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.

 1. White Owl Social Club (pictured above)

1305 SE 8th Ave., 236-9672,

The picnic-table armada and party-biker vibe makes White Owl the best patio in Portland—good for every damn demographic in the city except tunnel people. But beware of the bottleneck at the mobbed bar.

Baerlic Brewing
IMAGE: Martin Cizmar

2. Baerlic Brewing

2235 SE 11th Ave., 477-9418,

Having just opened next to Blitz Ladd, this brewery is still growing into a sparse space. There’s no food, seating is limited to steel chairs and shortie picnic tables, but the kegs are kicking fast.

IMAGE: Natalie Behring

 3. Coopers Hall

404 SE 6th Ave., 719-7000,

It looks like someone filled an airplane hangar with tables, but this gargantuan winepub makes the space work with hanging plants and low-hung string lights. Build a cautious buzz with the bar’s refreshing take on a shandy: lager, white wine and fruity liqueur over ice in a pint glass.

IMAGE: Emma Browne

4. Jackknife

614 SW 11th Ave., 384-2347,

The Sentinel’s new hotel bar is beautiful, with terrific cocktails and refreshing snacks. Go. See. Eat. Drink. Enjoy. But as with sister bar Dig A Pony, go on a Tuesday or get out by 9 pm.


5. Radio Room

1101 NE Alberta St., 287-2346,

Somehow, not everybody knows there’s a rooftop patio here in the heart of Alberta. Note that the crowd is unpredictable, often consisting of people who look like they arrived by mistake and fell mouth-first into a Jack and Coke.