DOUBLE DRAGON: CHOP SUEY SONGSTERS

Come for: A fizzy, fruity Singapore Sling and a clove-perfumed duck banh mi
Come back for: Baby Ketten Karaoke

SE Division Street’s gleefully inauthentic banh mi joint always felt like something more than a plain old restaurant, with its spicy, in-your-face eats and snarky chalkboard menu. So when Double Dragon transformed into a bona fide bar last fall, complete with the requisite bitters and tinctures lining its poured-concrete bar and a list of classic and curious cocktails, it felt like a raucous homecoming. These days, the glass-fronted cube is crammed with happy 20- and 30-somethings scarfing Kobe kimchi dogs and slurping stiff drinks spiked with five-spice and Thai tea syrup beneath dim lights studded with spent Sriracha bottles. The spot reaches its oddball zenith every Saturday night. That’s when Baby Ketten Karaoke stretches a white sheet across one of the bar’s front windows to project song lyrics, tempting flannel-clad boys to belt out Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like a Hole” mashed up with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Smokers bundled up to their eyeballs perch on picnic tables just outside the door, watching the wildly gesticulating singers through the glass as if they were the cast of some long-lost Godzilla movie musical. 1235 SE Division St

Ración: THE MODERNIST TINKERER

Come for: A salt foam–topped chorizo tequila margarita
Come back for: A seat at the bar—Portland’s ideal perch for watching modernist cuisine in the making 

There is no gleaming liquor-scape at Ración: no service rail, no speed rack, no towering library ladders. Bartender Chauncey Roach’s domain is really more of a “station.” While immersion circulators swirl with baggies of wagyu culotte nearby, Roach mans a two-table science lab of cocktail geekery, complete with meaty infusions, sous-vide apples, salt foams, and granitas galore. His creations are the perfect match for Ración’s casually fanciful approach to modern Spanish cuisine—unexpected, labor-intensive, and classically delicious. Snag a seat at the wraparound bar for a front-row perspective on the molecular gastronomy, or head for the leather-cushioned lounge area, where a good-sized gaggle could settle in for a night of cocktail experimentation. Try the old-fashioned, which arrives artfully deconstructed: a rocks glass of orange granita, dabbed with bitters and speared with a maraschino cherry, sided by a shot of Four Roses single-barrel bourbon. Combine, stir, and sip away. For dessert? Treat yourself to Portland’s most abiding White Russian, capped with a luscious cloud of vanilla foam and crystals of Jacobsen’s Stumptown coffee salt. 1205 SW Washington St

Orient Express: The No. 8 at Expatriate
Orient Express: The No. 8 at Expatriate

Expatriate: THE HOT DATE

Come for: A livey blend of cognac, rye, Dolin Génépy des Alpes, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters dubbed No. 8 
Come back for: Candles everywhere, carefully selected vintage vinyl, and luxuriously tufted bar stools make this easily the sexiest bar in town.

It is laughably easy to fall under Expatriate’s spell. It begins when you walk in the door and find yourself in a discrete world of warmth: thick red candles flicker, dark booths ooze that come-hither look, a well-coiffed bartender flashes a knowing smile, and jazz purrs from a turntable. It is gritty and glamorous, playful but self-assured. You may find yourself musing, “This is exactly where I want to be right now.” The 30-seat haven of dimness is the brainchild of bartender Kyle Linden Webster and wife Naomi Pomeroy (whose bastion of communal dining, Beast, is just across the street). This communion of casual but carefully engineered ambience is enhanced by confident cocktails and bold, crunchy, loosely Asian drinking snacks (order the Chinese sausage corn dog!), not to mention one very simple, very satisfying onion and butter sandwich inspired by James Beard. Each of Webster’s eight nightly cocktails is calibrated to the drop and comes with a footnoted backstory. Read up and order the No. 8, a spirited mix of cognac and rye amped by herbaceous liqueur and orange bitters. From there, let the candles be your guide as you freely roam both sides of the globe-trotting menu. 5424 NE 30th Ave

The Rookery Bar: THE HISTORIAN

Come for: Full barrels of bourbon and tequila, selected specifically for the menu of high-end cocktails 
Come back for: Tuesday nights of live Irish music paired with Irish bites

