The Essential Guide to Drinking in

Portland, OR

Portland is the kind of place where you’ll overhear discussions of natural birthing over a pint of IPA or a panhandler muttering into his afternoon whiskey while Ella Fitzgerald ballads play in a dive bar. A perpetual layer of grime sits atop this city's increasingly shiny surface, which isn’t surprising considering the Pacific Northwest is the home of grunge—a movement whose aftershocks are still palpable in the city’s many dives and leftover saloons. But a new breed of bar is brewing.

Pépé Le Moko

A small, dark, jazz-filled subterranean cocktail joint serving rejiggered midcentury classics.

The Grasshopper

Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler's version of the 1919 classic.

Equal parts underbelly, gentrifying hippie commune and “Silicon Forest,” the city has seen a boomlet of drinking establishments that embrace the idiosyncratic while attempting to reconcile the influx of money, East Coast expats and a general obsession for quote-unquote gastropub fare. Some of these places are watering holes under cover—restaurants, strip clubs and late night pho joints. Others are out in the open—breweries, whiskey bars and cocktail dens. The one thing they all have in common is happy hour.

Teardrop Lounge

Perhaps Portland’s most renowned cocktail bar, Teardrop Lounge is serious about how they present their drinks.

Love in the Afternoon

A mix of rye whiskey, pluot and lemon-basil demerara soda.

Portland, it seems, has earned Shangri-La status with its unflappable mix of eccentric and enlightened, so infectious that even blasé, seen-it-all Brooklyners speak enthusiastically about the city as the West Coast’s “it” destination. Between Stripparoke, midnight pho, cheap craft beer and well-crafted cocktails, Portland is, undoubtedly, one of America’s best places to escape for a cold one.

Multnomah Whiskey Library

With over 1500 bottles, this whiskey den was seemingly dreamed up by a country club-going grandfather with an affection for dark leather and manly portraiture.

See the full guide: Photos by Dylan + Jeni

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