The Best Bars in Portland, Oregon

The 19 Best Bars in Portland, Oregon

From circus-inspired lounges to mead-making themed bars, the bar scene in Portland is certainly helping to keep Portland weird. Portland is famous for its breweries – there are over 70 of them just in the city proper! But there’s so much more to Portland’s bar scene than its brews.

Since the mid-2000s, the cocktail craze has really kicked off in Portland (with one lounge on this list being one of the biggest reasons for the takeoff). From there, the city has seen bars of all kinds begin lining the streets with impressive and innovative cocktails covering their menus. From tiki bars to arcade bars to speakeasies, the bars in Portland are as eclectic as, well, everything else in this wonderfully weird city.

Wanting to bar crawl around the best bars in Portland? We’ve put together a list of the top bars in Portland, from a sports bar that’s the first of its kind to rooftop bars with incredible views. Get your drink on at a watering hole from this list, and you’re bound to have an amazing night out in Portland!

The Top 19 Bars in Portland, Oregon

1. Treebeerd’s Taphouse

Unique Bars in Portland, Oregon:  Treebeerd’s Taphouse
Images courtesy of Treebeerd’s Taphouse

If you’re a “Lord of the Rings” fan, there’s no cooler bar in Portland than Treebeerd’s Taphouse, located in the historic downtown area of the city. Named for the tree-giant who first appeared in “The Two Towers,” the theming for this watering hole is fairly gentle. 

While big fans of the series will delight in the bar’s references to the books and movies, others will simply find that Treebeerd’s is a cozy place to grab a drink. On tap are 36 rotating drinks, including local Oregon beers, ciders, sours, and meads. With plush couches and greenery draping everywhere, it’s hard not to feel all snug here when you grab a pint and never want to leave, just like you’d feel in the Shire.

2. Wyrd Leatherworks and Meadery

Cool Bars in Portland, Oregon: Wyrd Leatherworks and Meadery
Images courtesy of Wyrd Leatherworks and Meadery

If you’re looking for a themed tasting room experience that’s a bit more immersive, you’ll find it at Wyrd Leatherworks and Meadery, one of the most fun places to sip mead in Portland. Located in the historic Woodstock neighborhood of Southeast Portland, this place will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. 

Featuring a stone hearth, wood-paneled walls, and Middle Ages-era weapons and armor, the idea for this cozy mead-tasting hall was born out of a love for medieval fantasy and Scandinavian mythology. It began as a small shop selling both bottled mead and leather goods, but it grew and relocated to this intimate space, where they continue to sell homemade mead and leather products alongside pouring meads by the glass and mead flights, as well as serving themed light bites in the tasting hall.   

Don’t be surprised if you run into a few elves or Vikings when you grab a drink here. This meadery is a favorite for cosplayers, and the owners encourage everyone to don their fantastical or historical best!

3. Arbor Hall

Fun Bars in Portland, Oregon: Arbor Hall
Images courtesy of Arbor Hall

Longtime lovers of the Vintage Cocktail Lounge in Montavilla, long considered one of the best cocktail bars in Portland, don’t have to be too upset about their favorite watering hole shutting down – because it didn’t at all. Now, as the bar has changed hands once again, it goes by the name of Arbor Hall. But not too much has changed from its roots.

Though the decor is transforming to be more plant-based, the food menu is also shifting to be more plant-based, and the drink menu will now have seasonal options, the new owners promise that, whatever your favorite drink was at Vintage Cocktail Lounge, you can still get it at Arbor Hall. So, while you can still get a beloved vintage cocktail, you can also get newer options, like an Amazing Cider-Man, with tequila, sherry, apple, lemon, and rooibos. 

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4. Ground Kontrol

Fun Bars in Portland, Oregon: Ground Kontrol
Image courtesy of Charles Marshall Olson

Arcade bars offer something unique to bar-hoppers. You don’t have to grab a drink and find entertainment elsewhere. Instead, you can sip while you try to beat your high score in pinball or challenge your date to a friendly game of “Marvel vs. Capcom.” Entertainment is all around you. And one of the best arcade bars around is Portland’s Ground Kontrol, located in Old Town.

