In Portland, lately, it seems the most likely place to encounter a true dive bar is in an obituary—or in corrugated sheds of sidewalk-free 'hoods dominated by speeding cars. There's still one street in Portland where the friendly, walkable dive bar reigns supreme—on North Lombard, cutting through North Portland's St. Johns and University Park neighborhoods, the dive bars have gone mostly untouched for decades. If you're smart, you'll pay a visit before these places fall victim to the long arm of development.
Mock Crest Tavern
3435 N Lombard St.
No marketing firm could dream up a better ad campaign for the Mock Crest than the neon light, groaning blues guitar and aroma of sizzling meat that flood this tavern.
5903 N Lombard St.
Filled with dimly lit corners and hideaways, Sundown Pub is a cozy neighborhood joint that provides easy intimacy and one of the better tap lists in this group.
Slim's Restaurant and Lounge
8635 N Lombard St., 503-286-3854, slimspdx.weebly.com.
Slim's is the largest, oldest, and strangely, most approachable dive bar in downtown St. Johns. You can feel confident ordering a boilermaker or a Shock Top, and sit down to watch World Cup soccer or old-time country music. All roads converge at Slim's.
8728 N Lombard St.
Listen to a cross-dressing DJ with a pencil skirt, dreads and a beard while eating burgers and fried chicken until 2:30 am.
Blue Bird Tavern
8734 N Lombard St.
Blue Bird's always-packed patio is one of the only places in St. Johns where you can drink outside.
8800 N Lombard St.
A dive's dive, Bud, Pabst and Widmer Hefe are all that are on tap at the Wishing Well.
9520 N Lombard St.
Chicken and waffles, bottles of Bud and a Wi-Fi jukebox should keep you busy at the Ranger for a while.