3356 SE Belmont St., 503-235-6041, aaltolounge.com. 5-7 pm daily.
[$2 EVERYTHING] At this Belmont Street den of sleek midcentury modernity and "bracing cocktails" (their words), and DJs spinning outlaw country and hip-hop, the absurdly generous happy-hour specials tend to draw couples looking for luxe a la cheapo. Two dollars will get you almost anything: a serrano-infused vodka pineapple cocktail, a lavender-cucumber gin cocktail, a Jell-O shot-flavored "Paloma," a pretzel with cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. A tenner buys you an entire bottle of wine. And if you're feeling both fancy and friendly, there's a $12 bucket of four Weihenstephaners with your name on it. But be polite. The happy-hour menu is only available to "well-mannered, appropriately tipping customers." MARTIN CIZMAR.
Best deal: The $2 full-sized Belmont Jewel Cocktail—a mix of bourbon, lemon, pomegranate juice, and orange blossom water. It goes great with your $2 grilled cheese sandwich.
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.
632 E Burnside St., 503-233-3113. 4-7 pm daily.
[CHEAP, CRAPPY CANS] B-Side spans time like Vincent Gallo in a photo booth. Sure, the whiskey-tallboy rocker dive now has a few heat lamps on the smoking porch—which still has the approximate air quality of an emerging nation—and the tabletop graffiti gets cleaned up for a refresh every now and then. But you will still tell time with a clock depicting Ted Nugent's face while marking the three-hour "crappy hour," during which tallboys of Hamm's, Rainier and Tecate are a mere $1—one of the only daily dollar-beer specials in the entire city. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $1 tallboys.
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 ones 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.
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.
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.
2045 SE Belmont St., 503-232-3227. 4-7 pm daily.
[VELVETERIA] Conquistador has the best bar nachos in the city of Portland. There are quirkier renditions, bigger ones and cheaper ones. But for the money, and for your taste buds—with five different salsas to choose, Mexican white cheese on top and fresh, warm chips as a base for an ungodly array of non-meat toppings—your heaven is here, in a bar devoted to free jukeboxes, smoking on the patio and ironic appreciations of velvet Spaniards. At happy hour, you can get poquito nachos that are still grande for a mere $6.50, along with drinks so cheap it'll break your heart: $2 Pabst, $3 craft beers, $5 cava and $3.25 well cocktails—not to mention $6 margaritas. Play shuffleboard or pool while you wait. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $6.50 happy-hour nachos will feed you and a friend.
1235 SE Division St., 503-230-8340, doubledragonpdx.com. 4-6 pm Monday-Friday.
[MEAL DEALS] Unobtrusively cool nighttime hang Double Dragon, one of the few decent bars on Division Street despite being a restaurant, has recently updated its happy-hour menu from burger-and-dog-and-tallboy specials to include one of the more solid happy-hour cocktail menus in town. Its vodka-lemongrass Telephone Line ($6 at happy hour) is made with house pho bitters, while the $6 happy-hour "Really Good Daiquiri" lives heartily up to its name. The masterpiece on the drink menu costs more—but at $8, the frothy tequila-mezcal-genepy Summer Babe (Winter Version) is well worth the upgrade. The banh mis and rice bowls drop a couple bucks to $8 and $6, respectively—but I gotta say, I miss that beautiful happy-hour kimchi hot dog. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $6 daiquiri.
1800 E Burnside St., 503-236-2876, theeastburn.com. 3-6 pm daily.
[HAPPY HOUR ROULETTE] EastBurn is like a bar with hidden levels—especially because it literally has a hidden level downstairs filled with skee ball and Pac-Man. But there's always a rare beer you didn't know about on tap or a goofball deal you'd have no reason to expect, like $2 off whiskey on Wednesday and $2.50 craft pints on Tuesday—and $3.50 craft pints during happy hour, for that matter, not to mention $3 off specialty cocktails. And during the NBA playoffs, the bar tosses out free beers when the Blazers eclipse 100 points. Every hour is happy, perhaps—but only at random. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: Those $2.50 pints on Tuesdays.
The Fixin' To
8218 N Lombard St., 503-477-4995, thefixinto.com. 2-6 pm Monday-Friday.
[DEEP SOUTH AND LOWDOWN] The Fixin' To is everyone's dream of a Southern dive bar on its best day. The clientele is lively and artfully disheveled, but not actively racist or mean. The one restroom is covered in scurrilous graffiti, but with no urine pooling in the corners. And instead of a wall of video poker, there's a gigantic Nintendo Game Boy that breaks the hearts of all comers with its intermittent functionality. At night, there's music, and during the afternoon it's cheap as hell—$1 Old German and $3 crafts and wells, which is to say that before 6 pm this is one of the cheapest bars in town, period. ADRIENNE SO.