This bar is filled with retro arcade games, from the classic scroller “TMNT: Turtles in Time” to the beloved platformer “Burger Time.” In addition to the games, you’ll also find a collection of sandwiches and other small plates, as well as a list of beers, hard seltzers, ciders, and non-alcoholic options. The cocktail menu is filled with drinks themed after your favorite games, like the Princess Peach, made with hard apple cider, blueberry vodka, and peach schnapps.

5. Bar Diane

Over in the Alphabet District, you’ll find one of the best wine bars in Portland, Bar Diane. With its bright pink murals and blue-tiled bar, this natural wine bar is known for its wine list, which features a little bit of everything, from sparkling reds to orange wines. 

But for those who would prefer to drink something outside of wine, there’s also a beer and cider list, as well as a menu of house cocktails and spritzes, featuring classics like the Espresso Martini and more unique offerings like the Control Disco, made with Control Pisco, Aperol, bubbles, and lime. 

The food menu is just as much of a highlight, with options ranging from a simple Caesar Salad to Sheep Cheese Gnudi.

6. Breakside Brewery

Cool Bars in Portland, Oregon: Breakside Brewery
Images courtesy of Breakside Brewery

Looking for some of the best beer in Portland? You’ll find it at Breakside Brewery. This brewery has been winning awards for their beer year after year since 2013, scoring everything from Oregon Beer Awards to North American Beer Awards to Best of Craft Beer Awards. They’ve also been ranked as one of the best breweries in Oregon and beyond by several different publications, including “Paste Magazine” and “Thrillist.”

The brewery opened its doors in 2010 in Northeast Portland. Today, they have six locations around Oregon, including a second Portland location. Both Portland locations offer an extensive list of Breakside craft beers, as well as a full restaurant menu. 

What’s on tap varies, but you’re bound to find options you won’t see anywhere else, like Breakside’s I Purple You, with ube and blackberry flavors, or Strawberry Sparkler, which tastes like a strawberry-flavored breakfast cereal!

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7. Funhouse Lounge

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Got a clown phobia? Maybe sit this one out. For everyone else, Funhouse Lounge is, as the name suggests, one of the most fun bars in Portland. Located in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, Funhouse Lounge is a circus-themed bar and performance venue and one of the most unique places to grab a drink or see a show in Portland.

Nearly every night of the week, there’s something to see in this unique bar. From improv to musicals to burlesque, there are always talented people taking the stage. And you can take part yourself during dance nights or open mics if you’re feeling brave after getting some liquid courage from their cocktails.

8. The Sports Bra

Cool Bars in Portland, Oregon: The Sports Bra
Images courtesy of Shannon Dupre

If you’re a frequent visitor to sports bars, you might notice a trend in which you only really see sports played by men. But The Sports Bra, located in Sullivan’s Gulch, is working to change that, becoming the first bar in the US to focus solely on women’s sports. And it’s quickly become one of the top bars in Portland since its opening in 2022.

Chef Jenny Nguyen, who is a former basketball player, conceived the idea for the bar after attempting to watch the 2018 NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament in a crowded sports bar, where it was on mute. The Sports Bra strives to build a community of women supporting women, which is evident not only by the women’s sports playing on the screens but also by the women-owned businesses on the menu. 

Behind their cocktail list is women-owned distillery Freeland Spirits, while the tap and wine lists also consist of several companies that are owned by women. And in a desire to be inclusive of everyone, you’ll find that the food menu has options for vegans, vegetarians, or gluten-free and dairy-free diners, a welcome change from most sports bars’ food. 

9. Hale Pele

Fun Bars in Portland, Oregon: Hale Pele
Images courtesy of Hale Pele

If you want to escape Portland’s rainy season but can’t book a flight to a tropical island, the next best thing is grabbing a cocktail at Hale Pele, one of the coolest bars in Portland. This tiki bar, located in the Lloyd District, is named for the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes, Pele, and it’ll make you feel like you’ve entered an island paradise. 

Beyond the tiki-themed decor, you’ll also hear the sounds of thunderstorms and volcanic explosions. It’s a delight for all the senses!

What Bars to Try in Portland, Oregon: Hale Pele

In addition to an island-inspired small plates menu, you’ll also find an extensive cocktail list featuring house-made syrups. You can get a traditional tiki-bar favorite, like a Mai Tai, or try a Hale Pele original, like the award-winning Secret of the Lost Lagoon, made with rum, lime, pineapple juice, vanilla, ginger, and cold brew coffee.

