Everyone loves saving a buck or two, but some places in Portland have taken happy hour to such a joyous extreme that you're best off eating dinner at 4:45, because you'll get a $30 meal for $12. Many of these places just so happen to be downtown. Here's where you'll get an explosive bang for your buck.
Higgins Restaurant & Bar
1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, higginsportland.com. Lunch-late Monday-Friday, dinner Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour: 4-5:30 pm Sunday-Friday.
The Higgins bar instantly instills faith that you will be served an expertly made classic cocktail. Grab a stool at happy hour for a chance to sample Greg Higgins' legendary, James Beard Award-winning cuisine for just $7 bucks a plate, and all non-bottled drinks at 20 percent off. $$-$$$$.
219 SW 6th Ave., 503-688-5952, littlebirdbistro.com. Lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, dinner Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour: 2:30-5 pm (6 pm in bar) Monday-Saturday, 10 pm-midnight Monday-Saturday and 5 pm-midnight Sunday.
Le Pigeon's technically less-fancy sister restaurant is always good for one of the best sit-down meals in town, but true heads come for the incredible happy hour, when the excellent double brie burger is just $5 and house cocktails are $3 off. $-$$$.
835 SW 2nd Ave., 503-222-0047, luclackitchen.com. Lunch Monday-Friday, dinner-late daily. Happy Hour: 4-7 pm daily.
Luc Lac has a lot of naysayers because it suffers from such egregious flaws as having "a contemporary dining space" and "an excellent happy hour" and being "the best Vietnamese food in this area" and "open until 4 am." Those naysayers are assholes. $-$$. Eat this: As much as you want from the $2 menu. Drink this: Dealer's choice cocktail ($6).
410 SW Broadway. Happy hour: 2-6pm daily, 10-11pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday.
Eat this: Imperial burger ($6). Drink this: Vieux Carre tap cocktail ($5).
1610 NW 23rd Ave. Happy hour: 4-6 pm and 10 pm-close daily.
Eat this: Mussels ($11). Drink this: St. Jack white wine ($5).
Tasty n Sons
3808 N Williams Ave. Happy hour: 2:30-5 pm daily.
Eat this: Cheesesteak or bacon-bleu burger ($7). Drink this: Mug of beer ($3).