Best deal: The Down and Out—Hamm's and a shot of Old Crow—is $4. A large Rotel and chips, like a nacho you dip yourself, is $5.
435 N Killingsworth St., 503-287-5658. 3-7 pm daily.
[BLOODY ON THE PATIO] Every neighborhood has something like the Florida Room—the kind of place that makes bad decisions feel inevitable. What began as a $3 happy-hour corn dog and some fart-themed tattoos—or a $4 pair of beef sliders just as dirty as both together—may end in a long night of dollar Olympias, which is not a happy-hour deal at all. It's just what they cost.
Best deal: All is cheap, and at happy hour it's 50 cents cheaper. Plus, you know, $3 corn dogs and fries.
4057 N Mississippi Ave., 503-284-6669, interurbanpdx.com. 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, 10 pm-close Sunday.
[ROYALE WITH LIQUOR] Interurban understands that a great bartender is more than an automated alcohol measurement system—but one who can settle debates about liquor while also making a Sazerac with admirable restraint. Food here has gone upscale of late, though there are still $7 hot wings at happy hour. But when in Rome, get the $9 pâté plate instead, and pair it with a $4 imperial pint of craft beer, a $5 wine, or—good goddamn, is that a $5 kir royale? A $5 "punch" made almost entirely of brandy, bourbon and rum? A $5 "sangria" that's mostly wine, chinato and vermouth? Liquor's quicker, America.
Best deal: Select $4 imperial pints, $5 wines and $5 cocktails. Cheap snacks. Discounted barrel-strength whiskey.
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-239-1143, golddustmeridian.com. 2-8 pm daily, all day Sunday.
[CHEESE AND BALLS] Gold Dust's front patio is oddly popular given all the traffic on Hawthorne, but you'll find us under the teakwood roof, probably sitting on the long banquette, where the red-hued light is flattering and the generous happy hour runs until 8 pm, even on Saturday: 50 cents off already-cheap wells and drafts, and a generous $5 Caesar salad and $6 crabcakes. But it's all about the $6 mac and cheese paired with the $5 meatballs for a lesson in decadence. Do we miss the happy-hour clams, though? Yes. We miss the happy-hour clams. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Best deal: $3.50 beer, $5 meatballs, $6 mac and cheese. Fin.
3508 N Williams Ave., 503-282-1611. 4-7 pm daily.
[PRE-POSTGENTRIFICATION PRICING] In April, the Maui's patio burned down. But luckily for Portland sports fans, it wasn't out of commission for long. In the space of two weeks, the staff made a heroic effort and cleaned the place up and rebuilt the patio and now the cheapest bar south of St. Johns is back to servicing patio smokers with $1.25 happy-hour Pabst, $2.50 well drinks and $3 craft beers. It is a funny world in which the city's most notorious gentrified street has this one little outpost of cheapness left over for the first-wave bohemian gentrifiers now getting pushed out by the real deal.
Best deal: The $2.50 wells are, uh, worth it.
3967 N Mississippi Ave., 503-288-6272, molokopdx.com. 4-7 pm daily.
[FRESH-SQUEEZED] Amid Portland's—especially North Portland's—unending sea of irony, thrift-store tchotchkes and tallboys, it's almost refreshing to see something modern: swoopy cutaway-back chairs, a white bar, no signage. Creepy Clockwork Orange overtones aside, Moloko's most striking feature is the presence of five large, spotlessly maintained saltwater fish tanks that cast a purplish glow over shelves of hand-labeled infusions and tinctures. Its other most distinguishing feature? A windless enclosed rear patio where you can drink cocktails with fresh-squeezed juice for $4.50 at happy hour, alongside your buddy and his $1.50 Rainier and your other buddy with a $3.50 gin and tonic.
Best deal: $1.50 Rainier pint, $5 tuna melt or salami sandwich.
725 SW 10th Ave., 503-478-9600. 3-8 pm daily.
[SECRET GARDEN] Momo is one of the best hangouts in a neighborhood otherwise swamped with high-end restaurants and cocktail offerings, the only place nearby for 45 minutes' worth of cheap daily unwinding at the end of a long shift at a hard job—and your job can go late or early and it's cool, because happy hour is a whopping five hours long and doesn't end till 8 pm. Here, cheap crafts sit beside jug-sized glasses of wine at some of the best rates on the westside as long as you dodge Bulleit on the rocks in favor of a beautifully toxic, probably flammable $3 well whiskey ginger. But aside from easy and cheap intoxication, the real draw to Momo—especially in daylight—is that it sports one of the city's best hidden patios: a roughly 50-seat enclave preciously guarded by the towering pitted brick and peeling white walls of surrounding businesses. WALKER MACMURDO.