If it weren’t for the dark-marbled bar, the impeccable leather upholstery, the grand, unblemished pool table, and the stainless steel LED lamps hanging from the burly beams above, the Rookery Bar just might transport you in time. Making its cavernous home in the former hayloft of the Ladd Carriage House—built in 1883, trucked across town in 2007, and trucked back to its historic home in 2011—the Rookery serves as a convivial alternative to Raven & Rose’s more staid dining room below. Cocktail precision from ubiquitous bar director David Shenaut fills out an ambitious menu that ranges from an immaculate manhattan to Caroline’s Fancy, a fiery blend of reposado tequila, curaçao, and cardamom bitters that somehow tastes like a classic. Tasting expeditions to Kentucky, Jalisco, and beyond have yielded a collection of “Single-Barrels” that bear the bar’s logo and serve as the foundation for a menu of single-barrel cocktails (spendy, but worth it). When the Rookery is swinging with live Irish folk music, fireplace blazing and rare liquor flowing, there’s hardly a more impressive room in Portland. 1331 SW Broadway

Mezcal, My Love: Tacos and matching plaids at La Taq
Mezcal, My Love: Tacos and matching plaids at La Taq

La Taq: MEX TEX MAESTRO

Come for: Addictive fried-to-order chips and spicy salsas
Come back for: A velvety tequila, orange curaçao, and scotch face-smacker named Bandalero

How do you top the downhome charm of Podnah’s Pit? Tuck the barbecue haunt’s signature brisket inside a Three Sisters Nixtamal tortilla and serve it alongside a Zanahorita, the zippy, sweet-and-sour offspring of a margarita and carrot-cumin salad. Indeed, Rodney Muirhead’s “Mex Tex” companion to his beloved BBQ spot hits all the right smoky, meaty, boozy notes. The tiny, candlelit cantina faintly glows with good vibes, its harmonious mix of tile, wood, and poured concrete set off by framed ponchos and a long row of tequila and mescal bottles, the air perfumed with frying tortilla chips and lamb barbacoa. Former Beaker & Flask barman Kevin Ludwig and his affable crew sling a roundup of satisfying, agave-focused cocktails as well the high-low punch of Double Mountain IRA and Pacifico on tap. Given the quality, prices are more than reasonable, and the bar’s chic yet unassuming atmosphere makes it the kind of spot where you could gorge on tacos and beers with a lover, an old college buddy, or even your mom in tow. Heck, bring all three. 1625 NE Killingsworth St 

White Owl Social Club: THE LYNCH-, GEAR-& MOTORHEAD

Come for: Mayahuel’s Tequila Toddy (Sauza Hornitos Reposado, agave nectar, habanero, preserved orange peel, fresh citrus)
Come back for: DIY s’mores, complete with skewers and tabletop fire

With its angular red- and black-tile floors and leather booths, the White Owl Social Club could double as a set from Special Agent Dale Cooper’s dream sequences on Twin Peaks. In reality, it’s a booze-fueled music hall from the rock-happy Sizzle Pie empire, complete with a monthly meet-up for vegan drinkers, a pair of kombuchas on offer, and a line of wolf-emblazoned T-shirts for sale. Faux-fur-clad gals and bearded motorheads often flock here for Richter scale–bumping punk and metal bands, a dozen rotating draft brews, and dangerously easy-drinking creations like the Papa Legba, a kind of soft-porn Slurpee that mingles Bulleit bourbon and New Deal coffee liqueur with vanilla-bean soda and root beer. The gritty space’s sprawling patio and fire pit are built for long summer nights, but plates of fried Moonbrine pickle fritters and taco mac and cheese loaded with Hatch chiles help combat seasonal affective disorder during long PDX winters. But don’t say we didn’t warn you about the dreams. 1305 SE Eighth Ave

Lighthouse Inn: THE LONGSHOREMAN

Come for: Whiskey and a beer back, from a small but surprisingly varied local tap list
Come back for: From the snowshoes and Pachinko machine hiding in the booth-filled restaurant wing to the inlaid backgammon board by the jukebox, it might take a few visits just to take in the ancient building’s many artifacts. 

