1021 NE Grand Ave., Suite 600, 503-963-3600, altabira.com. 4-6 pm daily.
[BURGER WITH A VIEW] Atop midscale, midcentury-modern Hotel Eastlund you'll find a beery pub called Altabira, formerly home to a Red Lion Hotel pub called Windows. The windows are still the best feature. You have an incredible view of downtown from the modernist steel patio furniture at this spacious bar, which also boasts a long list of localish beers and a pretty decent bistro burger with white cheddar and caramelized onions on brioche. But get it and a $6 Moscow Mule only during happy hour—the hike on that burger is steep after 6 pm, rising from $7 to $14. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Best deal: The $7 burger and $6 Moscow Mule.
3939 N Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, mississippistudios.com/bar-bar. 11 am-4 pm (bloody marys and margaritas) and 4-6 pm daily.
[BLOODY ON THE PATIO] Some may be tempted to dismiss Bar Bar as a means to an end, a burger-and-tallboy baby sibling to North Portland concert hall Mississippi Studios. But consider treating it as a destination in its own right—a patio bar with a laid-back atmosphere less suited to making new friends than meeting old ones. The burgers are a $6 during hours happy or not, but during happy hour, drafts, wells and house cocktails drop a buck, and Pabst is dive-bar priced at $2. Show up anytime before happy hour and the discounts stick to margs and bloodies, each $1 off. GRACE CULHANE.
Best deal: $4 wells and $3.50 La Bomba tecate michelada—and that always-cheap, always-welcome $6 burger.
1522 SE 32nd Ave., 503-234-8888, bazipdx.com. 3-7 pm and 10 pm-close Monday-Saturday, all day Sunday.
[BATTLE OF THE BELGIANS] Hilda Stevens' comfy spot isn't exclusively Belgian, but it is exceedingly well-curated—especially among the Belgian side of Oregon beer offerings, such as those from Pfriem, Upright and the Commons. If it's on tap here, it's good. Chances are, if it's on the food menu here, it's good, too—especially when the excellent, loaded-up burger drops to $6 alongside $6 Belgian mashed-potato stoemp. If you're afflicted with vegetarianism, Bazi is one of the few spots whose excellent lentil veg-burger is cheaper than the meat version: $5 cheap! MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: Just get the burger, whether veggie ($5) or beef ($6), and God bless.
215 SE 9th Ave., 503-239-8830, biwarestaurant.com. 5-6 pm and 9-10 pm daily (9-11 pm Friday-Saturday).
[FOR RAMEN'S SAKE] It's rare that a happy-hour special involves a $10 drink—but at the counter, Biwa offers a very generous pour of premium sake. The one on offer recently was the terrific Rihaku junmai ginjo genshu, which started fruity and finished with some heat. Biwa's ramen has slipped a bit, but it's $5 at the counter at happy hour, as is the udon. But the $3 chashu add-on in that ramen? Best in town. No equal. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.
Best deal: $5 ramen is good. But $7 for a four-piece set of nigiri is a steal.
701 E Burnside St., 503-946-8151, burnsidebrewco.com. 3-5 pm food specials, 3-6 pm "fermentation hour" beer specials daily.
[PORK-RIND NACHO] Between its extensive, off-the-wall lineup of galangal or pumpkin seasonals and antlered, outdoorsy decor guaranteed to appease the expectations of tourists visiting a Real Portland Brewpub™, Burnside has maintained its status as a must-visit for nearly six years. But it's also one of very few breweries in the city to maintain a truly legit happy hour: a mere $5 for nachos made of pork cracklins (!), and $7 for a burger that usually clocks in at a hefty $12, plus a buck off pints. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: Stop in on Wednesdays and Imperial 20-ounce pints are $3.75 —plus those $5 cracklin' nachos. It's so wrong it's right.
1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-9959, castagnarestaurant.com. 5-6 pm and 9 pm-close Tuesday-Friday.
[$5 COCKTAILS] Portland's only true fine-dining restaurant—no supper club, no fried chicken, all tablecloth—also sports a cafe that might as well be a burger joint between 5 and 6 pm. Sure, there are $2 oysters and $7 crisped duck-fat potatoes, brightly acidic pickled vegetables available for $2 and a generous $5 cocktail and $6 wine menu bolstering $4 craft drafts. But that burger is a revelation—made startlingly light, despite all the beef, by the bright acidity and pleasing crunch of some of the city's finest housemade pickles. You might catch yourself thinking about it sometimes during the golden hour right before twilight, when the world looks more beautiful than it should. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $8 burger. $5 "snoop" Negroni variant with gin, Campari and grapefruit.
