Ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St., 503-226-0430, ashstreetsaloon.com. 4-8 pm daily.

[STICK TO PBR] Unsure if Ash Street Saloon is the right after-work watering hole for you? Well, let me ask you this: Are you comfortable walking up to a bartender and asking for a $5 Cunt Licker? If the very thought offends you, Saucebox is just a block away. (If you must know, it's Malibu Rum, vanilla Stoli and fruit juice, but in truth, you're probably not going to order anything more colorful than a PBR here.) One of Portland's waning bastions of questionable taste, the self-proclaimed "dirty rock bar" smells like a minimally sanitized urinal and keeps the television tuned to Syfy. If there isn't a band named something like Goblin Cock assaulting eardrums from the stage, the Suicidal Tendencies blaring from the house speakers should activate your tinnitus just fine. Trust me, you'll miss it when it's gone—which is likely to be next September when its lease expires. MATTHEW SINGER.

Best deal: Pabst is $1.25. Dare to get the burger for just $3 more.

Bar XV

15 SW 2nd Ave., 503-790-9090, barfifteen.com. 4-7 pm daily, 9 pm-midnight Sunday-Thursday.

[TOT'CHO PROBLEM SOLVED] If you're in Old Town and you're serious about it—and Old Town does not reward half-assery when it comes to drinking—your night is sooner or later going to hit a wall that can only be scaled by a big-ass plate of loaded-up $6 totchos to soak up the tequila shots you've foolishly been ordering as the back to an AMF. Bar XV is a nightclubby holdover from Old Town's now-forgotten days of hosting slightly more subversive dance crowds, and has you covered with a late-night happy hour that might save your life. The burger's still $9 at both early and late happy hours, but let's be clear: What you need is a carb sink. Get either the tot'chos or the $6 mac and cheese, and blunt the damage you've done to yourself. You might damage your cause if you take part in $2 Fireball "power hour." MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: $2 Fireball at Friday power hour.

The Benson Hotel

309 SW Broadway, 503-228-2000, coasthotels.com/hotels/oregon/portland/the-benson-hotel. 4-6 pm and 9 pm-close daily.

[A+ PEOPLE WATCHING] Ten minutes into happy hour and the beer taps aren't working at the Palm Court, the Benson's opulent lobby restaurant. The flustered bow tie- and tuxedo vest-clad bartender addresses the bar, whose occupants consist of several pairs of tourists and an inexplicably angry man in a golf shirt: "Anyone have any ideas?" Two biochemists in matching haircuts and polo shirts nervously sip from their glasses of chardonnay. "Maybe it's out of gas?" No one has any ideas. By the time a manager comes to flip on a hidden switch under the bar ("Who knew!" chuckles the bartender), everyone has loosened up and is joining in contagious conversation the way people seem to only when in a new and unfamiliar city. No one orders the food, but the $4 grilled Tillamook cheese sandwich with tomatoes is tempting. KAT MERCK.

Best deal: The $6 burger comes with both cheese and fries; if you want to fit in, be sure to pair it with a $5 glass of the house red, white or sparkling wine.

Clyde Common

1014 SW Stark St., 503-228-3333, clydecommon.com. 3-6 pm daily.

Photo: Thomas Teal
Photo: Thomas Teal

[THE LESS COMMON CLYDE] Clyde Common's now-legendary happy hour is best known for the burger, and for the cocktails of celebrity bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. But chef Carlo Lamagna's Filipino-inflected menu offers a few new and interesting treats since last year: Freshly fried chicharrones ($4) may be revelatory to folks used to munching on grease-bomb pork rinds from a bag, especially when they're as light and airy as these. Very subtly seasoned, the lemon and sour cream accompaniments add a nice piquant note to the overall unctuousness. Deep-fried lumpia ($5) are the mainstays of Filipino potlucks worldwide, and while Clyde's version is a touch larger than the tight cigarillo Shanghai variety that the dish harks back to, it meets all the garlicky, porky notes that the style requires. But still: Get those $6 cocktails. Damn. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.

