs jalapeño-cream cheese wontons and sambol barbecue sauce-slathered “chicken” sandwiches with passionfruit punches in fish bowls and shots incorporating mangosteen-jasmine water. The flavor combinations in drinks here are thoughtful and smart — Presence and Form adds depth to the smokiness of Scotch with the inclusion of pu-erh, while the citrusy gin cocktail Lightning Strikes gets a hit of salinity from salted plum. Nonalcoholic drinks are no afterthought, either, using ingredients like roasted pineapple shrub, orgeat, and rosewater.

Below by Botanist

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Northwest Portland’s tropical-vibed, subterranean bar balances its lively, borderline clubby atmosphere with a varied cocktail list and a dialed-in Filipino and Hawaiian food menu from Hapa Barkada. Rum and agave spirits hold significant real estate on the menu, from a hot buttered rum fragrant with anise and cinnamon to the Imaginary Smoke, which lives up to the name with Union mezcal and Valencia orange tequila. The Juniper Williams is a menu highlight, topping a blend of Aviation gin, Carpano Classico dry vermouth, and lemon juice with raspberry aquafaba.

Collector Bar

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From the folks behind garage-chic wine bar Company, Collector Bar is a menagerie of tchotchkes and knickknacks in the Ocean building on Glisan, making it a fun spot for a solo beverage or a first date. Guero bar manager Ben Skiba helped design the bar’s menu, which includes fun, approachable, spirit-forward numbers like the sundried tomato-infused martini known as the Italian Jazz Club, or the Free Dreams with mezcal, vermouth, amaro, and Italian herbal liqueur. Nonalcoholic drinks incorporate cool booze-free spirits like Sanbitter and Oregon’s own Wilderton.

Too Soon

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This stylish bar from Deadshot’s Adam Robinson and Nick Flower of the cocktail pop-up Face/Off is the newest addition to East 28th’s restaurant row. Fans of savory cocktails will enjoy the House Special, Flower’s concoction infused with fragrant curry spices and bell pepper. On the lighter side, the bar’s quaffable highballs come in variations like apple and horseradish, celery and shiso, or mango and chili using ice-cold Haku vodka on tap. Imbibers that make it to last call are treated with a warm chocolate chip cookie on the house.

Dirty Pretty

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Industry vet Collin Nicholas’s latest venture is his first foray into the east side, leaving the familiar territory of the Pearl District where his bars Pink Rabbit and Fools and Horses reside. At Dirty Pretty, culinary elements like saffron, a pho-wash, and clarified honey are weaved through the cocktail menu, while executive chef Alex Wong serves small plates like a spicy hash anchored by pork and shrimp shu mai and the Hawaiian-inflected fried saimin.

La Patroncita

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The feminine decor at this bar from Lucy De León of Salsa Locas (aka Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon’s) fame provides a festive backdrop to flirty date nights and fun group hangs. Drinkers may sip on an I Wish You Roses (vodka, triple sec, rose, beet, aquafaba) as the namesake Kali Uchis song plays or the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (tequila, serrano, coconut, pineapple, Tajín) as Selena filters through the speakers. Patrons order upon entry before being seated — the piña colada, available with or without alcohol; tacos on pink house-made tortillas; and cinnamon sugar buñuelos are all hits.

The End

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Fun-loving energy is palpable in the cocktail and food menus at The End, a bar opened by a supergroup of Portland bartending talent and chef Sam Smith. Hey Love co-owner Emily Mistell’s twists on classic cocktails include a s’mores-topped espresso martini, a Buffalo wing-flavored michelada with Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese, and a buttered popcorn Old Fashioned. To snack on, soft pretzels come with kimchi Velveeta dip and Cup Noodles are rigged to taste like esquites, complete with crema, Tajín, and lime.

Clinton Street’s Libre is part dessert bar, part cocktail bar, from the people behind the Sweet Creature pop-up and pan-Asian vegan restaurant Norah. The bar menu leans heavily on mezcal, pairing the smoky agave spirit with everything from espazote citrus bitters or Aimsir cold brew bourbon. Drinks range from the spirit-forward to the bright and light; the mole milk punch with vanilla and lime lands somewhere in between. Gabriella Martinez designs desserts that work with similar flavor palettes, like El Principo, which combines corn husk meringue and sweet corn mousse with mezcal epazote gel.

The Houston Blacklight

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In certain ways, walking into this Southeast Clinton spot feels like stepping into an energetic ’70s cocktail bar, with its round leather booths and neon art evocative of a blacklight poster. From the team behind Oma’s Hideaway and Gado Gado, the food here is similarly eclectic — Buffalo shrimp salad toasts arrive at tables next to mapo tofu gravy fries — but the cocktails also show a remarkable amount of versatility while remaining balanced. Sure, you’ll find plenty of fun slushies and Jell-O shots here, ones made with soursop or guava or pandan; however, the bar’s simpler drinks are well executed and focused, like the Luck in All Its Forms, a Vesper sporting fennel-infused gin and the Alpine notes of Génépy. Mocktails here are also no afterthought, blending yuzu kosho with strawberry.

Dream House bar

The Northeast Portland century-old foursquare house that was once home to the laidback watering hole Beech Street Parlor is once again inhabited by a bar. At Dream House, Brighid King and Tony Lambright shake and stir cocktails like serrano-infused margaritas and hibiscus toddies, all in the $12 to $15 range. The Autumn Sweater infuses bourbon with peppercorns, pairing it with Bonal and honey simple for a sweet, earthy rainy weather drink. While you can perch on the house’s front patio or in the living room bar, cozier drinking nooks can be found in the house’s upstairs rooms — be sure to check the bar’s Instagram for the DJ schedule.

