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13 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Ideas for All You Slackers

Feel the love at these romantic bars and restaurants

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In the fickle world of love, it's always good to have reservations. But sometimes we blindly fling ourselves into Valentine's Day, and if this is you, this last-minute guide might make you look as though you had a plan all along.

You'll find some of the city's most romantic restaurants that still have reservations (at the time of publication), and the requisite Portland dive bars throwing very beery Valentine's Day parties. You'll find Valentine's Day brunches, for those who like to start early. And in case you consider Valentine's Day a dumb greeting-card holiday, the list includes options for hating on Valentine's Day alone, or with friends.

Just think, there are plenty of drinking holes you can drag your lonely heart to and get properly sloshed with drinkers of the same persuasion. That includes karaoke options. Here are some Valentine's Day ideas, for both those on the good and the bad sides of St. Valentine.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dame Restaurant

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2930 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 227-2669
Visit Website
Prefer an ungimmicky Valentine’s date at one of the city's hottest restaurants? Dame will be open for dinner on Valentine’s Day but it isn't doing anything special: just offering its already exceptional menu of Mediterranean-inspired plates. Then there's the excellent wine list compiled by co-owner Dana Frank, one of the nation's top sommeliers, for stoking romance. Seating is limited, so be sure to make a reservation sooner than later.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

2. Purringtons Cat Lounge

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NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 334-3570
Visit Website
Looking for non-human love? Head to Portland's cat cafe, because, while cats act like they don't need you, the thing is, they do need you. If you find true love, you can adopt any of the cats at Purringtons this Valentine’s Day—all while enjoying a cheese plate and a nice glass of pinot gris, too.

3. Black Water Bar

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835 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232
Forget all the Valentine’s Day hooblah and have yourself a heavy metal vegan meal with friends or your anarchist-leaning beau. This bar has some of the best meatless “junk” food in town, like handmade veggie burgers, chili cheese fries, and sandwiches. Perhaps you’ll catch a show. And don’t worry, the decor is simple and no-fuss. In other words, there will be absolutely zero tea candles on your table.

4. Swift Lounge

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1932 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 288-3333
Visit Website
Whether you have a date, are hanging with friends, or going solo, you really can’t go wrong with this laid-back bar's happy hour, aka Jolly Hour, running 4 to 8 p.m. In addition to the variety of food options, like kim chee, taquitos, and sliders, Swift Lounge makes strong cocktails. This Valentine’s Day brings a DJ spinning 90s R&B music. Just saying.

5. Aalto Lounge

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3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-6041
Visit Website
On a budget? Head to Aalto Lounge for its daily happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.), where all food and drink is $3 a pop. Think cocktails, jello shots, and grilled cheese sandwiches. There's a DJ starting at 8 p.m., just in time for you to prance around like the Casanova you are. Oh yeah, and there’s a photo booth in case you want to remember it all.

[Photo: Facebook/Aalto Lounge]

6. Crush

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1400 SE Morrison St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-8150
Visit Website
At this LGBT bar this year, the Bi Bar dance party falls on Valentine’s Day. It's a prime opportunity to either flirt with some attractive singles or dance the night off with your beloved. Come early for happy hour (3 to 7 p.m.) and get a $5 martini along with some bar snacks, like nachos or pulled pork sliders.

7. The Lovecraft

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421 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(971) 270-7760
Visit Website
Think Valentine's Day is horrible? Head to horror-themed Lovecraft Bar and order a nice Jack the Ripper sandwich with grilled pepper jack cheese on 12 grain bread. Or some other delicacy named after a murder scene. Lovecraft serves stiff drinks for those who love the darkness, and every second Tuesday is Burlesque night, which means kinky performance art this Valentine’s Day.