Best deal: Consider yourself #blessed paying only $6 for either a Bittersweet Symphony—a gin-aperol-punt e mes Negroni variant—or the tequila-Becherovka-horchata Southbound Suarez that's pretty much a CC staple by now.

Dragonwell

735 SW 1st Ave., 503-224-0800, dragonwellbistro.com. 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, 9-10 pm Friday-Saturday.

[GRUB HUB] If you've just come from a walk along the waterfront or found yourself trapped in the Bermuda-shorted hell of Pioneer Place mall, you may need a snack or refreshment to bolster your spirits. The pan-Asian bistro Dragonwell will probably seem a ghost town in the wan hours of the late afternoon, but the place offers one of the most extensive happy-hour food menus in town. At $2, $4 and $6 price points, you can find a multitude of options that range from Asian water chestnut and crunchy rice salad to barbecue pork to fried eggplant in gon-bon sauce. Drinks are slightly more expensive, with a 12-ounce bottle of Tsingtao coming in at $4 and house sake at $5, but you only have to order one to qualify for happy-hour food prices. ZACH MIDDLETON.

Best deal: A $3.50 Sapporo draft and an order of the garlic spiced chicken wings work just fine.

Driftwood Room

729 SW 15th Ave., 503-820-2076, hoteldeluxeportland.com. 4-6 pm and 9:30 pm-close daily.

(Vivian Johnson)
(Vivian Johnson)

[CHAMPAGNE DRIFT] The Driftwood Room is a windowless jewel box of luxe tippling that lures a cosmopolitan array of visiting guests, West Hills dowagers, and genteel bohemians sipping high-class $9 champagne cocktails and wine paired amiably with heaping user's choice french fries ($5) currently served up with aleppo peppers and sriracha mayo—or a big ol' plate of gooey four-cheese mac with bacon ($9). JAY HORTON.

Best deal: Fancy $5 french fries.

Higgins

1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, higginsportland.com. 4-6:30 pm Sunday-Friday, 10-11 pm Monday-Saturday, 9-10 pm Sunday.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

[DUCK, YOU SUCKER] Higgins is on one side a tableclothed formality, and on the bar side a casual tavern old enough that the restroom seems to be made for elves—but on both sides, the service is some of the most impeccable in town without being fussy. But the bar side is the best side, and the generous-portioned happy hour is one reason: Eight dollars will get you a giant portion of drenched jalapeño-hot duck wings so rich they make chicken seem a game for fools, while a coffee mug-sized duck-liver mousse will sate a singleton all by itself. Meanwhile, the beer selection—from hundreds in bottles to a well-tended rotation of taps—is almost certainly the best fine-dining beer list in Portland, a distinction it's maintained for 30 years straight. and at happy hour, it's 20 percent off. Dig in. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Seriously, those $8 plates are full meals. If you see duck, order duck.

(Imperial, Nolan Calisch)
(Imperial, Nolan Calisch)

Imperial

410 SW Broadway, 503-228-7222, imperialpdx.com. 2-6 pm Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm Saturday-Sunday; late night 10-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday.

[NOT CHOPPED LIVER] Imperial, our 2015 Restaurant of the Year, has lost chef Doug Adams, but still offers a burger with sweet pickles and dill mayo that costs only $6 and ranks among the best in the city. The $4 chicken liver pâté made in the mode of Paley's legend Stan Luoma melts into unctuous abandon—truly one of the greatest luxuries you could ever get in the city of Portland under $5. The happy hour rotates a bit—specials come on, specials come off—but recently, there was $8 fried chicken. The best deal, however, is also the most consistent: the $5 price on an excellent draft Vieux Carré. It's all liquor—and alllll goooood. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: $5 Vieux Carré. And then another one. And the $4 liver pâté.

Jake's Famous Crawfish

401 SW 12th Ave., 503-226-1419, mccormickandschmicks.com. 3-6 pm daily, 9-close Sunday-Thursday, 10-close Friday-Saturday.

