1. Masala Lab & Market
5237 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-340-8635, masalalabpdx.com. 9 am-3 pm Thursday-Tuesday.
The recently opened Masala Lab just extended its hours of operation and added new items to the menu after the team had several weeks to perfect recipes. While everything coming out of the gluten-free kitchen sounds appealing—from the saagshuka to the chaat hash—we might be most excited about the lineup of new cocktails, boozy brunch classics with an Indian twist. As we head toward December, at least one chai hot toddy should accompany your meal.
2. Abigail Hall
813 SW Alder St., abigailhallpdx.com. 5-11 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 5 pm-midnight Thursday-Saturday.
When Mariah Carey, aka the Queen of Christmas, says it’s time to start celebrating the Yuletide—whether or not we’ve had our Thanksgiving feast—you oughta listen. And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by drinking cocktails inspired by the season? Abigail Hall’s beverage director, Derek Jacobi (formerly of New York’s Dead Rabbit and Black Tail), has created a new cocktail menu with some Christmaslike drinks, including a Brûleevardier (a take on crème brûlée) and Walnut Olivetto (a nod to lemon meringue pie).
3. Wonderwood Springs
8811 N Lombard St., 971-242-8927, wonderwoodsprings.com. 8 am-8 pm Tuesday-Sunday.
Mike Bennett’s new cafe is mostly about the art: 400 hand-painted pieces, ranging from cute woodland creatures to a sleeping dragon. However, this isn’t just another of the prolific artist’s pop-up exhibits. You really can eat and drink at Wonderwood Springs. Expect to find two custom coffee blends personally selected by Bennett, along with a regular hot chocolate and another made with mushrooms.
4. Sissy Bar Portland
1416 SE Morrison St., 503-206-4325, sissybarportland.com. 4 pm-midnight Wednesday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday, 4-11 pm Sunday.
There’s no dance floor or recurring drag shows at Sissy Bar, which tend to lure customers to other gay bars in town, but the new video lounge does offer a space for unapologetically queer company and the pop music sustaining the community. Open since June, the venue is heavy on moving images for aesthetics, illuminated by both YouTube videos of recording artists and colored cubes reminiscent of the electronic memory game Simon. Order a Will Smith Punch, which here happens to be a drink, not a blow to the head.
5. Bad Habit Room
5433 N Michigan Ave., 503-303-8550, saraveza.com/the-bad-habit-room. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Friday, 9 am-2 pm and 4-10 pm Saturday-Sunday.
Bad Habit Room has technically been around for about a decade but previously opened only for weekend brunch and special events. After staying completely shuttered for two years due to the pandemic, it’s back and caters to a different crowd in the evenings. Cocktails take their inspiration from the pre-Prohibition era, and our current favorite is Moon Shoes, made with marshmallow-infused vodka, lemon, orgeat and a splash of Son of Man harvest vermouth that acts as a grounding agent.