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10. Noble Rot

Over in the Central Eastside neighborhood, you’ll discover one of the best rooftop bars in Portland. Offering innovative flights featuring rare wines, Noble Rot is a unique wine bar in a spectacular setting. Sitting atop the fourth floor of the Burnside Rocket Building on Eleventh and Burnside, you’ll be able to take in incredible views of the city, as well as enjoy the ambiance of the bar’s organic rooftop garden.

Since moving to this new location, they’ve also added a liquor license to the mix, so you can enjoy a glass of red or switch it up with a pick off their cocktail menu, like the Blood Moon Rising, made with vodka, blood orange, lime, black pepper, rosemary, and cava. The bar also functions as a full restaurant, with inventive dining options like Green Garlic Risotto or more common comfort food like their take on Macaroni & Cheese.

11. Bible Club

Another bar that will make you step back in time, Sellwood’s Bible Club is a speakeasy that’s part bar and part museum. Themed to the pre-Prohibition and Prohibition era, nearly everything inside this unique bar dates back to before 1930, including the tools that the skilled bartenders use. 

Antiques dot the walls of this speakeasy. The house the bar is set in is itself an antique, dating back to 1922 and still looking much like it did then, with little to show that the speakeasy is inside until you step inside yourself. 

Once you get inside, head to the massive wooden bar and grab yourself a cocktail, the list for which is referred to as the “Ten Commandments.” Try a Coco Loredo, made with tequila, coconut rum, coconut milk, lime, ginger, and chili oil. Or order up a Madame Kuma, with vodka, yuzu, cava, and plum. Though the bar itself may be made to be stuck in the past, all Ten Commandments are inventive creations for the modern age. 

12. Tinker Tavern

Located in Montavilla, the Tinker Tavern is one of the top bars in Portland if you’re looking for an unassuming neighborhood haunt. This bar is all about comfort, from the classic pub-style design to the comfort food options on the menu.

Taking inspiration from New York favorites, you’ll find that the menu is packed with foods that seem like simple delights, with many offering elevated takes on popular picks. Try a Pizza Sub, pepperoni, three cheeses, marinara, and basil on a wedge roll. Or order their wings, which are offered in both traditional buffalo sauce or Asian-inspired sticky sweet chili sauce.

Ultimately, the food, drinks, and atmosphere are all not exactly reinventing the wheel. But that’s kind of the point. It’s a place you go when you really want a good local IPA, a plate of wings, and friendly conversation. 

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13. Pink Rabbit

Over in the Pearl District, you’ll find one of the swankiest cocktail bars in Portland, Pink Rabbit. Once you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve journeyed down the rabbit hole with Alice. With pink geometric designs lining the walls alongside vintage posters, there’s just something about this bar that makes it effortlessly cool.

Take a seat in a blue velvet booth and order up a drink from their inventive cocktail list, like a frozen Bunny Club, made with rum, Aperol, guava, orange, and lime. Or order a round of the very tropical Pink Rabbit shooters for you and your friends, made with tequila blanco, watermelon, coconut, orgeat, and lime. Alongside your drink, you can also enjoy the Asian fusion-filled food menu, like the pork curry Wonton Nachos or the Chicken Satay Sando.

14. Scotch Lodge

Cool Bars in Portland, Oregon: Scotch Lodge
Images courtesy of Scotch Lodge

Whisky lover? You’ll fall in love with Scotch Lodge, one of the best bars in Portland if you enjoy high class and a highball glass. The list of whisky options is ever-expanding and features rare bottles that even the biggest whisky connoisseur would be surprised and delighted to see.

But while many whisky bars focus on serving their spirits on the rocks or simply neat, Scotch Lodge also offers unique cocktails. While they contain many different spirits beyond the world of whisky, many focus on putting a new spin on scotch, like the Islay Daiquiri, made with scotch, rum, lime, and coconut oolong demerara, or the Namesake, featuring scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, amaro, and orange bitters. 

Best Bars in Portland, Oregon: Scotch Lodge

The bar also has a small plates menu, as well as a few main course options, like the Soft Shell Crab Sandwich. 

