Wonderly Meg Nanna

Ash Bar at Nomad | 575 NE 24th

An intimate horseshoe bar in a hidey-hole off Nomad’s main dining room, Ash Bar’s happy hour is a prime opportunity to try their Gunsmoke, a smoke-infused bevvie made with the help of a cold smoker. Your drink rests under an inverted glass cover into which smoke is pumped (the small bar is fragranced with some of the residual smoke) and the resultant blend of cognac, rye, fernet, and smoke tastes surprisingly like Laphroaig, in all its medicinal glory. The hearty food options include a boastful “Best Queso in PDX,” served with Juanita’s chips and ample avocado, and a Bastardized Bahn Mi, a mini sandwich made with a pork sausage patty and hazelnuts. NED LANNAMANN

Happy Hour: Wed-Sun 5-6 pm, $10 cocktails, $8 wine, $7 menu available Wed-Sun 5 pm-midnight


Aviary | 1733 NE Alberta

Brussels sprout nachos: It had to be done somewhere. I’m glad it’s at Aviary’s happy hour, which has everything one would expect from a creative trio of chefs. But this time we’re here for the bar: There’s a chess set, magazines, and just enough light and calm to settle in with a post-work book. Everything is great, and nothing is more than $11. Pair those “nachos”—deep-fried leaves topped with Mexican cheese and sauces—with the deeply smoky $8 slaw dog, a glass of very deep red wine, and at least two of the $2.50 oysters. ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-7 pm, $6 drafts, $7 wells, $8 house wine, $9 specialty cocktail, $2-11 menu


Bang Bang | 4727 NE Fremont

Before I say anything else about this Asian fusion restaurant, I have to mention Bang Bang’s drunken wings ($7). The majestically sauced gems are one of the most amazing foods I’ve ever put into my mouth and are completely worth the inconvenience of trying to make Bang Bang’s incredibly tight 5-to-6 pm happy hour window. I also enjoyed an order of the spring rolls ($6), and the services of an expertly made Bang Bang Old Fashioned ($7), spiced with housemade cardamom bitters and highlighted with a classy giant ice cube. CHRIS SUTTON

Happy Hour: daily 5-6 pm & 9:30 pm-midnight, $6 wine, $6-7 cocktails, $7 Fernet + Miller High Life, $2-7 menu


Epif | 404 NE 28th

There’s no shortage of bars on Northeast 28th, but just a few blocks north of the street’s most beaten path is Epif, a vegan restaurant focusing on South American fare. Inside, Epif is cozy, warm, and friendly, with a happy hour menu that’s light on food, but leans hard on cocktails to make things even warmer, from the $5.50 Miel (bourbon, vegan honey, lemon, angostura bitters, and soda water) to a $6.50 pisco sour. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Happy Hour: daily 4-6 pm, $1 off beer and wine, $5.50-6.50 cocktails


Hale Pele | 2733 NE Broadway

Hale Pele’s cocktails aren’t cheap, so the fact that there are eight happy hour options for $7 makes it easier to achieve my bucket-list drinking dream. Suck down the delightful bitters-heavy Rangoon Gimlet or go old-school with the aquamarine Blue Hawaii. The real glory at Hale Pele is the drink menu, and the hot menu items are forgettable. Soak up the rum with $1 pickled eggs or $3 sweet Hawaiian bread with guava jam. You’ll probably stay past 6 pm; that’s okay. You may start the next day with a headache, but a temporary tropical vacation doesn’t come without a price. AD

Happy Hour: daily 4-6 pm, $7 cocktails, $1-6 menu


Haymaker | 1233 NE Killingsworth

The happy hour booze at the friendly Haymaker features a solid lineup of old-school cocktails for $5 each, while food focuses on a plethora of sliders, made with everything from braised pork to mushrooms (one for $4, three for $11, five for $15). The real gold, though, is the greasy fried stuff: fries gussied up with herbs, asiago, and bacon fat ($5); thick, salty, house-made chips with a fried onion sour cream dip ($4); and the pièce de résistance, Mac ’n’ Cheese Eggrolls ($2). These beautiful motherfuckers are exactly what they sound like—creamy mac ’n’ cheese inside a crisp, deep-fried eggroll wrapper—and each one is a nuclear-level gut bomb. I had three. EH

