1. Ex Novo
2326 N Flint Ave., 503-894-8251, exnovobrew.com.
At this darling craft brewery, the tap list always intrigues, the flights come in fours, and 100 percent of profits are donated to charity. The flagship Eliot IPA is crisp, dry and hardly a hop bomb at 65 IBUs. And sour skeptics are encouraged to sample the Puff Puff Passion—tart but not overwhelmingly so, with a refreshing, almost sangrialike quality.
2. Bar Bar
3939 N Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, mississippistudios.com.
Mississippi Studios is inarguably one of Portland's finest music venues, and the adjoining watering hole is one of the city's favorite spots to catch a buzz. It features one of the city's best patios and a no-frills drink menu, with tallboys, a few taps, shot-and-beer combos, and the best bacon-arugula-tomato sandwich in town.
3. Sloan’s Tavern
36 N Russell St., 503-287-2262, sloanstavern.com.
Most notable for the semitrailer protruding from its wall, this relaxed, family-run bar is unspoiled by time. Grandma's penchant for paisley and ornate '70s décor has withstood the years, seating options range from rolling chairs to awkward padded bench seats at the bar, and the TVs are silenced only when the jukebox plays and activates a plastic band to bop along with the music. It's magical.
4. Psychic Bar
3560 N Mississippi Ave., 503-206-5343, psychicbarpdx.com.
Housed inside a converted Victorian home, the psychic-themed bar is the creation of three film and TV vets. The dark walls are adorned with a supernatural motif, and the restroom has surreal illusion mirrors. Crucially, though, the bar does not place theme before comfort—it doesn't take a clairvoyant to imagine it eventually becoming a popular neighborhood haunt.
5. Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive
2216 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-287-7254.
How can Old Portland be dead when Billy Ray's is still alive? It's cash only, the sign out front reading "tavern" seems permanently on the blink, and the upstairs "game room" is a frat house that had its charter revoked before it could accept any pledges. Enjoy it while you still can.