1. Xica Cantina
1668 NW 23rd Ave., 971-339-9041, xicopdx.com/location/Northwest
Into the space formerly occupied by Pacific Pie Co. comes Xica Cantina, casual cousin to Southeast Division Street Mexican favorite Xico. Other than margs, drinking snacks and a handful of more substantial meals, the focus of the menu is mezcal, served as single pours, flights or in cocktails. But let's be honest: you're here for the gummy bear nachos. "Dorilocos" is an addictive interpretation of a Mexican street snack piling of thick housemade corn chips, peanuts, tomatillo-avocado salsa and smattering of squishy little grizzlies. If street vendors in Mexico City hadn't thought of it first, surely a stoned kid let loose in a gas station at 2 am would have.
2. Brooklyn Park Pub
3400 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-234-7772.
Brooklyn Park Pub's expansive, inexpensive selection of whiskey may be one of Portland's greatest secrets, but its patio is arguably even more of a hidden gem. Its aesthetic is more smoking deck than the Instagram-worthy patios that bougiefied Portland has become accustomed to, but the fact that it's low key is what makes it worthwhile. Plus, the whiskey list is seemingly infinite, and the stack, greasy burger is just $8.
3. Hi-Top Tavern
5015 NE Fremont St., 503-206-4308, hitoptavern.com.
The latest enterprise from the bar group behind Paydirt, Tough Luck and Old Gold continues Beaumont Village's unlikely transformation into a bar district. The TV room in the back and the massive patio just beyond it are welcome additions to the neighborhood, and the cocktail menu has summer in mind—the Sweeter Hits, which use a hefty dose of peach combier for tartness, earns its $12 price tag.
Read the full review: Hi-Top Tavern Continues the Coolification of Beaumont Village.
4. 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, and 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.
5. 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.