Best Bars and Restaurants in Portland, Oregon

Let's Untie the Knot | Best Bars and Restaurants in Portland, Oregon

The Portland Bar and Restaurant scene is booming.  From traditional pubs to locales with a more nightclub feel, there really is something for everyone.  Here is a list of the “best of the best”:


Best Bars:


Hey Love (Buckman):  This bar is a vacation-themed hotel bar and has succeeded at combining 70’s island themed excess, complete with vibrant vacation cocktails and superior bar food.


Bar Dune (Buckman):  This bar offers an impressive breadth of cocktails that use tequila as a launching point for more sophisticated cocktails.  The bar also has a late-night menu with plenty of veggie-forward dishes.


Rum Club (Buckman):  This is known as a “run-centric cocktail joint” that packs a mighty wallop for its size.  The house daquiri in this bar may be the city’s best.  The city’s small size keeps the feel breezy and intimate.


Angel Face (Kerns):  This bar is unique in that it doesn’t offer patrons pre-set cocktails but rather encourages patrons to hint at what their dream beverage might be and the bar staff tries to find the right combination based on the flavors and suggestions desired. 


Tope (Old Town):  This is a rooftop hotel bar specializing in fresh Mexican food and tequila galore.


Pink Rabbit (the Pearl):  This is a funky lounge that features classic cocktails with elegant upgrades and Asian-influenced snacks.


Bantam Tavern (Alphabet District):  This is the kind of place where you can both grab a quick cocktail, rare beer or top-shelf liquor.  You can always count on some hearty fare to keep you full, like spam sliders, a hulking barbecue chicken sandwich and a retro steak Diane.


Les Caves (Alberta):  At this bar you will find rare wines along with funky sherries.  In addition, you will find one of the only certified Iberico ham operations in town.


Hale Pele (Irvington):  This is a veritable tiki theme park, complete with tropical drinks and scenery galore.  The drinks are described as “explosive” in nature, balancing booze, sugar and fruity acidity.


Expatriate:  This is a “shabby-chic” interpretation of the modern cocktail bar.  Stepping into this bar makes you feel like you are being transported into a sepia-toned fever dream of timeless luxury.


Best Restaurants:


Gado Gado (Hollywood):  Housed in an unassuming stripmall in the Hollywood district, Gado Gado serves up plates of Indonesian food packed with flavor.


G-Love (Slabtown):  G-Love is a spacious restaurant in Slabtown that brands itself as the “reverse steakhouse.”  What this really means is that the main dishes tend to be vegetable focused dishes, whereas the meat can be found on the smaller side dishes.


Xica Cantina (Northwest District):  This is another great Mexican restaurant in Portland (related to the restaurant Xico).  Dishes are mostly served as small, medium and large plates of Mexican comfort food made with seasonal, local ingredients.


Magna (Hosford-Abernathy):  This Filipino restaurant from Chef Carlo Lamagna was years in the making.  The Filipino cooking here has won rave reviews—from the iconic, crispy pork lumpia to the rich adobo and decadent crab fat noodles.  The most fun way to enjoy this restaurant is to go in with a large group, order everything on the menu and share.


Hak (Lloyd District):  This restaurant brings Korean staples to a bright casual setting. 


Marukin (Buckman and Downtown):  Marukin stands apart from other ramen restaurants.  An import straight from Japan, the counter service restaurant serves its sizeable bowls of creamy broth and freshly made noodles for around $11 each.


Coquine (Mt. Tabor):  This restaurant is a testament to Northwestern ingredients and style that it firmly rooted in French and old-world cooking.  Don’t skip the chocolate chip cookies with smoked almonds and caramels for dessert.


OK Omens:  Along with extensive food offerings, OK Omens has a lengthy wine list.  At happy hour, make sure to order the new classic burger as well as the torito that comes with that gently numbing friend chicken.


Pizza Jerk (Cully):  This is lovingly referred to as Portland’s ultimate pizza darling.  This is truly a Portland pizza spot in that it’s inventive, laid back, boasts just enough pretension and is tons of fun.  In addition, it is just really good pizza.


Acadia:  you only need to know two words about this Cajun/Creole restaurant at the edge of Irvington:  barbecue shrimp.  No, you don’t need a barbecue but you do need extra bread to mop up the sauce. 


Apizza Scholls:  This is viewed by many people as Portland’s best place for pizza.  The restaurant sees its waiting room start to fill up at the stroke of 5 pm with happy families angling for a roomy wood booth.  The menu is simple and uncompromising:  a spot-on Caesar or Caprese salad to start.  Followed by the East-Coast style pizzas, thin, wide and crispy, with both red and white sauce options and an array of toppings. 

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