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Portland Tapas Have Gone from Stuffy to Casual—Here Are Four to Try

The best little bites.

Bar Botellón
606 NE Davis St., 971-229-1287, barpdx.com.

Bar Botellón, hidden a few blocks from Rontoms, opened in January as homey, hand-built wine and beer bottle shop full of obscure pours—and each Basque sidra or Danish beer arrives with a free little tapa that will come as a surprise. The first bite may be lovely warmed olives, but may ramp up to things like exquisite Spanish ham on the second bite, then something rarer on the third.

Urdaneta
3033 NE Alberta St., 503-288-1990, urdanetapdx.com.

Basque spot Urdaneta opened on Northeast Alberta Street in July 2016—and since this March, the best time to go is between 5 and 6 pm on weekdays for a pintxo small-bites hour featuring heartbreakingly good morcilla grilled blood sausage and marinated peppers ($4), bright boquerone-piparra Gildas ($2) and an over-the-top confit albacore tuna deviled egg with mustard-seed caviar ($3). Score both sidra and Atxa vermouths for a mere fiver.

Chesa
2218 NE Broadway, 503-477-9521, chesapdx.com.

Chesa, the cousin to more formal westside spot Ataula, opened February 2016 in a big space that lets you slip over to the bar side for a cheeky vermouth cocktail and a bite—perhaps Josper-cooked paella, which has more recently rounded into form, but perhaps instead a platter of jamón Ibérico and cheese ($29) or impossibly tender, spice-rubbed Iberico ribs ($17). Pull a xurro from adjoining xurreria 180 on your way out.

Toro Bravo
120 NE Russell St., 503-281-4464, torobravopdx.com.

Don't settle for mini-Gorham spot Pollo Bravo, which opened last year. And don't wait an hour for a table, either. Two years ago, chef John Gorham installed a couple of standing "tapas bars" at famously overbusy Toro, right by the door. Even on a Friday, if you're willing to stand while you eat, you can waltz in to enjoy a $5 glass of Asturian Trabanco sidra, along with with those justly famous crisp patatas bravas ($5) that come on as the world's most delicate dirty fries, jamon croquetas ($7) of lovely warmth and contrasting texture, and raw-cured sobrasada meat with light honey ($8). And then you can bounce.

Drank: Bar Guide 2017

Welcome to Bar Guide 2017 | Where To Find a Copy of Bar Guide 2017

The 100 Best Bars in Portland | How We Selected Them

Bar of the Year 2017: Bar Casa Vale

2. Century | 3. The Know | 4. Lombard House | 5. The Old Portland

Portland's Party Patios, Porches and Rooftops | Scumbag Breakfasts, Ranked

$6-and-Under Happy Hour Burgers | Portland's Finest Restaurant Bars | Late-Night Happy Hours | $1 Oyster Happy Hour Deals | Best Bar Pizzas | Dope Discount Nachos | Fancy Jell-O Shots | Tapas

Where to Play Shuffleboard | Pinball | Pool Halls