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I love cities that work hard to curate beautiful bars, create creative menus, and have friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. Portland, Oregon is one of those cities and has an amazing cocktail scene. After visiting my hometown, Portland, Maine, I started researching great cocktail bars in the other Portland (Oregon). Since I travel to Portland, OR regularly for work (my last trip happened in March 2020), it’s easy to fit in a couple of bars with each visit. If you are in Portland, 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 in June 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 was far too good to limit myself to one drink, so I had 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. See why I couldn’t choose just one?

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 week’s agenda. 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 might sound.

5. 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
    • 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Angel Face

  • Address: 14 NE 28th Avenue
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 4pm-10pm | Friday, Saturday, 4pm-11pm
  • Scores:
    • Hospitality: 4.8, it’s a busy place and you might wait a minute for service but it’s absolutely worth it
    • Atmosphere: 4.8, this place is small and charming with some of the prettiest wallpaper in PDX
    • 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. While we didn’t get to spend a ton of time here, it was a pre-dinner stop, it was a great experience. I am definitely looking forward to going back. I had a gin gimlet that was perfectly balanced. It was a great place to meet up with some other friends and have a conversation.

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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