In a nice, quiet neighborhood housed in a historic, turn of the century drug store. Caldera has a romantic, casual, candle-lit ambiance and a great back patio. The small menu consists mostly of pasta and rice dishes, they boast a good selection of wine and local microbrews. Deserts are simple childhood favorites. S'mores anyone?
Rockin’ downtown music venue with an eclectic clientele (read: bike messengers). Great place for people watching. The Ash Street serves a mean drink but deep fried appetizers, burgers, and sandwiches will soak up that booze for you.
A divey, drinky Portland mainstay unchanged in years. Friendly staff, cheap drinks w/plenty of specials. Pool, video games, and greasy pub food as well as that x-mas tree in the window year-round. Breakfast served all day. Scrambled eggs and a Bloody Mary for your hangover? I thought so.
If someone were to make a Broadway musical about the Open Road and America, that Broadway musical would look a lot like Kelly's Olympian. The neon, the road signs, the decorative motorcycles all scream "theme bar," but Kelly's Olympian manages to avoid the inauthenticity the décor would imply. One of the oldest eateries in Portland (it opened in 1902), Kelly's has the gravitas of a place that's been around for over a century. The food is... well... bar food, but the drinks are on the deep side, the tap list is long, and much of the clientele could probably tell you a thing or two about motorcycles. It's not quite a grim and gritty biker bar—but it's not faking anything, either. JOE STRECKERT
The Yamhill Pub is a glorious shit crater. It's a hole, a mess, a fucking dive. The walls and floors and sundry surfaces are more graffiti-ed than not, and the pub certainly came by every squiggle honestly. Plastic cups do for the dirt-cheap well drinks, and the very idea of ordering any kind of cocktail seems vastly inappropriate. The only thing that clashes with the Yamhill's perfect image of a dive is the surprisingly decent collection of taps. Even in the midst of punk squalor, Portlanders still demand a decent IPA. The Yamhill Pub is amazing. It's perfect. Never go there. You'll ruin it. JOE STRECKERT