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A bright red cocktail in a Nick & Nora sits on a copper bar at Pink Rabbit. The background is blurry.
The Pocketwatch at Pink Rabbit.
Chey Thorpe and Ty Boespflug

The Essential Portland Cocktail Bars Where You Can Sip Something Exceptional

Where to find Portland’s classic cocktails

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The Pocketwatch at Pink Rabbit.
| Chey Thorpe and Ty Boespflug

2020 was rough on the cocktail world in Portland, as it was on restaurants and bars world-wide. Luckily, legislation including cocktails to-go and no small amount of pivots, ingenuity, and sheer elbow grease meant that when the state announced it would forgo the vast majority of its COVID-19 safety mandates in 2021, many of Portland’s favorite cocktail spots survived and are now open again.

These bars demonstrate the creativity, passion, and dedication that make Portland the cocktail destination it is. From playful daiquiri clubs to eccentric cocktail laboratories, these are the 21 essential cocktail bars in the City of Roses. As usual, this map is organized geographically, not by ranking.

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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Garrison

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The Garrison serves St Johns as its premiere cocktail bar, selling upscale craft drinks at friendly, neighborhood prices. The standards here tend to be based on dark spirits and bitter liqueurs —think Manhattan and Negroni flavors in a variety of different formats — but there’s room for a number of citrusy sour drinks, too. Its wide, open windows and shared patio space means visitors can sip a daiquiri or Vieux Carre in the fresh air, and are encouraged to pick up a pizza from the adjacent Gracie’s or ramen from Mikasa to enjoy with a drink.

The cocktail menu at Wilder is like the bar itself: a lot more than it appears at first glance. It’s small and straightforward and most drinks don’t go past three or four ingredients. Still, that restraint shows a deft understanding of how to make a balanced, pristine cocktail. The ubiquitous “classics with a twist” are joined by more distinctive concoctions, like drinks made with tamarind puree or pistachio orgeat. Visitors sitting within the tented street plaza or at its modest wooden bar will quickly learn what a neighborhood-friendly establishment it is, as bartender and owner Ben Preacher greets most customers by name.

Expatriate

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Dark and moody, usually with some kind of classic rock or new wave record playing, Expatriate drips with style. Its cocktails match those vibes, generally deep and bold with high-proof spirits mixed with aromatic bitters and vermouths. It’s always been on the forefront of Portland’s cocktail scene, and many seasoned bartenders have put in time stirring, shaking, and swizzling its innovative drinks. Those in the mood for some fun bar snacks would be hard pressed to find a more playful and satisfying menu, as its thick cheeseburger, lemongrass-beef nachos with wonton “chips,” and James Beard onion sandwiches have wowed diners since its opening.

Interurban

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Interurban excels at mixing the mature with the playful, the serious with the fun. Over the polished wooden bar, bartenders slide deep, lush whiskey drinks and austere gin drinks alongside Jell-O shots and corn dogs. Diners sip on classic concoctions like Boulevardiers and Pegu Clubs outside on the covered patios; otherwise, they dine on hearty, meat-focused entrees and knock back boilermakers and rare whiskies in the dining room with its hunter’s lodge vibes. It’s open daily, open late, and even open on many holidays, which means it’s always a safe bet when visiting Mississippi Avenue.

Wonderly

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The elegant, marble-clad interior of Wonderly is the right venue for its minimalist cocktail menu. The martini and manhattan are each oversized, with a sidecar bottle on ice for refills; The Smith and Cross Negroni is a rich and funky rum version of the Italian mainstay; and there’s usually an olive-oil washed version of a Vesper or aviation, the fat washing giving these normally bracing cocktails a silky mouthfeel. “Fancy bar snacks” is the best way to describe the food menu, with options like Brussels sprouts with bacon vinaigrette, shrimp cocktail, and a pretty stand-up burger that comes with bacon and egg.

