Best Bars 2018: Oh Happy Day

A Perfect, Day-Long Pub Crawl in North Portland

Prepare for burgers, Corpse Reviver Jell-O shots, and vegan tiki.

By Samantha Bakall August 14, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

No Bones Beach Club offers taro sandwiches, jackfruit flautas, and drinks served in shark glasses.

Years ago, I led a merry band on a mission to ride the happy hour wave as long as we could, not settling for some mere two- or three-hour window. We survived, wallets and bellies pleasantly full. This marathon-not-sprint approach is a great way to explore a neighborhood while ticking restaurants off of your growing “to-visit” list. This year, we headed to North Portland in search of burgers, Corpse Reviver Jell-O shots, and vegan tiki. Follow our itinerary, or patch together your own crawl. Tips: pick a weekday (weekend happy hours are less common), and maybe send an advance scout ahead to get an order in before your next destination’s happy hour ends.

1:30 p.m. Life of Pie

Our annual commencement—one of the best and longest-duration happy hours in the city. For seven consecutive hours, Life of Pie offers $4 pints and glasses of wine, plus very good $5 wood-fired margherita pizza. Happy hour: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, 3632 N Williams Ave

3 p.m. Stormbreaker Brewing

Cruise over to Mississippi Avenue for a pint and a soft pretzel with beer cheese ($5) or the towering, chili con queso–drenched nachos ($8). Happy hour: 3–6 p.m. Mon–Fri, 832 N Beech St

4 p.m. Bar Bar

Patio-hop to this mate of music venue Mississippi Studios. Burgers are always $7, but save a buck on drafts, house wine, and cocktails. Happy hour: 4–6 p.m. daily, 3939 N Mississippi Ave

4:45 p.m. Interurban

One block north of Bar Bar, craft cocktail temple Interurban molds the requisite craft Jell-O shot (recently a dangerously delicious Corpse Reviver, $2). Slurp ’em down post-haste or stay for the cocktails, inexpensive whiskey, pints, and wine for a cool $26. Happy hour: 4–6 p.m. Mon–Fri, 4057 N Mississippi Ave

5 p.m. No Bones Beach Club

Against all odds, the words “vegan” and “tiki” are a match made in heaven. Try the jackfruit flautas and beer-battered avocado tacos at this double-decker, philanthropic bar, or spring for the creamy $7 piña colada, complete with a dark rum float and decorative orchid. Happy hour: 4–6 p.m. Tue–Fri, 3928 N Mississippi Ave

5:30 p.m. Quaintrelle

Splash some water on your face for the seasonal, veg-heavy restaurant next door, where you can round out the night on a low note ($2 cans and $5 shots) or a high note ($2 oysters, $8 beef carpaccio, and $13 mussels and merguez stew). Happy hour: 5–6:30 p.m. Wed–Sat and all day Sun at the bar, 3936 N Mississippi Ave

6:45 p.m. The Alibi

Shuffle over to N Interstate Avenue for a menu of $6 snacks and $1 off drafts and wells at PDX’s oldest tiki bar. Catch some sun on the deserted patio and order a plate of salty-sticky-sweet shoyu chicken wings, and the Miami Vice: a swirly piña colada–strawberry daiquiri slushy. Keep the party rolling until 9 p.m., when the legendary karaoke venue flips on the amplifier. Happy hour: 2–7 p.m. Mon–Sat and all day Sun, 4024 N Interstate Ave

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