1. Tocayo at Palomar
959 SE Division St., #100, 971-357-8020, barpalomar.com. 2 pm-sunset Saturday-Sunday. 21+.
Palomar is the latest spot to get in on the “restaurant within a restaurant” trend by turning its rooftop bar into a pop-up taqueria. Tocayo, which is the Spanish term for two people who have the same name, is a nod to owner Ricky Gomez and chef Ricky Bella, who combine their love of Cuban cocktail and Mexican drink cultures in this project. Expect plenty of fruit flavors in everything from a mule with roasted coconut water to a frozen guava margarita to a pineapple-infused gin and tonic, so if a south-of-the-border vacation isn’t in the budget this summer—escape with a drink instead.
1514 NW 23rd Ave., 503-477-4235, zulapdx.com. 11:30 am-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
We now know what Rotigo’s reimagining looks like: Roasted chicken is out and Mediterranean cuisine is the focus. We’re still swooning over the filo and feta roll, served hot with honey drizzle, and the fire-roasted eggplant. But don’t overlook the brightly colored collection of cocktails that will transport you to the coast of Israel. Not only are they named after neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, where Zula owner Tal Tubitski once lived; the concoctions are made with ingredients from the region. The tequila-pomegranate blend of the Levontin, or the Montefiore, made with date-infused rye whiskey, were our first picks.
3. Dirty Pretty
638 E Burnside St., 503-841-5253, dirtyprettypdx.com. 4 pm-1 am Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday.
With the opening of Dirty Pretty, the third bar in the Pink Rabbit and Fools and Horses family, it feels like owner Collin Nicholas and chef Alex Wong have created a brand. Each property has a distinct theme, but the core feeling and elements of flair unite the trio. Cocktails by beverage director Ben Purvis are fun and extravagant. Guava Wars, for instance, drinks like a tropical smoothie, while the Jungle Juice with Jamaican rum and pinot noir tastes like something that could make one act very, very sassy.
4. Toro Mexican Kitchen
1355 NW Everett St., Suite 120, 503-673-2724, toropdx.com. 4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
The former Tilt space in the Pearl District is empty no more. Toro, a Mexican eatery operated by the ever-expanding Urban Restaurant Group (Bartini, Brix, Swine), has transformed the dark, industrial-themed space into an airy cantina. The initial food offerings we’ve sampled have all been satisfying—but the delightful surprise was the lengthy cocktail list. Early favorites were the sunny Passionfruit (vodka, passion fruit puree, pineapple juice and a Tajín rim) and Ocean (vodka, lemongrass and basil syrup, cucumber), which is a shade of turquoise so alluring you’ll wish you could swim in it.
5. Grape Ape
77 SE Yamhill St., 503-261-3467, grapeape.wine. 11 am-bedtime Tuesday-Sunday.
Sorry to break it to fans of the ‘70s Hanna-Barbera cartoon of the same name, but you won’t find a 40-foot purple primate at this new Central Eastside bar. However, much of the décor is from that era, and the lineup of fine natural wines should soften the blow. The curated list highlights selections from low-intervention labels, including Oregon’s Hooray for You chardonnay, California producer Populis’ sauvignon blanc and a Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme gamay from France. Pair one with marinated white beans and mayo on toast or a jamon baguette and pretend you’ve made an escape to Paris for the afternoon.