A rowdy all-purpose dive with something for everyone
Beulahland feels like a dive in all the right places -- the cheap tallboys, the dim lighting and the proud lack of pretense -- but closer inspection reveals staff and ownership are far too proud of the place to let it digress into shithole status. Many of Beulah’s biggest fans are locals who started showing up to get blitzed and watch footie and Ru Paul’s Drag Race on the projection screen, and now they’re all regulars who could not care less what night of the week it is, or that their rent is likely to rise to prohibitive heights in the next year or so. It’s a fine place to spend Christmas alone made all the better by the cooler full of pie near the counter, which is a nice touch no one who’s drinking alone on the holidays should overlook.
The classic eastside diner with cheap all-day breakfast and pinball galore
Conventional wisdom around Portland’s rapidly gentrifying inner eastside agrees that the party’s not yet over until My Father’s Place kicks the bucket. If a Scorcese film followed a hard-boiled cop around the seedy underground of Portland that teems within its many underpasses and hideaways along the nearby Willamette River, this is where the protagonist would come to wash down the grit and grime with a plate of pancakes and a generous pour or whiskey. This is a great place for anyone to enjoy those things at any time, and the comfort of knowing you’re not entirely alone in a place like this is a nice feeling to embrace on Christmas.
A lively North Portland hub for craft cocktails, tasty burgers, and a popular firepit
Though Mississippi Studios, the beloved indie venue attached to Bar Bar, doesn’t have anything on the books Christmas night, the burgers and booze will still be flowing freely. Winter is mild enough in Portland to stop almost no one from crowding around the fire with a PBR in one hand and some delicious fried food in the other, and there’s a good chance members of your favorite band will be around just because it’s a fine place to hang out under most any circumstances.