clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The dining room at Kachka, which sits under a wooden structure resembling Baba Yaga’s house.
The dining room at Kachka.
Dina Avila/Eater Portland

14 Air-Conditioned Portland Restaurants and Bars to Beat the Heat

Perfect spots for dinner or a drink when the Pacific Northwest is hottest

View as Map
The dining room at Kachka.
| Dina Avila/Eater Portland

Historically, Portland was part of a temperate Pacific coast that stretched from Seattle down to San Diego, with winters rarely below freezing and enviably mild summers. Consequently, few older homes and buildings — including many that house restaurants and bars — have air conditioning. Over the last decade, Portland summer weather has increasingly reached unprecedented, sometimes dangerous highs, making the too-few establishments with AC that much more precious. When the mercury creeps towards the triple digits, seek refuge in these bars and restaurants that will keep you cool inside and out.

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. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Elements Restaurant

Copy Link

Chef Miguel Sosa keeps diners’ palettes stimulated with plenty of elemental earth, fire, and water in his menu, so it’s appropriate this Vancouver fine dining spot is comfortably air conditioned on hot days. Sosa keeps things seasonal and mixes up specials frequently, so count on creative, cool options like the beet, watercress, and pistachio salad or a watermelon steak with peppers, tomatoes, and summer squash. Save a little room for desserts like lemon cheesecake and banana cream pie.

Dame may not be named after the Trail Blazers deity, but the association certainly couldn’t hurt. This Northeast Killingsworth restaurant dedicated to natural wines also offers a variety of pastas and Italian staples, including cold dishes like wagyu beef carpaccio and marinated olives. Dame is passionate about its wines, but the bartenders will mix refreshing summer cocktails with equal enthusiasm.

Zilla Sake

Copy Link

While Zilla isn’t the only air-conditioned sushi restaurant in Portland (uncooked fish and hot dining rooms are a dire combo, of course), there are few that feel as dim and cool a refuge from the sun as Zilla. And since Zilla expanded into the bar space next door, there’s even more space for last-minute drop-ins for heat-weary Alberta wanderers. Chef Kate Koo’s sushi offerings include both Oregon’s freshest fish and some of the more delicious sea fauna flown in from Hawaii and Tokyo. Zilla’s sake list is peerless in Portland — don’t hesitate to ask servers or bartenders for cold sake recommendations.

The Eastburn

Copy Link

Perhaps most memorable for its hanging basket-style seats in its front window, the air-conditioned Eastburn is plenty cool upstairs, but even cooler in its cozy basement taproom. Eastburn bartenders mix both specialty and classic margaritas with aplomb, and the whiskey list is sneakily one of Portland’s finest — though remember mint juleps are especially time-consuming for bartenders, so go for a simpler cocktail on a busy hot night. Later in the evening, the Eastburn can have a bit of a party atmosphere, particularly on comedy nights, so vibe check accordingly.

Doug Fir Lounge

Copy Link

Best known as one of Portland’s hippest concert venues, the Doug Fir is also a reliably air-conditioned spot to grab a drink and a meal. Like the shade of the mighty Douglas fir itself, the interior is shady and wood-covered, with plenty of dark nooks to slip into alone or with a friend. Veterans of high-volume concert nights, the bartenders here mix cocktails quickly and expertly. The modest dinner menu includes a seasonal salad and a hummus plate. And for those dreading returning home to a muggy bedroom, the attached Jupiter hotel offers air-conditioned rooms. The Doug Fir can be packed on concert nights, so check the schedule ahead of time.

Toki Restaurant

Copy Link

Sun Young Park and Peter Cho, the team behind the celebrated eastside Han Oak, defied 2021 trends by opening a new brick and mortar restaurant downtown. The “spinoff” on Han Oak’s creative Korean-inspired fare has made Toki a downtown favorite for Pearl and Goose Hollow residents, concert-goers, and visiting out-of-towners. With refreshing but not blasting AC, and a menu featuring plenty of cool offerings like hwe dup bap — effectively a Korean sushi bowl served with a cold dipping sauce — and innovative cocktails, Toki is hard to resist on a hot-weather day. On Saturdays, Toki spins hot disco classics but the ambient temperature thankfully remains cool.