Happy Hour: 3-6 pm, $4 selected draft, $5 classic cocktails, $2-15 menu


Keys Lounge | 533 NE Killingsworth

Between the iconic “KEYS” sign out front, the packed shelves of vinyl, and the neatly lined keys embedded in the bar top, it’s hard not to immediately love Keys Lounge. During happy hour my companion and I highly enjoyed our $6 cocktails: a Brandy Zander and Wicked Daquiri. Vegan options were so-so (it’s hard to fuck up Cajun fries), but the sautéed green beans with chili-spiced and candied peanuts were tasty. Come for the drinks, the great service, and the vibes. JENNI MOORE

Happy Hour: daily 3-7 pm & 11 pm-2 am, $6-7 cocktails, $5 draft micro brews and cider, $5 house wine, half off bottle wine, $3-7 menu


The Knock Back | 2315 NE Alberta

Watch yer eyebrows: The Knock Back bartenders have a blowtorch and they’re not afraid to use it, especially to set your drink ablaze two feet away from your face. So of course, I come here as often as I can. It’s a mid-priced bar with serious food and drink aspirations. Sit at a long table inside or make your way to the covered outdoor fire pit to make a dinner out of an ample bowl of cheap popcorn ($2), a big bowl of fried Brussels sprouts ($6), and a tempeh Reuben slider ($5). You literally cannot go wrong. AD

Happy Hour: daily 4-6 pm, $1 off house cocktails, $1 off drafts, & wine, $6 shot & beer, $2-8 menu


Nepo 42 | 5403 NE 42nd

Nepo 42 ha one of the single most decadent and amazing happy hour items in Portland. The fried chicken and waffle ($8) is a sizable portion of fried bird with bacon and sage maple syrup, and Nepo 42 also has a deep bench of drink specials. The Champagne Cocktail ($5) is like a leveled-up mimosa—a fizzy, clear blending of bubbles and citrus—and the Ruby Press ($6) makes maximum use of grapefruit vodka. The menu is slightly at odds with the soccer hooligan-esque décor, but once you have chicken and booze in front of you, you won’t even notice. JOE STRECKERT

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm, $1 off pints, $3-8 cocktails, $6.50 wine, $4-9 menu


Swift Lounge | 1932 NE Broadway

It’s crowded, so you’ll need to jockey a bit to take advantage of Swift Lounge’s excellent and always improving food menu. During Swift’s long “Jolly Hour,” the bird-themed tavern offers what might be the best happy hour selection in town—an array of quality $3 to 5 fare ranging from the satiating Luke’s Bowl (pulled pork, brown rice, and lentils) to fried chicken to fondue fries. There’s a bunch of drink specials, but really no reason (except maybe temperance) to order anything but one of Swift’s fine, varied mason jars ($6), which are certain to make your hour(s) jolly. DIRK VANDERHART

Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 4-8 pm, Sun 4 pm-2 am, reduced-price beer, wine, & cocktails, $3-5 menu


Tapalaya | 28 NE 28th

Tapalaya’s food is delicious, intelligent, and fully within anyone’s budget for the amount you’re given—especially during happy hour. Try the Taste of Tapalaya ($5), a plate of three house specialties rotated daily, which during my visit consisted of delectable samples of their salad and gumbo with an expertly fried oyster. Also don’t miss out on the plump and juicy pork belly banh mi ($5) and the beautiful Down River Drop ($6). CS

Happy Hour: Mon-Thurs 4-6 pm, Fri-Sun 3-6 pm, $4-6 cocktails, $5 wine, $3-6 menu


Wonderly | 4727 NE Fremont

Wonderly, the sparkly new cocktail bar tucked into Portland’s sleepy Beaumont neighborhood, is an unexpected gem. Its happy hour menu offers simple, delicious snacks, like Brussels sprouts with bacon vinaigrette that are both crispy and juicy ($6), and deviled eggs flavored with beets and horseradish ($4). These couple well with a crisp gimlet ($6), poured by friendly bartenders. Group seating is sparse, but call ahead to reserve one of two window booths for an after-work group hang. ALEX ZIELINSKI

Happy Hour: 5-6 pm, 10 pm-close, reduced prices on cocktails & wine, $3-7 menu