1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, higginsportland.com. 11:30 am-9:30 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-10:30 pm Friday-Saturday. Happy hour 4-5:30 pm Sunday-Friday: $7 duck wings, 20 percent off drafts.
Established: March 1, 1994
There are two sides to downtown's Higgins Restaurant and Bar: the restaurant and the bar. Always go to the bar—a wood-paneled, wood-barred, old-school tavern where visiting lawyers sit by punters stopping in for a beer from one of the best lists in the city. The charcuterie board is as titanic as it is incredible ($20.50), mounded with 13 preparations, from saucisson to rillettes to a fantastic head cheese full of vibrant parsley. Or, you can just spring for a mega-rich confit duck wing, lardo toast or carrot falafel at happy hour. If there's anything you can take away from Higgins, it's that you can teach an old dog new tricks. That estimable beer list will include expertly curated Belgians—dozens of bottles from Delirium, Chimay, Rodenbach and the like alongside bottles from the big dogs of Oregon craft like de Garde, Pfriem and Logsdon—and a rotating tap list that never fails to have something you've never heard of.
Bar story: On June 21, 2013, former daily newspaper The Oregonian fired 35 of its reporters, and they all went to drink at Higgins, as did well-paid reporters who didn't get fired. The City of Portland, via telephone, bought those fired reporters $3,500 worth of drinks. They drank through the whole tab, and more besides.