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When I’ve been to a place repeatedly, I enjoy tweaking my bar guides with each trip. As new places open and others close, I also revisit the places I’ve loved in the past. I love cities full of beautiful bars with creative menus and friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. Portland, Oregon is one of those cities with an amazing cocktail scene. Since I grew up in Portland, Maine, I’ve always been interested in the other Portland. They have similar weather and friendly people, but the West Coast version is much larger. Since I travel to Portland, OR regularly (my last trip was in November 2021), I always fit in a couple of bars. There are always new places to try. If you’ll be in town soon, here are some of the best cocktail bars in Portland, Oregon to grab a drink. Many of them serve great food as well.

Post was originally written in December 2018 and was updated most recently in November 2021.

1. Scotch Lodge

  • Address: 215 SE 9th Avenue, Ste 102
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 4pm-midnight
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.5
    • Atmosphere: 4.8, such a cute and cozy space
    • Drinks: 5.0, delicious drinks every time

Located just down the street from the hotel I was staying at, Scotch Lodge is a bit of a hidden gem. Open since May 2019, this whiskey bar was just named the 2019 Best Bar by Portland Monthly magazine. In addition to an incredible cocktail menu, they also feature rare and hard to find scotches and whiskies, along with delicious food. I had already eaten, or I definitely would have dug into the menu. This would be the perfect place to take a romantic date for dinner.

The menu is always too good to limit yourself to one drink, so usually have two. Daffodil Lament on the left featured chamomile & crown daisy infused scotch, lemon, salted demerara, and egg white. It was delicious, slightly salty with light notes of tea coming through. The Queen of the Damned was made with bonded rye, cognac, lime, hibiscus, and amaro.

2. Palomar

  • Address: 959 SE Division Street
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 4pm-midnight
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 5.0, always great and friendly service
    • Atmosphere: 4.8
    • Drinks: 4.8, great drinks

Palomar is definitely one of my favorite bars to follow on Instagram. Since my first visit, I have followed this creative, Cuban bar from afar. When they launched their most recent menu, I was dying to visit, so I added it to my list. Even better, I met up with some friends there for dinner.

It’s nice to get a non-selfie photo (thanks, Hannah)! I am enjoying the Sour which is a yummy combination of tequila, apricot, ginger, noyaux, lemon, and egg white. As you can see from the photo, I was tipping it slightly so you could see the swirl pattern on the top. I wasn’t as clever as I thought, since I managed to spill it right after this was taken. Oops!

You can’t go to a Cuban bar or restaurant without ordering a daiquiri. Well, I guess you can, but why would you? I had the Daiquiri No. 3 (which was described as a Hemingway daiquiri). It was the perfect blend of rum, lime, grapefruit, and a touch of maraschino. Yum!

3. Voysey

bars in portland oregon multnomah whiskey library shelves
  • Address: 710 SE 6th Avenue
  • Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 6pm-close | Closed Sunday-Wednesday
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 5.0, exceptional service and knowledgeable staff
    • Atmosphere: 5.0, I would literally move in here, or at least hire their decorator
    • Drinks: 5.0, really incredible flavors and presentation

Located under the Loyal Legion, this practically speakeasy opened right before the pandemic. It is definitely a place you’ll want to visit as soon you can. The vibe is chill, the bar managers are friendly and gifted, and the menu is incredible. Also, the space is gorgeous and is packed with amazing glassware and interesting objects you wished you owned. Every seat is a good one, which isn’t something you can say about every bar. Voysey is a fantastic addition to the great bars in Portland, Oregon.

As you can see, the decor is just divine. However, the drinks are also show-stoppers as well. The Cucurrucucú Paloma is made with Banhez mezcal, Mi Campo reposado tequila, ancho chili, grapefruit, lime, serrano pepper, cinnamon, and smoked salt. It was the perfectly balanced cocktail if you ask me.

cocktail at voysey bars in portland oregon

The Night Ryder was also a treat. A mixture of rye whiskey, chili-infused dry curaçao, carrot, lemon, and honey. All the right flavors that just hit you in the best way possible.

