Food & Drink

Here's Where We'll Be Drinking Outside in Portland This Summer

Published On 06/08/2016 Published On 06/08/2016
Aalto Lounge
Aalto Lounge | Alex Frane/Thrillist
Departure PDX

Departure

Downtown

Departure has two balcony areas, one for seated dining and one for bar service with lounge chairs and cocktail tables. They both have the best view of the city in the city. Those, and the famous Gregory Gourdet running the kitchen, makes Departure a destination spot for tourists, celebrities, and locals alike. You won’t even care that you just paid $7 for a well G&T when you’re looking out over all of Portland.

Noble Rot (edited)

Noble Rot

East Burnside

Like Departure, Noble Rot offers a beautiful view of the city from its balcony seating, this time from the east side. It’s also an excellent wine bar, offering many flights and wines by the glass -- a perfect spot for a romantic date, especially when the sun is setting over the West Hills.

Aalto Lounge

Sunnyside

A small but lovely patio that mimics the interior’s Swedish design, Aalto Lounge’s back area is usually packed. This is especially the case during happy hour; from 5-7pm every day you can get $2 cocktails or a $10 bottle of wine, leading to crowds of mid-20 hooligans that tend to spill out of the bar after 7pm.

Rontoms

East Burnside

The interior of Rontoms is spacious and filled with beautiful mid-century furniture, but the outside is even bigger, with two different patio areas -- one is covered, has a bar, and serves as a music venue during the summer, and the other is a sprawling wooden deck filled with bamboo. The patio is generally filled, especially on Sunday evenings when the shows are free.

Teote | Alex Frane/Thrillist

Teote

Ladd’s Addition

This Mexican spot has a hidden outdoor dining area on the top floor -- and now you know. It’s almost entirely closed in, with a vaulted cover that’s open on the sides, but it’s still a patio, made by the fire pit in the middle and a bar. You have to order food at the downstairs bar, but you can grab shots of tequila or mezcal margaritas at the one upstairs.

The Pied Cow

Sunnyside

A Portland classic, the Pied Cow is a coffee shop and hookah bar that also serves ridiculously inexpensive carafes of wine. Its patio has a covered section open through the winter, the rest of the lawn is unveiled during the summer months. With tall hedges enclosing it, trees above, and mismatched lawn furniture, you’ll feel like you’re dining on your own private garden.

Radio Room

Radio Room

Alberta

Open from 9am to 2:30pm every day of the year, including holidays, The Radio Room certainly has the most accessible patio in town. It’s also one of the few with two-tiers: its lower patio has a long fire pit you can huddle around in the evening, and the top level provides ample opportunity to observe the rabble during Last Thursday.

MoMo

Downtown

It’s far from the prettiest or coziest patio in Portland, but MoMo’s back patio is one of few Downtown. It’s usually lined with hipsters and PSU students smoking under the heat lamps during the winter months, or sprawled out on the concrete levels during the summer.

Night Light Lounge | Arian Stevens Photography/Courtesy of Night Light Lounge

Night Light Lounge

Clinton/Division

This little SE cocktail lounge has a cute outdoor patio, completely enclosed with a wooden fence and strewn with lights. In wintertime, the heat lamps are on, and in summer, the umbrellas are put out to shield your delicate Portland skin from the hateful sun. Year-round, the patio is filled with smokers, which can be a little rough for non-smokers at times, given the size of the space.

Prost!

Mississippi

Portland’s best bar for German biers is also one of the best bars for outdoor drinking, especially if you’re looking to enjoy a liter of lager without the confines of a ceiling. This dog-friendly patio has an outdoor bar so you can avoid going back inside and forcing your eyes to adjust, as well as a number of visiting food carts if you don’t feel like schnitzel.

Gold Dust Meridian

Hawthorne

You can grab a table out front if you want to sit on Hawthorne and check out the passersby at this high-end neighborhood joint. But we suggest heading out back to the tree-lined, partially covered back patio. Just get there in time a plate of happy-hour wings (2-8pm every friggin' day).

Mad Hanna

Beaumont

Mad Hanna is one of the best little dive bars in the city, a not-so-secret neighborhood locale adored by its regulars. It’s no wonder why, with its super-friendly staff, cheap drinks, jello shots with Pop Rocks, a sprawling back patio with horseshoes and ping-pong, and a fireplace for the winter.

Produce Row Cafe

Produce Row Cafe

Eastside Industrial

It’s open again! After unexpectedly shuttering for a year, this venerable Portland establishment has re-opened (mostly) unchanged. The excellent back patio is still there, partially covered for seating during the winter, but mostly open to the sun for summer drinking. Grab a boilermaker and celebrate the return of one of Portland’s best beer bars.