Driftwood Room

Copy Link

When the sun flips from friend to foe, there are few better places to escape than the eternally dark and cool Driftwood Room, the stylish house bar at Hotel Deluxe. The 1950s décor, leather-edged bar, plush seats, and expertly-crafted classic cocktails are make the Driftwood a go-to downtown date night, regardless of the season, but the hotel’s powerful central AC makes it especially inviting on sweltering summer afternoons. The Deluxe is a popular wedding location, so prepare a backup plan if the bar is swamped with tuxedoed out of towners.

Produce Row Cafe

Copy Link

When the industrial inner Southeast gets sweltering, Produce Row Cafe is an inviting respite. A Portland institution since 1974, Produce Row at its heart is a whiskey and beer bar, with one of the best selections of American brown liquors in town, but also offers a solid food menu, with plenty of salads and vegetable bowls for those looking to avoid cooked food on a hot day. Produce Row has joined the booze slushy bandwagon, for those looking for a fruity alternative to whiskey. And even rarer in Portland, Produce Row’s fully covered patio reaps the benefits of the air conditioning.

Loyal Legion

Copy Link

With 99 Oregon beers on tap, and a décor heavy on steel and dark wood, the vibe — and the air — inside Loyal Legion is downright frosty, even on hot days when patrons are packed elbow to elbow. Bartenders will guide beer nerds and neophytes alike to a brew that fits the mood: crisp and bitter, mellow and subtle, or sour and zesty. The food menu is no slouch, with a specialty in locally made sausages, but visitors will find plenty of cooler options like falafel wraps, salads, and a hummus plate. Grab a bite, nurse that beer as long as necessary, and soak in the AC until the sun sets.

Perhaps no Portland menu is as perfectly suited to a hot day as Kachka’s. The celebrated Eastern European restaurant features the cuisine of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere, with savory delights like chicken liver pashtet, strawberry and sumac soup, and the beloved herring under a fur coat: a seven-layer cylinder of herring, potato, carrot, beet, egg, and more. Add in a decadent array of roe and caviar and dozens of ice cold vodkas, and Portlanders will find it hard to leave Kachka on warmer evenings.

Oma's Hideaway

Copy Link

Oma’s is no stranger to regular Eater readers, but another wrinkle that makes this smashingly successful spinoff from Gado Gado even more special, is its rare “heat wave menu,” an all-chilled dinner menu that entirely eschews the oven and stove: both compassionate to kitchen staff and a creative treat for frequent patrons. Even when the temperature is merely hot and not sweltering, Oma’s more typical menu features plenty of scintillating cold appetizers and entrees that go far beyond the typical salad. House specialty cocktails are laser-targeted to accompany the night’s menu, often balancing fruit and herbaceous notes without any becoming dominant. And Oma’s dazzlingly eclectic décor is a year-round sensory oasis regardless of the weather.

Jacqueline

Copy Link

Not too long ago, it was considered safe to eat oysters only in month that ended (in English) with the letter “R.” Today, thanks to the gifts of modern refrigeration, cool-water oyster farms, and rapid transport, summer shucking is perfectly safe, making Southeast Clinton’s premier oyster house, Jacqueline, a tantalizing destination on hot Portland days. Bask in the AC with a crisp bottle of white and a dozen local oysters (just $1 each during happy hour), or make an evening meal of it, with uncooked items like hamachi crudo. Jacqueline’s bright and cheery dining room can book at dinnertime on busier days, but the restaurant typically sets aside a couple tables for drop-ins.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

Copy Link

Spacious and utilitarian, the Hopworks pub on Southeast Powell is all about efficiently giving southeast Portlanders what they want on hot days: cold air and colder beer. Paper beer menus give handy notes on the two-dozen of ales, lagers, porters, sours, and ESBs on tap. The pub food menu won’t offer any surprises, but the salads and wraps are reliably made with fresh ingredients and hit the spot on warm days.