4. Multnomah Whiskey Library

walls of multnomah bars in portland oregon
  • Address: 1124 SW Alder Street
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 3pm-11pm | Closed Monday and Tuesday
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.8, there is a hint of “private club” vibe, which I think they are going for; everyone is welcome but be a member or have a reservation
    • Atmosphere: 5.0, one of my favorite bars of all time to just visit and sip on a cocktail or two
    • Drinks: 4.8, very solid drinks but the menu can get a bit overwhelming and you may need some help finding the perfect drink for you

It’s always a treat to visit the Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library for a cocktail. They have one of the most incredible selections of spirits I’ve ever seen, second only to this place in Scotland. They have more than 1,200 whiskies and 600 bottles of other spirits. After placing your order, the bartender gathers up the ingredients for your drink, stocks a wooden drink cart, and makes it front of you. If you pick something up too high, they’ll use the ladders you see above. The vibe is cozy and dark. No windows in this second story spot.

The cocktail on the left is the Amburana Sour. It’s made with Avua Amburana cachaça, lemon, lime, cane, egg white. A delicious and simple drink. On the right is the Cow Mountain. The cocktail is made with sazerac rye, China China, cardamaro Jones Root Beer reduction, and Branca Menta. It was about as delicious as that sounds.

5. Bible Club

bars in portland oregon bible club bar
  • Address: 6716 SE 16th Street
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday, 4pm-midnight | Friday-Saturday, 4pm-1am | Sunday, 4pm-11pm
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 5.0, very welcoming and attentive staff
    • Atmosphere: 5.0, they refer to it as a mini-museum and it’s marvelous
    • Drinks: 4.9, delicious and interesting cocktails

I love finding bars in Portland, OR that I instantly love. My favorite ones transport you to a different place or time. Bible Club did both. Located inside a house that was built in the early 1920s, you’ll find a speakeasy dedicated to the repeal of Prohibition. Soft jazz plays while you settle in for a drink and some food. All around the space you will find artifacts and vintage finds from an era gone by. The name comes from the time when speakeasies really needed clever names to obscure their true identity. You’ll definitely want to check this place out. I already want to go back!

The cocktail menu is divided into Old Testament and New Testament drinks. I had one from each section. The drink on the left is Rosemary’s Ring. It’s made with Amaro Nonino, Maison Rouge Cognac, bubbles, and rosemary. It was light and refreshing and that glass! For my second drink, I enjoyed the Barn Burner. It came out with a hay-smoked glass and is a simple but intoxicating blend of Larceny wheated bourbon, raw honey, and wild cherry bitters. A wonderful riff on an Old Fashioned that I would love to try and recreate.

6. Pink Rabbit

inside pink rabbit bars in portland oregon
  • Address: 232 NW 12th Avenue
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 3pm-2:30am
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 5.0, co-owner was a super gracious host
    • Atmosphere: 4.5, chill vibes
    • Drinks: 4.5, super creative menu

Named after a song (and painting that hangs in the bar) by The National, Pink Rabbit is a lot of fun. Tyler, one of the co-owners, was welcoming and shared the history of the bar’s space and music themed background with me. The neon sign (above) caught my eye as I walked by, but the menu was what really wowed me. The creativity at most bars in Portland, Oregon is really unmatched by other cities.

bar menu for pink rabbit bars in portland or

Fit into a cassette tape case, the current menu celebrates songs from a 90’s mixtape. Drinks are themed to a song and each is explained humorously on a laminated card. Since I’d come pretty early, there weren’t any other bar patrons to chat with, so I entertained myself by reading about all the drinks. The bar had recently celebrated its first birthday.

I ordered the “Criminal” because, Fiona Apple, obviously. It was a blend of Silencio mezcal, El Tesoro tequila, grapefruit, house Cascade Hop tincture, Runcible crab-apple dry cider, and agave. It was light and refreshing. Other songs/drinks on the menu include “Zombie” by the Cranberries, “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, and “High & Dry” by Radiohead.

7. Abigail Hall

  • Address: 813 SW Alder Street
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 3pm-close
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.0, felt a little rushed during happy hour
    • Atmosphere: 4.5, very pretty hotel bar
    • Drinks: 4.5

At one point during my trip, I literally asked a bartender whether beautiful wallpaper was a rule for bars in Portland. She just answered that they cared about design. Abigail Hall, located inside the Woodlark hotel, was certainly no exception to this. My only complaint is that they keep the bar partially obscured by a curtain, so it was too hard to get a good photo of it. However, the rest of the room was plenty to enjoy. Also, visit their website and try not to get mesmerized by the ever-filling glass of champagne.

abigail hall bars in portland oregon

I enjoyed The Floating World with a colleague after work. The cocktail is a blend of Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint, Kronan Swedish Punsch, orange, lime, Rose City Genmaicha tea, and egg white. It’s a busy bar, so you can easily sneak in and out for happy hour or a nightcap.

