1. Avenue 23 Tap & Table
1620 NW 23rd Ave., 503-755-5055.
Taking over the space recently vacated by one of the city's oldest brewpubs, Lompoc Tavern, the Northwest Portland outpost of Tap and Table won't eclipse Breakside as the best place in the area to get a beer, but the 16 taps are diverse and gratifying, with equal attention given to mainstays like Ecliptic and Fort George as well as relative newcomers like Ruse and Rosenstadt. There's something for everyone, save the occasional chin-stroking beer geek who probably won't be going here in the first place.
2. Hoxton Basement Bar
15 NW 4th Ave., 503-770-0500, thehoxton.com.
Located behind a door with a sign that reads, "Knock knock knock," the Basement Bar at the new Hoxton Hotel is a diminutive cocktail lounge that could easily pass as an after-hours industry hang in Lower Manhattan. Skip fruity drinks like the mai tai or the whiskey sour and opt for the expertise of the bar staff, which included a Multnomah Whiskey Library alum.
Read the full review: The Best Thing at the New Hoxton Hotel Is Hidden in the Basement
3. The Cavern
4601 SE Hawthorne Blvd., thecavernpdx.com.
When it opened last year, the Cavern proved to be the shot to the arm the Barmuda Triangle had long needed—an old rocker bar that's dignified, cozy and a just a wee bit punk. With a soundtrack of Misfits and Bikini Kill played at levels that linger tastefully below conversation level, it's an unpretentious locale ideal for a Dante's or Lovecraft regular to enjoy some peace without the quiet.
Read the full review: The Cavern Is an Old Rocker Bar That's Dignified, Cozy and a Just a Wee Bit Punk
4. Bar Rione
810 NW 12th Ave., 503-954-1014.
Bar Rione turned a concrete box once occupied by a convenience store into a sophisticated cocktail party. At this waiting room for Pearl Italian spot Piazza Italia, the décor is comparatively subdued, but that just makes the more modern features—like a teal braided chandelier that spreads across the ceiling canopy-style—pop.
1300 NW Lovejoy St., 971-533-8084, botanistbarpdx.com.
At this sleek subterranean gin bar—they prefer "gastro cocktail bar"—veteran mixologist Robbie Wilson is spreading the joys of juniper berries to bargoers west of the Willamette. For those who know little of the details that distinguish one type of gin from another, the list of about a dozen $13 cocktails serves as a safe point of entry. As basic as it is, the Botanist G&T should be the go-to for anyone who's familiar with the timeless pleasure of a simple gin drink.
Read the full review: Botanist Introduces the Joys of Gin to the Non-Secret-Agent Crowd.