1. Tulip Shop Tavern
825 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-8483, tulipshoptavern.com.
There's not a lot to complain about at Tulip Shop Tavern, the new business located in the old Pop Tavern. Aside from the black-light mural and the crackle of peanut shells underfoot, the most noticeable upgrade is the revamped beer menu. Co-owner Tyler Treadwell's vision of the beer world he advanced down the street at Saraveza is put to good use here, with a draft list heavy on buzzy brews from local breweries like Wayfinder and Ruse.
Read the full review: Try as Old Portland Might, There's Little to Complain About at Tulip Shop Tavern.
2. Alter Ego Cider
2025 SE 7th Ave., 971-229-1445, alteregocider.com.
Cider houses with beer bar sensibilities are on the rise, and the brand-new taproom from Alter Ego is a welcome addition to the scene. Its flagship concoction is the Brut, a semi-dry cider with a palate-tickling sweetness that fades into a sour finish just as the bubbles break. If you're seeking a halfway point between cider and beer, the Snakebite blends the Brut and a bright, clean lager from Level Beer. The end product is wonderfully crushable on a hot summer day.
Read the full review: Whatever Your Drink of Choice, Alter Ego Cider's New Taphouse Will Make You Feel Welcome.
3. Xica Cantina
1668 NW 23rd Ave., 971-339-9041, xicopdx.com.
Mexican restaurant Xico on Southeast Division Street has crossed the river, opening a new, more casual spot on Northwest 23rd. Booze-wise, there's a substantial mezcal menu, but if there's any reason to give the place a shot right from the jump, it's the Mexican street food—particularly the loaded nachos, which arrive smothered in everything from pork rinds to peanuts to, um, gummy bears. It's better than it sounds.
4. 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.
5. Scotch Lodge
215 SE 9th Ave., Suite 102, 503-208-2039, scotchlodge.com.
In the 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.