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A picture of a Chinese food container full of fried chicken with a Rainier can and squeeze bottles of sauces at Revelry
Mrs Yang’s Fried Chicken at Revelry
Revelry/Official

18 Portland Bar Snacks Ideal for Any Night Out

From nachos to oysters, wings to fries

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Mrs Yang’s Fried Chicken at Revelry
| Photo by Revelry/Official

Oregon is an odd state in that there are strict rules governing alcohol sales and food — specifically, anytime an establishment serves hard alcohol, it also needs to provide hot food, and a few different options for it. And while some dive bars fall back on a few microwaved dinners or some chips with hot cheese, others bars go above and beyond, focusing as much on the food as they do on drinks.

From specialty nachos to the golden fried treats that help soak up the beer or whiskey from a long night out, these are 18 of the most essential bar bites in Portland. None of these are intended as a full meal (though some of them can be), and items that are too dependent on waiting around rather than ordered on a whim after a few drinks have been omitted (sorry, fried chicken at Reel M Inn). As usual, this list is organized geographically, not by rank.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fried Chicken at Marie's

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8727 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 283-0494

Marie’s, a St. Johns bar with hardcore Blue Velvet vibes, has become the home of Dub’s, a soul food pop-up known for its fried chicken. While its chicken and waffles is a killer meal any day of the week, the fried chicken “dinner” is a much more shareable bar snack — tender, crispy pieces of well-seasoned chicken are straight-up unreal dipped directly in the garlicky mashed potatoes.

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#friedchicken plain and simple

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2. Fried Cheese Curds at Saraveza

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1004 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 206-4252
Visit Website

When pairing bar snacks with beers, it’s hard to beat cheese curds, but they’re not readily found in the Portland area. Luckily, rustic, Packers-themed tap house and bottle shop Saraveza is all about Midwestern cuisine, serving baskets of golden-fried squeaky cheese curds. Crispy on the outside, with long stretches of molten cheese on the interior, they’re perfect paired with a crisp lager or hoppy IPA and a sports game.

3. Expatriate Nachos at Expatriate

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5424 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 867-5309
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While the dark, gilded lounge Expatriate is unmistakably a cocktail bar, it’s also a destination for its bar snacks alone. The James Beard sandwich is unconventionally good with just onion and butter on fluffy white bread, the hot and sour Indian spiced fries are a fun twist on a classic, but the Expatriate nachos are the real draw. Made with wonton chips, spicy lemongrass beef, and Thai chili cheese sauce for extra heat, the nachos pack a punch that is cooled with the addition of some cream. They’re only available between 5 and 6 p.m. or after 10 p.m. until close, but it’s well worth heading in for an early or late snack and a cocktail.

4. Mussels at Sardine Head

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5202 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 209-2091
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Sardine Head wine bar pops up weekly at the homey, plant-filled little cafe Sweedeedee, transforming it into an evening wine bar. Alongside a rotating list of natural wines by the glass and bottle, Sardine Head serves food inspired by the cuisine of Brittany on the coast of France. This means a lot of seafood, including decadent bowls of mussels floating in spiced crustacean broth touched with Kashmiri oil. A pro move is to order a side of bread to help sop up the broth, or just drink it straight. Sardine Head also helped introduce Portland to the delight that is tinned fish, and those are always worth a taste.

Pop up wine bar Sardine Head’s mussels
A bowl of mussels at Sardine Head
Cheryl Juetten/Official

5. Popcorn at the Knock Back

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2315 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 284-4090
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A friendly little neighborhood spot for craft cocktails and draught beers, the Knockback features an often under-appreciated drinking snack on its menu — popcorn. The generously portioned bowls of popcorn come two ways: The first is a vegan spiced popcorn tossed with cumin, paprika, and nutritional yeast. The dirty popcorn gets bacon bits, “popcorn spice,” Romano cheese, herbs, and capers for a meatier, heavier version.

6. Cajun Tots at McMenamins

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1504 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 288-9498
Visit Website

McMenamins has pubs, restaurants, and venues all across town, many of which are renovated and restored vintage buildings. And while the group can value consistency over overt quality, one thing cannot be denied: The cajun tots are legit — just barely spicy, but flavorful, salty, with crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside consistency like any good tater-tot. No matter what, it’s a reliable dish and honestly worth a visit just for them, especially with a cocktail made with one of McMenamins spirits.