Ami Taylor, Brighid King, and Tony Lambright outside Dream House. 
Dream House

The Uncanny

The interior of this mysterious vibed bar looks much like its predecessor Psychic Bar, but offers an extensive menu of themed cocktails, including riffs on New Orleans classics  — think: Vieux Carrés with coconut Scotch and tepache sherry, or Sazeracs with chanterelle and wakame. The bar’s take on a Hemingway daiquiri is particularly fun, with a grapefruit-cinnamon cordial and passionfruit for a tiki element. Food includes bar standards like burgers, nachos, and Parmesan-garlic fries.

XO Bar

This vegan cocktail bar from the team behind the Sudra and Lightning Bar Collective pairs jalapeño-cream cheese wontons and sambol barbecue sauce-slathered “chicken” sandwiches with passionfruit punches in fish bowls and shots incorporating mangosteen-jasmine water. The flavor combinations in drinks here are thoughtful and smart — Presence and Form adds depth to the smokiness of Scotch with the inclusion of pu-erh, while the citrusy gin cocktail Lightning Strikes gets a hit of salinity from salted plum. Nonalcoholic drinks are no afterthought, either, using ingredients like roasted pineapple shrub, orgeat, and rosewater.

Below by Botanist

Northwest Portland’s tropical-vibed, subterranean bar balances its lively, borderline clubby atmosphere with a varied cocktail list and a dialed-in Filipino and Hawaiian food menu from Hapa Barkada. Rum and agave spirits hold significant real estate on the menu, from a hot buttered rum fragrant with anise and cinnamon to the Imaginary Smoke, which lives up to the name with Union mezcal and Valencia orange tequila. The Juniper Williams is a menu highlight, topping a blend of Aviation gin, Carpano Classico dry vermouth, and lemon juice with raspberry aquafaba.

Collector Bar

From the folks behind garage-chic wine bar Company, Collector Bar is a menagerie of tchotchkes and knickknacks in the Ocean building on Glisan, making it a fun spot for a solo beverage or a first date. Guero bar manager Ben Skiba helped design the bar’s menu, which includes fun, approachable, spirit-forward numbers like the sundried tomato-infused martini known as the Italian Jazz Club, or the Free Dreams with mezcal, vermouth, amaro, and Italian herbal liqueur. Nonalcoholic drinks incorporate cool booze-free spirits like Sanbitter and Oregon’s own Wilderton.

Too Soon

This stylish bar from Deadshot’s Adam Robinson and Nick Flower of the cocktail pop-up Face/Off is the newest addition to East 28th’s restaurant row. Fans of savory cocktails will enjoy the House Special, Flower’s concoction infused with fragrant curry spices and bell pepper. On the lighter side, the bar’s quaffable highballs come in variations like apple and horseradish, celery and shiso, or mango and chili using ice-cold Haku vodka on tap. Imbibers that make it to last call are treated with a warm chocolate chip cookie on the house.

Dirty Pretty

Industry vet Collin Nicholas’s latest venture is his first foray into the east side, leaving the familiar territory of the Pearl District where his bars Pink Rabbit and Fools and Horses reside. At Dirty Pretty, culinary elements like saffron, a pho-wash, and clarified honey are weaved through the cocktail menu, while executive chef Alex Wong serves small plates like a spicy hash anchored by pork and shrimp shu mai and the Hawaiian-inflected fried saimin.

La Patroncita

The feminine decor at this bar from Lucy De León of Salsa Locas (aka Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon’s) fame provides a festive backdrop to flirty date nights and fun group hangs. Drinkers may sip on an I Wish You Roses (vodka, triple sec, rose, beet, aquafaba) as the namesake Kali Uchis song plays or the Bidi Bidi Bom Bom (tequila, serrano, coconut, pineapple, Tajín) as Selena filters through the speakers. Patrons order upon entry before being seated — the piña colada, available with or without alcohol; tacos on pink house-made tortillas; and cinnamon sugar buñuelos are all hits.

The End

Fun-loving energy is palpable in the cocktail and food menus at The End, a bar opened by a supergroup of Portland bartending talent and chef Sam Smith. Hey Love co-owner Emily Mistell’s twists on classic cocktails include a s’mores-topped espresso martini, a Buffalo wing-flavored michelada with Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese, and a buttered popcorn Old Fashioned. To snack on, soft pretzels come with kimchi Velveeta dip and Cup Noodles are rigged to taste like esquites, complete with crema, Tajín, and lime.

Libre

Clinton Street’s Libre is part dessert bar, part cocktail bar, from the people behind the Sweet Creature pop-up and pan-Asian vegan restaurant Norah. The bar menu leans heavily on mezcal, pairing the smoky agave spirit with everything from espazote citrus bitters or Aimsir cold brew bourbon. Drinks range from the spirit-forward to the bright and light; the mole milk punch with vanilla and lime lands somewhere in between. Gabriella Martinez designs desserts that work with similar flavor palettes, like El Principo, which combines corn husk meringue and sweet corn mousse with mezcal epazote gel.

The Houston Blacklight

In certain ways, walking into this Southeast Clinton spot feels like stepping into an energetic ’70s cocktail bar, with its round leather booths and neon art evocative of a blacklight poster. From the team behind Oma’s Hideaway and Gado Gado, the food here is similarly eclectic — Buffalo shrimp salad toasts arrive at tables next to mapo tofu gravy fries — but the cocktails also show a remarkable amount of versatility while remaining balanced. Sure, you’ll find plenty of fun slushies and Jell-O shots here, ones made with soursop or guava or pandan; however, the bar’s simpler drinks are well executed and focused, like the Luck in All Its Forms, a Vesper sporting fennel-infused gin and the Alpine notes of Génépy. Mocktails here are also no afterthought, blending yuzu kosho with strawberry.

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