Tyler Gross

The Fixin’ To
8218 N Lombard

Much like the St. Johns neighborhood in which it’s tucked, the Fixin’ To has undergone some recent changes. The bar added a live music venue back in August, but the spirit of this joint remains divey, cozy, and unapologetically rock ’n’ roll, as evidenced by the KISS lunchbox and the “Matt Pike for President” sticker adorning the wall. An unholy trinity of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Motörhead rained down from the speakers as I ordered a Down ’n’ Out (a shot of Old Crow accompanied by a Hamm’s tall boy for $4). Of course, one won’t make it long without getting a hankering for the signature Frito Pie ($5), a ramped-up version of the college-diet classic, with a mound of chips topped with chili, Rotel cheese sauce, iceberg lettuce, and tomatoes. It comes either vegan or vegetarian, or you can add pulled pork (highly recommended) for a few bucks more. Pints are just $3, or reach for the summertime goody, the St. Johns Sweet Tea (Old Crow, triple sec, orange and lemon juice, and homemade sweet tea) for $5. Also worth noting: Old German tall cans are always a measly buck. MARK LORE

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-6 pm, $3 beer & wells, $4-5 cocktails, $5 menu


Life of Pie
3632 N Williams

Any happy hour that lasts seven hours is stretching the term pretty liberally—but in a horrifying dystopian hellscape where words have lost all meaning, who am I to complain? Something else I’m not going to complain about: Life of Pie’s very long happy hour, in which you can snag a piping-hot margherita pizza for a mere five bucks. That’s a goddamn bargain anywhere, but particularly along the aggressively gentrified stretch of N Williams. Whether you’re rich enough to feel at home in this neighborhood or just passing through like the rest of us schlubs, it’s a good call to hit Life of Pie’s happy hour for lunch, an afternoon snack, or hell, a late breakfast. Sit at the bar—in sight of the wood-fired pizza oven, and where you can see your pie being assembled with housemade mozzarella—and pair that $5 margherita with a $4 Lompoc Proletariat Red or an Ecliptic Orbiter IPA. Boom: in and out, pizza and beer, under $10. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Happy Hour: daily 11 am-6 pm, $4 beer & wine, $5 margherita pizza


Locale
4330 N Mississippi

This European-inspired café-cum-bar ranges in mood from restful hangout to zippy nightspot; from Françoise Hardy to ’70s disco. Their weeknight drinks menu was recently revised to add specials, featuring rotating nightly discounts on vermouth, wine, and beer (such as $2 off all wines on Wednesdays). Meanwhile, the daily happy hour menu carries Pilsner Urquell ($4), which is an excellent transition drink to move from coffee and tea into the OLCC-regulated part of the evening. The wine glass pours rotate, but there’s usually something from the south of France, Spain, or another value-for-money region. Any decent bubbly at $5 represents a great deal, and here they tend to exceed at that. The food menu leans towards snacks—dolmas, hummus, bread, olives—but like everything else, standards are high and they are served with thought. MJ SKEGG

Happy Hour: 4-6 pm daily (all night Monday), $4 Pilsner Urquell, $5-6 wine, $1 off cocktails, menu $2-4


Moloko
3967 N Mississippi

Moloko is the little bar with all the fish tanks, which are visible from N Mississippi’s sidewalk. It’s not your stereotypical Portland bar aesthetic—there’s no sign of taxidermy, and passersby wouldn’t even know the eclectic spot also has a heated and covered back patio with all kinds of seating options. Head on in and you’ll see the first glowing saltwater fish tank makes an enclosure for a large booth, and a couple more bookend the bar seating. A humongous mirror above the bar is hung at what you’d consider a flattering selfie angle, adding to this place’s appeal as a great first date spot. Happy hour here offers fresh-squeezed OJ or grapefruit juice infusions, Rainier for $1.50, $1 off house wine, and a cocktail of the day for $6. The paninis are the only food on the happy hour menu ($2 off the normal $6-7), but they’re pretty filling and delicious. You can add a shit ton of Kettle chips to your tuna melt, grilled cheese, or plants/cheese/pesto sandwich for $1. JENNI MOORE