7. Greek Fries at the Solo Club

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2110 NW Raleigh St
Portland, OR 97210
(971) 254-9806
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The window-lined, jewel-toned cocktail lounge Solo Club offers a full menu of bar snacks with a Mediterranean twist. Hungry diners can opt for something on the “healthier” side, like a beet and labneh salad or the roasted chicken wings; those just looking a snack can go with the salt cod fritters. But going all in means the Greek fries, a platter of crispy fries topped with harissa crème fraîche, mint yogurt, feta, olives, and pickled onions. To bump it up a notch, there’s also the option to add lamb — either way, it’s perfect to pair with the Solo Club’s highball spritzes and herbaceous vermouths.

8. Currywurst at Stammtisch

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401 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 206-7983
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Currywurst is a pretty classic German fast food dish — a sliced sausage gets some curry ketchup and fries for a quick, salty snack. But at the hardwood-filled German bier bar Stammtisch, it’s elevated just enough to be an excellent bar treat without getting too fancy. The sausage is pork and veal, the fries are perfectly thin and golden, and the curry ketchup is made in house. It’s best enjoyed with a large mug of lager in hand.

9. Steam Burgers at Canard

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734 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 279-2356
Visit Website

Canard, the restaurant with Parisian vibes from renowned chef Gabriel Rucker, was the buzziest spot in Portland when it opened last year, and the slider-sized steam burgers play a major role in its popularity. In fact, they inspired the creation of Canard, and for good reason — a small beef patty blended with French onion soup base, some pickles, and a slice of American cheese between fluffy Hawaiian buns, these bad boys are hard not to down one in a single bite, especially when paired with a cocktail or glass of French wine. Luckily, at $6 a pop ($3 at happy hour), it’s not too pricey to do so.

Canard’s beloved, famed steam burgers
Steam burgers at Canard
David Reamer/Official

10. Oysters at Pépé le Moko

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407 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 546-8537
Visit Website

Oysters-on-the-half-shell might be the consummate Portland bar snack, and visitors to the subterranean cocktail haven Pépé le Moko will have to pass right by a person shucking them on their way downstairs. It’s really a good excuse to down a dozen or two of the briny, silky shellfish, and it’s guaranteed that they’re of the utmost quality and freshness.

11. Fried Brie at Scotch Lodge

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215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 208-2039
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The whiskey-fueled cocktail bar Scotch Lodge has quickly defined itself not only as a place for lush, beautiful drinks, but also as a destination for dining with a menu of indulgent dishes influenced by modern French bistros. But that doesn’t mean the swanky, windowless lounge doesn’t play around with its food — the fried brie is nothing short of fun, four golden-brown sticks of cheese draped with honey and verjus and sprinkled with pistachio shavings. Equal parts sweet and savory, the richness holds up to the bold, assertive cocktails on the menu.

12. Fried Chicken at Revelry

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210 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 339-3693
Visit Website

The chic, hip bar and nightclub Revelry serves soju shots, infused cocktails, and DJ beats nightly, as well as a pretty killer menu of bar snacks with a distinctly Korean spin. The pinnacle of this is the fried chicken, large chunks of boneless chicken with a sticky, sweet, and spicy gochujang sauce and chunks of peanut brittle mixed in for good measure. It’s decadent and unforgettable, and goes down too easily with a few shots of soju.

13. Bruschetta at Shift Drinks

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1200 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 922-3933
Visit Website

While bar food is often fried, meaty, or both, the austere, industrial cocktail and wine bar Shift Drinks opts for a lighter, fresher take on it. This is exemplified with selection of bruschetta, a few of which change seasonally, like a summer heirloom tomato, prosciutto, and basil bruschetta. The ever-constant one is the classic, with fresh ricotta, basil, and roasted tomatoes. It pairs exceptionally well with a number of the bright, vivid wines on the menu.

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Tastes like home@shiftdrinks #ricottibiscotti

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14. Beignets at OK Omens

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1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 231-9959
Visit Website

It should come as no surprise that the food at the bright and breezy wine bar Ok Omens is as good as it is, as the menu is helmed by chef Justin Woodward of the lauded Castagna next door. Larger fare like fried chicken or its “girlfriend spaghetti” make it a reputable spot for dinner, but for those looking for a small snack that pairs with almost any glass of wine, the beignets are the way to go. Rather than the sugar-powered ones found at NOLA’s legendary Cafe du Monde, these fried puff pastries are filled with Tillamook cheddar for a more savory bite.