Free House

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For those in the know, the cozy Free House slings cocktail-lounge-quality drinks in a casual neighborhood bar with neighborhood bar prices (think $10 and $12 drinks). Often bright and citrusy or dark and spirit-forward, with an emphasis on tequila and mezcal, the bar shines with simplicity and approachability, with drinks tending towards the familiar, maybe with a few inventive touches like uncommon bitters or a unique amaro. A draft beer list, large bottle-and-can list, and modest wine menu round out the drink offerings, while the food menu leans on the meaty side of things with charcuterie plates and sausages. For those still sticking to outside dining, the fully enclosed and plant-strewn patio is the place to be, especially during the sunny summer days.

A rocks glass on a wooden surface in front of a window holds a large ice cube and golden drink.
Tequila and mezcal drinks abound at Free House
Alex Frane/Eater PDX

Hale Pele

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Hale Pele has received national attention as one of the best tiki bars in the country, from the overwrought decor to its takes on all of the tiki essentials, like mai tais, hurricanes, and zombies. One thing that can’t be found at Hale Pele are the artificial-tasting, overly juiced tiki drinks of the ‘90s and early 2000s — here, everything is made with high-end rums, syrups, and juices. And outside of Huber’s, with its flaming Spanish coffees, Hale Pele sports the most pyrotechnics in town, with all kinds of flaming garnishes. 

Bar West

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The classy, breezy cocktail spot Bar West is a holistic bar experience, with each of its elements building off the others: its atmosphere is stylish and cheerful, with light tones, tons of natural light, and lush plant life. A charming side patio with a full wooden cover provides ample outdoor dining. Its cocktails are as stylish as the space itself, vivid and colorful, with garnishes that go beyond the usual lime or lemon wheel, like dried petals, cinnamon stick “campfires,” or honey crystals. Drinks like the Pollinator — with mezcal, pineapple, apricot liqueur, lime, salt, and bee pollen — are evocative of the bar’s bright and breezy approach to its drinks, while others incorporate rare vermouths and amari. The food, too, is light and satisfying, like individual pizzas with local toppings or chickpea fritter sandwiches.

Tropicale

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Even with endless rainy springs and icy winters, it’s always summertime at Tropicale. This is due in part to its wide, covered and heated patio, its tacos, its ceviches, and its many flavors of margaritas. But most of all, it’s because of the piña coladas, perfected by the bar’s late owner Alfred Climaco, whose gracious and joyful hospitality lives on those delicious, frosty, sweet-tart drinks served in hollowed out pineapples. Those looking for something a little less slushy should try the cocoa nib-infused mezcal Negroni or the smoky mezcal version of an Old Fashioned.

Blank Slate

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A chic, cozy little spot that offers ample outdoor dining options, Blank Slate has been quietly serving craft cocktails to the Montavilla neighborhood for a few years now. While it’s primarily a neighborhood bar, the cocktails — which veer tropical and playful with lots of rum and mezcal options — are worth the visit. The Highsmith Daiquiri, with a blend of rums, vermouth, spices, and pomegranate, is a must-get for first time visitors; those not looking for anything too wild can find a reliable list of classic drinks for only $10 in addition to the creative original concoctions.

Santé Bar

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A cozy and low-key bar and venue, Santé Bar provides community vibes and a large cocktail menu to the North Park Blocks. There are a few seats inside, but most of the action is out on front on tables made from wooden pallets. There, visitors can peruse a list of cocktails categorized by spirit type, with drinks ranging from a spicy bloody mary to a cold-press coffee and coconut cream drink. Those looking for something a little more aligned with Portland’s craft cocktail scene can find drinks like the spirit-forward Wise Head with rye whiskey, bitters, and Cointreau, or the spritzy and refreshing Swanky, with gin, shrub, grapefruit, and rosemary.

Two drinks at Santé Bar in downtown Portland
Cocktails at Santé Bar
Alex Frane

Housed in a Japanese outdoors store Snow Peak, the light, breezy, wood-filled bar and grill Takibi is one of Portland’s newest residents, having opened during the spring of 2021. The cocktail program comes from legendary bar owner Jim Meehan, formerly of PDT in New York, as well as Portland’s own accomplished Lydia McLuen. Though elements of the restaurant and bar program nod to Japan and its stylings, there’s a hefty amount of local representation on the menu, as well—the low-proof and pleasing Rose City, for instance, features a blend of vermouths as well as Portland-made cherry brandy and Oregon fruit preserves. Those looking to splurge can find the Tanigawa, a blend of Oregon and Californian spirits spiced with shiso, a lovely accompaniment to the grilled fish and meats coming from the kitchen.