Best deal: $3 wells! Beer is for chumps.
1408 SW 6th Ave., 503-484-1099, nelcentro.com. 4-6 pm daily.
[HALF-PRICED PIZZA] When you see a $7 pizza on a hotel happy-hour menu, what you expect is a half-assed personal pie, a Frisbee you'd begrudgingly wolf down at an airport out of caloric necessity. Not at Nel Centro, David Machado's Southern European hotel spot whose generous happy hour lets you enjoy much of the lunch menu at a drastic discount—around 50 percent for most meals—surrounded by vacationing retirees on an umbrella-lined patio. Centro's beer list is much better than that of other Portland hotel bars, forgoing the recognizable dad-craft bottles for Commons Urban Farmhouse and Pfriem Pilsner on tap for a very reasonable $4 and a $6 rotating cocktail. WALKER MACMURDO.
Best deal: That $7 pizza gives you a tasty 12 inches of goat cheese, cherry tomato and basil on a thin crust, enough food for two if you aren't starving and easily shored up with a $6 wheel of hazelnut-crusted goat's cheese with fixins. Washing it down with a $4 Pfriem feels like a steal.
Night Light Lounge
2100 SE Clinton St., 731-6500, nightlightlounge.net/home. 2-7 pm Monday-Friday, 3-7 pm Saturday-Sunday, 11 pm-1 am daily.
[NACHO TOWER] The place famous for (briefly) hanging a painting depicting Adolf Hitler wearing a "Make America Great Again" baseball cap is also one of Southeast's best late-night happy-hour spots—although on a late Tuesday, the only other customer might be a man in a cowboy hat spewing a monologue to the bartender about how jazz saved his life even as a "white boy." But PBR is $1.50 a pint, french fries are a mere $2, and $6 salads and nachos are enough to feed a table of three. And even though Hitler is gone, the bar did sport a painting of a cute cat licking itself—a biological act turned erotic with the artist's decision to blur the kitty's private area. SOPHIA JUNE.
Best deal: The $6 nachos, which look about a full foot high and are layered hot with guacamole, jalapeños, green and red onion, pico de gallo, sour cream and black olives. Wash it all down with a $1.50 pint of PBR.
1020 NW 17th Ave., 503-943-2780, paymasterlounge.com. 2-6 pm daily.
[PATIO POOL PARTY] If you're in Northwest Portland sucking down $1.50 happy-hour Hamm's and downing $5 nachos under an anatomically suspect drawing of a cat's penis—well, you're here, at a bar named after a check-cashing spot that also happens to be home to the best patio in Northwest Portland. Hell, that pool-tabled patio is so good that even a drunkenly driven car tried to park on it once. For four hours each day in this labyrinthine bar—complete with a small front patio to mirror the huge one in back, a weird-balls vending machine and an even weirder TV room—$7 nets not only a burger but the french fries that rightly go with it, and Sauza tequila costs just a dollar more than a $3 well-vodka soda. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $7 burger and fries, $4 Sauza.
2225 E Burnside St., 971-271-7166, pixpatisserie.com. 4-6 pm Monday-Friday, 2-4 pm Saturday-Sunday,, midnight-close nightly.
[FREENESS IS SWEET] Pix does everything its own peculiar way—so why should happy hour be different? This dim, red-walled haunt for sherry and Champagne and exotic macarons doesn't offer food discounts, exactly. It just flat out gives away food. As in many bars in Spain, each drink at Pix after midnight or during its first two hours each day will net you a little tapa treat: a bacon-wrapped date, say or a quail egg equally pork-wrapped. Maybe it's an anchovy-stuffed Gilda pepper, who knows? All will go just fine with sangria-like tinto wine, or Baque txakoli—both just $4 at happy hour. And if you go nuts and splurge for a bottle after midnight? That's 10 percent off. But maybe reserve that for Thursday, when happy hour lasts forever.
Best deal: A $4 glass of Txakoli with a free montadito on the side.
Pope House Bourbon Lounge
2075 NW Glisan St., 503-222-1056, popehouselounge.com. 4-7 pm daily.
[WHISKEY PATIO] Pope House has a generous happy hour—everyday from 4 to 7 pm, $6 gets you a well-made brown derby (an Old Fashioned variant with grapefruit) or jackalope (a Negroni variant with IPA and grapefruit). But among the $6 pours, the only one that will reward not getting the excellent $10 Old Fashioned is the Four Roses-vermouth-bitters half man (of which the other half is obviously a Manhattan). If you're truly going budget, pick up a $4 pour of Rebel Yell or Evan Williams and drink it with a $7 pair of bulky pork sliders that will serve as a full meal while you enjoy one of Nob Hill's finest patios. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Best deal: $4 Rebel Yell (mixer optional), $7 pork sliders.
