1. Paymaster Lounge

1020 NW 17th Ave., 503-943-2780, paymasterlounge.com.

Paymaster contains the best elements of a dive bar without actually being one. Head back to the expansive, perpetually buzzing patio complete with pool table. There's now a functioning back bar as well as a photo booth. Best tourist attraction? The very adult vending machine near the restroom, stocked with everything but snacks.

Joe’s Cellar. IMAGE: Thomas Teal.
Joe’s Cellar. IMAGE: Thomas Teal.

2. Joe’s Cellar

1332 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-8825.

Dive bars are generally good places to hide from the sun, but Joe's Cellar seems designed to make you forget sunlight exists. It's windowless and mostly lit by the glow of lottery machines, TVs and neon beer signs. And there's always a sweaty tallboy waiting for you behind the bar.

(Rocky Burnside)
(Rocky Burnside)

3. R&R

716 NW 21st Ave., randrpdx.com.

Overhauled from a Belgian bar into a faux-beachside resort, R&R borrows elements from your Hawaiian vacation Pinterest board—palm fronds, piña coladas, poke—and brings them to life. And if that's not enough to curb your seasonal affective disorder, an LED sunset repeats every few minutes. It's summer somewhere, right?

(Vivian Johnson)
(Vivian Johnson)

4. Pope House

2075 NW Glisan St., 503-222-1056, popehouselounge.com.

After dark, this stunning, moody Victorian house that's home to a multilevel bar morphs into a Prohibition-era house party. Well-crafted cocktails run $10 to $14 unless you slide into the forgiving happy hour from 4 to 7 pm. You can even rent out the bottom level for a private event.

(Andrea Johnson)
(Andrea Johnson)

5. Avenue 23 Tap & Table

1620 NW 23rd Ave., 503-755-5055.

Taking over the space vacated in 2018 by one of the city's oldest brewpubs, Lompoc Tavern, the Northwest Portland outpost of Tap & Table won't eclipse Breakside as the best place in the neighborhood to get a beer, but the 16 taps are diverse and gratifying.