Bar Maven

Copy Link

Part of the blossoming scene of no-nonsense neighborhood bars along Southeast Foster, Bar Maven raised the stakes in 2022 by adding air conditioning. Patrons looking to skip hot burgers and kabobs will find a handful of nourishing salads, along with baba ganoush and a hummus plate. The house specialty is boilermakers and Old Fashioneds, including a highly recommended mezcal version, and the all-day Sunday happy hour is one of the city’s best, with $4 well drinks. Adding to the appeal is the Portland-rare kitchen that’s open late, making Bar Maven an enticing place to camp out for hours until the evening heat breaks.

Elements Restaurant

Chef Miguel Sosa keeps diners’ palettes stimulated with plenty of elemental earth, fire, and water in his menu, so it’s appropriate this Vancouver fine dining spot is comfortably air conditioned on hot days. Sosa keeps things seasonal and mixes up specials frequently, so count on creative, cool options like the beet, watercress, and pistachio salad or a watermelon steak with peppers, tomatoes, and summer squash. Save a little room for desserts like lemon cheesecake and banana cream pie.

Dame

Dame may not be named after the Trail Blazers deity, but the association certainly couldn’t hurt. This Northeast Killingsworth restaurant dedicated to natural wines also offers a variety of pastas and Italian staples, including cold dishes like wagyu beef carpaccio and marinated olives. Dame is passionate about its wines, but the bartenders will mix refreshing summer cocktails with equal enthusiasm.

Zilla Sake

While Zilla isn’t the only air-conditioned sushi restaurant in Portland (uncooked fish and hot dining rooms are a dire combo, of course), there are few that feel as dim and cool a refuge from the sun as Zilla. And since Zilla expanded into the bar space next door, there’s even more space for last-minute drop-ins for heat-weary Alberta wanderers. Chef Kate Koo’s sushi offerings include both Oregon’s freshest fish and some of the more delicious sea fauna flown in from Hawaii and Tokyo. Zilla’s sake list is peerless in Portland — don’t hesitate to ask servers or bartenders for cold sake recommendations.

The Eastburn

Perhaps most memorable for its hanging basket-style seats in its front window, the air-conditioned Eastburn is plenty cool upstairs, but even cooler in its cozy basement taproom. Eastburn bartenders mix both specialty and classic margaritas with aplomb, and the whiskey list is sneakily one of Portland’s finest — though remember mint juleps are especially time-consuming for bartenders, so go for a simpler cocktail on a busy hot night. Later in the evening, the Eastburn can have a bit of a party atmosphere, particularly on comedy nights, so vibe check accordingly.

Doug Fir Lounge

Best known as one of Portland’s hippest concert venues, the Doug Fir is also a reliably air-conditioned spot to grab a drink and a meal. Like the shade of the mighty Douglas fir itself, the interior is shady and wood-covered, with plenty of dark nooks to slip into alone or with a friend. Veterans of high-volume concert nights, the bartenders here mix cocktails quickly and expertly. The modest dinner menu includes a seasonal salad and a hummus plate. And for those dreading returning home to a muggy bedroom, the attached Jupiter hotel offers air-conditioned rooms. The Doug Fir can be packed on concert nights, so check the schedule ahead of time.

Toki Restaurant

Sun Young Park and Peter Cho, the team behind the celebrated eastside Han Oak, defied 2021 trends by opening a new brick and mortar restaurant downtown. The “spinoff” on Han Oak’s creative Korean-inspired fare has made Toki a downtown favorite for Pearl and Goose Hollow residents, concert-goers, and visiting out-of-towners. With refreshing but not blasting AC, and a menu featuring plenty of cool offerings like hwe dup bap — effectively a Korean sushi bowl served with a cold dipping sauce — and innovative cocktails, Toki is hard to resist on a hot-weather day. On Saturdays, Toki spins hot disco classics but the ambient temperature thankfully remains cool.

Driftwood Room

When the sun flips from friend to foe, there are few better places to escape than the eternally dark and cool Driftwood Room, the stylish house bar at Hotel Deluxe. The 1950s décor, leather-edged bar, plush seats, and expertly-crafted classic cocktails are make the Driftwood a go-to downtown date night, regardless of the season, but the hotel’s powerful central AC makes it especially inviting on sweltering summer afternoons. The Deluxe is a popular wedding location, so prepare a backup plan if the bar is swamped with tuxedoed out of towners.