[BURGER CLASSIC] Jake's is now owned by a national chain, but there's one thing that doesn't change—that cheeseburger at happy hour, downtown's worst-kept secret. It's gone up from $2.95 to a whopping $4.95, sure, pairable with the classic Caesar for another $4.95—unless you're into those $7 mussels or $4 mac and cheese, that is. The food is mostly solid, working-class fare—but damned if that black-tie, white-shirt service doesn't feel good with an under-$10 meal and a $5.75 8-ounce glass of merlot. Yes, that's 8 ounces of wine. Take your mom here, and she'll probably love you more. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Seriously, $4.95 burger, $5.75 8-ounce wine glass.

Kelly's Olympian

426 SW Washington St., 503-228-3669, kellysolympian.com. 4-7 pm daily, 11 pm-1 am Sunday-Thursday.

[QUICK AND DIRTY] Nothing at Kelly's Olympian is quite what you'd expect it to be. The over-100-year-old bar has plumbing downstairs that seems to suggest patrons once relived themselves by pissing into a trough directly under the bar—which is, we suppose, no weirder than the fact that the owner currently parks his motorcycles on the ceiling. Meanwhile, alongside dollar-off wells and drafts, the happy-hour menu almost exclusively has food you'd find in a Trader Joe's freezer—and for the same prices. But it's all made from scratch. So the $5 happy-hour mac-and-cheese balls are smothered in a house four-cheese blend, breaded with a house mix of panko and Cheetos dust, and dipped in bespoke ranch sauce. The $4 tots come with house fry sauce, and the $4 quesadillas come with housemade salsa. Kelly's devotion to the quick and dirty is almost heartening. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Just get the mac-and-cheese balls. They're $5.

Little Bird

215 SW 6th Ave., 503-688-5952, littlebirdbistro.com. 2:30-5 pm (6 pm at the bar) Monday-Friday, 10 pm-close daily, all day Sunday.

(Megan Nanna)
(Megan Nanna)

[BIG BURGER] Little Bird—the downtown sister of Portland's finest restaurant, Le Pigeon—has a happy hour that seems like pure wish-fulfillment fantasy: a Sex in the City apartment no real person could afford. In this alternate universe, it costs only $5 for a double-pattied burger smothered in melted brie that's a bit like what a Michelin-starred French chef would make if he'd seen Wendy's double stack only in photographs. Beautiful, sumptuous sea cow or Fanny Bay oysters are not $2. They are instead $1.75. World-class liver mousse clocks into your mouth at a mere $4. Stirred house cocktails well worth their price at $11 are now suddenly $8. And if you want to splurge, the city's wackiest—and yet still luxuriant—charcuterie plate, all pig-ear terrine and trout-topped deviled egg, is $5 off, at $20. And it happens every single night after 10 pm and all day Sunday. It is…heaven. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Don't tell, but that $5 burger is actually a $14 burger in disguise.

Luc Lac

835 SW 2nd Ave., 503-222-0047, luclackitchen.com. 4-7pm daily.

(Megan Nanna)
(Megan Nanna)

[VIETNAMESE TAPAS] It isn't uncommon to see a line of eager customers waiting outside of Luc Lac's tiny downtown storefront at 5 minutes to 4 on weekend afternoons. Staffed by impeccably hip 20-somethings and decorated with parasols hanging from the ceiling, this counter-service Vietnamese eatery has one of downtown's most generous non-burger-themed happy hours. The menu is stocked with more than a dozen $2 plates, tasty snacks from pork- and shrimp-stuffed salad rolls to cream cheese wontons and backed up with a small selection of $3 salads. Luc Lac sports a deep tap list, including Pfriem Wit, Germany's Kostritzer Scharzbier and Belgium's Brasserie Dupont Farmhouse, all $4, with house wines for the same price and a rotating cocktail at $6. You can fill up for about $6, but if you're hungry, don't be afraid to order more from the bar. WALKER MACMURDO.

Best deal: The cream cheese wontons, shrimp spring and crispy rolls, and a chicken salad is a four-course dinner for $9, and a $4 Kostritzer Schwarzbier is a rare treat.

