Portland Bars Offer Good Times, Lots of Local Flavor

When it comes to finding the right bar to hang out at in Portland, Oregon your options are limitless. Portland offers every type of bar imaginable and 10Best has searched far and wide before ranking any of these Portland bars. How'd they earn their way on the list for Portland Oregon? Beer selection, specialty cocktails, cool aesthetics, great jukeboxes, hip crowds, tasty food, prices; we consider it all before deciding which ones belong on a list of Portland's Best Bars. Portland is a unique city, so it’s no surprise to find such a variety mix of bars making it onto our top 10 list. All of the bars we've included serve wonderful food and enticing drinks. We included local favorites like Kells, it's always a lively place to be. For those that enjoy a more chic experience,we’ve included the Portland City Grill. For those wanting to play a round of pool we've included Ringlers Pub right under eath the popular music venue the Crystal Ballroom.

Of course, no Portland bar list would be complete without a few hipster bars and that is why the Secret Society Lounge and The Bye and Bye made our list!


Northeast Portland
The Bye and Bye

Looking for a vegan lounge to hang out at? You've found just that at local hipster lounge, The Bye and Bye over in the Alberta District. They even have a good size patio that is perfect on a warm day and there is a secret patio behind this patio. They serve vegan food, vegan cocktails in mason jars and Oregon craft beers. Although technically not a restaurant they have a decent size menu, including chips and salsa, pretzel knots, spaghetti, meatball subs, chili pie, grilled cheese, and a variety of bowls. They offer a happy hour every day from 4 - 7 PM.

Northeast Portland

Secret Society is a 1907 Victorian-era hall with a rich history that housed two fraternal organizations, countless artists and musicians, and diverse events. The cocktail lounge is decorated in wood paneled club and provides exceptional food and drink in a casual environment. The Secret Society offers Pacific Northwest spirits, wine, beer and food. The ballroom, a fraternal lodge meeting hall for roughly 90 years, now plays host to events, both public and private, from live music to private dining, weddings and parties. Draped in lush red velvet and vintage wood, the ballroom's history shines throughout, offering a spirit of ceremony and celebration. The recording studio offers a truly unique and comfortable recording experience. Deftly balancing modern technology and its 1907 vibe, the studio is an ideal musical environment, inspiring a creative flow for musicians who are enveloped by their recording projects.

Portland City Grill

Located on the 30th floor of the Unico/US Bancorp Tower, this steakhouse has a swanky bar that is separate from the quite dining room. The bar has panoramic windows showcasing gorgeous views of downtown Portland and the Cascade Mountains. Often times someone there playing the piano. They serve interesting signature drinks and delicious shared plates. Portland City Grill can be expensive, so go during happy hour for a more affordable experience. During happy hour small plates range from $4.25 to $9.25 and drinks range from $4.25 - $6.25. Happy hour is available every day from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm â€" close, and all day on Sundays.

Financial District

Located beneath the Crystal Ballroom, a mecca for live music lovers, this pub attracts a large contingent of patrons who attend the shows upstairs. Even so, it's a terrific place to meet with friends and nurse a drink or two. The spacious venue boasts a funky decor and serves up microbrews crafted in the on-site Crystal Ballroom Brewery as well as a collection of stiff cocktails. For distraction, there are pool tables and pinball machines, but there should be enough activity and conversation that you don't need anything else to hold your attention. The pub food menu offers all your favorites and adds a nice twist with dishes inspired by global cultures. A great place to meet people.

Backstage Bar is a cool place to hang out, watch the game, and have a beer. Considered to be the the loftiest place to play pool among bars in Portland with their super high ceilings. This hidden bar behind the Bagdad Theater's screen actually stretches an incredible seven stories from floor to ceiling! Some about that ceiling makes this one of the most visualizing appealing bars in Portland. On game day they project the game up onto their massive wall. Plus, their shuffleboard table is considered to be one of the best in town. Back Stage Bar allows pets at our sidewalk seating only. No minors are allowed at this bar.

River Pig Saloon should be everyone's go to bar in downtown Portland, Oregon. This trendy spot is unlike any other in Portland. They've got lots of bourbons and whiskeys to go along with the local beers they carry on tap. They food is mainly fried, but man is it good, like their fried chicken, fry bread tacos, and french fries. Happy Hour is Monday - Friday from 3-6 PM with food starting at $2 and drinks starting at $2.75. They always have on the game and on Sundays they have killer Bloody Mary's. Check them out on Facebook to see what kind of fun events they are hosting like pie eating contests or pug races.

Doug Fir Lounge
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Travel Portland

Located below the Doug Fir Restaurant, the Doug Fir Lounge is a hip live music spot that's got a dedicated following who show up to listen to the mix of regional and national musicians booked to play every night of the week. An outstanding food and cocktail menu is available, compliments of the Doug Fir Restaurant and Bar. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night food. Although shows have different time, generally doors open at 8pm, with shows beginning at 9pm; call or check their website for specific dates, times and shows. Doug Fir was listed as one of the Top 40 music venues in American by Paste Magazine. Doug Fir Lounge offers free wifi.

Southwest Portland
Multnomah Whiskey Library

The Multnomah Whiskey Library holds an exhaustive collection representing all major, and lesser, styles of distilled spirits known to the modern world. The vibe here is amazing and contrary to what many say you do not have to be a member to get in here. The Multnomah Whiskey Library is open to the people and community of Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. The Library offers an unrivaled selection of whiskey and other fine distilled spirits, beers, and wines as well as accompanying cuisine. Tableside Cocktail Service is a specialty of The Library, as are tastings, pairing dinners, and other educational events.

A favorite downtown spot for people of all ages, Kells offer Irish food and drink with a Northwest influence. Nightly shows make this pub the best place in Portland to hear traditional Irish music. A separate cigar lounge (with separate ventilation, of course) offers a wide selection of smokes. Though Kells offers Guiness Stout and a selection of beers and wines, it really stands out with its menu of single-malt scotch and Irish whiskey. The menu offers some traditional Irish favorites along with some more typical American fare. Kells is also open for and breakfast on the weekends.


Kask is a sleek saloon located in downtown Portland adjacent to Gruner restaurant. Named one of the Best Bars in America in 2012 by Esquire, Kask boosts an amazing list of spirits including 25 types of gin and 48 types of whiskey. They serve their own signature drinks along with small plates. Here you will find some of the most interesting, unique cocktail creations in Portland. They serve 30 of their own hand-crafted cocktails, plus 6 seasonal signature cocktails. Unlike many bars, Kask offers a punch of the day for only $5. All of their bartenders are extremely knowledgeable and friendly.


Meet Meagan Wristen

Meagan Wristen is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl, she has lived all around the United States,...  More About Meagan