Cocktails/Wine Bars in Portland, OR
When the sun is shining in Portland, there's no better place to have a cocktail while you enjoy a view of the city than at Departure. Located at the top of The Nines, a super chic downtown hotel, Departure is known for its modern decor and gorgeous rooftop patio -- a far cry from most of the dark, dank breweries of this beer-loving city. Departure is also a fantastic choice for happy hour with drink specials from $5 (including wine, champagne and sake) and small plates from $3. Speaking of their food, it's worth ordering something to nosh on with your drinks -- the menu is Asian-inspired and includes sushi as well.
Let's put it this way -- Clyde Common has a James Beard Award for Best Bar Program until the belt... and it's well-deserved. Although Clyde Common is a popular place for Portland foodies to enjoy a meal, many people come to Clyde Common strictly for the drinks. Their house-aged cocktails will blow your mind -- they are mixed, then aged in whiskey barrels for two-months -- some people refer to it as Clyde Common's "punch," but this goes far beyond anything you've had at a child's birthday party. They also have a selection of absinthe to choose from, if you're feeling brave and a whisky list that puts your grandfather's liquor cabinet to shame.
There's no two ways about it -- The Doug Fir Lounge is oozing Portland hipsters from its pores. This bar/lounge/music venue is one of the hottest in Portland and from the moment you walk in the door, you'll realize that you are in the land of eco-chic, where $200 flannel shirts and $2.50 PBRs mix like it's nothing. All kidding aside, the Doug Fir is quite the venue and a great place to grab a beer. For being a music venue, they also have an impressive wine list and make some specialty cocktails that you'll swear come from an overpriced foodie jaunt. Don't miss their happy hour, from 3-6 p.m. daily, with plates starting at just $2.
This wouldn't be a list about places to get a drink in Portland without including one brewery... Making beer is such a huge part of the culture in Portland that it was hard to narrow down one place to grab a pint, but since Hopworks Urban Brewery is so very Portland, especially with their connection to the other favorite Portland passtime, bike riding, they make our cut. HUB, as it's known to locals, brews all organic beers in their breweries, plus serves a menu of sustainable meals that include vegan options. Beer-loving parents, don't feel like you have to leave the kids at home to enjoy a beer at Hopworks -- they have a section for kids to play while you kick back with a brew and even storytime once a week!
If your drink of choice is always a tall glass of sparkling bubbles, then you will be thrilled to hear about Ambonnay -- a champagne bar in Portland. Offering 50 varieties of sparkling wines, many that are available by the glass, and a constantly rotating selection of champagnes from all over the world, Ambonnay is a santuary for champagne lovers. The ambiance at Ambonnay is perfect for sipping on a glass -- it's cozy inside with a soft, glowing feel about it that makes you want to stay forever... and keep drinking champagne! Put Ambonnay on your short-list for the next girls' night out.