Teardrop Lounge

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It would be hard to overstate Teardrop’s influence on the city’s cocktail scene. It was, in many ways, Portland’s first “craft cocktail” bar, ushering in the drink culture Portland is now known for. The expansive menu is split into descriptive categories (like “bright and crisp,” “supple and herbal,” or “deep and dark”) all of which are made with meticulous care and high-quality ingredients by knowledgable veteran bartenders. During the summer, skip the fancy spirit-forward drinks in favor of the seasonal piña colada—an exemplar of the drink, it’ll go away again in fall. Nowadays, Teardrop has expanded its hip, minimalist space and even added outside dining for the first time in its history, but is still feels like the same stylish, reliable cocktail haven it has been for 15 years.

Pink Rabbit

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Pink Rabbit is the Pearl’s resident cocktail bar with serious party vibes. Its drinks blur the line between serious, contemplative “mixology” and playful, zany creativity. Visitors will find curry and coconut-infused last words, banana daiquiris, and mango and yogurt rum concoctions, as well as lush Japanese whisky concoctions with bitter liqueurs and amari. Its electric pink and sky blue hues, regular DJs, and Chinese-American bar snacks make it a deeply fun place to dine and imbibe.

Hey Love

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With a dining room decked out in live plants and festooned with vintage lanterns, Hey Love evokes the atmosphere of 1970s fern bars. Its drinks are executed with modern style and techniques but harken back to a similar era, never taking drinking too seriously. For instance, the refreshingly sweet-tart slushies have been on the menu since opening, and the pro move is still to go with the Utah, Gimme Two!, two slushies blended together into a beautiful dichromatic swirl. Other drinks follow the same summer party vibes—mango oolong mai tais, spicy margaritas, cucumber vodka sodas on draft, and the Oaxacan Sunrise, a passion fruit margarita topped with a strawberry slushy, served in cactus (naturally). It’s likely Hey Love goes through more pebble ice than any other bar in town. However, fans of more spirit-forward drinks should try the Key Party, Hey Love’s strawberry-infused negroni that swaps the gin for tequila, or the bar’s take on a classic Old Fashioned, made with the Hey Love’s own single barrel of Maker’s Mark.

Scotch Lodge

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This subterranean cocktail bar is home to an A-Team of bartenders, who bend, twist, and expand what we expect of whisky. Pulling from a truly jaw-dropping list of spirits, bartenders spike pineapple daiquiris with Islay Scotch and coconut-oolong demerara to give it a touch of smoke, blend a painkiller and a sherry cobbler with a fun dose of ube cream of coconut, and combine genmaicha and lotus-seed orgeat with Japanese whisky for a floral and sophisticated sour. The food menu is full of stunners, as well, be it a pumpernickel-rolled fried brie with verjus syrup or a bowl of fettuccine with leeks and fiore sardo. Scotch Lodge takes a few walk-ins, but it’s best to get a reservation.

Rum Club

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The pandemic was hard on Rum Club’s many fans, as the bar’s small size and minimal patio space meant it was often closed. Luckily, it weathered the dark months and is now fully back open. Unsurprisingly, rum is the focus at the Rum Club, and drinks often include house-made syrups or other spices — the Rum Club daiquiri is always a good bet to start, but pros know to trust their bartender with all sorts of variations on the ubiquitous sour, blended or otherwise. Those who aren’t a fan of rum have plenty of options as well with a selection of whiskey and gin drinks, many of which are dark and lush rather than bright and fruity; despite the rum focus, it’s definitively not a tiki bar. Besides the drinks, Rum Club’s main draw is its fun, party-like atmosphere and bartenders that are clearly having a great time being there.