8. Epif Restaurant & Pisco Lounge

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404 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR
Those who love plant-based cooking and crave a nice Valentine’s dinner, just know that all is not lost. While Farm Spirit and Harvest at the Bindery are now sold out, Epif is offering a three-course menu for $45 per person. In addition to the regular beverage menu, it will also include some specialties, like a pisco raspberry bitter hearts cocktail. You can reserve a spot by phone or email, at info@epifpdx.com.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

9. Punch Bowl Social

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340 SW Morrison St Fl Rotunda
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 334-0360
Visit Website
Go bowling! It's potentially the least romantic thing on earth. And when your shoulder gets sore, hit the onsite karaoke rooms; play darts or foosball; or try out any of the many other games in the 32,000-square-foot space. In addition to entertainment, there are also punch-bowl-size beverages and Southern-inspired, from-scratch dishes, like tacos filled with pork carnitas and classic poutine.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

10. Grassa

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1205 SW Washington St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 241-1133
Visit Website
Ever fantasized about reenacting the romantic spaghetti and meatballs scene from Lady and the Tramp? This Valentine’s Day you can do just that since Grassa is offering spaghetti and meatballs for two for $15 at both locations. Add a bottle of house red for another $15. And yes, the deal is appropriately named “Lady and the Tramp.”

11. Low Brow Lounge

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1036 NW Hoyt St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 226-0200
If your idea of Valentine’s Day involves UV lighting, pinball, and well drinks, look no further than Low Brow Lounge. It’s kind of like entering a dark cave punctuated by neon and wafts of stale chips, but it'd be remiss to dismiss it as just another dive: The fact that a place like this still exists in the upscale Pearl District is a Valentine’s Day miracle in itself.

12. The Waiting Room

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2327 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97210
Cozy up with a New Orleans state of mind in a historic house on Valentine’s Day. Chef Thomas Dunklin will be cooking up a “dinner for two” prix-fixe menu, which includes half a dozen oysters, a half bird, cremeux, and a half bottle of Gruet Rosé for two. Additionally, there will be some special supplemental courses available a la carte.

[Photo: Yelp]

13. Salt & Straw

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838 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210
(971) 271-8168
Visit Website
Portland's wildly imaginative ice cream shop Salt & Straw is teaming up with Basic Rights Oregon to help support LGBTQ youth. Come out between 6 and 11 p.m. on V-Day, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Basic Rights Oregon. There will also be a photo booth where your snapshots will be shared on social media with messages of love and solidarity.

1. Dame Restaurant

2930 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
Prefer an ungimmicky Valentine’s date at one of the city's hottest restaurants? Dame will be open for dinner on Valentine’s Day but it isn't doing anything special: just offering its already exceptional menu of Mediterranean-inspired plates. Then there's the excellent wine list compiled by co-owner Dana Frank, one of the nation's top sommeliers, for stoking romance. Seating is limited, so be sure to make a reservation sooner than later.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

2930 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211

2. Purringtons Cat Lounge

NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97212
Looking for non-human love? Head to Portland's cat cafe, because, while cats act like they don't need you, the thing is, they do need you. If you find true love, you can adopt any of the cats at Purringtons this Valentine’s Day—all while enjoying a cheese plate and a nice glass of pinot gris, too.
NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97212

3. Black Water Bar

835 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232
Forget all the Valentine’s Day hooblah and have yourself a heavy metal vegan meal with friends or your anarchist-leaning beau. This bar has some of the best meatless “junk” food in town, like handmade veggie burgers, chili cheese fries, and sandwiches. Perhaps you’ll catch a show. And don’t worry, the decor is simple and no-fuss. In other words, there will be absolutely zero tea candles on your table.
835 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232

4. Swift Lounge

1932 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232
Whether you have a date, are hanging with friends, or going solo, you really can’t go wrong with this laid-back bar's happy hour, aka Jolly Hour, running 4 to 8 p.m. In addition to the variety of food options, like kim chee, taquitos, and sliders, Swift Lounge makes strong cocktails. This Valentine’s Day brings a DJ spinning 90s R&B music. Just saying.
1932 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232

5. Aalto Lounge

3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
On a budget? Head to Aalto Lounge for its daily happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.), where all food and drink is $3 a pop. Think cocktails, jello shots, and grilled cheese sandwiches. There's a DJ starting at 8 p.m., just in time for you to prance around like the Casanova you are. Oh yeah, and there’s a photo booth in case you want to remember it all.

