Portland Bars That You Should Know About
These are some bars that I really enjoy in the city. If you live here or are visiting, I'd recommend any of these places.
- •Whiskey Soda LoungePok Pok owner Andy Ricker's bar! Drinks to get include the tamarind whiskey sour, Pok Pok Bloody Mary, and any of their large selection of drinks made with their house drinking vinegars. Besides the drinks, this bar offers a smaller version of the Pok Pok menu, minus the hour+ long wait.
- •North 45A bit more under-the-radar than some of the other hip bars in Portland, this bar offers one of my favorite drinks in the city. Their Moscow Mule is probably the best I've ever had. The use of house-made ginger purée elevates this drink to the next level and adds a spicy dimension that I've never been able to find with even the most spicy ginger beers. Their other cocktails and moules frites (mussels and fries) are also on point. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a bar or cafe in Paris.
- •A Roadside AttractionThis funky bar off of Belmont is exactly what it's name implies: an attraction plucked straight from the side of one of the many roads that run up and down the whole of the country. Filled with odd paintings, a piano, and a great patio/garden, this bar is a great place to go with a few friends to get a beer, play free pool, and enjoy the eclectic decor.
- •Clyde Common/Pepe LemokoWhat can I say about Jeffrey Moganthaler that hasn't been said before? He runs the bar at Clyde and owns Pepe Lemoko, a smaller bar serving updated and upscaled versions of classic Americana drinks. He's also one of the best bartenders in the country. His inventiveness and attention to detail had led to some of the best crafted cocktails I've had the pleasure of drinking. Negronis are possibly my favorite drink ever and the barrel-aged Negroni served at Clyde Common is hands down the best.
- •Prost!Do you like German beer served in imperial pints? Do you like eating at food carts? I'm glad you said yes to both questions because that's what you'll get at Prost. They exclusively serve some of the best beers imported straight from Germany and are conveniently located next to one of the best food cart pods in the city (yes, they even let you bring your food onto their patio to accompany their tasty beer)
- •Mash TunJust a good bar with good beer. All of the beer on tap is brewed by them and they do a great job. The bar also has free darts and a jukebox. This is also an underrated place to watch Blazer games, as it's often not crowded, and the games are played on a projector against the wall.
- •East BurnA basement with skeeball and arcade games, a patio with swings instead of chairs, and Trivial Pursuit cards at every table. Do you really need more reasons to hang out here?
- •RontomsProbably the largest patio in town. There are also ping pong tables and live music inside. It's a really good spot for larger groups of people.
- •Swift LoungeSmall and loud, this bar has a fun and carefree vibe. I'd recommend going with 2-3 other people, grabbing the bar's Jenga set, and ordering a mason jar or two. Their 32oz signature drinks are actually well-mixed and creative, not just massive rum and cokes.
- •Ground KontrolDrinks, all the old school arcade games you could ever play, and a bathroom straight out of Tron. It's a great time so start looking in your couch cushions for those quarters you dropped 2 1/2 years ago.
- •John's MarketplaceOkay so I know this isn't a bar but I had to put it on this list because for anyone who likes beer, this is THE place to go. Don't let the unassuming exterior of this southwest Portland bottle shop fool you. They have the largest beer selection on the west coast. They carry roughly 2,000 different varieties at any given time. They also organize their beers by region so I always like to try and explore one or two regions each time I go.