Safari Showclub

Creston-Kenilworth

It wouldn’t be a Portland roundup without a strip club, and Safari has our favorite patio in any of them. In summer, the pool is opened for the strippers to lounge in between their sets on the outdoor pole.

RingSide Grill

RingSide Grill

Hazelwood

Look, 140th is still Portland, whatever locals might tell you, and as housing becomes increasingly expensive, it’s probably the only area that you’ll be able to buy a house in. This means that RingSide Grill may be your new destination, where you can look over the rolling hills of the Glendoveer Golf Course and watch wealthy Portlanders chip golf balls out of the sand traps, narrowly avoiding the obese squirrels that populate the course.

Vendetta

Boise

The inside of Vendetta, a friendly and not-too-hip neighborhood bar, is basically a very large garage, entirely concrete with wide warehouse doors. The backyard is a lovely patio, with gravel pathways and plenty of plants and picnic tables.

10 Barrel Brewing PDX

10 Barrel Brewing

Northwest

A lot of breweries have large patios, but only 10 Barrel, nestled in NW Portland, has a rooftop patio with a view of the neighborhood. It also has a line of 20 taps upstairs so, thankfully, you won’t have to go back down. Just ignore the fact that it’s now owned by Budweiser (er, America), and enjoy the still-excellent beers.

Maui's | Alex Frane/Thrillist

Maui's

Boise

It’s more of a lawn than a patio at this casual NoPo sports bar, but it’s large, with umbrellas and some covering, and a great view into the windows of the overpriced apartment complex next door. Just make sure you put your cigarette out fully before you leave, dammit.

The Rambler

Mississippi

Bungalo Bar is gone, and now it's The Rambler. The new owners took the swings out, to the disappointment of some and confusion of others, but they've kept the fire pits, and added a bocce ball court as well as a great new cocktail menu. For summer 2016, it's gearing up with a renovated front patio.

EastBurn

EastBurn

Buckman

EastBurn still has its swings: swinging chairs inside and swinging benches at its courtyard tables. There’s also full dinner service outside, making it close to being a restaurant, but it still sneaks onto our list.

Paymaster

Northwest

Ignore the confusing name: Paymaster is a great bar, not an ATM service or online banking company. It has a huge back patio, complete with covering, fans, heaters, and misters, as well as a pool table and other games.

Alberta Street Pub

Alberta Street Pub

Alberta Arts

It’s not really a pub, it’s more of a bar. And while the inside space is small enough to be claustrophobic on busy evenings, the back patio is expansive, taking most of the bar’s business, even in winter when it’s covered. It often hosts local bands and musicians, too.

Roadside Attraction

Buckman

The front yard of Roadside Attraction feels like a Secret Garden, as most the tables are covered by low-hanging vegetation, and it’s almost entirely blocked off from the street. It’s an iconic Portland location: rustic, quirky, dark, and frustratingly cash only.

Interurban

Interurban

Mississippi

Interurban straddles the line between bar and restaurant, with a great cocktail program and full dinner menu. Outside is covered during the winter, but in spring, the roof is removed, exposing the entire back patio for sunny happy-hour drinking.

North 45

Alphabet District

One of the best patios in NW Portland, the small interior of this whiskey bar belies the larger backyard. This cozy back patio has a TV for Timbers games and its own bar, so you won’t miss a moment.

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1. Departure Restaurant & Lounge 525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204 (Downtown)

Located in the Nines Hotel, The Departure serves authentic pan-Asian cuisine -- such as sushi, dim sum, and kushiyaki, along with vegan and gluten-free items-- and creative cocktails in a scenic, double balconied setting with a great outdoor seating area and sweeping views of downtown PDX. Try the Tasho Macho, the venue's longest-surviving drink, which is an Asian fusion take on the Moscow mule.

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2. Noble Rot 1111 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Lloyd District)

Offering scenic views of Portland, Noble Rot's a wine bar with a serious vino menu (they've got 300+ bottles in stock from small wineries in the Pacific Northwest and across Europe). Noble Rot's always topping out best of Portland lists, and for good reason; It's a solid date spot with great happy hour specials, and awesome dinner menu, and a great rooftop bar.

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3. Aalto Lounge 3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

This sleek wine and cocktail bar, named after Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, is decked out in mid-century Scandinavian furnishings. It also has one of the best happy hours in Portland, with a menu that has remained constant for years. It centers around three cocktails: a cucumber-lavender gin highball, a spicy vodka-pineapple sour and a bourbon option with pomegranate and lemon. Go during happy hour for discounted libations.