Mama Mia Trattoria

439 SW 2nd Ave., 503-295-6464, mamamiatrattoria.com. 4-7 pm Monday-Saturday, 4-9 pm Sunday.

(Henry Cromett)
(Henry Cromett)

[ALL COMFORT] Mama Mia is the kind of restaurant you only ever think about when you need somewhere to take your grandmother to dinner. With its decor of faux elegance—rows of chandeliers, gilded mirrors—and menu of the most basic Italian standards, it's the definition of a "safe bet," guaranteed neither to challenge nor offend. The downtown trattoria is hiding one of Southwest Portland's standout happy hours, at least in terms of deals. Available in the corner lounge, the menu more than halves its regular dinner prices while keeping the portions hearty. Everything is in the $3-to-$8 range, including the daily lasagna and manicotti, both of which come drowned in herby tomato sauce. Save room for the zeppole ($4.95 for six), balls of soft, fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, served with sides of jam and Nutella and delivered in an steel basket. Nana will assuredly think it's adorable. MATTHEW SINGER.

Best deal: A 7-inch personal pizza for $7.95.

Masu

406 SW 13th Ave., 503-221-6278, masusushi.com. 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, 4-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, 10 pm-close nightly.

[LOW ROLLER] At its regular prices, Masu can cost as much as Yama or Fukami, my picks for the finest sushi in town. But at happy hour? Choose carefully—the specialty rolls are on the menu, but there's no price break—and you're getting some of the best sushi deals in town. A mere $4 to $6 will net you maki filled with albacore tempura, tekka tuna, salmon, salmon skin, eel, or spicy tuna. And the price break on most non-aji-tuna nigiri (but not sashimi!) is just as extravagant, rolling in at almost a 50 percent price break. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: $3 for a duplex of albacore or chinook nigiri from a premium sushi spot? What the hell?

Momo

725 SW 10th Ave., 503-478-9600. 3-8 pm daily.

(facebook)
(facebook)

[SECRET GARDEN] Momo is one of the best hangouts in a neighborhood otherwise swamped with high-end restaurants and cocktail offerings, the only place nearby for 45 minutes' worth of cheap daily unwinding at the end of a long shift at a hard job—and your job can go late or early and it's cool, because happy hour is a whopping five hours long and doesn't end till 8 pm. Here, cheap crafts sit beside jug-sized glasses of wine at some of the best rates on the westside as long as you dodge Bulleit on the rocks in favor of a beautifully toxic, probably flammable $3 well whiskey ginger. But aside from easy and cheap intoxication, the real draw to Momo—especially in daylight—is that it sports one of the city's best hidden patios: a roughly 50-seat enclave preciously guarded by the towering pitted brick and peeling white walls of surrounding businesses. WALKER MACMURDO.

Best deal: $3 wells! Beer is for chumps.

Mother's Bistro & Bar

212 SW Stark St., 503-464-1122, mothersbistro.com. 3-7 pm Tuesday-Friday.

[DREAM-HOME COOKING] While Mother's Bistro aspires to an airy ladies-who-lunch elegance, its lushly brocaded Velvet Lounge caters to a convivial blend of apres-office tipplers by blending the aesthetic of madame's boudoir with an enlightened take on Mom's Diner fixins. Alongside the purchase of any beverage—say, a house-infused $6 cocktail like the spicily tart jalapeño-cilantro-steeped Dirty Rita or sweetly refreshing Lavender Silk (lavender-infused vodka, lemon juice, honey, Champagne float)—celeb chef Lisa Schroeder's $3.95 happy-hour menu ladles out an array of fun-sized, locally sourced, artisanal comfort staples. The hyper-creamed deviled eggs are sinfully indulgent, chopped liver and crackers offer a more-flavorful trad alternative to pâté, and perfectly crisped fried ravioli arrive bursting with cheese. JAY HORTON.

Best deal: The pairing of $3.95 pigs-in-a-blanket (bite-sized Hebrew Nationals swaddled in puff pastry) with a $6 craft-alcopop-nudging Mom's Lemon Drop allows an after-school snack just like nobody's mother has ever made.

