Drink Recommendations at 50 of Portland’s Top Restaurants

From bubbly soda to fancy sake flights to cheap tallboys

If you've ever drunk yourself into a rut by ordering the same beer or cocktail no matter where you go, we're here to help. Here are our beverage recommendations, from bubbly soda to fancy sake flights to cheap tallboys, at all 50 of this year's top restaurants in and around the city.

Acadia: Most of Acadia's drinks are stiff, so if you're looking for a gentler cocktail, the Pirate's Alley ($10) has a tempering layer of butterfly tea, but still enough of that bayou spirit.

Apizza Scholls: Apizza Alt ($6, $22), an easy-drinking, German-style altbier made in collaboration with the pizzeria and Breakside Brewing.

Ataula: The clean and refreshing El Greco Tonica ($9) is for gin lovers, but if you're looking for more adventure, try the La Moreneta ($14), made with mezcal bitter blend, vermút and flamed orange for a viscous and sultry drink.

Autentica: Refreshing citrus in the Sangria de la Casa ($11) balances the bold red wine and comes unmixed, which makes the glass mimic a yellow-to-purple sunset.

Ava Gene's: After dinner, fans of the Italian herbal liqueurs known as amaro will find plenty to sip.

Aviary: For cocktails, be adventurous and go with the Sazerac ($12), made with the mild and balanced 100-proof Rittenhouse Rye and Armagnac de Montal. It's a less syrupy, more medium-bodied version of what you would usually get in New Orleans, although this drink is just as boozy and pleasing to sip.

Aviv: A slight twist on a standard citrus, tequila and aperol cocktail, the Aleph ($9) uses tamarind to add some tang and funk to the traditionally sweet-and-sour drink.

Beast: Beast's somm, Michael Garofola, is a Portland treasure. His enthusiastic, deeply knowledgeable (and usually firsthand) descriptions of terroir near and far make wine pairings experiences in and of themselves.

Broder: Broder stocks one of the city's largest shelves of aquavit, a spirit with strong notes of caraway—the same flavoring as licorice. Try the Rolling River Brown Bear ($4 for a taster, $10 for a pour), distilled in Portland and aged in used rye whiskey barrels.

Castagna: Oh sure, you can blow a wad on some fancy bottles here, but for our money (and sobriety), give us the changeable spectrum of house sodas ($5) on offer, such as citrus herb or a sharp and tangy ginger lime.

Chicken and Guns: Topo Chico ($2) is perhaps the only beverage suitable for the lively flavors of the chicken. The mineral water has a tang that's perfect to wash it all down, and after dipping into the sauces, the beverage doesn't seem so eye-squintingly bright.

Chin's Kitchen: Sweet-and-sour flavors are best washed down with a pale lager. And Tsingtaos are only $3.50 each.

Coquine: For a tiny restaurant, sommelier Ksandek Podbielski oversees a broad, eclectic wine (and cider) list. His by-the-glass selection of Spanish dessert wines—port, sherry and Madeira—and Armagnacs is notable.

Davenport: Nearly every table shares a bottle of wine from the restaurant's lengthy list, so follow suit. But you can also find classic cocktails like a Negroni, a Manhattan or an old-fashioned.

Enat Kitchen: The Ethiopian honey wine ($6) is a sweet mead that contrasts nicely with the heat of many dishes here.

Grain & Gristle: Upright's Saison Vert has a subtle sweetness, soft floral notes and a citrus character due to the use of black limes—the fruit is soaked in salt brine and dried.

Han Oak: Michelle Ruocco has cultivated an interesting bottle list, including orange wines and reds meant to be drunk chilled that are also available by the glass.

Hat Yai: The coconut mango horchata ($9) is a cream pie of a drink kissed with rum.

Higgins: The essential drink here is anything by Chimay ($6), especially when it's on tap and served in the traditional glassware.

Holdfast: Early for dinner? Hit Deadshot for a Deadshot ($5), Black Strap Rum and fernet.

Jacqueline: For seafood pairing, bottles of sparkling wine start in the $30 range. Or just go with the $2 happy-hour Rainiers.

Kachka: You drink vodka, quickly and often.

Ken's Artisan Pizza: The drink list includes four local drafts, but the impressive wine list is the way to go since there are more than a dozen offered. Bringing kids or want an alcohol-free option? The housemade lemonade ($3) is a solid choice.