Happy Hour: daily 4-7 pm, $1 off wine, $1.50 Rainier, $3.50-4.50 wells, $6 cocktails, $2 off sandwiches


No Bones Beach Club
3928 N Mississippi

Who knew that Mississippi needed a beach-themed, vegan cocktail bar? Apparently it did, as this place always seems to be bumping. It’s very welcoming and also dangerous—the boozy, frozen piña coladas ($6) are so smooth and creamy you can easily suck one down in five minutes before ordering another. The rest of the drinks list is unfortunately a little underwhelming, though a glass pour of red for $7 wasn’t actively offensive. The vegan food makes up for it, though—the crab cakes ($6) created from parsnips and veggies taste nothing like crab, but who cares, as they are crispy and delicious anyway. I’ve no idea how authentic their beer-battered avocado tacos ($6) are, but they deliver as well—big, crunchy, and packed with a chipotle aioli kick. MJ SKEGG

Happy Hour: Tues-Fri 4-6 pm, $1 off beer & wine, $4 wells, $6 slushies, $5-6 menu


Open Tandoor Gabriel Green

Open Tandoor
4311 N Williams

Happy hour was always going to be a bit of a challenge for Open Tandoor. Of all the new dark brown or vaguely dark brown condo buildings that have made a wind tunnel out of N Williams in recent years, this new Indian spot chose to locate in the one directly across the street from Vendetta, which is a battle-tested happy hour OG in this new city we suddenly find ourselves in. But Open Tandoor doesn’t help itself much, either. Oh, the restaurant’s put together some thoughtful $6 cocktails, and the $4 drafts are all solid, but it’s just... not a great scene for happy hour. It’s over-bright for one, and not set up for starting a bar tab. And the happy hour food boasts an unremarkable array of greasy fried fare, though the tandoori chicken kebab ($5) was perfectly serviceable. There’s still a question whether whatever’s happening on N Williams can sustain the many restaurants springing up there, and we’d like to see Open Tandoor and others thrive. For happy hour, though, maybe head across the road. DIRK VANDERHART

Happy Hour:Tues-Sun 3-6 pm, $4 beers, $6 cocktails, $2.50-5 menu


Patton Maryland
5101 N Interstate

Not long ago, the building where Patton Maryland now sits held Pause Kitchen and Bar, which offered one of the city’s best burgers. How bitterly we all cursed when it shuttered last summer. BUT! The neighborhood could have done far worse than newcomer Patton Maryland, a temple to good cocktails and South Carolina-style victuals. Something to love: While other happy hours frequently offer meager discounts, Patton’s offers tangible value. Most notably, the $6.50 pulled pork sandwich—a sloppy, tangy, and fairly massive delight on brioche—is $3 less during happy hour than its regular menu counterpart, though the same size. (Go with the mustard-based sauce.) Every beer in the place is $1 off, meaning a wide array of $2 tallboys and, you know, some better beer if that’s your thing. The rotating $6 happy hour cocktail on a recent visit was a smooth-sipping lemon and vodka number with sprigs of thyme. All in all, we are gnashing our teeth less for Pause’s passing these days, and gnashing them more on delicious barbecue, which is something. DIRK VANDERHART 

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm and 9 pm-close, $1 off beer, $5 wine, $6 cocktails, $1-7 menu


Pop Tavern
825 N Killingsworth

There are probably far worse life strategies than quitting whatever it is you’re up to now, enrolling in classes at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus, and spending all your downtime at nearby Pop Tavern. This year-old explosion of ’80s nostalgia—in the space that formerly held Ducketts Public House—offers happy hour drink prices to anyone with a valid student ID all day, every day. And since you’re there sipping discounted Tecate anyhow, you’ll be all the more primed when actual happy hour kicks in and cheap food comes calling. The showstopper here is Pop’s venerable burger for just $5, but I say don’t let your carnivorous leanings stop you from ordering the $5 veggie burger, which is simply massive and quite well seasoned. Sides are also a dollar off. Let your best Pac-Man impression commence. DIRK VANDERHART

Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 4-7 pm, all day Sun, $1 off beer & wells, $5 burgers, $1 off sides


Quaintrelle
3936 N Mississippi

The cute glassware and fine napkins suggest an urbane experience, but Quaintrelle is also laid-back and welcoming. It’s worth checking out the bar for the food during happy hour, which offers a downsized version of the full menu. The portions are smaller, though still respectable for the price. The focus is on salads and vegetable dishes—burger diehards, head elsewhere. Apples, kohlrabi, pine nuts, and scallions ($6) sounds as exciting as a day watching C-SPAN, but it’s satisfyingly worked together to the point that you’ll be fighting over who has the last bite. The drink offerings are concise, but the bartenders are accomplished. The Prohibition Punch ($6) combines rum, cognac, amaro, oranges, and lime for a drink that reveals layers of flavor, though those in a hurry to get a buzz on may be disappointed by the size. The restaurant carries an excellent wine list, so the glass pours at $6 are some of the best around for the price. MJ SKEGG

Happy Hour: daily 5-6:30 pm, $1 off beer, $6 wine, $6-8 cocktails, $3-6 menu


The Rambler
4205 N Mississippi

The Rambler is like if someone turned their perfectly located 1920 bungalow into a super casual bar. There are a couple of wood fire pits out front (which smell amazing), and some seating on the porch makes this a nice, dog-friendly spot for summer. (Speaking of which, I hear they’re getting a slushy machine!) There’s a TV behind the bar playing local and national sports, and I also appreciated the “FCK TRUMP” sticker on their mini fridge. There are plenty of beer, wine, and cider options, but from just looking at the place you wouldn’t assume they do cocktails as well as they do. The Dark ’n’ Stormy ($6 at happy hour) tastes just as complex and wonderful as it sounds, with rum, lime, ginger, bitters, and soda. Food highlights include the Toronado potatoes ($4), which come in half-moon shapes like a sort of jojo-meets-curly fry; the fried Brussels sprouts ($4) with charred onion and currants, which come drizzled with roasted garlic aioli; and the ever-popular chicken strips and fries ($6). Bartenders are friendly and give high-quality service to newcomers and regulars alike, and my experience here was so great I don’t even blame them for when I vomited up my two drinks, potatoes, and veggies later on! JENNI MOORE

Happy Hour: Tues-Fri 4-6 pm, all day Mon, $1 off beers & wells, $6 cocktails, $4-6 menu


StormBreaker Brewing
832 N Beech

From the chips served with two kinds of salsa ($4), the mac and cheese special ($4), and the rotating selection of pickles ($5), this Mississippi spot aims to please during its afternoon happy hour. But for turophile, and charcuterie fans, the $7 “smorgasboard” is where it’s at. You may get a honey-drizzled blue cheese, some poultry pâté, porcine terrine, and more. Wash it down with a house-brewed favorite like their Mississippi Red, for a buck off, and you’re doing it right, especially if you’re sitting by the covered fire pit. BRIAN YAEGER

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-6 pm, $1 off beer, wells, & house wine, $4-7 menu


Victoria Bar
835 N Albina

Oddly, for a place that likes to show off its bottles of spirits on beautiful, backlit shelving, there are no special cocktails during Victoria Bar’s happy hour, just a dollar off well drinks. I settled for the punch ($5) instead—there was vodka somewhere in it, but it was lost amid surging tropical fruit that had me thinking of Tommy Bahama shirts and suntan oil. The house red was solid—a full-bodied cabernet that remembered to be mannered as well as fruity—while the tap list went from pilsner to porter with a gose detour. I’m not sure the mac and cheese ($7) would rate highly on anyone’s list, as it had the texture of dry noodles, but it included pimento which at least made it flavorful. I tried my luck with the Frenchmen salad ($6), which was fresh and light and totally unsuitable for a cold, rainy February afternoon. Perhaps it’s all designed for languishing on Victoria’s ample patio during summer. MJ SKEGG

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm, $1 off wells, house wine, & beer, $5 punch, $2-7 menu