2045 SE Belmont St., 503-232-3227. 4 pm-2:30 am daily. Happy hour 4-7 pm: $2 Olympia, $1 off drafts and well cocktails, $6 margaritas, food specials.

Established: March 2012

Keeping with its titular theme, the stucco walls of Conquistador are adorned with ornate brass work and paintings of swashbuckling Spaniards that glow softly under the bar's golden light. The effect is less Walt Disney and more Paul Thomas Anderson— specifically a scene in the den of some haughty pornographer where a coke deal goes wrong in time with T. Rex and Steely Dan. Its two distinct draws are tequila cocktails and nachos, both of which are generous and in high demand. The former is dispensed in whirlwind fashion by a lone bartender who churns out more margaritas and palomas in one night than most do in a month, but those in the know get the Tijuana Brass, a mezcal cocktail that cools the burn of jalapeño-infused tequila with aperol and agave ($9). The latter is the finest platter in town ($10.50), so elegant in its gooey simplicity and careful assembly that you're better off not wondering how you could ever re-create such a masterpiece at home. You'll one day wish where you lived is as effortlessly cool as Conquistador, but until an estranged cousin bequeaths you a Colombian villa that's been untouched since the late '70s, you're better off partying here.

(Mike Grippi)
(Mike Grippi)