Bars – Where to Drink – Portland, Oregon Travel Guide
A pub crawl down Burnside Street will take you from one side of the Willamette River to the other while hitting many of Portland’s finest bars and dance clubs along the way. Below I have listed some popular pit stops both on and off this well-beaten path that will have you toasting yourself on the journey until sunrise.
Portland City Grill
Nestled on the 30th floor of the U.S. Bank high rise (the big pink building), Portland City Grill offers great food, a great view and great service at very reasonable prices. Wall-to-wall windows give diners a breathtaking view of Portland’s city lights and the Willamette river, and a live pianist adds to the romantic atmosphere. Even travelers on the most meager budgets can afford to rub elbows with P-town’s business types in this classy restaurant/bar. For around $7 sip the best martinis or cosmos in town, and their happy hour menu boasts excellent seafood and burgers ranging from $1.50 to $13. Beers average about $3.95.
Happy Hour: Monday through Thursday, 4:30pm to 6:30pm and 10pm to 12am; Friday, 4:30pm to 6:30pm; Sunday, 4pm to 10pm.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11am to 12am; Friday 11am to 1am; Saturday 4pm to 1am; Sunday 4pm to 10pm
Location: 111 SW 5th Ave., Portland, OR; cross street at Burnside
Phone: +1 (503) 450 0030
McMenamins pubs can be either hit or miss, but with Ringlers, they definitely have a hit. The Crystal Ballroom upstairs hosts several live concerts per month, and patrons often migrate downstairs after the shows to relax in the bar. Ringlers is almost always packed on the weekends with twenty and thirty-somethings knocking back Hammerhead ales and cocktails or shootin’ pool. And on Fridays from 5pm to 8pm the place rocks with live music. Drinks average from $5 to $7. Pool tables are free on Mondays and from 11:30am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday. All other times, pool tables are $6 an hour.
Hours: 11:30am to 2:30am daily
Location: Address: 1332 W Burnside St., Portland, OR; cross street at 14th
Phone: +1 (503) 225 0543
If you’re in the mood for a quality drink in a classy, lounge-type atmosphere, Jake’s is it.
Happy Hour is Monday through Friday, 7am-midnight, and Saturday and Sunday, 7:30am to 1am, when drinks are $1.95-3.95. The average age is over 30, big-business clientele and the dress is semi-formal. So leave your skateboard at home.
Location: 611 SW 10TH Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Phone: +1 (503) 220 1850
If you don’t mind a cramped setting, low ceilings and “hands-on” door security (ouch), you’ll have a great time at Metropolis. The music – top 40, Hip Hop and R&B – pounds, the dance floor rocks and the place almost always hops.
$1 drinks are on offer every night of the week, and as a result the place is packed. The bartender, Erin, told me about their best drinks.
“A.M.F’s, Long Island anything and coffee-layered shots are the favorites,” she screamed over the music.
But apparently drinks aren’t the only attraction.
“Our DJ, Half Pint, is the best in the city. He rocks,” Erin boasted before letting out a scream.
Hours: 8:30pm to 3am, 7 days a week
Location: 311 SW Washington St., Portland, OR 97204; cross street at 3rd.
Phone: +1 (503) 223 7515
Red Star Tavern and Roast House
Another classy joint with plush décor and that upper-end attitude. Red Star features fine, fresh fruit, shaken drinks, and a ritzy, low-light ambiance, as well as meals that range from $5 to $10.
“Full tavern menu and the best Lemon Drop in Portland,” boasts Leon, the bartender. That’s quite a claim considering just about every bar claims to serve a mean Lemon Drop.
During the week, 30-50-year-old business types fill the bar. But during the weekend the crowd is considerably younger.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 2:30pm to 10pm; Friday 2:30pm to 11 pm; Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 11pm
Location: 503 SW Alder St., Portland, OR 97204
The Black Bird
The Black Bird is a haven for music purists. People frequent this venue for the hip décor and modern music. If you’re tired of the typical bar experience, a night at the Black Bird just might be the answer. Patrons mellow out to the entrancing strains of live, retro tunes – indie and alternative rock, jazz, underground – in a dimly lit, laid-back environment. Drinks are around $3 to $4.
Hours: 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily
Location: 3728 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97213
Phone: +1 (503) 282 9949
Serves starters, snacks and deserts in a cozy and surprisingly classy atmosphere. But beware! The place has more smoke than oxygen. If you’re allergic to cigars, this will be your last stop in Portland.
Hours: Mon-Thur 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri-Sat 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
Location: 2075 NW Glisan St. (21st Ave)
Phone: +1 (503) 294 0636
Ivan, the head bartender, leaned across the bar, looked both ways and whispered to me: “I don’t want to be arrogant, but we have the best drinks in town. There’s not much argument about that.”
After looking at the prices, I believed him! Most of the drinks are $7.
Even on their star drink menu, Ivan listed some that stand out: Coconut Lime Rickey, Blood Orange Drop, Ginger Cosmo and The Best Drink, are the favorites.
The atmosphere is as good as the drinks, and it’s a real dress-up place. But after 10pm the place loosens up a little; a DJ comes on, the lights dim and a younger crowd invades the premises.
Happy Hour is every day from 5 to 7 pm. Beers are $2, and Cosmos and Margaritas are $4.
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 5pm to midnight; Friday through Saturday, 5pm to 2:30am
Location: 214 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Phone: +1 (503) 241 3393