Higgins is Like Your Favorite Rich Uncle: Dignified, Fun, and Full of Beer

If there’s anything you can take away from Higgins, it’s that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

There are two sides to Higgins Restaurant and Bar: the restaurant and the bar.

The former is all platinum white tablecloth and flawless service from knowledgeable servers, many of whom have been working there since the place opened during the first Clinton administration. It's very nice, but undeniably stuffy.

The latter is a wood-paneled, wood-barred old-school tavern, a place where visiting lawyers sit by punters stopping in for a beer from one of the best lists in the city.

Related: When You Eat at Higgins, Life Is Pretty Good

Higgins was on the up and up when the craft movement was in its adolescence in the mid '90s. But instead of resting on its laurels, it keeps its expertly curated Belgians—dozens of bottles from Delirium, Chimay, Rodenbach and the like alongside bottles from the big dogs of Oregon craft like de Garde, Pfriem and Logsdon—and a rotating tap list that never fails to have something you've never heard of.

The bar is where you want to eat: It's dignified but fun, like the rich uncle who hopefully is paying for your meal. And eat you will. The whole-pig plate ($34.50) comes with four preparations of meat—about double your average entree size—while an albacore special would make a protein-crazed bodybuilder jealous. The charcuterie board is as titanic as it is incredible ($20.50), mounded with 13 preparations, from saucisson to rillettes to a fantastic head cheese full of vibrant parsley. If there's anything you can take away from Higgins, it's that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, higginsportland.com. 11:30 am-9:30 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-10:30 pm Friday-Saturday. $$$

Eat: Don't miss the charcuterie board, and check out the Northwest-caught seafood and seasonal vegetable specials.

Drink: A bottle of de Garde or a Delirium Nocturnum.

Most popular dish: The whole-pig plate.

Noise level: 64/100. The bar gets much louder than the restaurant.

Expected wait: Reservations are highly recommended, although walk-ins usually don't wait longer than 15 minutes.

Who you'll eat with: Retired doctors, lawyers and executives who have been eating here for the past 20 years.

Year opened: 1994


The 2016 Restaurant Guide

Welcome to the 2016 Restaurant Guide

Paiche Is Our 2016 Restaurant of the Year

The 50 Best Restaurants in Portland | How We Ranked Them

Hat Yai Is the 2016 Pop-In of the Year | Mae Is the 2016 Pop-Up of the Year

Poke Mon Is the 2016 Pop-In of the Year Runner-Up | JolieLaide Is the 2016 Pop-Up of the Year Runner-Up

Portland's 10 Best Pop-Ups and Supper Clubs | Our 10 Favorite Counter Service Restaurants

Soup Houses | Seafood Spots | Italian Spots | Best Pizza Pies | Southern Food | Best Steaks, Chops And Charcuterie |Mexican Places | Sushi Spots | Korean Food | Chinese Food | Mediterranean Restaurants | Where to Get Coffee Cocktails After Your Meal

Willamette Week

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.