8. West

  • Address: 1221 NW 21st Avenue
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4pm-10pm | Friday, Saturday, 4pm-11pm
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.8, friendly waitstaff
    • Atmosphere: 5.0, gorgeous space
    • Drinks: 4.0, balance was a little off, but I would definitely try it again

While West was a little out of my way, it was definitely worth a visit. The design and feel of the bar and restaurant alone, were a calming end to my workday. It was quiet and peaceful with soft lighting – so soft in fact that when I walked in, I asked to make sure they were open.

bars in portland oregon inside West bar

I loved all the plants hanging above the bar. And for the millionth time (when seeing a beautiful interior) thought, “why can’t I make my house look this good?”

bars in portland oregon west restaurant

I know my loyal readers were worried that I hadn’t had any gin cocktails yet, so breathe easy. The David Douglas features olive oil infused Tanqueray gin, douglas fir brandy, and tonic. A light and crisp beverage to carry you along to the next errand or item on your list.

9. Angel Face

  • Address: 14 NE 28th Avenue
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4pm-10pm | Friday, Saturday, 4pm-11pm
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.9, it’s a busy place and you might wait a minute for service but it’s absolutely worth it
    • Atmosphere: 4.9, this place is small and charming with incredible, hand-painted walls
    • Drinks: 4.9, if I can order a solid classic and it’s perfect, I’m happy

One of my friends who lives in Portland discovered this place. On my first visit, I didn’t get to spend a ton of time here, but it was a great experience. I had to go back on my most recent trip and it was just as good as I remembered. I had a gin gimlet that was perfectly balanced. It is a great place to meet up with some other friends and have a conversation. One thing to note is that they don’t have a cocktail menu, just a spirits list. So you might need to check out this post if you’re not used to ordering something you love.

10. Freeland Spirits

bars in portland oregon freeland spirits flight of mini cocktails
  • Address: 2671 Northwest Vaughn Street
  • Hours: 7 days a week, 12pm-6pm
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.8, very nice staff but it’s a big place so you might wait a little bit
    • Atmosphere: 4.7, clean and creative distillery space
    • Drinks: 4.7, very fun and creative cocktails featuring their house spirits

It’s no secret that I love a good distillery. Portland actually has quite a few, but I was only able to make it to Freeland Spirits on my most recent trip. Freeland is a female-founded distillery. They distill three styles of gin and a bourbon, along with two pre-made canned cocktails. In the tasting room you can try mini cocktails that feature each of their spirits. You can order them individually, or in a full flight. I was there on Halloween, so I enjoyed a frightful flight of tasty cocktails. My favorite was the one at the far left, Pumpkinhead. It’s made with Freeland Bourbon, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oat milk, lemon juice, and cinnamon allspice bitters. Yum!

11. Rum Club

bars in portland oregon rum bar
  • Address: 720 SE Sandy Boulevard
  • Hours: 7 days a week, 3pm-midnight
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 5.0, very welcoming vibes and friendly staff (and even one bartender from Oklahoma City!)
    • Atmosphere: 4.7, cozy bar with great wallpaper
    • Drinks: 5.0, really good, strong and flavorful drinks

Despite it being in business since 2011, I didn’t discover this place until my most recent trip. I had somehow missed this place in my past research of bars in Portland, Oregon. But, that’s been fixed now. I am a big rum fan, so I always love finding rum-focused bars. Rum Club is a great place for rum enthusiasts and the rum-curious alike. You’ll find a nice range of balanced cocktails ranging from classics to tiki-inspired drinks. The vibes are like your favorite neighborhood bar where everyone is welcome.

I enjoyed two delicious cocktails. The one on the left is the Electric Mayhem! It’s made with rye whiskey, LBV Port, orgeat, lemon, grapefruit, bitters, and cinnamon over crushed ice. I loved it. The other drink was totally different but also was incredible. Pedro Martínez is a rich rum blend with Torino Vermouth, Maraschino, orange & falernum bitters, and lemon oil. I loved the glassware as well.

And there you have it – some bars in Portland, Oregon you need to check out right now. There are about two hundred other bars in Portland, but this should get you started. Cheers!

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