Lutz Tavern: The Best Hangout in SE PDX
I've put in my time in the Lutz Tavern. The block between 46th and 47th on SE Woodstock is a great place to experience the Portland scene, unstaged. Go for a drink and some Southern food in the Delta, then top it off with PBR for 1 buck the can in the Lutz. It is the domain of hangers, part-time musicians, mountain bikers, unemployed college graduates and downshifters.
Dress Code: Shabby Chick. Don't wear your best.
Dragonfish asian cafe: Sushi and drinks
With only 10 to 15 minutes left until midnight we ended up going into the Dragonfish cafe located in the lobby of the paramount hotel, it was actually a very nice bar and we had a good time celebrating the new year.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Something for Every Crowd
With our mild, damp climate, it's no wonder there is no shortage of bars in Portland. Whether you want a microbrew from a local pub, the thumping dance floor, or a dive bar where you can curl up in a corner with a cigarette and good book, this city has what you crave in nightlife.
The yuppie crowd will be happy in the Pearl District at places like Oba!, though the hipster who finds himself in that part of town should check out the aptly named Low Brow Lounge. A great dance/meat market scene can be found downtown at Bar 71, but head over to the Southeast side for great dives like the Speakeasy and The Basement Pub.
Dress Code: Portlanders are not generally known for dressing up. You'll find everything from jeans at the symphony to cowboy boots at the most chic restaurants. However, each hotspot has a distinct look. The trendy dance clubs and singles pickup spots want for tight-fitting designer labels and the hipster hangouts have no shortage of horned-rimmed glasses, Pabst Blue Ribbon t-shirts and worn-out Chuck Taylors. Though you'll find some crossover at certain times of night, you'll quickly figure out if you're in the right place.
Ringlers: Hot Spot
"Like its eclectic decor, this spacious McMenamins-owned saloon has many facets.
From dance academy to garage, this historic building has been put to many uses. Today, antique lamps and Oriental carpets, Indonesian carvings and vintage pool tables all combine with the Burnside grit outside the windows. The center bar is a mosaic-covered pavilion. A good place for groups and families during the day, Ringlers is known as one of the city's best singles scenes at night.
A broad cross-section of patrons--from tourists to frat boys--come to eat and quaff microbrews. An almost endless drink menu includes fine bourbons, single malt scotches and specialty cocktails featuring McMenamins' own spirits, as well as trendy ingredients like Tuaca and Blavod (a black vodka). Food options run a schizophrenic but tasty gamut, from fish dishes to pizza to gyros. DJs, lunchtime concerts and shows upstairs at the Crystal Ballroom add to the mix."
Dress Code: No dress code worth noting.
McFadden's: Quintessential party pub seduces single 20-somthgs
This is a great bar/club on Fridays and Saturdays. It's your typical young club crowd, but what I find several factors that make McFaddens a bit better. The actual interior is built not like a nightclub, but a really big pub. There is a large bar to the left, and another large bar on the opposite side of the club on the right side, with a dance floor in the middle. There is a large outdoor alley too, which is key for smokers.
"The cavernous, dark wood-paneled space is an unassuming restaurant by day, but turns lively once the after-five crowd rolls in. Young suit-types lose their jackets after the first round of beers, and rhythmic smacks from the pool table punctuate an atmosphere of concentrated merriment. Weekends bring a true party vibe, when tables in the central dining room give way to a hopping dance floor."
Dress Code: No hats (except for girls wearing those damn trucker hats), No sport shoes
THE oldest bar in Portland: Huber's
With history back to the 1880's you can't go wrong in this true institution of Portland. While Huber's has a dining room that serves excellent turkey sandwhiches (another must at Huber's) the back room is open for food and drinks to an upscale Portland crowd. Not uncommon to see a Blazer here.
What are they known for, history and Spanish coffees that will knock you on your butt. Great menu to choose from, crowded and fun people watching.
Huber's is the perfect spot during a cold rainy winter evening to stop in and refresh yourself.
Dress Code: No jeans or sneakers will get you into this place. Dress up a little.
self proclaimed Ultra Lounge - worth it: Voo Doo Lounge
As my wife said it -ah so this is where the pretty people are...
We went early on a Saturday to grab some dinner - something about a menu Cajun infused Northwest - sounded good.
We were pleasantly surprised.
Located in a not so hot area of downtown (next to Ohm and near Chinatown) we were iffy on the place.
Once inside, beautiful couches, candle lit and friendly staff. Outside porch is awesome. Only complaint in the noise from the neighbors (OHM) nightclub set up.
Out side you'll find hooka (sp?) pipes you can rent and tobacco to smoke.
The food - fantastic. Try thr mango, avacoda, crab martini for an app and the softshell crap for dinner - amazing.
Plenty of fun drinks to try, but we were happy with the red and mixed drink we tried.
