You’ve heard about Portland’s beer scene, but have you ventured out in search of something a bit stronger? From swanky lounges to more laid-back bars, Portland has a craft cocktail spot for every taste. Check out one of these Portland favorites for sweet, sour, and slightly bitter sips.
Inside Dossier, Opal is a new cafe and cocktail bar in downtown Portland that’s quickly become a neighborhood favorite. Under the geometric ceiling and surrounded by natural woods, guests and locals alike mingle over small plates and inventive drinks. We love them all, but can never say no to the refreshing Sweet Pea, with tequila, peach, yellow chartreuse, lime, olive oil and egg whites. It’s a magical combination! Opal: Dossier, 750 SW Alder St.; 503-294-9000
With dangerously good cocktails named after The Princess Bride—Cliffs of Insanity, The Six-Fingered Man, Inigo Montoya, True Love—you can’t go wrong at this lounge in Portland’s Piedmont neighborhood. Bottles of liquor neatly line three walls, accompanied by 20 craft beer taps. Try the invigorating Fireswamp gin cocktail, with cucumber, jalapeno, habanero shrub, fresh lemon and cava. Victoria: 4835 N Albina Ave
This Pearl District cocktail lounge occupies the space of the beloved former Vault Martini bar. The new lounge manages to achieve a perfect balance of both classic and inventive cocktails, and you can’t go wrong with the flawless Old Fashioned. But if you’re looking for something more unique, go for the “It’s Devo” vodka concoction, with Turkish coffee liqueur, coconut and barrel-aged bitters. Vault Cocktail Lounge: 226 NW 12th Ave; 971-229-1935
We love this bar for its stylish, French gastropub vibes, late night happy hour, and the shareable bottled cocktails. Our favorite? The oh-so-smooth “Hanky Panky,” with gin, Fernet branca and sweet vermouth. One bottle of this craft blend is perfect to split between two and five people. Interurban: 4057 N Mississippi Ave; 503-284-6669
Upscale and moody, Northeast Portland’s premier cocktail bar, Expatriate, welcomes guests with cranberry-red and gold decor, an intimate bar, and dimly-lit nooks for leisurely drinking. Bartender Kyle Webster, and James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Pomeroy complement each other’s talents, pairing Asian-inflected bites with inventive cocktails. Try the wonton nachos and a Dorléac—honey, lemon, elderflower and vodka offset with bitter Aperol and Angostura. Expatriate: 5424 NE 30th Ave; 503-867-5309