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A picture of Ricky Gomez squeezing a lime into a glass at Palomar
Ricky Gomez squeezes citrus oil into a cocktail at Palomar
Dina Avila

The Essential Portland Cocktail Bars Where You Can Sip Something Exceptional

Where to find Portland’s classic cocktails

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Ricky Gomez squeezes citrus oil into a cocktail at Palomar
| Dina Avila

Last year 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 July, 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 15 essential cocktail bars in the City of Roses.

Note: The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bar West

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1221 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 208-2852
Visit Website

It didn’t take long for the classy, breezy cocktail spot Bar West to become Northwest Portland’s preeminent spot for mixed drinks. As with any bar, a great deal of its charm is in its vibes: The interior is stylish and cheerful, with light tones, tons of natural light, and lush plant life. This last year saw the construction of an equally elegant patio. At both, diners can enjoy cocktails that are as attractive as they are delicious, often incorporating vermouths and amaro as well as bright fruit flavors. The Garden Snake has been on the menu since the beginning, and is evocative of West’s overall style — an applejack and egg white sour with a touch of absinthe and walnut for a rich but refreshing libation.

2. Botanist

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910 NW 14th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 533-8064
Visit Website

This once subterranean cocktail lounge has moved out of its cool basement setting and up on to a nearby sprawling rooftop patio. Its location change hasn’t changed its drink menu much, one that’s equal parts playful and bold. There’s a lot of love for gin and rum on it, as well as incorporating fresh and bright ingredients like fruit sodas and a variety of syrups made in-house.

3. Teardrop Lounge

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1015 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 445-8109
Visit Website

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, 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.

4. Santé Bar

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411 NW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(971) 404-8216
Visit Website

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

5. Rum Club

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720 SE Sandy Bvld
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 265-8807
Visit Website

It was a rough year for Rum Club fans, as its small size and minimal patio space meant it was often closed; these days, it’s back open. The dark spirits-focused bar has long been an industry hangout, and has a devoted following with all kinds of customers. Unsurprisingly, rum is the focus here, 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. 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.

6. Scotch Lodge

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215 SE 9th Ave #102
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 208-2039
Visit Website

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, infuse vermouth with cola to make a drink between a Manhattan and a whiskey-Coke, 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 seasonal mushrooms and fiore sardo. Scotch Lodge takes a few walk-ins, but it’s best to get a reservation.

7. Palomar

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

The drinks at this daiquiri haven are simply fun, even with a dialed-down menu the bar is currently running. From the colorful and fruity slushies to the pineapple-tinged gin and tonic 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. At the moment, all dining has been moved to the bar’s rooftop, offering a beautiful view of the city as well as Cuban food and drinks. Reservations are required.

8. Deadshot

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

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. 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 Chinese restaurant revival Ping, which shares the space.

9. Free House

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1325 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 946-8161
Visit Website

For those in the know, the cozy Free House slings cocktail-lounge-quality drinks in a casual neighborhood bar. Drinks are fun and creative without being too out-there, generally whiskey or agave spirit-forward and appreciably strong. A draught beer list, large bottle-and-can list, and modest wine list round out the drink menu, 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 curved rocks glass sits on a slatted wooden table. The drink within is a golden-brown, built over a large ice cube.
A sour at Free House
Alex Frane

10. Bible Club PDX

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6716 SE 16th Ave
Portland, OR 97202
(971) 279-2198
Visit Website

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 penicillin, a scotch sour with ginger, is the unofficial signature drink here—smokey and sweet-tart, it’s offered up, or as a slushy in summer and hot cocktail winter. The bar also offers champagne, non-alcoholic drinks, and a menu of snacks like meatballs or bruschetta. 

11. Hale Pele

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2733 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 662-8454
Visit Website

Portland’s favorite tiki bar spent most of the last year closed, but today, its kitschy, tropical-themed dining room is open for business. Hale Pele has received national attention as one of the best tiki bars in the country, from the 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. 

12. Wilder

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5501 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211
(971) 710-5428
Visit Website

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 daring concoctions, like drinks made over cucumber ice that melts and slowly infuses its flavors. Visitors sitting within the tented street plaza will quickly learn what a neighborhood-friendly bar it is, as bartender and owner Ben Preacher greets most customers by name. The fried broccoli and excellent smash burger are always a good choice, as far as food is concerned.

13. Wonderly

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4727 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 288-4520
Visit Website

Though not as established as its sister bar Aalto Lounge, Wonderly is more of a proper cocktail lounge. The elegant, marble-clad interior 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 an Alaska or vesper, 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.

14. 5 and Dime

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6535 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 894-9318
Visit Website

5 and Dime has always prided itself on being a friendly neighborhood bar first, cocktail specialist second. Ever since reopening during the pandemic it’s doubled down on that, offering a limited menu of fun-yet-thoughtful drinks named after fantasy and science-fiction novels like the Hobbit, a take on the daiquiri with house-made Swedish Punsch and bitters. Next door’s Atlas Pizza is covering food, and even the outside seating is fun, with a covered patio festooned with astroturf and picnic tables.