Specialty rooms to rent out are totally hip if you have a party. Great for a night life spot or for dinner.
P.S. We met the owner and chef - great guys and real friendly.
Dress Code: Nice. Jeans seem out of place here. Think black and hip shoes. You don't want the wait staff to look better than you. And they will.
great breakfast or dinner: Veritable Quandary
Ok, Veritable Quandry is a great spot isolated on the west side of downtown on 2nd. Beautiful trees and landscaping make the outside of the place look like a home (believe it was at one point).
Great bar to belly up to with an excellent list of specialty drinks. Try the mojito.
You can eat inside or out on the porch and whatever meal it is you will be pleased.
My wife and I went for breakfast and were thrilled. So much so that we took a friend there for dinner that night.
Breakfast - anything with mushrooms. Dinner - fresh fish. The sturgeon was great.
Dress Code: Nice place, but you can get away with Portland - casual jeans and a nice shirt.
Shorts, a tank top with your Budweiser hardhat....well may be not here Jethro.
Dark, loud, smokey and fun: Low Brow Lounge
Drop all pretention and relax at the low brow. Not that you can't go into most Portland bars in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt - but you'll just fit in better here.
When you want to kick back, have a beer and some pub food - the Low Brow is for you. Great dive bar, think tater tots.
Dress Code: You have to have pants on. Shorts ok, but no loin cloths or banana hammocks.
Shanghai Tunnel: One of the lesser known bars on 2nd Ave
This place is named after the notorious underground Portland tunnels that were used to cart poor unsuspecting souls out to sea... hence the term "shanghaiing".
When you walk in, you'll be greeted by a surly biker guy who cards everyone. It's dark and doesn't appear very large. The bar is located downstairs and the restrooms could use a little work. But despite the looks of this place, they have a fairly good food and drink menu. Service is not horribly fast so you probably shouldn't head there if you are famished. They have a great import beer selection that includes Chimay, Paulaner, Spaten and others. It's worth a visit for this fact alone.
Dress Code: Casual is good. Dark over light--you can't go wrong with black. It's more of a Dante's type crowd than Bar71 crowd.
Vigne: Posh Wine Bar in the Pearl
The first thing people notice about Vigne is the bright and stylish surroundings. The place is unmistakably pleasing to the eye. Despite the posh setting, the staff are friendly and don't put on airs. If you're a wine drinker (I'm not), you will no doubt give an approving nod to their selection. This is also one of the few places in town where they serve Duvel (which is a pleasant and strong Belgian beer). This is a good place to go when you want subtle, where you can relax and have a good conversation. You won't have to worry about shouting over the volume of the music or other patrons.
Dress Code: You might want to dress up a little. I don't think they have a dress code but you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, either.
Brazen Bean: Some of the best martinis in Portland
The Brazen Bean is a great place to start the evening with happy hour from 5PM-8PM, Mon-Fri. It's also open on Saturdays. It's a chic little bar that is situated on the second story of an old PDX house. The list of martinis is extensive. If you don't get there early, you'll be hard-pressed to find any seating until after 8PM. However, martinis jump from $3 to $6 or $7. When it's not overly-crowded, it has great atmosphere and can be a nice place to bring a date. The staff is always friendly and relatively prompt. They also have a small selection of cigars and cigarettes... it used to be a popular cigar bar back in the day.
Dress Code: Casual always works but one can dress on either end of the spectrum and no one will care.
The Vern (officially Hanigan's): The bar for the broke.... or cheap
If VT would put a category for dive bar under Nightlife spots than this would be the poster-bar. Few bars excel this well at NOT trying to create an image. The name is officially Hanigan's but the locals started calling it the Vern after the first two letters in the neon sign stopped working. The carpet is something like astroturf and the tables for sitting at are wooden picnic benches. As far as I can tell you can feel free to carve your name into the table with your pocket knife. You wouldn't be the first. The beer is cheap and cold - what more could you want? The air is filled with smoke and if you are a constant over-achiever, you are not welcome.
Dress Code: Do not wear a tie or anything approaching a suit. It's not that you'll get booted - just the cold shoulder.
The Greek Cuisina: The Greek Cuisina
You can have dinner and have drinks if you're upstairs (over 21 only). If it's your birthday, bachelor(ette), engagement party, let the staff know and you will enjoy breaking plates, an Ouzo contest and Greek dancing. Some nights they also have a belly dancer.
Dress Code: It's incredibly hot upstairs, even for the rainy northwest. You can dress up or go casual.
Arnada Cafe (Vancouver): Arnada Cafe (Vancouver)
If you don't feel like dealing with parking, try this place -- It's a small cafe in Vancouver, WA (only 15 or so minutes from DT Portland) -- If you go there before 8pm on any given night you'll run into the regulars who are really friendly -- After that it is usually friends of the local bands that play there... don't discard Arnada, it's small, but they bring in good live music.
Dress Code: Casual.
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