1. Great Notion
2450 NW 28th Ave., 971-279-2183, greatnotionpdx.com.
The sister location to its tiny Northeast Alberta Street brewpub, Great Notion's newer, bigger space looks like a modern art museum from the outside. The shimmering wooden barroom is a beer-fueled echo chamber, and the beer is louder than the crowd. Bright purple sour ales, hazy yellow IPAs and jet-black imperial stouts flow from 24 taps, while massively decadent dessert stouts like Moon Pie assault the senses.
Read the full review: Great Notion's Long-Awaited New Brewpub Appeals to the Id in Every Beer Drinker.
2. Bar Miranda
827 SW 2nd Ave., 971-319-1184, barmirandapdx.com.
Tucked away in the mezzanine of a staid downtown food court, you'd never know there was a tropical retreat amid downtown's World Trade Center office buildings unless you were looking for it. The cocktail list is what you'd expect at a South American resort. During happy hour, a mojito should be in your hand—it is one of the most refreshing in town.
Read the full review: Bar Miranda Is a South American Vacation Hidden in a Downtown Portland Food Court.
125 NW 5th Ave., 503-208-2687.
Part of a chain of bars that first launched in Austin a decade ago, Barbarella presents an aesthetic as kitschy and low-budget as a bar named after a campy sci-fi cult classic should be. A dance club with dirt-cheap drinks and themed parties, the place should be a sensation, particularly with eastsiders who never dare venture into Old Town.
Read the full review: Dance Club Barbarella Brings a Much-Needed Sense of Kitsch to Old Town.
4. Studio One Theaters
3945 SE Powell Blvd., 971-271-8142, studioonetheaters.com.
The long-gestating passion project of Cinetopia founder Rudyard Coltman and his wife, Shelly, is a luxe cinema, bar and music venue, not necessarily in that order. Each screening room is a pretend penthouse themed around six of the planet's more enviable urban centers, and the restaurant space serves 50 wine varieties, local beers and bowls of a sublime gourmet popcorn.
Read the full review: Studio One Theaters Is a Luxe Cinema, Bar and Music Venue, Not Necessarily in That Order.
5. The Library
3343 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503- 234-6996.
Head down a rickety back staircase at Growler's Taproom late some weekend night and you'll find a well-curated selection of genre-spanning local artists performing amid academia-themed bric-a-brac. The bar's subterranean music venue is a ramshackle bohemian clubhouse that feels diametrically opposite to the upstairs craft beer emporium. But given the dearth of area venues open to smaller acts of every genre, it wouldn't be surprising to soon find the space operating beyond its current Friday and Saturday night schedule.
Read the full review: A Book-Themed Music Venue Is Hiding in the Basement of a Southeast Portland Beer Bar.