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4. Rontoms 600 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Buckman)

A covered patio and fire pit bring a cabin-like ambiance to this event venue and bar in East Portland. The rustic and cavernous space is decked out with mid-century modern touches, but peep the outside patio area: you have two (count 'em!) options for wine-ing and lounging. One is covered, has a bar, and serves as a music venue during the summer, and the other is a sprawling wooden deck filled with bamboo.

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5. Teote 1615 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Hawthorne Dist)

A fun and festive late-night spot and casual eatery, the Eastside's Teote is a super-authentic Latin American spot that serves up tasty street fare and grilled meat entrees alongside mezcal cocktails and cervezas aplenty. Known for their crave-worthy arepas, tossed with jalapenos, cheddar, and haberno lime crema, they're so good, you won't even mind that they're gluten free. Teote's semi-hidden upstairs bar area on the top floor, with its own bar area and fire pit, is a great summertime lounging locale.

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6. The Pied Cow 3244 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

A Portland classic, the Pied Cow is a coffee shop and hookah bar set in a beautiful old Victorian house that also happens to serve ridiculously inexpensive carafes of wine. Its patio has a covered section open through the winter, the rest of the lawn is unveiled during the summer months. With tall hedges enclosing it, trees above, and mismatched lawn furniture, you’ll feel like you’re dining in your own private garden.

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7. Radio Room 1101 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 (Ne Portland)

Part diner, part bar, part rooftop lounge, the triple-threat Radio Room pours stiff drinks from sunup to sundown, plus it serves up an endless breakfast to go along with the endless cast of characters who call it home.

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8. Momo's 725 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

MoMo's classic dive bar atmosphere is dark, cramped, and boozy, but it's got one of Downtown's few backyard patios. It’s far from the prettiest or coziest patio, but in the crush of Downtown it's a breath of fresh air, even if it’s usually lined with hipsters and PSU students. Daily happy hours, cheap beers, and pinball machines round out the dive bar experience, along with a small menu of comfort food classics like their signature grilled cheese.

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9. Night Light Lounge 2100 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202 (Clintondivision)

Carefully crafted cocktails and high quality ingredients prepared with care and attention -- at a "surprisingly low price" -- are offered at this little SE lounge. Night Light Lounge also has a cute outdoor patio, completely enclosed with a wooden fence and strewn with lights. In wintertime, the heat lamps are on, and in summer, the umbrellas are put out to shield your delicate Portland skin from the hateful sun.

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10. Prost 4237 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217 (Mississippi Ave)

This German biergarten and restaurant on Mississippi offers an authentic Teutonic experience, with its braunschweiger (pâté), Bavarian pretzel, and wurst sampler. Portland’s best bar for German biers is also one of the best bars for outdoor drinking, especially if you’re looking to enjoy a liter of lager without the confines of a ceiling. This dog-friendly patio has an outdoor bar, perfect for any occasion.

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11. Gold Dust Meridian 3267 SE Hawthorne, Portland, OR 97201 (Hawthorne Dist)

This mid-century slick, candle-lit, TV-free spot just below Boutique Row offers warm-ups like a Ginger Cayenne Hot Toddy, plus massive bowls you probably shouldn't drink by yourself. Upped food items include appetizers (arancini, crab cakes), "specialties" like the popular fried oyster po' boy, and sandwiches. Guest can either grab a table out front (if you want to sit on Hawthorne and check out the passersby) or opt for the tree-lined, partially covered back patio.

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12. Mad Hanna 6129 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213 (Beaumont Wilshire)

This neighborhood mainstay is truly a Portland dive, having remained unaffected by gentrification and trends. And with clientele made mostly of locals, pool, board games, movie nights and creative -- but not refined or "upped" cocktails -- Mad Hanna is a PDX must visit. Also, here you'll find one of the city's best outdoor porches...and great jello shots with Pop Rocks!

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13. Produce Row Cafe 204 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214 (Buckman)

Since 1943, Produce Row -- then just a breakfast cafe -- was slinging incredible eats to the people of Portland. And although the past 50 years have seen changes of ownership and intention (it was once a pub), today the Eastside Industrial venue has found harmonious success as a gastropub, known for both its creative American menu and beer/spirits combos. Stop by to enjoy a bite in Produce Row's sprawling back patio, open all year round.

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14. Safari Showclub 3000 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

This adult entertainment club in Creston-Kenilworth not only has great shows and lovely performers. Safari Showclub also boasts decent bar food, pool tables, arcade games, and one of the best patios in the city. Wicker chairs -- oddly reminiscent of you grandmother's house -- set a much different scene than inside. In summer, the pool is opened for the strippers to lounge in between their sets on the outdoor pole.