2600 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-206-8962, churchbarpdx.com. 4-7 pm daily.
[PRAY FOR PUNCH] Church is a cool indie bar with an ironic name and theme that has live rock music on Monday nights and DJs who occasionally put on a Shins track. It just installed a pleasant patio out back, and on the weekend it's a dance club. But at happy hour, it's there for your cheap food needs: There's a $6 house punch, a tequila shot with a Sangrita back is $5 alongside a few $7 cocktails, and most importantly that half-pound burger now costs $8—or there are hush puppies for a fiver. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $5 tequila shot and Sangrita or a $4 well, $8 half-pound burger.
2035 NE Glisan St., 503-235-5690. 3-7 pm Monday-Friday.
[BURGER CHURCH] Little Sandy Boulevard ski-lodge-for-witches Club 21 has probably 15 beer signs inside as old as your mother. It was once a Ukrainian church. It was Jake's Crawfish. It was a bar called Shadows owned by the guy from Nick's Coney. Lately, the cheap drinks and build-your-own burgers have made it a daytime office for comic artists and drummers alike. At happy hour, you start with a $6 burger and then you stack it any which way you like. Spice it with sea salt and peppercorn or 12-spice barbecue, put it on a bun or toast or whole wheat, and add free veggies from standard (lettuce, onion, tomato) to wildstyle (pickled habanero). Fancy shit like cheese (whether cheddar or smoked gouda), bacon or sautéed mushrooms costs a buck extra. But wells are $3, so if you're feeling fancy, you can make that money back in cheap booze. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: The standard burger basket with fries is $7.
1014 SW Stark St., 503-228-3333, clydecommon.com. 3-6 pm daily.
[THE LESS COMMON CLYDE] Clyde Common's now-legendary happy hour is best known for the burger, and for the cocktails of celebrity bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. But chef Carlo Lamagna's Filipino-inflected menu offers a few new and interesting treats since last year: Freshly fried chicharrones ($4) may be revelatory to folks used to munching on grease-bomb pork rinds from a bag, especially when they're as light and airy as these. Very subtly seasoned, the lemon and sour cream accompaniments add a nice piquant note to the overall unctuousness. Deep-fried lumpia ($5) are the mainstays of Filipino potlucks worldwide, and while Clyde's version is a touch larger than the tight cigarillo Shanghai variety that the dish harks back to, it meets all the garlicky, porky notes that the style requires. But still: Get those $6 cocktails. Damn. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.
2521 SE Clinton St., 503-235-0203, dotscafeportland.com. 2-7 pm and 11 pm-1 am Monday-Friday.
[DINER BURLESQUE] If aliens, Elvis and Marie Antoinette opened a diner, it might look like Dots. The walls are lined with black-and-white damask wallpaper, oil paintings of Elizabethan royalty, screenshots of Spock, and Warhol prints. The happy-hour menu is just about as nuts. A cool $4 will get you a nacho plate big enough for two with guac and pico or a Thai chicken skewer. A buck more will get you a plate of wings, apparently a house specialty. ENID SPITZ.
Best deal: $3.50 wells, $3.50 select craft brews, $4 nachos.
2002 SE Division St., 503-234-1420. 2-7 pm Friday, all day Sunday.
[ONE-BARREL BURGER] One of the spate of newish bars in Southeast Portland working a Wild West theme, Double Barrel looks like what would happen if some intrepid developer airlifted the haberdashery from The Hateful Eight into the heart of New Division, cleaning up the bloodstains and installing pinball machines and a big screen to watch sports on, while keeping the place just grimy enough to maintain a vague "you might get shot over a card game here" vibe. In short, it walks the fine line between obvious contrivance and unforced authenticity needed to pull off the old-time thing. Boasting perhaps the neighborhood's widest selection of swill, the joint is pretty cheap to begin with, and at happy hour the pints and wells are only 50 cents off. But the excellent, no-frills Single Barrel burger drops to $5, which is reason enough to mosey on over for a tall can of Oly and hours of concussion-ball on Sunday, when the cheapness lasts all day. MATTHEW SINGER.
Best deal: Not in a burger mood? The chicken wings are $6.
5339 SE Foster Road, 503-775-2077, fosterburger.com. 3-5:30 pm daily.
[BEEFY BEEF] Foster Burger's happy hour caters to exactly what you want—$1 off burgers, $1 off a side of fries, and $2 PBR tallboys. This means you can have a mean meal for just $8, compared to the usual $11. This is price exclusivity at its finest. While other happy-hour spots mark down their burgers to $6 or $7, Foster gives you a $5 burger that's worth it. Trust us, it's worth the drive and having to suck down a room-temperature PBR tallboy. SOPHIA JUNE.
