SOUTHWEST

Clyde Common

1014 SW Stark

Clyde Common's happy hour is to bar food what a Great Dane is to a tiny, yappy dog. Yes, they're technically the same species, but one is a whole lot more regal and awe-inspiring than the other. The Ace Hotel's bar, run by the we-can't-believe-he's-still-in-Portland Jeffrey Morgenthaler, is so sleek and composed that it makes other downtown bars look like mangy Chihuahuas. The burger ($8) is a beautiful example of everything humanity can do with bread and meat, and the fried cheese curds ($6) ooze like tasty magma. Branch out with less traditional bar fare, like the pork and shiitake lumpia ($5, it's like a fried spring roll), or rock a basic green salad ($3), which is also at the top of its game. JOE STRECKERT

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm, reduced prices on signature cocktails, wine, & beer, $3-8 menu

Driftwood Room

729 SW 15th

The Driftwood Room at the Hotel deLuxe (a fever dream for lovers of classic film) isn't cheap, but it's one of the comfiest, loveliest places in town to drink—the bar is literally cushioned for the delicate elbows of leaning patrons, and the happy hour menu's heavy on full-fat delights and fizzy champagne cocktails. If you like a good French 75, power up for its Driftwood cousin, the Rose-Colored Glasses. The mac 'n' cheese ($6) is a filling bowl of cheese-slathered al dente corkscrew pasta, and the fries ($4) are fully customizable, with a dizzying array of toppings (including peppers 'n' pork lardons OMG I AM DEAD). Best of all, you can take your drinks into the deLuxe's lobby, with its sink-on-in armchairs and great lighting for reading. That's right, I'm telling you to go solo and bring a book. You should give yourself a present every day. MEGAN BURBANK

Happy Hour: daily 2-6:30 pm, 9:30 pm-close, reduced-price cocktails, beer, & wine, $4-8 menu

Imperial

410 SW Broadway

The after-work crowd mobs this happy hour, and given that it's limited to a cramped section surrounding the actual bar, it's best to hit Imperial—located inside the boutique Hotel Lucia—early. Like, really early. But piece together a few bits from the happy hour menu—I went with some generously salted but perfectly golden french fries ($3), a buttery roll ($1), a salad with paper-thin carrots and pleasantly subtle goat-cheese dressing ($5), and a Double Mountain IRA ($5)—and you've got a decent late lunch. When I went (at 2 pm, after being unable to find a seat a few days before, when I showed up at 4 pm), the bartender noted it was "James Brown Wednesday"—a James Brown Pandora station was playing for everyone in the bar, from a blue-collar guy taking a break from a film set to a couple of fortysomething rich fucks who had nowhere else to be at 2:30 in the afternoon. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Happy Hour: daily 2-6 pm, 10 pm-midnight, $3-28 menu

Jake's Famous Crawfish

401 SW 12th

Jake's would be a great place to hang out with your grandpa, and I mean that in a good way. The place has been around since the Cleveland administration, and it wears its age as a badge of pride. The waiters, for example, wear white coats, and it's adorable in a Colonial Williamsburg kind of way. Portland's venerable seafood restaurant offers a solid array of ocean-based happy hour options. The garlic steamed mussels ($5.95) are delightful little protein pellets soaked in a sauce of wine, garlic, and butter; sauce that I then soaked up with bread, because I have no shame. More traditional bar fare like spinach and artichoke dip ($2.95) is good, but not nearly on the level of the excellent mussels. One small issue: There's no crawfish on the menu. Crawfish are Jake's thing, but you don't have them at happy hour? C'mon! JS

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm, Sun-Thurs 9 pm-close, Fri-Sat 10 pm-close, wine specials, $3.50 minimum beverage purchase per person, $2.95-5.95 menu

Little Bird

215 SW 6th

Criminally overlooked, Little Bird features one of the classiest happy hour experiences in Portland. In fact, they're so classy they don't even call it a happy hour, instead referring to it as "Early and Late Hour Specials." Whatever nomenclature they choose, I am DOWN with it—especially if they continue serving their much-loved Little Bird burger at the very affordable price of $5. Surrounded by onions, goat cheese, pickles, and butter lettuce, the contents are embedded in a soft artisan bun that easily carries this thick 'n' hefty, perfectly cooked patty. And because I'm fancy, I like to pair it with foie gras and toast ($12, ordinarily $19) and the best Old Fashioned FumĂ©e ($7 at happy hour) this city has to offer. Truly, this drink is as beautiful as Ryan Gosling's more handsome brother, and if it weren't so delicious, I'd just stare at it for the entire evening. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-5 pm (6 pm in bar), daily 10 pm-midnight, reduced-price cocktails and beer, $1.50-20 menu