15. Beef Brisket Nacho Supreme at Deadshot

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2133 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 990-9887
Visit Website

Sleek and stylish cocktail haven Deadshot is known for its eccentric cocktail menu where ingredients like mustard and egg yolk make their way into drinks, and its dining menu is just as daring. The surf and turf eggs — pickled deviled eggs with two kind of fillings — are outstanding, as are the sweet and savory cornbread Madeleines, but the shareable beef brisket nachos are where it’s truly at. Fluffy, crunchy beef tendons stand in for chips and and are topped with tender brisket, lime crema, refried beans, and queso. The “chips” melt in the mouth, allowing them to be quickly devoured.

16. Croquetas de Jamón at Palomar

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959 SE Division St #100
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 266-8276
Visit Website

Eater’s 2018 Bar of the Year, the sunny, colorful Palomar is devoted to Cuban comfort food and drink, including the fabulous fried croquetas de jamón. These ham and bechamel-filled fritters make a lovely accompaniment to the daiquiris and other Cuban cocktails that adorn the menu. Diners who don’t eat meat will find plenty of fun options, though, including fried yuca and a number of styles of fried plantains.

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@Palomarpdx #eaterpdx

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17. Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings at Whiskey Soda Lounge

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3131 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 232-0102
Visit Website

Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings might not just be the most iconic bar snack in Portland, but possibly its most iconic dish, period. These legendary “umami bombs’ are sticky, slightly sweet, and complex, and served with a side of vegetables for balance. While they’re available at Pok Pok Wing shops around town and, of course, at all the Pok Pok locations, it’s at the busy, industrial Whiskey Soda Lounge that they can be enjoyed with a few rounds of cocktails.

18. Totchos at Oaks Bottom Public House

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1621 SE Bybee Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 232-1728
Visit Website

The family-friendly, wood-lined Oaks Bottom Public House (which is continuing on despite the closure of Lompoc Brewing) is likely the birthplace of “totchos,” substituting tater-tots for chips in its nachos. It’s fairly straightforward — crispy fried potato bites are covered in the usual nachos fixins’, like mixed cheeses, onions, olives, and pickled jalapeños, with options for pulled pork, bacon, and avocado add-ons. But sometimes a thing doesn’t need to be complicated to be delicious, especially after a few pints.

A picture of tater tots with avocado, sour cream, salsa, and olives at Oaks Bottom Public House
A pile of totchos at Oaks Bottom Public House
Celeste Noche/Eater

1. Fried Chicken at Marie's

8727 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203

Marie’s, a St. Johns bar with hardcore Blue Velvet vibes, has become the home of Dub’s, a soul food pop-up known for its fried chicken. While its chicken and waffles is a killer meal any day of the week, the fried chicken “dinner” is a much more shareable bar snack — tender, crispy pieces of well-seasoned chicken are straight-up unreal dipped directly in the garlicky mashed potatoes.

8727 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203

2. Fried Cheese Curds at Saraveza

1004 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

When pairing bar snacks with beers, it’s hard to beat cheese curds, but they’re not readily found in the Portland area. Luckily, rustic, Packers-themed tap house and bottle shop Saraveza is all about Midwestern cuisine, serving baskets of golden-fried squeaky cheese curds. Crispy on the outside, with long stretches of molten cheese on the interior, they’re perfect paired with a crisp lager or hoppy IPA and a sports game.

1004 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

3. Expatriate Nachos at Expatriate

5424 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

While the dark, gilded lounge Expatriate is unmistakably a cocktail bar, it’s also a destination for its bar snacks alone. The James Beard sandwich is unconventionally good with just onion and butter on fluffy white bread, the hot and sour Indian spiced fries are a fun twist on a classic, but the Expatriate nachos are the real draw. Made with wonton chips, spicy lemongrass beef, and Thai chili cheese sauce for extra heat, the nachos pack a punch that is cooled with the addition of some cream. They’re only available between 5 and 6 p.m. or after 10 p.m. until close, but it’s well worth heading in for an early or late snack and a cocktail.