Best deal: Get the double burger ($6.50) with a side of fries ($2).
410 SW Broadway, 503-228-7222, imperialpdx.com. 2-6 pm Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm Saturday-Sunday; late night 10-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday.
[NOT CHOPPED LIVER] Imperial, our 2015 Restaurant of the Year, has lost chef Doug Adams, but still offers a burger with sweet pickles and dill mayo that costs only $6 and ranks among the best in the city. The $4 chicken liver pâté made in the mode of Paley's legend Stan Luoma melts into unctuous abandon—truly one of the greatest luxuries you could ever get in the city of Portland under $5. The happy hour rotates a bit—specials come on, specials come off—but recently, there was $8 fried chicken. The best deal, however, is also the most consistent: the $5 price on an excellent draft Vieux Carré. It's all liquor—and alllll goooood. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $5 Vieux Carré. And then another one. And the $4 liver pâté.
4644 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-544-7521; 8728 SE 17th Ave., 841-5906; 510 SW 3rd Ave., 946-8946; killerburger.biz. 2-5 pm Monday-Friday.
[GRILLIN' WITH BACON] Even with its mandatory bacon policy, Killer Burger reins it in to create tight, interesting burgers that are disposed toward smoky and spicy flavors. And during "crazy hour," which lasts three hours, KB develops a form of dyslexia in which its classic $9.65 BLT-style burger and signature peanut butter, pickle and bacon burger become instead $6.95 burgers, everywhere Killer Burgers are sold. Combine that with $3.50 beers, and you have one of the best burger deals in Portland.
Best deal: There is only one deal, and it is great.
533 SE Grand Ave., 503-230-7767, slowbar.net. 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, midnight-2:30 am Sunday-Thursday.
[EPIC BURGERS] This is an unlikely home for Portland's most celebrated pub burger. A proud survivor of an earlier iteration of Portland glam, Slow Bar is a den of nightlifers reading the newspaper in the dim, red lighting that I associate with places like Amsterdam and Prince's powder room. But none of that decadence can compare to the Slowburger, normally $11 for a Beacon Rock-sized column of ground chuck, Gruyere and onion rings that tastes like the Oxford English Dictionary needed more definitive examples of the concepts "fat" and "melt." At happy hour, you can get a kimchi-and-kale version—still 6 ounces of beef—for a mere $5. Also only $5 is a cocktail bowl of ceviche and chips, a generous iceberg wedge smothered in blue cheese and bacon, and any of three different pairs of sliders that include albacore. AARON MESH.
Best deal: $5 burger, $1.50 fries, $5.50 Duchesse de Bourgogne always on tap.
19 SW 2nd Ave., 503-477-8637, bartryst.com. 4-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
photo by Henry Cromett
Tryst is a rare comfort spot amid the racket of Old Town's Ankeny alley. A half-year into its tenure, it remains largely undiscovered by the human cocktail of suburbanites that crowd the 'hood. But nearby office workers should discover this place damn quick—because at 5 pm quittin' time, that deliciously buttery $7 hoisin-Sichuan burger is a sleeper choice for best happy-hour meal in the district, with options on $6 katsu or banh mi sandwiches. Wine, wells, cocktails and drafts drop the customary buck—and none are all that pricey to start with, meaning a $5 glass of wine or $7 Old Fashioned is always within grasp. But whatever you get, always order the fries ($3 at happy hour). That ginger ketchup, paired with furikake seasoning on the fries, is probably perfect.
Best deal: That $7 happy-hour burger drops to $5 on Wednesdays.
3652 SE Division St., 503-236-8755, thevictorybar.com. 5-6 pm daily, 10-11 pm Sunday-Thursday.
[BIG BROTHER POUTINE] Victory Bar remains steadfastly unchanged in Division Street Disneyland, its Orwellian Big Brother decor all the more poignant and ironic among the new crop of multiuse towers. Because why fuck with a good thing? The beer selection rivals any local beer bar in curation, a buck cheaper from 5 to 6 pm. Meanwhile, the food happy hour makes no sense and doesn't have to. You've got three choices. All American backcountry is served by a big, juicy venison burger. A West Coast take on Canadian poutine is offered by a bacon-cheddar-slathered mess of fries. And Germans will be sated by the housemade spaetzle. But the food's cheap at funny times: from 5 to 6 pm and 10 to 11 pm only. At midnight it costs more, because who wants to encourage you to dirty up the kitchen that late?
Best deal: $3.75 wells, $4 select craft pints and $6.75 for an unholy wealth of cheese-and-bacon-covered fries dirtier than any bomb.