The Midnight PDX

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In its first year of service, the dark, gothic-tinged Midnight quickly built up a faithful crowd due to its stylish interior, live music venue, and its agave and rum-focused cocktail menu developed by a team of industry veterans led by Estanislado Orona. Newcomers should start with the Sea of Sin, a bracing and complex take on a martini, tinged with sea salt and a splash of tequila. The Besos Muertos, or Death Kisses, is another favorite, a rum and white port cocktail with calendula cordial.

Deadshot

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While many bars go for the tried-and-true “classics, but with a twist” approach to cocktails, the stylish, modernist lounge Deadshot is unafraid to get weird. It challenges drinkers with unorthodox ingredients like in the Who Is Jack Nance?, a whiskey drink with sesame, citrus, mustard, sherry, and yolk that has been on the menu since the bar was a Monday night-only affair. None of it feels arbitrary, though, but rather thoughtful, exploratory, and intentional. Those looking for something a little more traditional, though, will likely love the crystal daiquiri, a clarified version of the iconic drink that is crisp, clean, and bright. Currently, Deadshot offers indoor seating inside under its heavy lanterns, as well as outside with extended patios, and food is being handled by Filipino bar food hot spot Pulu by Sunrice, which shares the space.

Palomar

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The drinks at this daiquiri haven from lauded bartender Ricky Gomez are simply fun, even with a dialed-down menu the bar is currently running. With colorful and fruity slushies, a Scotch and watermelon-tinged rye julep, and a Moscow mule with roasted coconut, Palomar excels at adding summery touches to familiar drinks. Then there are the daiquiris: blended or shaken, fruit infused or classic, and always made with aplomb. Palomar’s teal and pink modernist dining room provides a fitting venue, and on warmer days the wide windows are thrown open, giving the whole place a breezy, outdoorsy feel.

Bible Club PDX

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This stylish speakeasy in the Sellwood-Moreland area is as as well-known for its incredible interior as it is for its thoughtfully made drinks. Stepping indoors is like stepping back in time, with its authentically vintage furnishings down to the silverware and light fixtures. The original drinks here harken back to early cocktail days, often spirit-forward and balanced with interesting amari or vermouths. The heritage menu, though, is where the bar shines, with classics rarely seen on cocktail menus, each made with top-shelf ingredients. The menu outdoors hews far more casual, though the slushies, Jell-O shots, and djs may appeal to folks seeking something a little more relaxed — plus, the smoky-sweet penicillin is available outside, a Bible Club stalwart. The bar also offers champagne, non-alcoholic drinks, and a menu of snacks like meatballs or bruschetta. 

The Garrison

The Garrison serves St Johns as its premiere cocktail bar, selling upscale craft drinks at friendly, neighborhood prices. The standards here tend to be based on dark spirits and bitter liqueurs —think Manhattan and Negroni flavors in a variety of different formats — but there’s room for a number of citrusy sour drinks, too. Its wide, open windows and shared patio space means visitors can sip a daiquiri or Vieux Carre in the fresh air, and are encouraged to pick up a pizza from the adjacent Gracie’s or ramen from Mikasa to enjoy with a drink.

Wilder

The cocktail menu at Wilder is like the bar itself: a lot more than it appears at first glance. It’s small and straightforward and most drinks don’t go past three or four ingredients. Still, that restraint shows a deft understanding of how to make a balanced, pristine cocktail. The ubiquitous “classics with a twist” are joined by more distinctive concoctions, like drinks made with tamarind puree or pistachio orgeat. Visitors sitting within the tented street plaza or at its modest wooden bar will quickly learn what a neighborhood-friendly establishment it is, as bartender and owner Ben Preacher greets most customers by name.

Expatriate

Dark and moody, usually with some kind of classic rock or new wave record playing, Expatriate drips with style. Its cocktails match those vibes, generally deep and bold with high-proof spirits mixed with aromatic bitters and vermouths. It’s always been on the forefront of Portland’s cocktail scene, and many seasoned bartenders have put in time stirring, shaking, and swizzling its innovative drinks. Those in the mood for some fun bar snacks would be hard pressed to find a more playful and satisfying menu, as its thick cheeseburger, lemongrass-beef nachos with wonton “chips,” and James Beard onion sandwiches have wowed diners since its opening.