5424 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

4. Mussels at Sardine Head

5202 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217
Pop up wine bar Sardine Head’s mussels
A bowl of mussels at Sardine Head
Cheryl Juetten/Official

Sardine Head wine bar pops up weekly at the homey, plant-filled little cafe Sweedeedee, transforming it into an evening wine bar. Alongside a rotating list of natural wines by the glass and bottle, Sardine Head serves food inspired by the cuisine of Brittany on the coast of France. This means a lot of seafood, including decadent bowls of mussels floating in spiced crustacean broth touched with Kashmiri oil. A pro move is to order a side of bread to help sop up the broth, or just drink it straight. Sardine Head also helped introduce Portland to the delight that is tinned fish, and those are always worth a taste.

5202 N Albina Ave
Portland, OR 97217

5. Popcorn at the Knock Back

2315 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

A friendly little neighborhood spot for craft cocktails and draught beers, the Knockback features an often under-appreciated drinking snack on its menu — popcorn. The generously portioned bowls of popcorn come two ways: The first is a vegan spiced popcorn tossed with cumin, paprika, and nutritional yeast. The dirty popcorn gets bacon bits, “popcorn spice,” Romano cheese, herbs, and capers for a meatier, heavier version.

2315 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

6. Cajun Tots at McMenamins

1504 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232

McMenamins has pubs, restaurants, and venues all across town, many of which are renovated and restored vintage buildings. And while the group can value consistency over overt quality, one thing cannot be denied: The cajun tots are legit — just barely spicy, but flavorful, salty, with crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside consistency like any good tater-tot. No matter what, it’s a reliable dish and honestly worth a visit just for them, especially with a cocktail made with one of McMenamins spirits.

1504 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232

7. Greek Fries at the Solo Club

2110 NW Raleigh St, Portland, OR 97210

The window-lined, jewel-toned cocktail lounge Solo Club offers a full menu of bar snacks with a Mediterranean twist. Hungry diners can opt for something on the “healthier” side, like a beet and labneh salad or the roasted chicken wings; those just looking a snack can go with the salt cod fritters. But going all in means the Greek fries, a platter of crispy fries topped with harissa crème fraîche, mint yogurt, feta, olives, and pickled onions. To bump it up a notch, there’s also the option to add lamb — either way, it’s perfect to pair with the Solo Club’s highball spritzes and herbaceous vermouths.

2110 NW Raleigh St
Portland, OR 97210

8. Currywurst at Stammtisch

401 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

Currywurst is a pretty classic German fast food dish — a sliced sausage gets some curry ketchup and fries for a quick, salty snack. But at the hardwood-filled German bier bar Stammtisch, it’s elevated just enough to be an excellent bar treat without getting too fancy. The sausage is pork and veal, the fries are perfectly thin and golden, and the curry ketchup is made in house. It’s best enjoyed with a large mug of lager in hand.

401 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232

9. Steam Burgers at Canard

734 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Canard’s beloved, famed steam burgers
Steam burgers at Canard
David Reamer/Official

Canard, the restaurant with Parisian vibes from renowned chef Gabriel Rucker, was the buzziest spot in Portland when it opened last year, and the slider-sized steam burgers play a major role in its popularity. In fact, they inspired the creation of Canard, and for good reason — a small beef patty blended with French onion soup base, some pickles, and a slice of American cheese between fluffy Hawaiian buns, these bad boys are hard not to down one in a single bite, especially when paired with a cocktail or glass of French wine. Luckily, at $6 a pop ($3 at happy hour), it’s not too pricey to do so.

734 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214

10. Oysters at Pépé le Moko

407 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Oysters-on-the-half-shell might be the consummate Portland bar snack, and visitors to the subterranean cocktail haven Pépé le Moko will have to pass right by a person shucking them on their way downstairs. It’s really a good excuse to down a dozen or two of the briny, silky shellfish, and it’s guaranteed that they’re of the utmost quality and freshness.

