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One night in Portland! HELP!

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I have one night in Portland - this Saturday - to show a friend from the Midwest what a great city it is! While I don't live in Portland, I've visited a few times and really love it.

I would love suggestions on which bars I should take her to. I'm talking about places we can't go to in other cities - really unique spots that show off "Weird Portland". Ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not sure what you mean by "weird"...
    Looking for live music? Wine bar? Brewpub? Our many strip joints?

    Here are my favorite bars:
    Thatch - a Tiki Bar, strong from scratch drinks, mind blowing decor (tiki statues & an outrigger) salvaged from defunct Trader Vic's
    Tanuki - tiny affordable Japanese style place with great food you will never see in the Midwest!
    Teardrop Lounge - outstanding cocktails
    Clyde Common - tons written about it here...just search
    Doug Fir
    Sandy Hut - aka Handy Slut...'nuff said...shabby down and dirty!
    Horse Brass Pub - famous for their Fish & Chips...owner was dragged kicking & screaming into the smoke-free age by force of law

    1. I'm not sure about weird Portland bars but one thing a lot of Portland bars have that bars in the Midwest don't is really good Microbeers.

      -Horsebrass has really good Micros and is kinda weird I guess. Around the corner from there is Belmont station which also has really good beer. From there you're not to far from Hawthorne Street where you can walk up and down and likely see weirdo's everywhere.

      -The Kennedy School in NE Portland is kinda weird. It used to be an elementary school and was transformed into a drinking complex. You can take shots in the Detention Room. It's cool but the food leaves something to be desired. It's close to the Concordia Ale House which has good beer. From there you can stroll down Alberta Street which has lots of dining and drinking options and weirdo's.

      3 Replies
      1. re: porky pine

        I guess by "weird" I am referring to bumperstickers I see a lot that say "Keep Portland Weird".. so I want to know the places that make Portland weird. :)

        I am looking for really unique atmospheres.. In many cases I feel like "a bar's a bar.." I don't want to go to any places like that.

        I thank you both for your suggestions! I will check those places out! :)

        1. re: ceciann

          Well that's the thing. Those bumperstickers were ripped off from Austin. So you're looking for places that remind one of Austin?

          I'm still unsure of what you mean, so I'll stick by my original post. If atmosphere matters, my list fits the bill. Kennedy School is a good idea too.

          1. re: Leonardo

            Of course I'm not looking for places that remind me of Austin. But people make, buy, and show off those stickers for a reason - and I've seen a lot of really unique people and places when I've visited Portland. It seems to have more unique restaurants/bars/attractions than most cities I've been too, and I'm just trying to get some insiders' opinions on what those places are.

      2. After you finish drinking you could patronize the Food Carts at SE 12th and Hawthorne.
        http://foodcartsportland.com/category...

        1. I like to take out of town friends to the Shanghai Tunnel bar but in the summer it can get very warm down there so dress light. I also really like the Driftwood Room in the Hotel Deluxe. For breakfast, I love J & M cafe over in SE, it seems quintessential Portland to me. For dinner, I absolutely love Toro Bravo and Clyde Common.