The best bar in Portland changes pretty much every night, depending on who shows up, what beers get tapped and who controls the speakers.
Our pick for the top brewpub, dive bar or wine lounge might change by the time you've finished reading this. But here are the spots, new and old, that we're most excited about right now. For a comprehensive list of favorites, check out our Bar Guide.
Where to drink this week:
1. Elvis Room
203 SE Grand Ave., 503-235-5690.
It's been a long time coming, but Elvis Room is in the building. The former East End is two stories comprising ersatz Graceland chic upstairs, and dim-basement '70s lounge down below. It's a beautiful, beautiful bar.
2. Cat's Paw Saloon
3565 SE Division St., 503-719-5189.
Cat's Paw is a pro-skater-owned, slightly punky refuge on bougie Division Street—splitting the difference among $9 lavender cocktails, $2 happy-hour Rainiers and a decent mess of craft brews.
3. Level Beer
5211 SE 148th Ave., 503-714-1222, levelbeer.com.
As temps drift down later this week, wander to Level's far-east barn brewery for a fine Laurelwood ESB collaboration, or a beautifully complex pepper-and-mint beer made with Culmination Brewing.
4. Zilla Sake
1806 N. Alberta St., 503-288-8372, zillasake.com.
Zilla has evolved into a boozy juggernaut—with more sakes by the glass than almost anywhere in the country and some seriously good cocktails from Rum Club's Matt Kesteloot. Indulge on sushi, or just tipple on the bar side at happy hour.
5. Bottle Rocket
1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
This new Cartopia burger-and fish-sauce-tots spot offers the once unthinkable privilege of enjoying an ice-cold radler or Pfriem pilsner on the patio with your Chicken and Guns. Now it seems barbaric you couldn't do so before.