Punch Bowl Social
340 SW Morrison St., 503-334-0360, punchbowlsocial.com. 3-6 pm, 10 pm-close daily.
[CANADIAN COWBOY BOOTS] Home to seemingly every company holiday party in town, Punch Bowl Social is a shopping-mall smashup of bowling and shuffleboard and cocktails and karaoke and pingpong and video games and…a surprisingly serious devotion to scratch-made Southern comfort fare, enough so that it just brought on Canadian celebrity chef Hugh Acheson as a business partner. And so Canadians and Midwesterners should take heart that Acheson shares the Canadian quality of being very particular about poutine. The mammoth plate is a traditional wealth of gravy and curd that will feed three drunks handily. But if we're dousing carbs in fat, I'd still go for the bacon pimiento with pullman toast, which is like the mall version of cocaine. Standard drink specials are unremarkable, but the goofy ones serve you well. Go for a $6 daiquiri or a big ol' glass of $7 punch. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: That $8 poutine costs the same as the junior burger—but it feeds more people.
Rae's Lakeview Lounge
1900 NW 27th Ave., 503-719-6494, raesportland.com. 2-6 pm daily.
[DAY DRUNK] Oh, Rae's, you are so strange—a patio with a view of a now-fictional lake, a Montgomery Park after-work rec room, a day-drinker's haven that looks a little like an airport lounge. Everything is cheap, but what is cheap is always unexpected. Rillettes for $4? A croque monsieur for $6? A $7 mini-Bourguignon that is essentially a Frenchified pot pie? They are not high-class despite European pedigree, but they'll hit the spot after celebrating with High Life's Champagne for a mere $1 or a dizzyingly cheap $9 half carafe of wine that's $3 by the glass. Although…the real stomach-filler for the day-drunk is the huge $3 doughy biscuits and gravy. Too late for happy hour? No problem. Rainier pints are $1 after 9 pm. Too early for happy hour? No problem. Mimosas are $1 at brunch. Or you can just get a 61-ounce rum-and-gin "Thunder Bowl" for $24 anytime. Oh, God—you're never leaving. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: $1 High Life, $1 Rainier, $1 mimosa, $3 biscuits.
600 E Burnside St., 503-236-4536, rontoms.net. 3-6:30 pm daily.
[BACK-DECK LOVERS] Rontoms, once prized for its retro stylings, now looks oddly dated, the vintage record player housing the water looking like a relic of another time. The huge bar space is now sort of a front for the back patio, where the real action is. Visit during happy hour between May and October, and pretty much every social demographic under age 40 is gathered out back. Traveling oceanographers? Check. Wieden+Kennedy account managers? Check. Two bros monopolizing the pingpong table? Double check. They're all here for sunshine, but Rontoms' dollar-off spirits are buoyed by $4.50 food items, including a French dip sandwich, chicken skewers, Caesar salad, and quite good jackfruit tacos. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Best deal: The filler on the menu is the classic. For $4.50, you're full of grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Mmmm mmmm, good.
5532 SE Center St., 503-445-6649. 3-7 pm Monday-Friday.
[HAIL THE CAESAR] The corner of Southeast 56th Avenue and Foster Road consists mainly of the Gun Room and a waft of pot from Foster Buds. But in the shadow of an "Anyone Can Get Addicted to Pain Pills" billboard lies happy-hour oasis Slingshot Lounge, a true neighborhood watering hole with surprisingly good, cheap food. There's not even a spot at the bar to sit in the low-lit room near the end of happy hour, which offers seven $3-to-$5 snacks, including a $4 Caesar salad piled high with Parmesan cheese and crunchy homemade croutons, and a $3 basket of fries big enough for three. Drafts and wells are a buck off at $4 and $3, respectively—and the wells are stiff. SOPHIA JUNE.
Best deal: $1 pint of Olympia and $3 for so many fries.
14 NE 22nd Ave., 503-233-4181. 3-6 pm daily.
[GOLD-STANDARD DEALS] The Standard is still the sort of place where bartenders write their favorite regulars a personal tab, and then maybe shoot them a little shit when they finally pay it off. The changing taps of craft beer are $3.50 at happy hour and carefully chosen—Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest on the rotator, Pfriem Pilsner on the permataps—whiskey comes with a back and it's understood, there's hot cider in winter and slushies in summer, and everyone becomes a regular sooner or later, even the little shits who roll in for dollar Hamm's night or dollar Hamm's happy hour, or all-day, everyday dollar cans of beer. And regulars are always missed when they go. It's the best little bar in Portland, and I won't hear otherwise.
Best deal: $3 craft pints are offered all day every Sunday.
19 SW 2nd Ave., 503-477-8637, bartryst.com. 4-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
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.