Raven and Rose

1331 SW Broadway

Located in the historic Ladd Carriage House, Raven and Rose (and its appropriately named bar, the "Rookery") makes good use of its unusual architecture. The wooden beams and farmhouse feel contrast with more conventional Portland interiors of, say, exposed brick, and the menu reflects the environment. Easily the highlight of the happy hour menu is the stuffed Yorkshire pudding ($4), a British meat pillow of beef and pastry that I wanted to indecorously eat two of at once. The charcuterie plate is a constantly rotating assortment of meats and cheeses that's totally worth nine bucks, and the cocktails are heavily biased in favor of whiskey—which I had no problem with. I have no idea how Irish the cocktail called the Irish ($7) is, but the citrus and whiskey certainly evoked an imagined fancy Celtic land where everyone drinks at an old wooden pub. JS

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 4-6 pm, reduced prices on beer, wine, & signature cocktails, $4-16 menu

Red Star Tavern

503 SW Alder

If you're looking for an adequate place downtown to blow off steam after a day spent shuffling accounts and paperwork for your desk job, you could do worse. You could also probably do better. Red Star Tavern is classy and clean, full of vintage-style sconces and polished wood, but it's also cavernous, corporate, and impersonal. Coming to Red Star is tantamount to playing things safe: no surprises, no horror. Everything's five dollars. The portions are small, so your best play is to order three things at once, saving you a buck ($14 instead of $15). The brisket tacos are worth one of those spots—so long as you make sure to distribute the salsa evenly across the somewhat bland meat chunks. The carbon-heavy Tavern Toast, however, is not. The bartenders at Red Star are machine-like marvels to behold. Have them make you their delightfully named Willamette Weak Sauce, a floral gin concoction lofted by honey and Serrano pepper syrup. It's very good, and precisely what I imagine Nigel Jaquiss' sweat tastes like. DENIS C. THERIAULT

Happy Hour: daily 4-8 pm, $6-7 house cocktails, $5 menu

Tasty n Alder

580 SW 12th

Mid-day seating is limited to the bar while the staff sweeps up biscuit detritus and prepares the post-brunch dining room for dinner service, but the bar is ample and includes a couple of tables and a standing counter. If a $2 mug of beer doesn't do the trick, the Worcestershire, horseradish, and sriracha-spiked Tasty Mary ($7) will help you string last night into tonight, and if you're still feeling woozy, try the steakhouse sandwich ($9). The bartender steered me away from ordering fries with it: "Maybe just get the sandwich and then see if you're still hungry." He was probably right—besides a pile of beef and peppers, there's basically a whole order of onion rings on there. But the fries are great, too, with a side of luxury beef fat, AKA "washimi wagyu tallow." Fans of Tasty n Etc. also know not to sleep on the hush puppies ($4). THOMAS ROSS

Happy hour: daily 2-5:30 pm, $2 beer, $7 wine & cocktails, $1-15 menu

Urban Farmer

525 SW Morrison

It's about the food, really—the drink selection for happy hour at this Nines hotel mainstay amounts to $5 draft beers, $6 house wine, and a $5 special cocktail (I was offered a "Kamikaze with some strawberry puree," which was as uninspired as the bartender's description). The food menu is a chance to try out the kitchen on the cheap, with bangers and mash (featuring a chicken cherry sausage), glazed meatballs, and beef tenderloin hash; prices are generally in the $5-8 range, though the portions won't be challenging anyone's waistline. However, the likes of the opah slider (raw fish with a bright mix of red pepper, olive, fennel, and kohlrabi slaw) and the regular beef slider (as first rate as you'd expect from a steakhouse) showed off the quality of the cooking. The environment is relaxed and comfy, though it has that hotel feel—a bit sterile with everyone in transition and people asking, "Where are you from?" all the time. MJ SKEGG

Happy Hour: daily 3-6 pm, 10 pm-close, reduced-price beer & wine, plus cocktail of the day, $4-10 menu


SOUTHEAST

clarklewis

1001 SE Water

Moody, atmospheric lighting, a clean, sparse design, and a solid kitchen make clarklewis a go-to for a romantic dinner or impressing out-of-town friends—as long as you have a reservation, right? That's why happy hour at clarklewis is a great choice for spur-of-the-moment plans (particularly when you're low on funds). The drink menu leans toward gin- and vodka-based cocktails ($5 martinis!) and wine, while the very reasonably priced food lineup includes a terrific $6 oak-grilled burger (topped with baby greens, pickled red onions, and mustard aüoli), and an INSANELY GOOD mac 'n' cheese with fennel sausage, roasted garlic, and parmesan ($5). Any place that's this classy and can fill you up for under $20, should find a home near the top of your happy hour list. WSH

Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 4:30-6:30 pm, drink menu $4-12, food menu $1-6

Nostrana

1401 SE Morrison

For a place tucked away in Southeast, Nostrana is the epitome of classy. High ceilings cap a wide-open dining space that specializes in Italian fare—and the happy hour capitalizes on the best of their menu. While their list of drink specials could use some expansion (cocktails are limited to a Campari and soda, or a gin and tonic), pasta, antipasti, and pizza are the true starlets of this show. A $7 pizza margherita—one of three pizza choices—is nicely fired, gorgeous, and easily sharable with your attractive dinner date. Also highly recommended is the insalata Nostrana—an expertly dressed salad featuring radicchio, parmigiano, rosemary-sage croutons, and Caesar-style dressing. (Don't share this, it's too delicious.) Nostrana's happy hour is the perfect late-night stop for showing off without drifting into the canyons of downtown. WSH

Happy Hour: daily 9 pm-close, $5 drink specials, $3-9 menu

Trifecta

726 SE 6th

That after-work buzz comes efficient and fancy at this Central Eastside bakery and tavern, bedecked in red vinyl booths and old oyster cans. Go classic with a list of $6 vintage cocktails—the aromatic Old Fashioned will kick a post-work empty stomach's unsuspecting ass—or play it safe with similarly priced drafts and house wines. In either case, before doubling down, you'll want something swooped from the enormous igloo of a wood stove that serves as Trifecta's centerpiece (the $10 wood-fired flatbread features different toppings every day, but maintains the requisite blend of crisp edge and chewy center). Or slurp down a bunch of oysters ($3 each, $16 for six) if you want to be gross about it. DIRK VANDERHART

Happy Hour: Sun-Thurs 4-6 pm, Fri-Sat 4-5 pm, $6 cocktails, $3-16 menu


NORTH/NORTHEAST

Aviary

1733 NE Alberta

Brussels sprout nachos. I repeat: Brussels sprout freaking 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 at this wildly inventive restaurant that doesn't get the attention it deserves. 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 $6. Pair those "nachos"—deep-fried leaves topped with Mexican cheese and sauces with the deeply smoky $5 slaw dog, a glass of very deep red wine and at least two of the $2 oysters, topped with tomato-flavored crushed ice that sends those bivalves down just right. ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-7 pm, $3 drafts, $2 Old German tallboys, $5 wells & house wine, $6 specialty cocktail, $2-6 menu

Lincoln

3808 N Williams

In a nod to being located on North Williams, or what I call the "bike-o-bahn" (seriously, I ride it daily and people are fucking fast!), Chef Jenn Louis holds a Commuter Corridor Happy Hour. It's one of the few that goes until 7 pm; meaning those of us who can't just leave because it's 5 pm somewhere get a shot at happy hour happiness. A recent bartender's choice cocktail was a perfectly balanced but strong negroni ($6), which left me buzzed and blissful. If you've never had pig ear before, get adventurous on the cheap ($5) in the hands of one of the city's top chefs—its super fattiness is really great with the tart butter pickles served on the side. Don't miss the $10 togarashi fried chicken, a generous portion of bird in a white barbecue sauce (a new trend I'm stoked to see in Portland). Lincoln isn't the cheapest place to happy hour, but the quality is supreme. Plus, you can burn off some of those calories back in the bike lane. AD

Happy Hour: Tues-Fri 5-7 pm, $4 drafts, $6 wells & bartender's choice cocktails, $5 wine, $3-10 menu


NORTHWEST

Bar Mingo

811 NW 21st

Like a whole lot of places on NW 21st, Bar Mingo is totally fine and totally forgettable. Conceived as an adjunct to Caffe Mingo, the bar stands on its own as a decent-enough happy hour spot, particularly if parents are in town. A slew of $7 offerings include meat and cheese plates, calamari, and polenta. The lamb meatballs—in tomato sauce, with mint and oregano—are on the more robust side of the food options, while a salad with soggy greens, soft pears, and walnut vinaigrette was sad. Servers are also happy to supply and resupply fresh bread and, weirdly, bowls of what appeared to be Lay's potato chips, which were welcome but a little out of place for a classy joint whose happy hour menu also includes manila clams and spicy chùvre. Everybody likes Lay's, I guess. EH

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


More Portland food and drink events here.

More Portland food and drink stories here.