Nel Centro

1408 SW 6th Ave., 503-484-1099, nelcentro.com. 4-6 pm daily.

[HALF-PRICED PIZZA] When you see a $7 pizza on a hotel happy-hour menu, what you expect is a half-assed personal pie, a Frisbee you'd begrudgingly wolf down at an airport out of caloric necessity. Not at Nel Centro, David Machado's Southern European hotel spot whose generous happy hour lets you enjoy much of the lunch menu at a drastic discount—around 50 percent for most meals—surrounded by vacationing retirees on an umbrella-lined patio. Centro's beer list is much better than that of other Portland hotel bars, forgoing the recognizable dad-craft bottles for Commons Urban Farmhouse and Pfriem Pilsner on tap for a very reasonable $4 and a $6 rotating cocktail. WALKER MACMURDO.

Best deal: That $7 pizza gives you a tasty 12 inches of goat cheese, cherry tomato and basil on a thin crust, enough food for two if you aren't starving and easily shored up with a $6 wheel of hazelnut-crusted goat's cheese with fixins. Washing it down with a $4 Pfriem feels like a steal.

Portland City Grill

111 SW 5th Ave., 503-450-0030, portlandcitygrill.com. 4-7 pm and 9 pm-close Monday-Saturday, noon-close Sunday.

(Henry Cromett)
(Henry Cromett)

[UPPER DECK] This steak house sits atop Big Pink, Portland's most voluminous office tower, with expansive views of the city and surrounds. It's a place the bridge-and-tunnel crowd goes for anniversary dinners, and likely to strike central city snobs as an upscale Outback. But the happy hour here is not just a time-honored tradition, but probably something to add to your Portland bucket list. Get there promptly at 4 pm to snatch a window seat or sit enviously on the interior. The kung pao calamari ($9.95 for a heaping portion) is a longtime fave, but we preferred the steak sandwich (also $9.95) and the Caesar salad ($5.95). Beer and cocktails pretty much go for street prices ($4.75 for Coors Light, $5.75 for a craft pint, $9.75 for a Scofflaw with top-shelf bourbon). You'll notice that the pros in the windows mostly opt to split a bottle of wine ($26). MARTIN CIZMAR.

Best deal: Curry fried fish and chips ($7.95) and bottles of wine ($26).

Punch Bowl Social

340 SW Morrison St., 503-334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com. 3-6 pm, 10 pm-close daily.

[CANADIAN COWBOY BOOTS] Home to seemingly every company holiday party in town, Punch Bowl Social is a shopping-mall smashup of bowling and shuffleboard and cocktails and karaoke and pingpong and video games and…a surprisingly serious devotion to scratch-made Southern comfort fare, enough so that it just brought on Canadian celebrity chef Hugh Acheson as a business partner. And so Canadians and Midwesterners should take heart that Acheson shares the Canadian quality of being very particular about poutine. The mammoth plate is a traditional wealth of gravy and curd that will feed three drunks handily. But if we're dousing carbs in fat, I'd still go for the bacon pimiento with pullman toast, which is like the mall version of cocaine. Standard drink specials are unremarkable, but the goofy ones serve you well. Go for a $6 daiquiri or a big ol' glass of $7 punch. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: That $8 poutine costs the same as the junior burger—but it feeds more people.

Red Star Tavern

503 SW Alder St., 503-222-0005, redstartavern.com. 4-7 pm daily.

[STRONG WEAK SAUCE] Our very favorite happy-hour cocktail in all of Portland has two distinct qualities: It tastes wonderful, and it's meant as a clapback to our newspaper. We're proud to be associated. The Willamette Weak Sauce ($7) martini— gin, dolin blanc and lemon mixed with a serrano-honey-blossom syrup—is one of the few cocktails with chili heat that doesn't end up an acid bath. Its maker, Brandon Lockman, says serrano doesn't bond with syrup the way it does with alcohol, so the heat doesn't overstay its welcome. Get it with a $6 "dirty bird" confit chicken made sweet with peach.

Best deal: Willamette Weak Sauce for$7, and $6 dirty birds. (The WW Sauce is available off-menu outside happy hour, by the way. You just have to ask.)