Produce Row Cafe

When the industrial inner Southeast gets sweltering, Produce Row Cafe is an inviting respite. A Portland institution since 1974, Produce Row at its heart is a whiskey and beer bar, with one of the best selections of American brown liquors in town, but also offers a solid food menu, with plenty of salads and vegetable bowls for those looking to avoid cooked food on a hot day. Produce Row has joined the booze slushy bandwagon, for those looking for a fruity alternative to whiskey. And even rarer in Portland, Produce Row’s fully covered patio reaps the benefits of the air conditioning.

Loyal Legion

With 99 Oregon beers on tap, and a décor heavy on steel and dark wood, the vibe — and the air — inside Loyal Legion is downright frosty, even on hot days when patrons are packed elbow to elbow. Bartenders will guide beer nerds and neophytes alike to a brew that fits the mood: crisp and bitter, mellow and subtle, or sour and zesty. The food menu is no slouch, with a specialty in locally made sausages, but visitors will find plenty of cooler options like falafel wraps, salads, and a hummus plate. Grab a bite, nurse that beer as long as necessary, and soak in the AC until the sun sets.

Kachka

Perhaps no Portland menu is as perfectly suited to a hot day as Kachka’s. The celebrated Eastern European restaurant features the cuisine of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and elsewhere, with savory delights like chicken liver pashtet, strawberry and sumac soup, and the beloved herring under a fur coat: a seven-layer cylinder of herring, potato, carrot, beet, egg, and more. Add in a decadent array of roe and caviar and dozens of ice cold vodkas, and Portlanders will find it hard to leave Kachka on warmer evenings.

Oma's Hideaway

Oma’s is no stranger to regular Eater readers, but another wrinkle that makes this smashingly successful spinoff from Gado Gado even more special, is its rare “heat wave menu,” an all-chilled dinner menu that entirely eschews the oven and stove: both compassionate to kitchen staff and a creative treat for frequent patrons. Even when the temperature is merely hot and not sweltering, Oma’s more typical menu features plenty of scintillating cold appetizers and entrees that go far beyond the typical salad. House specialty cocktails are laser-targeted to accompany the night’s menu, often balancing fruit and herbaceous notes without any becoming dominant. And Oma’s dazzlingly eclectic décor is a year-round sensory oasis regardless of the weather.

Jacqueline

Not too long ago, it was considered safe to eat oysters only in month that ended (in English) with the letter “R.” Today, thanks to the gifts of modern refrigeration, cool-water oyster farms, and rapid transport, summer shucking is perfectly safe, making Southeast Clinton’s premier oyster house, Jacqueline, a tantalizing destination on hot Portland days. Bask in the AC with a crisp bottle of white and a dozen local oysters (just $1 each during happy hour), or make an evening meal of it, with uncooked items like hamachi crudo. Jacqueline’s bright and cheery dining room can book at dinnertime on busier days, but the restaurant typically sets aside a couple tables for drop-ins.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

Spacious and utilitarian, the Hopworks pub on Southeast Powell is all about efficiently giving southeast Portlanders what they want on hot days: cold air and colder beer. Paper beer menus give handy notes on the two-dozen of ales, lagers, porters, sours, and ESBs on tap. The pub food menu won’t offer any surprises, but the salads and wraps are reliably made with fresh ingredients and hit the spot on warm days.

Bar Maven

Part of the blossoming scene of no-nonsense neighborhood bars along Southeast Foster, Bar Maven raised the stakes in 2022 by adding air conditioning. Patrons looking to skip hot burgers and kabobs will find a handful of nourishing salads, along with baba ganoush and a hummus plate. The house specialty is boilermakers and Old Fashioneds, including a highly recommended mezcal version, and the all-day Sunday happy hour is one of the city’s best, with $4 well drinks. Adding to the appeal is the Portland-rare kitchen that’s open late, making Bar Maven an enticing place to camp out for hours until the evening heat breaks.

Related Maps