Drink in the entire Portland skyline (and a tart tamarind cocktail) on the deck of swanky penthouse perch Departure; make woo as Daddy Warbucks would, clinking martini glasses in the Benson Hotel’s lavish, old-school Palm Court; and whisper endearments over a yellow Chartreuse–laced Widow’s Kiss at tiny, tony Bar Avignon, where it’s hard not to feel like a million euros.
Get sweaty-close with a dance party fueled by frozen booze slushies at Holocene; live out your seedy fantasy at Devil’s Point, belting out ’80s rawk while dancers gyrate in time at Stripparoke Sunday; and indulge in Mad Men cosplay and canoodling in Hotel deLuxe’s Driftwood Room.
Do you have a button on a table that, when pressed, results in instant Champagne delivery? NoPo gem the Old Gold does. Face it, you will never make spätzle as delicious or boast a beer selection as vast and unique as it is at Victory Bar. With every twist of its art deco Lady Absinthe fountain’s drip nozzle, Secret Society Lounge gently mocks your lack of dramatic lighting and barware.
Share a tropical punch bowl bigger than your date’s head at Gold Dust Meridian; get sweetly blitzed with Fifty Licks scoop shop’s ice cream cocktails (try the Riesling, plum wine, and coconut-lemon sorbet mash-up Velvet Shiso); and attack oozy triple-crème cheeses, charcuterie, and heady farmhouse ales at Steve Jones’s charming Cheese Bar.
Dazzle your date with obscure trivia bits between bites of pierogi at the Foggy Notion; whisper the password and rendezvous in Circa 33’s backroom speakeasy; and smugly rattle off the ingredients of Box Social’s frothy-wonderful Ramos Gin Fizz to score cocktail geekery points.
Marinate in Landmark Saloon’s honky-tonk stew of Merle Haggard tunes, Ball jar cocktails, and cornhole bouts for hours; display your Ping-Pong and floor shuffle and karaoke and bargain-hunting prowess at sprawling Pioneer Place watering hole Punch Bowl Social; and play mini-golf, take a soak, ogle glassblowers, and test-drive hotel beds with pint in hand at McMenamins Edgefield.
Trade heated Blazers barbs and wage Pop A Shot war at Spirit of ’77; scream along with punk tracks at East Burnside’s surly-yet-friendly B-Side Tavern; and munch tots and dispatch Big Buck Hunter critters via boom stick at Lowbrow Lounge.
- 7 Sinful Date Nights
Let some of Portland’s most indulgent bars inspire your big night out.
- Hey, Barkeep! 5 Local Bartenders to Watch
Savvy shakers share their signature drinks, cocktail philosophy, and where they sip on their nights off.
- Eat This Now: Bar Snacks
Five drinking-food favorites for soaking up the booze from our annual list of Portland’s best bars.
- Booze Futures: A Drinker’s Digest
A fresh wave of drinking destinations is heading our way in 2014
- A Portland Cocktail for Every Occasion
Whether your spirit of choice is vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, or tequila, we’ve handpicked a selection sure to please.