Interurban

Interurban excels at mixing the mature with the playful, the serious with the fun. Over the polished wooden bar, bartenders slide deep, lush whiskey drinks and austere gin drinks alongside Jell-O shots and corn dogs. Diners sip on classic concoctions like Boulevardiers and Pegu Clubs outside on the covered patios; otherwise, they dine on hearty, meat-focused entrees and knock back boilermakers and rare whiskies in the dining room with its hunter’s lodge vibes. It’s open daily, open late, and even open on many holidays, which means it’s always a safe bet when visiting Mississippi Avenue.

Wonderly

The elegant, marble-clad interior of Wonderly is the right venue for its minimalist cocktail menu. The martini and manhattan are each oversized, with a sidecar bottle on ice for refills; The Smith and Cross Negroni is a rich and funky rum version of the Italian mainstay; and there’s usually an olive-oil washed version of a Vesper or aviation, the fat washing giving these normally bracing cocktails a silky mouthfeel. “Fancy bar snacks” is the best way to describe the food menu, with options like Brussels sprouts with bacon vinaigrette, shrimp cocktail, and a pretty stand-up burger that comes with bacon and egg.

Free House

A rocks glass on a wooden surface in front of a window holds a large ice cube and golden drink.
Tequila and mezcal drinks abound at Free House
Alex Frane/Eater PDX

For those in the know, the cozy Free House slings cocktail-lounge-quality drinks in a casual neighborhood bar with neighborhood bar prices (think $10 and $12 drinks). Often bright and citrusy or dark and spirit-forward, with an emphasis on tequila and mezcal, the bar shines with simplicity and approachability, with drinks tending towards the familiar, maybe with a few inventive touches like uncommon bitters or a unique amaro. A draft beer list, large bottle-and-can list, and modest wine menu round out the drink offerings, while the food menu leans on the meaty side of things with charcuterie plates and sausages. For those still sticking to outside dining, the fully enclosed and plant-strewn patio is the place to be, especially during the sunny summer days.

A rocks glass on a wooden surface in front of a window holds a large ice cube and golden drink.
Tequila and mezcal drinks abound at Free House
Alex Frane/Eater PDX

Hale Pele

Hale Pele has received national attention as one of the best tiki bars in the country, from the overwrought decor to its takes on all of the tiki essentials, like mai tais, hurricanes, and zombies. One thing that can’t be found at Hale Pele are the artificial-tasting, overly juiced tiki drinks of the ‘90s and early 2000s — here, everything is made with high-end rums, syrups, and juices. And outside of Huber’s, with its flaming Spanish coffees, Hale Pele sports the most pyrotechnics in town, with all kinds of flaming garnishes. 

Bar West

The classy, breezy cocktail spot Bar West is a holistic bar experience, with each of its elements building off the others: its atmosphere is stylish and cheerful, with light tones, tons of natural light, and lush plant life. A charming side patio with a full wooden cover provides ample outdoor dining. Its cocktails are as stylish as the space itself, vivid and colorful, with garnishes that go beyond the usual lime or lemon wheel, like dried petals, cinnamon stick “campfires,” or honey crystals. Drinks like the Pollinator — with mezcal, pineapple, apricot liqueur, lime, salt, and bee pollen — are evocative of the bar’s bright and breezy approach to its drinks, while others incorporate rare vermouths and amari. The food, too, is light and satisfying, like individual pizzas with local toppings or chickpea fritter sandwiches.

Tropicale

Even with endless rainy springs and icy winters, it’s always summertime at Tropicale. This is due in part to its wide, covered and heated patio, its tacos, its ceviches, and its many flavors of margaritas. But most of all, it’s because of the piña coladas, perfected by the bar’s late owner Alfred Climaco, whose gracious and joyful hospitality lives on those delicious, frosty, sweet-tart drinks served in hollowed out pineapples. Those looking for something a little less slushy should try the cocoa nib-infused mezcal Negroni or the smoky mezcal version of an Old Fashioned.