This airy Linnton tavern offers plenty of room to rehydrate after a hike in Forest Park or recover from a harvest-season trip to nearby Sauvie Island. Fridays and Saturdays draw regulars for prime-rib dinners, but the many burger choices, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me mountain of tots, and Oregon-proud pints (the taps take in Burnside Brewing and Cascade Lakes) are on offer every day. The respite comes with a history lesson: it may not be right on the water, but few bars in Portland make you feel more connected to our rivertown history than the Lighthouse. Red and green channel markers set around the room bounce light off a bar that’s shiny as a ship’s deck, and after a few strong pours, you might think you spot a seagull landing on the dock pilings behind the shuffleboard table. Dockworker notices tacked outside and union signs within hint that this isn’t a place to get too highfalutin: just order a drink (or go with the bartender’s whim—she may even cure your cold), sit back and watch the game, or join in the welcoming conversation. Even the resident ghost, said to sit and smoke cigars in what was once the building’s bank vault, is a friendly sort. 10808 NW St. Helens Rd

Whey Bar: HEAVY-WAIT CHAMPION

Come for: The gin-based Weekend at Bernie’s #2, a tweak on the classic Corpse Reviver 2 (and an excellent movie reference)
Come back for: The oyster bar

Technically, Whey Bar serves as the overflow pit for anxious diners hungry for Ox’s highbrow Argentine grilled meats. Stuck in a former garage behind the perpetually packed restaurant, this stepchild of a boîte is all but invisible from the street. Exposed lightbulbs hang from the ceiling, casting a warm glow. There’s no bathroom. But since it opened in the summer of 2012, Whey Bar has quietly elbowed its way into the spotlight by focusing on the simple things: great cocktails and perfect bivalves. Step inside, take a seat at one of six bar stools, and order the La Yapa (rye whiskey, Fernet Branca, Velvet falernum, grenadine, lemon), which could easily be overpowered by the fernet but is in fact flawlessly balanced. Whet your appetite at the raw oyster bar by the door. They’re not just the perfect drinking companion; they’re a whole other reason to visit. If you’re lucky and they’re in stock, try the Blue Pools from Hama Hama in Lilliwaup, Washington: just the right salination and size, made celestial with a dollop of garlic butter sauce. What reservations? 2225 NE MLK Jr. Blvd

Aviary: COCKTAILS WITHOUT BORDERS

Come for: The Brix Layer, a spin on an old-fashioned with a float of cabernet sauvignon
Come back for: A happy hour menu that’ll blow your taste buds and barely dent your wallet

Like its adjacent restaurant, Aviary’s cozy bar calls to mind a rustic Zen temple—polished wood, dark steel, and white walls all coming together in a minimalist homage to lines and right angles. That serenity, however, is disrupted by the dancing LED lights of a small Miller Genuine Draft sign, which might as well serve as a metaphor for the Alberta spot’s cocktails: adventurous but thoughtful fusions of East and West that fairly pop on the tongue. Most nights you can spy a well-heeled crowd of couples and food acolytes trading sips of flavorful elixirs pumped up with everything from tobacco bitters to “cookie spice”; all calibrated to complement the kitchen’s often delicate, deliciously perplexing, sweet and savory dishes. The Canicule, which mashes up Bombay Sapphire East gin and sauvignon blanc with pineapple shrub and jalapeño, performs throat-tickling acrobatics in your mouth, while the One Night in Bangkok offsets vodka and lime with savory kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass for a sophisticated alternative to the lemon drop. These are combinations to meditate on. 1733 NE Alberta St

Ring of Rum..and Fire! Brave Hale Pele's Volcano Bowl
Ring of Rum..and Fire! Brave Hale Pele's Volcano Bowl

Hale Pele: TIKI-LANDIA

Come for: The Disneyland-blitzed-on-Sailor-Jerry décor
Come back for: The Jet Pilot’s flaming, head-swirling mix of three aged rums, citrus, falernum, and a heap of cinnamon

There are tiki bars, and then there Tiki Bars. Hale Pele is the latter. Enter from a relatively dead block of NE Broadway, cross a small bridge next to a trickling waterfall, and you will find yourself within a thatched hut that feels tricked out by someone on a strong form of aboriginal acid, where psychedelic lights, bamboo, and giant Polynesian masks all clamor for attention alongside nearly 40 frothy, boozy tropical concoctions. Pretention is banished here—Hale Pele’s cheesiness is central to its charm. Spiky puffer-fish lamps overhead? Check. “Thunderstorms” blowing through the sound system on the hour? Check. A volcano that spews smoke? Triple-check! Conversations flow easily (and increasingly loudly) between strangers at neighboring tables, fueled by nibbles of addictive, sesame oil–slicked edamame and sips from the epic, rum-centric cocktail menu. The sugary classics are here (the Painkiller), but plunge deeper into the menu for a taste of the spicy side of the tropics (the Navy Grog). Just pay close attention to the menu’s “potency scale” and come with a couple of hours to spare—service tends to run on “island time,” natch. 2733 NE Broadway