407 SW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

11. Fried Brie at Scotch Lodge

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

The whiskey-fueled cocktail bar Scotch Lodge has quickly defined itself not only as a place for lush, beautiful drinks, but also as a destination for dining with a menu of indulgent dishes influenced by modern French bistros. But that doesn’t mean the swanky, windowless lounge doesn’t play around with its food — the fried brie is nothing short of fun, four golden-brown sticks of cheese draped with honey and verjus and sprinkled with pistachio shavings. Equal parts sweet and savory, the richness holds up to the bold, assertive cocktails on the menu.

215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102
Portland, OR 97214

12. Fried Chicken at Revelry

210 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

The chic, hip bar and nightclub Revelry serves soju shots, infused cocktails, and DJ beats nightly, as well as a pretty killer menu of bar snacks with a distinctly Korean spin. The pinnacle of this is the fried chicken, large chunks of boneless chicken with a sticky, sweet, and spicy gochujang sauce and chunks of peanut brittle mixed in for good measure. It’s decadent and unforgettable, and goes down too easily with a few shots of soju.

210 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

13. Bruschetta at Shift Drinks

1200 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205

While bar food is often fried, meaty, or both, the austere, industrial cocktail and wine bar Shift Drinks opts for a lighter, fresher take on it. This is exemplified with selection of bruschetta, a few of which change seasonally, like a summer heirloom tomato, prosciutto, and basil bruschetta. The ever-constant one is the classic, with fresh ricotta, basil, and roasted tomatoes. It pairs exceptionally well with a number of the bright, vivid wines on the menu.

1200 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205

14. Beignets at OK Omens

1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

It should come as no surprise that the food at the bright and breezy wine bar Ok Omens is as good as it is, as the menu is helmed by chef Justin Woodward of the lauded Castagna next door. Larger fare like fried chicken or its “girlfriend spaghetti” make it a reputable spot for dinner, but for those looking for a small snack that pairs with almost any glass of wine, the beignets are the way to go. Rather than the sugar-powered ones found at NOLA’s legendary Cafe du Monde, these fried puff pastries are filled with Tillamook cheddar for a more savory bite.

1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

15. Beef Brisket Nacho Supreme at Deadshot

2133 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Sleek and stylish cocktail haven Deadshot is known for its eccentric cocktail menu where ingredients like mustard and egg yolk make their way into drinks, and its dining menu is just as daring. The surf and turf eggs — pickled deviled eggs with two kind of fillings — are outstanding, as are the sweet and savory cornbread Madeleines, but the shareable beef brisket nachos are where it’s truly at. Fluffy, crunchy beef tendons stand in for chips and and are topped with tender brisket, lime crema, refried beans, and queso. The “chips” melt in the mouth, allowing them to be quickly devoured.

2133 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

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16. Croquetas de Jamón at Palomar

959 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97214

Eater’s 2018 Bar of the Year, the sunny, colorful Palomar is devoted to Cuban comfort food and drink, including the fabulous fried croquetas de jamón. These ham and bechamel-filled fritters make a lovely accompaniment to the daiquiris and other Cuban cocktails that adorn the menu. Diners who don’t eat meat will find plenty of fun options, though, including fried yuca and a number of styles of fried plantains.

959 SE Division St #100
Portland, OR 97214

17. Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings at Whiskey Soda Lounge

3131 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings might not just be the most iconic bar snack in Portland, but possibly its most iconic dish, period. These legendary “umami bombs’ are sticky, slightly sweet, and complex, and served with a side of vegetables for balance. While they’re available at Pok Pok Wing shops around town and, of course, at all the Pok Pok locations, it’s at the busy, industrial Whiskey Soda Lounge that they can be enjoyed with a few rounds of cocktails.

3131 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

18. Totchos at Oaks Bottom Public House

1621 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202
A picture of tater tots with avocado, sour cream, salsa, and olives at Oaks Bottom Public House
A pile of totchos at Oaks Bottom Public House
Celeste Noche/Eater

The family-friendly, wood-lined Oaks Bottom Public House (which is continuing on despite the closure of Lompoc Brewing) is likely the birthplace of “totchos,” substituting tater-tots for chips in its nachos. It’s fairly straightforward — crispy fried potato bites are covered in the usual nachos fixins’, like mixed cheeses, onions, olives, and pickled jalapeños, with options for pulled pork, bacon, and avocado add-ons. But sometimes a thing doesn’t need to be complicated to be delicious, especially after a few pints.

1621 SE Bybee Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

Related Maps