Blank Slate

A chic, cozy little spot that offers ample outdoor dining options, Blank Slate has been quietly serving craft cocktails to the Montavilla neighborhood for a few years now. While it’s primarily a neighborhood bar, the cocktails — which veer tropical and playful with lots of rum and mezcal options — are worth the visit. The Highsmith Daiquiri, with a blend of rums, vermouth, spices, and pomegranate, is a must-get for first time visitors; those not looking for anything too wild can find a reliable list of classic drinks for only $10 in addition to the creative original concoctions.

Santé Bar

Two drinks at Santé Bar in downtown Portland
Cocktails at Santé Bar
Alex Frane

A cozy and low-key bar and venue, Santé Bar provides community vibes and a large cocktail menu to the North Park Blocks. There are a few seats inside, but most of the action is out on front on tables made from wooden pallets. There, visitors can peruse a list of cocktails categorized by spirit type, with drinks ranging from a spicy bloody mary to a cold-press coffee and coconut cream drink. Those looking for something a little more aligned with Portland’s craft cocktail scene can find drinks like the spirit-forward Wise Head with rye whiskey, bitters, and Cointreau, or the spritzy and refreshing Swanky, with gin, shrub, grapefruit, and rosemary.

Two drinks at Santé Bar in downtown Portland
Cocktails at Santé Bar
Alex Frane

Takibi

Housed in a Japanese outdoors store Snow Peak, the light, breezy, wood-filled bar and grill Takibi is one of Portland’s newest residents, having opened during the spring of 2021. The cocktail program comes from legendary bar owner Jim Meehan, formerly of PDT in New York, as well as Portland’s own accomplished Lydia McLuen. Though elements of the restaurant and bar program nod to Japan and its stylings, there’s a hefty amount of local representation on the menu, as well—the low-proof and pleasing Rose City, for instance, features a blend of vermouths as well as Portland-made cherry brandy and Oregon fruit preserves. Those looking to splurge can find the Tanigawa, a blend of Oregon and Californian spirits spiced with shiso, a lovely accompaniment to the grilled fish and meats coming from the kitchen.

Teardrop Lounge

It would be hard to overstate Teardrop’s influence on the city’s cocktail scene. It was, in many ways, Portland’s first “craft cocktail” bar, ushering in the drink culture Portland is now known for. The expansive menu is split into descriptive categories (like “bright and crisp,” “supple and herbal,” or “deep and dark”) all of which are made with meticulous care and high-quality ingredients by knowledgable veteran bartenders. During the summer, skip the fancy spirit-forward drinks in favor of the seasonal piña colada—an exemplar of the drink, it’ll go away again in fall. Nowadays, Teardrop has expanded its hip, minimalist space and even added outside dining for the first time in its history, but is still feels like the same stylish, reliable cocktail haven it has been for 15 years.

Pink Rabbit

Pink Rabbit is the Pearl’s resident cocktail bar with serious party vibes. Its drinks blur the line between serious, contemplative “mixology” and playful, zany creativity. Visitors will find curry and coconut-infused last words, banana daiquiris, and mango and yogurt rum concoctions, as well as lush Japanese whisky concoctions with bitter liqueurs and amari. Its electric pink and sky blue hues, regular DJs, and Chinese-American bar snacks make it a deeply fun place to dine and imbibe.

Hey Love

With a dining room decked out in live plants and festooned with vintage lanterns, Hey Love evokes the atmosphere of 1970s fern bars. Its drinks are executed with modern style and techniques but harken back to a similar era, never taking drinking too seriously. For instance, the refreshingly sweet-tart slushies have been on the menu since opening, and the pro move is still to go with the Utah, Gimme Two!, two slushies blended together into a beautiful dichromatic swirl. Other drinks follow the same summer party vibes—mango oolong mai tais, spicy margaritas, cucumber vodka sodas on draft, and the Oaxacan Sunrise, a passion fruit margarita topped with a strawberry slushy, served in cactus (naturally). It’s likely Hey Love goes through more pebble ice than any other bar in town. However, fans of more spirit-forward drinks should try the Key Party, Hey Love’s strawberry-infused negroni that swaps the gin for tequila, or the bar’s take on a classic Old Fashioned, made with the Hey Love’s own single barrel of Maker’s Mark.

