232 NW 12th Ave., 241-4009, hamletpdx.com. 4-7 pm Monday-Friday.
La Quercia prosciutto is a beautifully marbled, cured ham—and just $5 for a thinly sliced ounce during happy hour. House red, a Portuguese import, is a mere $6 before 7 pm, and remarkably round. Hamlet's well-made happy-hour cocktails drop to $8 (from $12).
410 SW Broadway, 228-7222, imperialpdx.com. 4-6 pm Monday-Saturday.
Imperial, our Restaurant of the Year, offers a $6 burger with sweet pickles and dill mayo, and $3 off its trademark crispy pig tail, not to mention rotating dishes like smoked tongue sliders. But the real deal? The mere $5 price on an excellent draft Vieux Carre.
1204 NW 21st Ave., 243-2403, paleysplace.net. 5:30-6:30 pm Monday-Thursday, 5-
6:30 pm Friday-Saturday.
Paley's, the parent spot of Imperial, may actually have the more extraordinary fine-dining happy hour. The burger is $8 with bacon, but the real deal is the $9 charcuterie plate from meat maestro Stan Luomo. Oysters are $2 apiece and there's a $5 Corbières Rhone blend.
Happy hour comes a bit early, but at both locations you get $3 mugs of fine beer (Pfriem and Breakside at Sons, Germans at Alder). Alder has a lowbrow $5 chili dog or a highbrow $15 21-day aged rib-eye steak. Sons offers a $7 cheesesteak or bacon-bleu burger, and $4 plates of three of chef John Gorham's trademarks: radicchio salad, hush puppies and patatas bravas.
Oven and Shaker
1134 NW Everett St., 241-1600, ovenandshaker.com. 2:30-5:30 pm Monday-Friday, 10 pm-close nightly.
Along with a sterling $7 Blood and Sand cocktail, take advantage of the chance to get Oven and Shaker's trademark wild fennel sausage or provolone-honey pizzas at $10, just a bit over half regular price.
1610 NW 23rd Ave., 360-1281, stjackpdx.com. 4-6 pm, 10 pm-close daily.
The foie gras on the burger is gone (le sigh), but St. Jack's $12 happy-hour burger and frites is still decadence on brioche. The $11 mussels bowl is even cheaper than its excellent counterpart at La Moule across the river, and the $4 pork rind is a world-beater. Alan Akwai's lovely gin-absinthe-mint French Pearl is still $9, but at least it's not $12.
Ringside Fish house
838 SW Park Ave., 227-3900, ringsidefishhouse.com. 3-6:30 pm, 9 pm-close Monday-Saturday, all day Sunday.
RingSide's happy hours are a gluttonous Portland tradition done best at its Fish House. The steak bites at both spots are not what the dry-aged steak is, sure, but they are $3.95, as is the Caesar salad. Augment with $4.95 coconut-lemongrass mussels or fish tacos.