Plenty of corner bars bring in a KJ a night or two per week, but some places in Portland take the art of karaoke to a whole other level. Here are some of our favorite spots to sing.
Turning 75 in summer 2022, the Alibi is one of our favorite boomers, born in the postwar frenzy for all things South Pacific. A tiki touchstone that's been a standard of the karaoke scene for as long as a karaoke scene has existed, this North Portland spot is the perfect place to forget you're not really in a tropical paradise. Inside, you are, and can belt out some Don Ho to prove it. 4024 N Interstate Ave —MS
Once dubbed “America’s greatest karaoke night” by the New York Times, Baby Ketten boasts a massive song catalog with everything from pop standards to obscurities—and many of the hard-to-find tracks are recorded by owner John Brophy himself. In an hour of watching Portlanders take the public stage, you might not recognize a single song—we witnessed a folk song about a hippo, lashings of death metal, and a new-wave deep cut that got everyone on the dance floor. Feeling shy? Book a themed private room—one even has a photo booth—or keep your hands busy with vegan mozzarella sticks. 2433 SE Powell Blvd —KCH
Once a mini-empire with so many locations they had to be numbered (RIP to Chopsticks 3: How Can Be), the surviving Chopsticks remains the ultimate neighborhood karaoke bar with a little something extra. Expect a celebratory, not show-offy, scene. 3390 NE Sandy Blvd —MS
Most nights, you're at Dante's to stand in the crowd and see professional performers onstage. But on Mondays, you can get onstage yourself to briefly front the hardest-working band in the city, Karaoke From Hell. The songlist runs to the classics (Petty, Prince, Presley), but there are some modern choices ("Toxic," "Wrecking Ball") and local love (Hazel, Dead Moon). 350 W Burnside St —MS
While the tagline for the weekly Sunday Stripparaoke at Devils Point—"Sexy dancers strip while you try and sing karaoke"—suggests some sort of challenge to the singer, this is one of the gentlest public karaoke experiences in town. Flub the chorus? Forget the second verse? The audience will be content to be charmed by the dancer you're sharing the stage with and certainly not hold against you. 5305 SE Foster Rd —MS
If your favorite part about karaoke is the unexpected experience—a random stranger destroying you with his rendition of "Hallelujah," a raucous birthday party at the next table full of your future best friends—then Voicebox might not be for you, But if you want to just hang with your besties, sing while it's still light out, host a party that doesn't leave your own house full of dishes and empties, take the kids to belt out "Let It Go," or just not have to wait hours for your song to come up in the queue, Voicebox's private karaoke rooms are just the ticket. 734 SE Sixth Ave & 2112 NW Hoyt St —MS