The Tannery: THE SOPHISTICATED FRONTIERSMAN

Come for: Exactingly composed drinks, old (the Toronto) and new (the Namaste—with chai-infused vodka)
Come back for: Low-key, under-the-radar DJ nights on the two turntables in the back

Something funny about the Tannery: people seem to bring their parents. On a recent visit, several tables in this cozy, off-kilter-elegant shotgun shack featured 30-somethings and their forebears. Maybe Portland transplants are eager to show off a tiny gem that distills the city’s modern mood to its essence. After all, this place isn’t much more than a cinder-block shed on a once-desolate stretch of Burnside. Owner Caleb McBee refined the unpromising structure into a snug, considered
epitome of that post-Deadwood, neo-steampunk, Craftsman Industrial design aesthetic that Portland loves. Behind the bar, archival drinks like the Toronto croon dark melodies of rye and fernet, while strange new wonders take shape—the Lucille 2, for example, mingles ferocious Dutch gin, a red wine reduction, and sparkling cava. The tiny kitchen works a rich vein of Euro-Oregonian pub fare, turning out a Monte Cristo spiked with marionberries and steak frites sourced from St. Helens. It’s almost a little much, but when the needle hits some old vinyl and the booze hits the big ice cube, the Tannery serves Portland indie culture in its most refreshing form.
5425 E Burnside St

The Fireside: THE DEN OF FIRE

Come for: Backyard Grillin’ (tequila, mescal, rhubarb amaro, lemon, orange bitters)
Come back for: The opportunity to drink that cocktail (and many more) beside one of two fireplaces

We lamented the demise of the iconic Music Millennium on Northwest 23rd Avenue as much as anyone. But after six long years of vacancy, what’s risen from its ashes is a small triumph: an enticingly homey neighborhood joint with a fireplace-to-space ratio that we heartily approve. Yes, the Fireside is inspired by (you guessed it!) all things fire, from its ax door handle to its floor-to-ceiling smokestack fireplace. The outdoorsy food menu includes a hearty elk chili and plenty of grilled things, from flatbread pizza to lettuces and brick chicken, while a wallet-friendly spread of cocktails (just $6 apiece during happy hour) offers fiery, smoky mescal- and scotch-fueled concoctions. Partitioned nooks and booths, all bedecked in buttery leather and fiercely grained wood, give you plenty of options for tucking into the scene: hole up in a dark booth with a group; sidle up to the bar in a tufted, swiveling seat; ogle Nob Hill shoppers at a window seat beside the open fire pit; or kick back with strangers at the front fireplace. Bonus challenge: see if you can find the “speakeasy bathroom.” 801 NW 23rd Ave

Free House: THE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL

Come for: Brawny house creations like the Maine Coon (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, maple syrup, and salt) or Calcutta (black rum, lime, Campari, bitters, sparkling cider)
Come back for: The pˆaté bahn mi—a high draft choice in Portland’s bar-bites fantasy league

If you want to see the humble neighborhood tavern raised to an art form, come here. Crammed almost invisibly between a tattoo shop and an Irish pub, Free House feels like an off-the-radar discovery every time you walk in. Amid clean-lined but cozy décor, a connection to artisan meat empire Olympic Provisions (the two share a co-owner) elevates a tightly edited menu of charcuterie, snacks, and “sandos” to heights few publicans would dream of. Behind the bar, a cheeky sense of invention reigns: an old stalwart of the house list, the Dagobah System combines a geeky reference to Star Wars, evocative sense memories of Coca-Cola, and the best cough syrup flavor imaginable. On the other hand, the Blazers are on and the laid-back but all-pro barkeeps will crack you a cheap Old German if that’s more your speed. If all holes-in-the-wall were like this, there would be more holes in more walls. For now, let us revel in Free House. 1325 NE Fremont St

Higgins Bar: THE URBAN IDLER

Come for: A beautiful manhattan (that’s right, it’s just a manhattan)
Come back for: The Higgins Burger—the one that inspired all the other fancy burgers in town

Every city needs places like this, and Portland has too few. There’s a door off a downtown side street. (It’s connected to a white-tablecloth restaurant—Greg Higgins’s pioneering farm-to-table stronghold—but that’s not what you’re here for, not tonight.) Inside, the walls are wood, the ceiling pressed tin, the décor unchanged for at least 10 years. The staff wear ties. The room is buzzing, but not beholden to some concept of cool or any particular subculture—anyone could be anyone. You’re there before a show, or after work, or neither. The house classics on the cocktail list date back at least 31 years. The person making your drink did not invent it, s/he just knows how to make it right. The guy next to you orders a fresh Stoli on ice by pointing wordlessly at his empty glass. You drink your martini, or your sazerac, or your manhattan, and you remember what a city bar is actually for: a neutral, civilized, well-tended place to savor that little piece of time between one thing and the next. Higgins masters the almost-lost art of being that place. 1239 SW Broadway

