5 Favorite Happy Hour Spots (Plus a Bonus!) in Portland
Portland is a city known nationally for its amazing happy hours. In fact, there’s a whole line of books written about them. In many states happy hour consists of drinks only or menu items that are not featured on their regular menu; however, that is not the case here in The City of Roses! Happy hours provide a chance for locals and visitors alike to try food and libations that most likely are featured on regular menus only in smaller portions and for a far more affordable price than the other hours that a restaurant is open!
One may ask “Why five spots?” (plus a bonus!) and the answer is because Portland is divided into 5 quadrants so I wanted to recommend one in each as I know visitors and locals are spread out around the city. Leave it to Portland to have five instead of four. Gotta keep it weird folks!
Let’s get to it! These are listed in no particular order and are locally owned with an executive chef who lives in Portland and are not national chains. Support local!
Iconic and James Beard award-winning chef, Vitaly Paley’s famed Paley’s Place features $2 oysters and a $6 old fashioned! The vibe is classy and charming and the restaurant is in an old and beautiful converted home! Click here for the rest of the menu and hours!
Fun Fact: Vitaly Paley once created a health food bar!
This category is tied for two options! For delicious Vietnamese food and artfully created cocktails of the day with a super hip vibe, I recommend Luc Lac! For less than $15 per person, you can have 3 small plates each and the tasty cocktail of the day! What a steal!! In Portland sometimes a cocktail alone can cost $15.00. I recommend the pork and shrimp salad rolls and the steak roll.
Fun Fact: Often the restaurant will close so these folks can visit Vietnam for food recon missions!
Lechon is the second option I’d recommend! It’s a cozy vibe even though it’s a large space.This South American themed restaurant has delicious margaritas (with cardamom and salt and pepper rim), empanadas, and ceviche on their happy hour menu! Plus, the jellyfish tank is fascinating to watch if you sit at the bar! Salud!
Fun Fact: Lechon has monthly dinners representing the food of a different country each month! It’s affordable ($60 pp) and includes 4 courses and free-flowing wine (yep, you read that right!), gratuity, and a donation to a charity. I’ve gone to their Nikkei, Greek, and Turkish nights!
Southeast Portland (my old neighborhood)
Bit House Saloon is one of my favorite happy hours in the city! The vibe is laid back with great music. And, overall one of my go-to bars in Portland. Plus, when there’s sun, the back patio is wonderful! The draft cocktails are on point and a few are $6.00 at happy hour and $3.00 brisket tacos can’t be beat! And, they have $2.00 oysters too!
Fun Fact: Bit house has a unique libation from Portugal called Rancio. It is a fortified wine that is aged in casks for at least 10 years! if you love sherries or madeiras you must try these very difficult to find (in Portland) Rancios!
North Portland or as locals call it NoPo (my neighborhood!)
Interurban is a NoPo staple featuring excellent cocktails, a back patio, and my favorite bartender in the city! The vibe is friendly, the cocktails strong, and the food solid! I’ve gone there for years. Have the mini corn dogs with fries and add grilled broccolini for good measure ;)! $5 drinks including a daily punch, kir royale, and don’t forget the $2 “craft” jello shots! Don’t worry they are not bright green or red!
Fun Fact: They have one of the largest whiskey collections in Portland!
Aviary has an excellent bar that has a nice and cozy vibe in the winter and nice and cool in the summer! This Asian Northwest Fusion menu features $5.00 brussels sprout nachos (just try it!) and $5.00 house wine as well as many other delicious delights! Be sure to check out the art on Alberta after or before happy hour or join us for the "Alberta Art Bite" tour to learn more about the history and art of this iconic Portland neighborhood.
Fun Fact: The chef, Sarah Pliner, worked at the famed Alinea restaurant in New York before landing this sweet spot on Alberta.
That's a wrap folks....
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MELISSA GUIDRY | FOUNDER OF ZESTYPDX
My name is Melissa Guidry and I moved to Portland 13 years ago via a transplant from Louisiana very near New Orleans. I've been a gastronomy tour guide for four years creating itineraries and guiding local food tours as well as in guiding historical and cultural tours in Europe. Before working in tourism I worked for a culinary and design school here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Trying new restaurants filled with gastronomic delights is a hobby and passion for me along with cooking, voracious food blog reading, my own blogging, and hosting meals for friends and family. And, don't forget travel- it's an equal love of mine! So please join me fellow travelers (and locals too) on an adventure filled with eating, history, and fun!