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.
- Dame 2930 NE Killingsworth St., damerestaurant.com.
The wine list at Dame—opening the same day our paper comes out—already makes it Portland's most interesting wine destination, home to the finest natural wine list within 500 miles.
2. Rae's Lakeview Lounge
1900 NW 27th Ave., 503-719-6494.
Rae's offers $1 mimosas Saturday and Sunday mornings, which means if you can't see the lake from the patio, you only have to wait until the lake is in your mind.
Related: The 2016 Happy Hour Guide
2108 NW Glisan St., 503-224-7919, bartinipdx.com
Bartini is basic in the best way—a place whose logo makes it looks like it houses Jazzercise, and where before 6:30 pm and after 10 pm a martini glass will come full of mint-sprigged liquor for $4, and full of brie-topped mashed potatoes for a mere $3.
4. Gil's Speakeasy Tavern
609 SE Taylor St., 503-234-8991, gils-speakeasy.com.
It's easy to forget about Gil's, the basement lounge hidden under an apartment building in a residential complex. But when you remember, you end up there on $1 sloppy joe night—which is an unturndownable dare if we ever heard one.
930 SE Sandy Blvd., centurybarpdx.com.
Watching a big game at Century feels like you're ringside for a prizefight—the energy exceeds any other sports bar we've been to, and we've been to a few. And there's a beautiful rooftop patio for cooling off after the buzzer.