To make this guide to Portland bars, we have traveled the wine lounges and beer pubs of Portland, the cocktail halls and juke joints and paint-thinner dives. We have drunk pickle juice with our whiskey. We have drunk pickle juice with our vodka. We have been pickled alive by drinks far more elegant than we.
And we come away from the 150-plus well-loved bars in this guide with warmth not only in our cheeks but in our chests. Whatever the many vices of a city’s drinking halls, they’re also some of the few places where adults gather just to enjoy each other’s company. A drink is a drink, but it’s also an excuse to hang out, talk and play.
If you know Portland’s bars, you know its people in the hours they choose for themselves, when work is far from their thoughts. Our city’s collection of bars is its vast, indoor amusement park—whether your idea of fun is sports talk, good beer, a bocce pit or a loose pinball plunger. Some bars are for dancing (and also drinking), and some host bands so often they blur the line between hangout and music venue.
But not all bars are created equal. Some manage to capture some perfect little piece of what it’s like to be alive after dark, whether that’s by creating cocktails and food so excellent they’re an immersive experience, or being so gosh-darn inviting you feel like you’re already home when you arrive. Or, like our 2014 Bar of the Year, it may be a kind of bar we’re pretty sure we haven’t seen before.
Still, good taste can be exhausting, so we also offer a map to the sloppily sodden spectacle of the Old Town Entertainment District.
The bars we cover in this guide are an ever-changing list, passing in and out like the seasons. But if we’ve left out your favorite, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at email@example.com. Because one thing is certain: We will always be willing to drink another drink.
Happy drinking, Portland. And don’t forget to tip your bartenders.
Bar Guide Editor, 2014
Editor Matthew Korfhage
Art Director Amy Martin
Copy chief Rob Fernas
Copy Editors Matt Buckingham, Nina Lary, Jessica Pedrosa
Editorial contributors Penelope Bass, Martin Cizmar, Pete Cottell, Jordan Green, Jay Horton, Rebecca Jacobson, Deborah Kennedy, AP Kryza, Mitch Lillie, John Locanthi, Michael Mannheimer, Kathryn Peifer, Lyla Rowen, Matthew Singer, Adrienne So, Grace Stainback
Photographers Will Corwin, Jerek hollender, Molly Woodstock
Illustrator Maryanna Hoggatt
Cover Photo taken at Expatriate by Molly Woodstock
Production Manager Ben Kubany
Ad Designers Xel Moore, Dylan Serkin
Director of Advertising Scott Wagner
Advertising Assistant Ashley Grether
Account Executives Maria Boyer, Ginger Craft, Michael Donhowe, Kevin Friedman, Janet Norman, Kyle Owens, Sharri Miller Regan, Andrew Shenker
Marketing & Promotions Coordinator Steph Barnhart
Accounting Manager Chris Petryszak
Credit/Collections Shawn Wolf
Manager of Information Systems Brian Panganiban
Circulation Director Mark Kirchmeier
Associate Publisher Jane Smith
Publishers Richard H. Meeker, Mark L. Zusman