Red Letter: Spot-on pours at Richmond Bar
Red Letter: Spot-on pours at Richmond Bar

The Richmond Bar: THE CLASSY NEW NEIGHBOR

Come for: A tumbler of sassafras-spiked mescal and some fetching wallpaper 
Come back for: Epic white cheddar–and–caramelized onion mac and cheese

Restaurateur Nate Tildenhas made his mark in town by knowing exactly what Portlanders crave, from cured meats (Olympic Provisions) to Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Clyde Common). With Richmond Bar, he bestows upon Southeast Portland a compact greatest-hits collection in the former Matchbox Lounge’s Lilliputian space. Gangs of clever women and bearded men crowd the black-leather banquettes, while neighbors meet over pints of 10 Barrel and a righteous chopped salad sprinkled with meaty OP goods at a tall communal table that commands the center of the room. Co-owner and Clyde Common alum Nick Gusikoff brings a smart parade of well-balanced cocktails to the convivial party that skip from light and fizzy (the Clear Creek pear brandy and Chartreuse-laced Park Life) to silky-smooth (bourbon-backed Honey Suckle). Our favorite new SE Division Street resident? The Sassafras. With a smoky mescal burn and a bittersweet, brawny one-two punch of cynar and root-beery liquor, it’s sexier than most men in this town. 3203 SE Division St

By Jeeves! Checking out at Multnomah Whiskey Library
By Jeeves! Checking out at Multnomah Whiskey Library

Multnomah Whiskey Library: THE DISCRIMINATING TIPPLER

Come for: The Scofflaw, a classic take on a Prohibition-era cocktail (rye whiskey, dry vermouth, fresh lemon, and grenadine) 
Come back for: A surprisingly deep selection of tequilas, which nearly rivals MWL’s whiskey selection in breadth

If Portland’s quirk mated with a 1920s speakeasy and a conspiracy theorist’s “smoke-filled room”—that fabled place where brandy-drinkers launched dark horses for president —the progeny might look a lot like the Multnomah Whiskey Library. At the top of a flight of stairs, just beyond an unmarked door, a host asks for your name—yes, your full name—and your phone number. (They’ll call you when your table’s ready.) Somehow, such rituals feel refreshingly stuffy. Yes, there are hours-long waits, portraits of frowning white men lining the walls, and library “memberships” available for $500 a pop. But there is also cool, dark comfort, an academic devotion to liquor, and an unhurried, intimate atmosphere, complete with a massive fireplace and lawn jockeys. “Head Librarian” Tommy Klus’s drinks are superb and mixed tableside: the house rye manhattan (easy to make, hard to make great) is a standout. Skip the food and delve into the Library’s 1,500-strong bottle roster. You might just find there’s a power broker hidden in your Portland soul after all. 1124 SW Alder St

Sea-worthy: Scan eats and drinks at Radar.
Sea-worthy: Scan eats and drinks at Radar.

Radar: FOUND AT SEA

Come for: Chocolaty-good Night Owl, brimming with Elijah Craig bourbon, cocoa-nib Ramazzotti, and toasted pecan bitters
Come back for: Some face time with co-owner Lily Tollefsen, whose charm has earned her our vote for the Mayor of Mississippi (she’s now the president of the Mississippi Avenue Business Association)

Radar’s glowing, raw-brick space, dominated by an open kitchen tucked behind a swooping bar counter, easily reels in neighbors, strolling couples, and restaurant industry vets off the street. The maritime-tinged spot, run by husband-and-wife team Jonathan Berube and Lily Tollefsen, keeps its catch by serving as a relaxed-but-classy hideaway on a street that’s become increasingly rambunctious. Berube runs the kitchen, mingling strong Scandinavian influences with Northwest twists and Northeast seafood (they fly in smoked bluefish weekly for pâté) while Tollefsen mans the bar, which boasts top-notch drinks she dreamed up with a childhood friend, national cocktail superstar Alex Day (Death and Company in New York and LA’s Honeycut). The European Union—a heady blend of Hayman’s Old Tom gin, Busnel calvados, sweet vermouth, Strega, and bitters—is as complex as its namesake’s politics, and that Night Owl is one of our fave bourbon drinks in town. Insider tip: Broder Nord is running a 45-minute wait for brunch? Head up the hill to Radar’s warm, line-free environs. 3951 N Mississippi Ave