[Photo: Facebook/Aalto Lounge]

3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

6. Crush

1400 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214
At this LGBT bar this year, the Bi Bar dance party falls on Valentine’s Day. It's a prime opportunity to either flirt with some attractive singles or dance the night off with your beloved. Come early for happy hour (3 to 7 p.m.) and get a $5 martini along with some bar snacks, like nachos or pulled pork sliders.
1400 SE Morrison St
Portland, OR 97214

7. The Lovecraft

421 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Think Valentine's Day is horrible? Head to horror-themed Lovecraft Bar and order a nice Jack the Ripper sandwich with grilled pepper jack cheese on 12 grain bread. Or some other delicacy named after a murder scene. Lovecraft serves stiff drinks for those who love the darkness, and every second Tuesday is Burlesque night, which means kinky performance art this Valentine’s Day.
421 SE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97214

8. Epif Restaurant & Pisco Lounge

404 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR
Those who love plant-based cooking and crave a nice Valentine’s dinner, just know that all is not lost. While Farm Spirit and Harvest at the Bindery are now sold out, Epif is offering a three-course menu for $45 per person. In addition to the regular beverage menu, it will also include some specialties, like a pisco raspberry bitter hearts cocktail. You can reserve a spot by phone or email, at info@epifpdx.com.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

404 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR

9. Punch Bowl Social

340 SW Morrison St Fl Rotunda, Portland, OR 97204
Go bowling! It's potentially the least romantic thing on earth. And when your shoulder gets sore, hit the onsite karaoke rooms; play darts or foosball; or try out any of the many other games in the 32,000-square-foot space. In addition to entertainment, there are also punch-bowl-size beverages and Southern-inspired, from-scratch dishes, like tacos filled with pork carnitas and classic poutine.

[Photo: Dina Avila/EPDX]

340 SW Morrison St Fl Rotunda
Portland, OR 97204

10. Grassa

1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205
Ever fantasized about reenacting the romantic spaghetti and meatballs scene from Lady and the Tramp? This Valentine’s Day you can do just that since Grassa is offering spaghetti and meatballs for two for $15 at both locations. Add a bottle of house red for another $15. And yes, the deal is appropriately named “Lady and the Tramp.”
1205 SW Washington St
Portland, OR 97205

11. Low Brow Lounge

1036 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR 97209
If your idea of Valentine’s Day involves UV lighting, pinball, and well drinks, look no further than Low Brow Lounge. It’s kind of like entering a dark cave punctuated by neon and wafts of stale chips, but it'd be remiss to dismiss it as just another dive: The fact that a place like this still exists in the upscale Pearl District is a Valentine’s Day miracle in itself.
1036 NW Hoyt St
Portland, OR 97209

12. The Waiting Room

2327 NW Kearney St, Portland, OR 97210
Cozy up with a New Orleans state of mind in a historic house on Valentine’s Day. Chef Thomas Dunklin will be cooking up a “dinner for two” prix-fixe menu, which includes half a dozen oysters, a half bird, cremeux, and a half bottle of Gruet Rosé for two. Additionally, there will be some special supplemental courses available a la carte.

[Photo: Yelp]

2327 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97210

13. Salt & Straw

838 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
Portland's wildly imaginative ice cream shop Salt & Straw is teaming up with Basic Rights Oregon to help support LGBTQ youth. Come out between 6 and 11 p.m. on V-Day, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Basic Rights Oregon. There will also be a photo booth where your snapshots will be shared on social media with messages of love and solidarity.
838 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

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