10 Best Portland Bars for Summer
We fully believe that when reading top ten lists, more than half the fun is frothing with indignation when your favorite is passed over. Our picks for the best Portland bars for summer is a collection of patios and warm-weather getaways that hopefully holds something for everyone… but if we missed your favorite, feel free to let us know (remember your manners!) in the comments below.
Departure: Boasting not just one but two rooftop decks on the 15th floor of the posh Nines Hotel, this is where the beautiful people (plus a sprinkling of crunchier PDX personalities) come to unwind after sunny summer workdays. Sip on some sake and take in sweeping views of Pioneer Courthouse Square and beyond (525 SW Morrison St.; 503-802-5370).
Produce Row Café: So well hidden amongst the Central Eastside Industrial District’s many warehouses, you might mistakenly think this spot is a well-kept secret. It might have stayed just that if it didn’t boast one of the city’s biggest and best patios, as well as heavenly beer-battered fries that go hand-in-hand with one of the many local brews on draft (204 SE Oak St.; 503-232-8355).
Noble Rot: Portland isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with rooftop patios, but we’re confident Noble Rot wine bar would top the list even if it was. The Western-facing outdoor seating makes for fabulous sunset viewing — the very same orb of light nourising the 3000 square foot rooftop garden that supplies most of the seasonal vegetables and herbs on the menu (1111 East Burnside St.; 503-233-1999).
Henry's 12th Street Tavern: Sure, Henry’s has a great side patio, providing just the right amount of sanctuary from the Pearl district bustle while still allowing for great people watching. But the real summer sell here is inside, where a custom frost top drink rail extends all the way around the bar to keep your brew (over 100 of ‘em, with myriad local and regional choices) chilled (10 NW 12th Ave.; 503-227-5320).
Trader Vic's: Can’t make it to a tropical island, but still dream of sipping colorful cocktails from kitschy mugs? Head to this Polynesian paradise in the Pearl. A menu of more than 80 cocktails includes tiki classics like the Samoan Fog Cutter and Scorpion Bowl; enjoy yours as you hula your way over to peer at the original Polynesian pop art, authentic tribal masks and indigenous South Seas artifacts. Aloha! (1203 NW Glisan St.; 503-467-2277)
Coalition Brewing: Having a tasty local microbrew on a warm evening is always a treat. However, when it’s had within the friendly confines of Coalition’s pub as the breeze blows through the raised garage-style doors, or at one of the dog-friendly dual outdoor patios, it’s something akin to what we imagine heaven might be like (2724 SE Ankeny St.; 503-894-8080).
BARBAR: This laid-back little space is adjacent to its big brother, Mississippi Studios. Enjoy bites and summery margs and mojitos on two large patios, or try out the (not-so) secret garden in the back. If you get lucky, you might even wander in during one of the frequent free outdoor concerts (3939 N Mississippi Ave.; 503-288-3895).
North 45: At first glance, this spot may seem like just another charming eatery in the leafy comfort of the Nob Hill shopping district. However, pop around back and find a seat at a picnic table under the twinkling lights, in this enclosed beer-garden-style back patio (517 NW 21st Ave.; 503-248-6317).
Doug Fir: The Doug Fir has you covered during summer. If it’s warm, grab a brew and sit under the stars while you wait for the show to start downstairs (tickets required for concerts). If Portland’s bluster invades, no need to move inside — just gather round the fire pit and continue ruminating (830 East Burnside St.; 503-231-9663).
McMenamin's Edgefield: Ok, so this sprawling summer staple is technically about 20 minutes east of Portland proper, but we couldn’t resist adding it. It’s the post-Gorge-hike stop, comprised of several indoor and outdoor bars and restaurants that each serve housemade brews and wines. Sit for a spell in the well-tended gardens, or make an evening of it by renting a room at the on-site hotel and taking in the on-sie outdoor summer concert series (tickets required) (2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale; 503-669-8610).
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