1. Bantam Tavern
922 NW 21st Ave., 503-274-9032, bantamtavern.com.
Opened: October 2018
Northwest 21st has no shortage of lowbrow boozers and upper-middle-class dining establishments. But there's little occupying the middle ground. For that reason, bargoers should be thoroughly grateful for Bantam Tavern. Recently opened by the owners of Prost, Stammtisch and Interurban, the diminutive space immediately feels just right for anyone who's developed an allergy to the Nob Hill weekend meat market.
2. Assembly Brewing
6112 SE Foster Road, 971-888-5973, assemblybrewingco.com.
From the massive four-section mural showcasing the brewing process to the affordable $5 pints and square, Detroit-style pizza, Assembly owners Greg Johnson and Adam Dixon have created a craft beer haven for the city's working class. The best part, though? At a time when many brewpubs are going family-friendly, the bar is resolute about keeping the space for adults only.
3. Five & Dime
6535 SE Foster Road.
While you won't find shelves stocked with cheap talcum powder and undergarments, the new bar along the Foster-Powell corridor reflects the prices and spirit of a 20th century trinket emporium. The room intermingles sophistication with subversion, mixing jade shelving stocked with leather-bound books with a neon ombré portrait of Rasheed Wallace, while the cocktails also balance tradition and irreverence.
4. Baby Ketten Klub
2433 SE Powell Blvd., 503-444-7903, babyketten.com.
After a decade of transience, Portland's cult-favorite karaoke night has put down roots on Southeast Powell. There's a singular joy to reading lyrics off the wood-framed flat screens hung about the bar—and the private rooms designed to accentuate sepia-tinged '70s swank or '80s chrome-chic aesthetics linger as impossibly lovely make-out rooms.
5. Bar Diane
2112 NW Irving St., Suite 105 (enter on 21st Avenue), bardiane.com.
Truly great wine bars are defined by a spirit of generosity—generous with knowledge, generous with accessibility, and yes, generous with prices. On all these points, Bar Diane is a major success. It strikes a fine balance as a wine bar that rewards expertise yet feels accessible and affordable no matter your starting base of wine knowledge. Nearly every bottle is under $60, save for the smart, concise selection of Champagne and occasional ringers from winemakers like Ridge and Paolo Bea.