There's no greater pleasure on a hot day than plopping down on your favorite bar's patio and combating the heat while encouraging dehydration with round after round of cold beers and frosty cocktails. Here are our favorite patios, each of which serves a very specific purpose for drinkers' needs, be they sucking face with a stranger or warding off the apocalypse.

Best make-out-with-a-stranger patio: Rontoms

A sprawling seating area, outdoor bar, live performances by established bands, hot clientele in varying stages of extreme intoxication, and a clear night combine for the perfect environment for a passionate lip lock with somebody whose name you can't remember. 600 E Burnside St., 236-4536,

Best patio to meet bitches: Lucky Lab Beer Hall

The rustic, outdoor picnic area behind the Lab is a frequent sniffing ground, a veritable dog park for barfly dog owners and their canine enablers. 1945 NW Quimby St., 517-4352,

Best backyard barbecue patio: Amnesia Brewing

Amnesia's tin-shed aesthetic and smoky grills full of sausages are a perfectly acceptable substitute for a family reunion at a city park, and even come with eccentric drunken uncles, the smell of grilled sausages and noise complaints from neighboring picnic tables. 832 N Beech St., 281-7708.

Best zombie command post patio: On Deck Sports Bar and Grill

On Deck's rooftop vantage point, proximity to supply depot REI and ample supply of meatheads to use as decoys make the shiny sports bar a walking-dead-proof fortress. 910 NW 14th Ave., 227-7020

Best scary story patio: A Roadside Attraction

With rustic seating, a huge fire pit, and tin sheeting to shield drinkers from the rain, funky Roadside Attraction's front yard recalls a badass camping trip. 1000 SE 12th Ave., 233-0743.

Best winter relief patio: Fifth Quadrant 

Sure, the service might be as cold as the blistering winter wind outside, but Fifth Quadrant's tarped-off deck exudes a womblike warmth year round. 3901 N Williams Ave., 288-3996,

Best Patio for emphysema patients: George's Corner Sports Bar

The covered patio at this underrated dive can be like a convention for lifelong chain smokers…and a training ground for the next generation. 5501 N Interstate Ave., 289-0307.

Best eat-and-go patio: Apex

Sharing a patio with a well-known burrito joint serves Apex well—the open-air beer hall can concentrate on its massive selection of beers and let the folks next door at Los Gorditos do the cooking. 1216 SE Division St.,

Best Peeping Tom patio: Casa Diablo

The city's best spot to suck on a butt without missing any of the jiggling asses, the porch at vampire-themed vegan titty oasis Casa Diablo includes a massive window allowing you to peer in on the dancers like a seedy neighborhood voyeur. 2839 NW St. Helens Road, 222-6600.

Best patio for passing off alcohol sickness as something legitimate: Portland Spirit

Sure, it's technically the deck of a boat, but overindulgence on the Portland Spirit can easily be masked as sea sickness. Waterfront Park between Southwest Front Avenue and Salmon Street, 224-3900,

Best porch swing patio: EastBurn

East Burn's covered patio, porch swings and tabletop fireplaces make its outdoor area seem less like a bar than a coastal paradise. 1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876,

Best people-watching porch: Binks

The tiny sidewalk seating area and covered porch at Binks is a welcome reprieve from the packed hullabaloo of Last Thursday. Arrive early in order to snag one of the coveted seats and watch the mayhem unfold with a cold one. 2715 NE Alberta St., 493-4430.

Summer Guide 2011
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