1. Santé Bar
411 NW Park Ave., 971-404-8216.
Winding down from a wild Pride Weekend? This swanky cocktail bar might not look like much from the outside, but its vintage vibe, romantic lighting and fancy drinks are a welcome shift from the standard westside LGBTQ bar experience.
Read the full review: Santé Bar Is a Swanky, Romantic Change of Pace from the Typical Portland Gay Bar Experience.
2. Retro Game Bar
6720 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-271-8079, rgbpdx.com.
While Ground Kontrol and Quarterworld pry at memories of dropping two months' allowance at the nearest pizza parlor, Portland's newest arcade bar feels like going over to the house of that one friend who somehow had every hot game for every console in existence. Vintage TV sets are spread around the room, equipped with everything from an ancient Atari 2600 to a Sega Dreamcast—there's even a lonely TurboGrafx-16 in one corner.
3. Scotch Lodge
215 SE 9th Ave., Suite 102, 503-208-2039, scotchlodge.com.
In this subterranean space that formerly housed groundbreaking izakaya Biwa, you can find holy grails like Ardbeg's Airigh Nam Beist, a discontinued Islay single-malt vintage bottling from 1990, alongside entry-level drams and mixed drinks like the Nobody's Poet, a deftly upscale take on the modern rum cocktail.
Read the full review: Scotch Lodge Appeals to a Range of Whisky Aficionados, from Newbies to Fedora Bros.
4. Acropolis Steakhouse
8325 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 503-231-9611.
Old Portland received quite a scare the other week when it appeared the city's best steakhouse strip club had shut down. Turns out it was just a temporary closure related to a liquor licensing issue. Still, such near-misses should serve as reminders to celebrate our beloved institutions before they do evaporate into memory. So head down to Sellwood, order a $7 steak and pull up to the rack.
5. Tulip Shop Tavern
825 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-8483, tulipshoptavern.com.
Newly opened in the spot that once contained the punky Pop Tavern, this new venture from a pair of Portland bar industry vets promises classic cocktails, a tightly curated tap list and down-home cuisine, including three burgers, a schnitzel sandwich, and a steak and fries.