1668 NW 23rd Ave., 503-954-3794, boxerramen.com. 11 am-9 pm, Wednesday-Sunday.
This popular Portland fast-casual restaurant brand has finally reemerged following a lengthy pandemic closure. Boxer—formerly Boxer Ramen—welcomed back customers this month to its new Slabtown location. Though not previously a drinking destination, the noodle shop has doubled the size of its menu, which includes an exciting lineup of sake and cocktails.
2. 503 DISTILLING LOUNGE
4784 SE 17th Ave., Suite 150, 503-975-5669, 503distilling.com. 3-9 pm Thursday-Saturday, 1-7 pm Sunday.
Portland has a new outlet where you can sample draft cocktails right next door to the source. 503 Distilling recently opened a lounge adjacent to its distillery inside the Iron Fireman Collective building. That’s where you’ll find six rotating cocktails on tap, plus made-to-order mixed drinks, beer and wine. The draft options offer visitors first tastes of some of the newest concoctions coming out of the distillery, acting as something of a laboratory. And once you’ve had your fill of spirits, Ruse Brewing is a short stumble away.
3. BRASA HAYA
412 NE Beech St., 503-288-3499, brasahayapdx.com. 5:30-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10 pm Friday-Saturday.
Though only open since June, Brasa Haya serves a traditional Spanish coffee that’s already one of the best in town. Rich chocolate vies for dominance with locally roasted Junior’s brew and a cool cloud of amaro whipped cream. Start your meal with a glass and have a second at the end—you’ll be justified because the decadent drink appears on the dessert menu, too.
4. PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL
340 SW Morrison St., #4305, 503-334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com/location/portland. 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-1 am Friday-Saturday.
If you’re looking to spend an evening trying to rack up the high score on The Simpsons arcade game and then pick up spares in a bowling alley, head to Punch Bowl Social. Sure, the 32,000-square-foot gaming palace may be in a mall, but it fills a wonderful niche in downtown Portland—there’s something on the menu for everyone, a deep beer list and creative cocktails, to boot. You can also count on at least one special punch to be offered during holidays.
5. HOLY GHOST
4101 SE 28th Ave., holyghostbar.com. 3 pm-late daily.
This may be the fifth entry in Ezra Caraeff’s bar portfolio, which includes long-standing favorites like Hi-Top Tavern and Paydirt, but Holy Ghost has its own personality, which can be found in everything from the goddesslike blue and gold color scheme to the impressively deep selection of agave spirits. Make it a point to always order at least one gin fizz while you’re here. A machine behind the bar named “Shake Gyllenhaal” agitates the New Orleans classic for at least five minutes—a manual task that keeps the drink off many other menus.