Related Maps

Scotch Lodge

This subterranean cocktail bar is home to an A-Team of bartenders, who bend, twist, and expand what we expect of whisky. Pulling from a truly jaw-dropping list of spirits, bartenders spike pineapple daiquiris with Islay Scotch and coconut-oolong demerara to give it a touch of smoke, blend a painkiller and a sherry cobbler with a fun dose of ube cream of coconut, and combine genmaicha and lotus-seed orgeat with Japanese whisky for a floral and sophisticated sour. The food menu is full of stunners, as well, be it a pumpernickel-rolled fried brie with verjus syrup or a bowl of fettuccine with leeks and fiore sardo. Scotch Lodge takes a few walk-ins, but it’s best to get a reservation.

Rum Club

The pandemic was hard on Rum Club’s many fans, as the bar’s small size and minimal patio space meant it was often closed. Luckily, it weathered the dark months and is now fully back open. Unsurprisingly, rum is the focus at the Rum Club, and drinks often include house-made syrups or other spices — the Rum Club daiquiri is always a good bet to start, but pros know to trust their bartender with all sorts of variations on the ubiquitous sour, blended or otherwise. Those who aren’t a fan of rum have plenty of options as well with a selection of whiskey and gin drinks, many of which are dark and lush rather than bright and fruity; despite the rum focus, it’s definitively not a tiki bar. Besides the drinks, Rum Club’s main draw is its fun, party-like atmosphere and bartenders that are clearly having a great time being there.

The Midnight PDX

In its first year of service, the dark, gothic-tinged Midnight quickly built up a faithful crowd due to its stylish interior, live music venue, and its agave and rum-focused cocktail menu developed by a team of industry veterans led by Estanislado Orona. Newcomers should start with the Sea of Sin, a bracing and complex take on a martini, tinged with sea salt and a splash of tequila. The Besos Muertos, or Death Kisses, is another favorite, a rum and white port cocktail with calendula cordial.

Deadshot

While many bars go for the tried-and-true “classics, but with a twist” approach to cocktails, the stylish, modernist lounge Deadshot is unafraid to get weird. It challenges drinkers with unorthodox ingredients like in the Who Is Jack Nance?, a whiskey drink with sesame, citrus, mustard, sherry, and yolk that has been on the menu since the bar was a Monday night-only affair. None of it feels arbitrary, though, but rather thoughtful, exploratory, and intentional. Those looking for something a little more traditional, though, will likely love the crystal daiquiri, a clarified version of the iconic drink that is crisp, clean, and bright. Currently, Deadshot offers indoor seating inside under its heavy lanterns, as well as outside with extended patios, and food is being handled by Filipino bar food hot spot Pulu by Sunrice, which shares the space.

Palomar

The drinks at this daiquiri haven from lauded bartender Ricky Gomez are simply fun, even with a dialed-down menu the bar is currently running. With colorful and fruity slushies, a Scotch and watermelon-tinged rye julep, and a Moscow mule with roasted coconut, Palomar excels at adding summery touches to familiar drinks. Then there are the daiquiris: blended or shaken, fruit infused or classic, and always made with aplomb. Palomar’s teal and pink modernist dining room provides a fitting venue, and on warmer days the wide windows are thrown open, giving the whole place a breezy, outdoorsy feel.

Bible Club PDX

This stylish speakeasy in the Sellwood-Moreland area is as as well-known for its incredible interior as it is for its thoughtfully made drinks. Stepping indoors is like stepping back in time, with its authentically vintage furnishings down to the silverware and light fixtures. The original drinks here harken back to early cocktail days, often spirit-forward and balanced with interesting amari or vermouths. The heritage menu, though, is where the bar shines, with classics rarely seen on cocktail menus, each made with top-shelf ingredients. The menu outdoors hews far more casual, though the slushies, Jell-O shots, and djs may appeal to folks seeking something a little more relaxed — plus, the smoky-sweet penicillin is available outside, a Bible Club stalwart. The bar also offers champagne, non-alcoholic drinks, and a menu of snacks like meatballs or bruschetta. 

Related Maps