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15. RingSide Grill 14021 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97230

RingSide Grill is more than a country club. Although it is located in the Glendoveer golf course, it offers off-beat options likme Tex-Mex and a spicy, spectacular turkey burger with avocado, chipotle mayo, pepper Jack cheese, pickles, butter lettuce, and tomato. Visit the patio, where you can look over the rolling hills of the course, watch wealthy Portlanders chip golf balls out of the sand traps, or enjoy a drink by one of the several fire pit tables.

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16. Vendetta 4306 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97217 (Williamsvancouver)

The inside of Vendetta, a friendly and not-too-hip neighborhood bar, is basically a very large garage, entirely concrete with wide warehouse doors. The comfort-food inspired menu includes Portland French bread sandwiches -- such as the popular pulled pork or cheesecake -- and daily happy hour specials. Vendetta also boasts a lovely, 3000sqft patio with gravel pathways and plenty of plants and picnic tables

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17. 10 Barrel Brewing 1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209 (Pearl District)

A lot of breweries have large patios, but only 10 Barrel, nestled in NW Portland, has a rooftop patio with a view of the neighborhood. It also has a line of 20 taps upstairs so, thankfully, you won’t have to go back down. Just ignore the fact that it’s now owned by Budweiser (er, America), and enjoy the still-excellent beers.

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18. Maui's Bar 3508 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227

This casual North Portland spot in Boise has all your dive bar standards: cheap drinks, pool tables, arcade games, and a Hawaiian-inspired mural on a cinder block wall. Among a slew of beers, no frills food options (like potato salad and giant soft pretzels), and happy hour discounts, Maui's also has a large patio (more like a lawn) with umbrellas and some covering.

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19. The Rambler 4205 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Bungalo Bar is gone, and now it’s The Rambler. It’s still basically the same thing, and the new owners kept the most important aspect of the back patio: the swings! That’s right, The Rambler is one of the few bars in the city that has hanging chairs you can (gently) swing in. That alone would make it a remarkable bar, but it’s a nice patio in general, away from Mississippi, covered, and with fire pits.

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20. EastBurn 1800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Kerns)

With casual dining and a skiball-intensive beer ball downstairs -- plus swinging hammock chairs everywhere and swinging benches at its courtyard tables -- EastBurn is a neighborhood mainstay. There’s also full dinner service outside, making this bar close to being a restaurant.

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21. Paymaster 1020 NW 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (Nob Hillalphabet Dist)

When you first get to Paymaster around happy hour and see that the line of people at the bar easily dwarfs the number of available tables and bar stools it’s easy to become apprehensive. But the line moves quickly and you’ll notice most patrons slip around a dark corner. After getting your beer go around the dark corner and emerge in one of the city’s best back patio, complete with covering, fans, heaters, and misters, as well as a pool table and other games.

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22. Alberta Street Pub 1036 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

It’s not really a pub, it’s more of a bar. And while the inside space is small enough to be claustrophobic on busy evenings, the back patio is expansive, taking most of the bar’s business, even in winter when it’s covered. It often hosts local bands and musicians, too.

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23. Roadside Attraction 1000 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

The front yard of Roadside Attraction feels like a Secret Garden, as most the tables are covered by low-hanging vegetation, and it’s almost entirely blocked off from the street. It’s an iconic Portland location: rustic, quirky, dark, and frustratingly cash only. But what more do you expect from a beer bar attached to a thrift shop?

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24. Interurban 4057 N Mississippi, Portland, OR 97227 (Mississippi Ave)

A partnership between the dudes behind Toro Bravo and Prost, Mississippi's Interurban straddles the line between bar and restaurant, with a great cocktail program and full dinner menu. Outside is covered during the winter, but in spring, the roof is removed, exposing the entire back patio for sunny happy-hour drinking. The place evokes a cozy feel with rich wood and leather chairs. If you come with a group, consider ordering the bottled cocktails that are perfect for sharing.

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25. North 45 Pub 517 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (Nob Hillalphabet Dist)

Everything about North 45 takes its cues from international travel, up to and including its name (a reference to the resto's location on the 45th parallel). Perhaps most famously, the Conquistador makes Spanish coffee a bit more... well, Spanish, thanks to some Gran Gala, Kahlúa, 151, coffee, a flamed cinnamon-nutmeg sugared rim, and whipped cream. It's also got one of the best patios in NW Portland, with a small interior that belies the larger backyard, and a cozy back patio with a TV for Timbers games, and its own bar, so you won’t miss a moment.

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