Langbaan: Langbaan offers wine pairings that change with the menu. They're reasonably priced (relatively!), about $14 to $15 each.

Laurelhurst Market: Go old school and order a classic cocktail like a Manhattan ($12) to go with your hunk of meat.

Le Pigeon: Sadly, the close quarters at Le Pigeon have relegated cocktails to a tiny list of pre-bottled beverages that are underwhelming with their $12 price tag. Instead, dive deep into the immense wine list, or opt for an aperitif like Ricard ($10), or Amontillado ($10-$11), a dry Spanish sherry that drinks like wine and burns like whiskey.

Little Bird: The myriad flavors in the Old Fashioned Fumé ($13)—which is warming, herbaceous and slightly citrusy, with an anise finish courtesy fernet—almost make the cocktail a meal in itself.

Little Conejo: Order the habanero pineapple Mezcalrita ($12). It's smoky, spicy and sweet, garnished with a pineapple leaf, jalapeño slice and a dusting of Tajín seasoning powder.

Luce: There's a multipage wine list, but a glass of house red or white is $7 and a tasty deal.

Mae: A dry sparkling rose, Filipa Pato 2017 during our visit, paired well with the fatty Southern food. Though you can also spike the sassafras sweet tea with rye or vodka.

Matt's BBQ: Any German beer from Prost! will do, but in the summer, an even better option is at adjacent drink cart Bloodbuzz—the Instant Crush ($6), its version of a paloma, with tequila and Stiegl Radler.

Nimblefish: You can easily knock back a couple of Echigo rice lagers ($6) with your handrolls, or consider the wine and sake selections from Davenport co-owner and winetender Kurt Heilemann.

Nodoguro: Chef Ryan Roadhouse might describe a sake as "clean and pure, like enhanced spring water." He knows his stuff, so trust his selections as you do his food.

Nostrana: Honestly, have a chat with the beverage director and don't be afraid to ask for a few wine samples—it's one of the best parts of the Nostrana experience.

Olympia Provisions: The house bloody mary ($9 weekdays, $10 weekends) is thick, spicy and one of the best in town—plus, it comes with a slice of salami at the end of the toothpick.

Paley's Place: As you nibble cheese, sip a glass of sauternes dessert wine from Bordeaux ($15) and savor the sophistication. Frasier himself would approve.

Pok Pok NW: All Pok Pok properties make extensive use of their Som drinking vinegars, and it's always a good idea to check the specials board for a seasonal cocktail incorporating them. A recent favorite was the Safe as Milk ($6.50), a non-alcoholic concoction with turmeric drinking vinegar and muddled mint.

Roe: Spring for the by-the-glass sake service ($20-$22).

Shizuku: Sake is the attenuated focus of the evening beverage list, with a variety of flights ($15-$23) and noted bottle offerings like Yuki no Bosha, "Cabin in the Snow" ($10 for 3 ounces, $70 for a bottle), and Dassai, "Otter Fest 50" ($10 for 3 ounces, $63 for a bottle).

Smallwares: From the restaurant's tight cocktail list, "The Rum" ($10) is like drinking a kombucha piña colada, and it's served frothy and tart in a frosty tiki hand-grenade mug with charred pineapple for dipping.

St. Jack: St. Jack harbors one of Portland's top wine directors, Christopher Sky Westmoreland. Let him guide you through the deep list that emphasizes bottles from France and the Pacific Northwest.

Super Deluxe: As you wait for your order inside, a fresh-fruit fizzy water ($1.75-$2.50) will keep your mouth occupied. The three fruity flavors are a perfect bright, bubbly aperitif (without the booze) with pleasantly chewable pebble ice.

Trifecta: Odd Man Out ($12) is built on a backbone of rum and spiked with fresh citrus, like grapefruit and lime.

Tusk: Tusk's most popular cocktail has been on the menu since day one. The Hazy Jane ($13) is a constant for good reason—vodka, almond and hibiscus get a refreshing lift from ginger and lemon. Added yogurt give it an alluring cloudiness.

Zilla Sake: If you're down to get weird, jump in with a glass of Chiyomusubi Goriki Namazake ($13), which is funky and wild—like somebody mixed a hazy IPA with an amphora wine, then filtered it through a grain of rice.