15. Interurban

Must Visit Bars in Portland, Oregon: Interurban
Images courtesy of Interurban

Located in the Boise neighborhood of North Portland, Interurban is one of the top bars in Portland for those looking for an old-fashioned American saloon with a modern flair. While the decor and drink list take influences from the pre-Prohibition era, the food menu takes notes from today’s pub-style comfort food.

On the menu, you’ll find local draft beers, one of Portland’s most extensive whiskey lists, and both classic and Interurban-created cocktails. Sip in style with an old-fashioned Old Fashioned or a Gin Rickey. Or try an original creation, like the Smitten, made with rum, raspberry syrup, lemon, matcha, and orange bitters. 

To pair with your drink, the pub fare is truly a little bit of everything. From corn dogs to fish and chips to pork and grits, it’s bound to please any palate. Save room for the peanut butter-filled Interurban Sundae or the strawberry Confetti Doughnuts for dessert.

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16. Lolo Pass

Best Bars in Portland, Oregon: Lolo Pass
Images courtesy of Josh Chang @pdxexploration

The rooftop bars in Portland are usually hopping most nights of the week, which can mean loud atmospheres that detract from the stunning views. But sitting atop the trendy hostel known as Lolo Pass is one of the best rooftop bars in Portland if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy the night air or quiet conversation. 

Take in the view from this seasonal bar, which you’ll find in the Buckman neighborhood of Southeast Portland, while you sip on local brews and wines, as well as the bar’s craft cocktails. Try a traditional Aperol Spritz or a more unique creation, like the Green Garden, made with snap pea-infused gin, tarragon syrup, dry vermouth, and lemon. 

Also on the menu are both small and large plates, as well as shareable entrees that you can split with your fellow travelers passing through the hostel. 

17. Tropicale

With a menu and decor inspired by the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America, Tropicale is one of the best bars in Portland if you’re looking for vacation vibes. Located in the Kerns region of Northeast Portland, this cocktail bar is where to go to get a piña colada in a hollowed-out pineapple, a tropical treat you’ll hardly find elsewhere in Portland. 

If piña coladas aren’t your thing, you’ll also find an extensive margarita menu here, featuring takes ranging from the traditional tequila margarita to the mezcal-made Oaxaca Forever. You could also order another tropical cocktail, like the rum-filled Sol Dorado, or just order a flight of tequila or mezcal. 

Although this bar’s menu does have some South American influences, the bar is clear about their stance: “No tenemos burritos.” So, while you won’t be able to enjoy a burrito with your drink, you can enjoy more unique offerings, like the Los Maduros Con Carne, fried plantains with cochinita, guacamole, and cotija. 

18. Teardrop Lounge

Portland has a major cocktail scene, and you can probably thank Teardrop Lounge, one of the best cocktail bars in Portland, for that. Since 2007, this lounge has been a staple of the Pearl District, where they’re serving up innovative cocktails made by world-class mixologists. 

At the heart of the lounge is its namesake teardrop-shaped bar, where the mixologists are hard at work on their well-mastered craft. Yes, there is a wine list and a handful of beers, but you really can’t come here and not order a cocktail. 

There are an impressive 30 to choose from, split up on the menu by categories, including “Arid & Aromatic,” “Bright & Crisp,” and “Supple & Herbal.” No matter what spirits you prefer as your cocktail base, you’ll find something to suit your fancy here, from the tequila-and-sherry-filled Cinco de Cuatro to the bourbon-based Doomsday Device. 

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19. The Sunset Room

Best Bars in Portland, Oregon: KEX Hotel
Images courtesy of KEX Hotel

Located atop the KEX Hotel in Central Eastside, the Sunset Room is one of the best rooftop bars in Portland. This seasonal watering hole features spectacular city views that you can take in while you enjoy their fun and flavorful cocktails. 

The bar’s signature boozy slushies are a perfect way to beat the summer heat. The Painkiller Slushy features rum, coconut, orange, and Dole Whip, a pineapple soft-serve that’s a longtime favorite for Disney Parks fans and is now (thankfully) appearing at more places outside of the parks. 

Cool Bars in Portland, Oregon: KEX Hotel

Or try a non-frozen cocktail, like the Pop Warner, made with vanilla vodka, black tea, limeade, and soda water. Alongside your drink, you can also enjoy a selection of small plates, as well as a classic It’s It ice cream sandwich for dessert!

There you have it! The 19 coolest bars in Portland. What’s your favorite Portland bar? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author:

  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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