15. Blank Slate

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7201 NE Glisan St Suite C
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 206-4041
Visit Website

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 Mai Tai, which involves a blend of multiple rums including some funky Jamaican flavors and a touch of pineapple rum, 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.

1. Bar West

1221 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

It didn’t take long for the classy, breezy cocktail spot Bar West to become Northwest Portland’s preeminent spot for mixed drinks. As with any bar, a great deal of its charm is in its vibes: The interior is stylish and cheerful, with light tones, tons of natural light, and lush plant life. This last year saw the construction of an equally elegant patio. At both, diners can enjoy cocktails that are as attractive as they are delicious, often incorporating vermouths and amaro as well as bright fruit flavors. The Garden Snake has been on the menu since the beginning, and is evocative of West’s overall style — an applejack and egg white sour with a touch of absinthe and walnut for a rich but refreshing libation.

1221 NW 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97209

2. Botanist

910 NW 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

This once subterranean cocktail lounge has moved out of its cool basement setting and up on to a nearby sprawling rooftop patio. Its location change hasn’t changed its drink menu much, one that’s equal parts playful and bold. There’s a lot of love for gin and rum on it, as well as incorporating fresh and bright ingredients like fruit sodas and a variety of syrups made in-house.

910 NW 14th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

3. Teardrop Lounge

1015 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

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, 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.

1015 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209

4. Santé Bar

411 NW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97209
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.

411 NW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97209

5. Rum Club

720 SE Sandy Bvld, Portland, OR 97214

It was a rough year for Rum Club fans, as its small size and minimal patio space meant it was often closed; these days, it’s back open. The dark spirits-focused bar has long been an industry hangout, and has a devoted following with all kinds of customers. Unsurprisingly, rum is the focus here, 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. 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.

720 SE Sandy Bvld
Portland, OR 97214

6. Scotch Lodge

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

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, infuse vermouth with cola to make a drink between a Manhattan and a whiskey-Coke, 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 seasonal mushrooms and fiore sardo. Scotch Lodge takes a few walk-ins, but it’s best to get a reservation.

215 SE 9th Ave #102
Portland, OR 97214

7. Palomar

959 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97214

The drinks at this daiquiri haven are simply fun, even with a dialed-down menu the bar is currently running. From the colorful and fruity slushies to the pineapple-tinged gin and tonic 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. At the moment, all dining has been moved to the bar’s rooftop, offering a beautiful view of the city as well as Cuban food and drinks. Reservations are required.

959 SE Division St #100
Portland, OR 97214

8. Deadshot

2133 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

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. 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 Chinese restaurant revival Ping, which shares the space.

2133 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

9. Free House

1325 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
A curved rocks glass sits on a slatted wooden table. The drink within is a golden-brown, built over a large ice cube.
A sour at Free House
Alex Frane

For those in the know, the cozy Free House slings cocktail-lounge-quality drinks in a casual neighborhood bar. Drinks are fun and creative without being too out-there, generally whiskey or agave spirit-forward and appreciably strong. A draught beer list, large bottle-and-can list, and modest wine list round out the drink menu, 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.

1325 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97212

10. Bible Club PDX

6716 SE 16th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

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 penicillin, a scotch sour with ginger, is the unofficial signature drink here—smokey and sweet-tart, it’s offered up, or as a slushy in summer and hot cocktail winter. The bar also offers champagne, non-alcoholic drinks, and a menu of snacks like meatballs or bruschetta. 

6716 SE 16th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

11. Hale Pele

2733 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232

Portland’s favorite tiki bar spent most of the last year closed, but today, its kitschy, tropical-themed dining room is open for business. Hale Pele has received national attention as one of the best tiki bars in the country, from the 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. 

2733 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

12. Wilder

5501 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

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 daring concoctions, like drinks made over cucumber ice that melts and slowly infuses its flavors. Visitors sitting within the tented street plaza will quickly learn what a neighborhood-friendly bar it is, as bartender and owner Ben Preacher greets most customers by name. The fried broccoli and excellent smash burger are always a good choice, as far as food is concerned.

5501 NE 30th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

13. Wonderly

4727 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213

Though not as established as its sister bar Aalto Lounge, Wonderly is more of a proper cocktail lounge. The elegant, marble-clad interior 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 an Alaska or vesper, 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.

4727 NE Fremont St
Portland, OR 97213

14. 5 and Dime

6535 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

5 and Dime has always prided itself on being a friendly neighborhood bar first, cocktail specialist second. Ever since reopening during the pandemic it’s doubled down on that, offering a limited menu of fun-yet-thoughtful drinks named after fantasy and science-fiction novels like the Hobbit, a take on the daiquiri with house-made Swedish Punsch and bitters. Next door’s Atlas Pizza is covering food, and even the outside seating is fun, with a covered patio festooned with astroturf and picnic tables.

6535 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

15. Blank Slate

7201 NE Glisan St Suite C, Portland, OR 97213

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 Mai Tai, which involves a blend of multiple rums including some funky Jamaican flavors and a touch of pineapple rum, 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.

7201 NE Glisan St Suite C
Portland, OR 97213

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