The Spare Room: THE DIVE AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE

Come for: Cheap drinks, friendly service, and Portlandia-caliber oddness
Come back for: Monday karaoke/bingo night, where host Danny Chavez may accompany your warbles on the saxophone

On any given night, the clientele at this cavernous former bowling alley feels like a jagged cross-section of American culture: stubbly men grumbling over fumbles on Monday Night Football rub shoulders with young, hip people (not hipsters—those don’t exist here) belting out karaoke songs in the middle of the wide dance floor. Off-the-clock coworkers mingle with people killing time between loads at the laundromat next door. Indie folk rockers twang through live sets some nights; soul bands spark dance parties on others. Old and young bond over plates of overcooked noodles and tepid sauce on spaghetti nights. The bartenders flirt with everyone. (Don’t ask them what micros they have on tap; they don’t have any, and you’ll feel silly.) The Spare Room’s sectional “design” really feels like multiple bars: part pool-hall, part karaoke temple, part-hole-in-the-wall—making it the end of the line for both melancholic loners and big, boisterous groups in search of a fun spot to colonize for an evening. In a city not lacking in dive bars, the Spare Room stands head and slumped shoulders above them all: a supremely time-warped fishbowl refracting the weirdness still lurking at Portland’s core. 4830 NE 42nd Ave

THE NEW SOUTHEAST STUMBLE
Oso Market & BarTrifecta, Voicebox 2Dig a Pony 

Come for: Excellent wines by the glass, classic cocktails, and a side of wood-fired eats 
Come back for: Group karaoke madness and hipsters-meet-burbs dance parties

A few years back, the only thing keeping locals at the east end of the Morrison Bridge was traffic jams; now the area has exploded with chockablock eclectic tippling options. Start with an early-evening glass of peppery Côtes du Rhône and chorizo and blue cheese–stuffed dates at spare-yet-friendly wine bar and bottle shop Oso. Next, head a block east to Ken Forkish’s stylish wood-fired bakery/bar, Trifecta Tavern, to sip a port-syrup and applejack–spiked Jersey Devil carefully concocted by one of the wide bar’s fastidious mixers. At private karaoke wonderland Voicebox’s new east-side location next door, you can slurp sake cocktails in its spacious bar and spy on work groups and birthday revelers while you wait your turn ($4–7 per hour per person). A few aspirational rounds of Journey later, the gravitational pull of Portland’s unofficial rumpus room, Dig a Pony, will suck you in. Knock back a couple of Dirty Shirleys and join the massive bar’s shifting flotsam of revelers as they break into another Jackson Five–induced DJ dance party. Too New Portland for you? The dream of the ’90s is still alive two blocks away at affable dive Morrison Hotel, where the G&Ts are strong, the curry cauliflower bites are fried, and Alice in Chains is on the jukebox in perpetuity. SE Morrison Street & SE Grand Avenue 

Tilt: THE BLUE-COLLAR PEARL

Come for: Vikings on the Willamette, a frosty onslaught of crisp aquavit, Lillet, and sweet fig compote, fragrant with slapped sage
Come back for: Criminally good “Tilted” fries, smothered in chunky, scratch-made pork sausage gravy and, Dear lord, sprinkled with bacon

Swan Island’s beloved burgers and (Oregon) beers spot, which constructed its second location in the Pearl’s old General Electric distribution plant last December, is as American as apple pie. Or, rather, a sweetly tart “Pie Break” cocktail, which tops applejack, lemon, and a dollop of Portland’s own Don’s Spices #2 syrup with frothy egg whites. Upgraded Americana is a calling card at the new Tilt, which charms all comers with juicy, salty burgers oozing with American cheese and gut-busting toppings as well as flaky house biscuits. The space is devoutly industrial; a concrete and metal bunker where a giant, monochromatic American flag serves as décor and shop rags double as napkins. Order at the counter (behind the hulking drill press) and head to the gregarious bar side of the operation, where no-nonsense classics and house concoctions from bar whiz Nick Keane as well as nearly 100 whiskeys keep you lubricated until the genuinely great pub grub arrives. The echoing space, filled with generations-spanning clusters of coworkers, sports watchers, and mellow friends, is so roomy you may not spot the Ping-Pong table or the fireplace in back until your second drink. And you will get a second drink. And then maybe a slice of pie. They bake that in house, too, of course. 1355 NW Everett St