Renner's Grill

7819 SW Capitol Highway, 503-246-9097, rennersgrill.com. Noon-1 pm power hour, 3-6 pm, midnight-2:30 am daily.

(Henry Cromett)
(Henry Cromett)

[TAKE THE BUS] This hole in the wall on Capitol Highway—which recently bought and cleverly renamed the Hawthorne Hideaway as Renner's Hawthorne Hideaway—has been serving drinks and pub food in the village for over 70 years, and you can feel every one of them. You'll see old men telling stories of going to Renner's in the '60s, rambunctious dudes in cowboy hats swapping jokes, and 20-somethings coming in for a Rainier at the only genuine watering hole in the neighborhood. You're surprised they're still alive—given the volume the pricing encourages. Well cocktails are $1 Tuesdays, cheap domestic drafts $1 on Monday. Every damn day you're alive, both early and late, wells are a mere $2.75—and those same wells are $2.25 at "power hour." MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: The bartender we talked to swears by the $6 triple-drumstick deal. We mostly just swear after drinking too much.

Ringside Steakhouse

2165 W Burnside St., 503-223-1513, ringsidesteakhouse.com. 9:30 pm-close daily, 4-5:30 pm Sunday.

[THE ORIGINAL HAPPY HOUR] Long before there was Portland, before tribes settled in the Willamette and were wiped out by sickness, before mammoths, before the dinosaurs died, there was the RingSide happy hour. It was always here. It was the founding idea of Portland. It is our legacy to our children. It was my first "fancy" meal as an adult. It will probably be my last "fancy" meal when I'm an old and lonely cheapskate. And it is $4.75 for a heaping portion of steak bites. There are other deals—notably an excellent $5.75 prime rib French dip and a solid $3.75 hamburger whose price seems unreal—but always you are here for the steak bites, which are the trim bits of rich people's meat priced just for you…the poor who like to feel rich sometimes. What a wonderful place, this parking-valet palace of Burnside that lets the poor feel rich, just for a little while. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Steak bites. Burger. French dip. Mussels in pasta. Meatballs. Whatever, nothing's over $6.

Saucebox

214 SW Broadway, 503-241-3393, saucebox.com. 4:30-6:30 pm Monday-Friday, 4:30-6 pm Saturday.

(Henry Cromett)
(Henry Cromett)

[BANGIN' BURGER] Happy hour at Saucebox is the place to go to find people in button-down J. Crew shirts who work the type of office jobs where the boss doesn't notice if they step out at 4 pm instead of 6. As at many other restaurants that have to ramp up for busy dinner service, your server or bartender may get momentarily caught up in rolling silverware sets or polishing glassware, but it's never really a problem. A boxcar cocktail served in a vertiginous, sugar-rimmed martini glass functions as a sophisticated stand-in for a lemon drop, and comes in at a reasonable $5. For food, you can order from a limited nigiri selection for $4, or tofu pad thai for $5. But you can't do much better than the Saucebox burger, which is only $6 and comes with Tillamook cheddar, bacon and a slaw made from daikon radish. ZACH MIDDLETON.

Best deal: $6 Saucebox burger.

Scandals

1125 SW Stark St., 503-227-5887, scandalspdx.com. 4-8 pm daily and all day Sundays.

(Emily Joan Greene)
(Emily Joan Greene)

[CHEERS ON THE CHEAP] Scandals touts itself as "Gay Cheers," and it more than lives up to it, full of yearslong regulars and yet immediately welcoming to the redheaded stranger wandering through. It feels like the friendliest place in town, from its always-packed landing strip of a patio, to a bar lined with flirtatious singletons, to its tiny, Timbers-watching TV corner tucked away to one side. And with $1.50 PBR and $3 wells, the happy hour drinks are the cheapest within any reasonable radius of the bar. On Fridays and Saturdays, meanwhile, your well vodka will magically transform for the same price into one of the bar's stunning rainbow of Absoluts. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: $1.50 Pabst is cheap anywhere.

Southpark

901 SW Salmon St., 503-326-1300, southparkseafood.com. 3-6 pm, 10 pm-midnight.

(Emma Browne)
(Emma Browne)

[BURSTING WITH FISH] Southpark is that restaurant with the fish stuck in the building's corner as if caught midjump by a bear. For years it's been the staid and clubby hang of the Schnitz sponsor and theater crowd, much more sexagenarian than sexy. But lately? The happy hour's a little bit sexy. The restaurant's devotion to cheap oysters continues, but it recently shoved some of its best new sides onto the $5 happy-hour menu. The fennel and pistachio-brittle beet plate is one of the best new salads I've had this year—and it's $5 at happy hour. Also $5 are an excellent Mediterranean-inflected butter lettuce with za'atar and yogurt dressing, a build-your-own charcuterie board, a single-serve pizza, clam chowder containing gnocchi, and just about any drink you're likely to get: wine, drafts, well cocktails or a sweet-minded cherry sangria. Don't bother with the $8 burger, though—if you want filler, get the $10 clams instead. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Best deal: Stick to the $5 menu, and it's all cheap.

Swine Bar

808 SW Taylor St., 503-943-5844, swankandswine.com. 3-6 pm daily, 9:30 pm-close Sunday-Thursday.

[LIPSTICK ON A PIG] Abutting Director Park and just behind Portland's theater district, the Paramount Hotel's Swine Bar sees more incidental foot traffic than most bars in Portland. And it's built an excellent happy hour of Southern-cum-Pacific Northwestern snacks and cocktails in a modern space that looks like Chipotle's Appalachian cousin, well-catered to those looking for a post-matinee or pre-Schnitzer beverage. Swine chops $4 off most cocktails ($6) and a few bucks off most of its small plates, with modest discounts to wine, beer and well drinks across the board. WALKER MACMURDO.

Best deal: The Wilcox (Azuñia blanco tequila, Campari, cucumber syrup, lime, grapefruit, Peychaud's bitters, Sprite) tastes like a grown-up pink lemonade—dry with grapefruit rind and roundly astringent across the tongue—making it an excellent foil to the bacon cheesecake ($6), as rich as it sounds. Throw in some deviled eggs with Mama Lil's and bacon ($3).

Tryst

19 SW 2nd Ave., 503-477-8637, bartryst.com. 4-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday.

photo by Henry Cromett
photo by Henry Cromett

Tryst is a rare comfort spot amid the racket of Old Town's Ankeny alley. A half-year into its tenure, it remains largely undiscovered by the human cocktail of suburbanites that crowd the 'hood. But nearby office workers should discover this place damn quick—because at 5 pm quittin' time, that deliciously buttery $7 hoisin-Sichuan burger is a sleeper choice for best happy-hour meal in the district, with options on $6 katsu or banh mi sandwiches. Wine, wells, cocktails and drafts drop the customary buck—and none are all that pricey to start with, meaning a $5 glass of wine or $7 Old Fashioned is always within grasp. But whatever you get, always order the fries ($3 at happy hour). That ginger ketchup, paired with furikake seasoning on the fries, is probably perfect.

Best deal: That $7 happy-hour burger drops to $5 on Wednesdays.

Yamhill Pub

223 SW Yamhill St., 503-295-6613. 10 am-4 pm, 4-7 pm Monday-Friday.

[CHEAP THREE WAYS] Yamhill Pub, one of the last true dirt-cheap bastions of the blue-collar working class in downtown Portland, has more art on its walls than any gallery in the Pearl—mostly drawn in Sharpie, with layers deep and stratified as any freeway road cut. The happy-hour deals are equally stratified—if you want to spice up the life of a day drinker, all you gotta do is swap the deals around. From 10 am to 4 pm weekdays, people who plan to make a day of it can get a buck off wells and pitchers—pitchers of Pabst drop to a just $6. But when 4 pm rolls around, the bar switches gears for the knock-em-back beer-and-shot crowd. Well whiskey drops to a mere $1.50, and you can get a full pint of Pabst for the same price. Or show up on Saturday, when Bud and Coors cost $3 from noon to midnight.

Best deal: A pint of Pabst and a quaff of cheap whiskey for $3 total.

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