Food & Drink

Portland's 10 (Best?) Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/15/2014 Published On 01/15/2014
Bad Decision Bars
Casa Diablo
Thrillist
Doug Fir Lounge
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1. Casa Diablo 2839 NW St Helens Rd, Portland, OR 97210 (Nw Portland)

Casa Diablo isn't your typical restaurant from the outside, or, for that matter, the inside. It's modeled after the vampire bar in From Dusk Til Dawn and features a solid vegan menu with must-tries like soy stroganoff. Not what you were expecting? There's another surprise: this spot is actually a strip club that has a bank full of those ever-popular $2 bills for tipping and dancers performing the wildest leather-free strip show you’ll ever see. That's right: this is a vegan strip club. Bless you, Portland.

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2. Rialto Poolroom Bar & Cafe 529 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97204 (Downtown)

With their famously large pours, Rialto is a local favorite, serving up locally sourced meats and fish in their combo restaurant-bar-pool room.

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3. Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

If you're a whiskey fan, Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library in Portland is worth a trip. One of the best whiskey bars in the country, it has more than 1,500 whiskeys stacked along a huge brick wall, and in true library fashion, they're accessible by a sliding ladder. Roaming bartenders serve drinks from bar carts, and they know more about whiskey than you ever will, so trust them. You can buy a membership to the semi-gentlemen's club to reserve a table ahead of time, otherwise you'll have to wait a few hours for a seat on peak nights with the rest of the non-members. You can always buy a one-time "Hall Pass" to skip the line though.

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4. Jones 107 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209 (Old Townchina Town)

At Jones, you can either get your groove on or your grub on, but either way you're in for a treat. This 80's and 90's themed establishment pours on the nostalgia with vintage arcade games, classic memorabilia and period-appropriate jams played by local and national DJs. Speaking of pouring, there's also a menu of handcrafted cocktails for you to quaff in between songs.

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5. Dixie Tavern 34 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (Old Townchina Town)

With strong drinks and friendly bartenders, Dixie encourages its patrons to enjoy themselves to the fullest... which definitely isn't hampered by the Coyote Ugly-style dancers who frequent the bar tops...

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6. Dirty Nightclub 35 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210 (Old Townchina Town)

Dirty Nightclub, featuring the famous Spin Room, boasts a bar and DJ booth covered floor-to-ceiling with brightly colored lights for an awesome visual experience.

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7. Doug Fir Lounge 830 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Lower Burnside)

This triple-threat bar, lounge, and restaurant near Buckman stuns with an entirely wood interior (right down to its chandeliers) with a rustic and interior vibe ideal for date nights. The American fare offers modern takes on staples like mac & cheese and bar food like buffalo wings, along with some of the best burgers in the city. The Fir Burger's decked with local cheddar, house-made pickles, and bacon on a soft brioche bun.

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8. Blitz Pearl 110 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (Pearl District)

This sports pub (other outposts in NW and Ladd's) serves up tasty bar eats and screens just about every game/match imaginable, from the NFL to UFC.

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9. Life of Riley 300 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 (Pearl District)

With savory bar eats and plenty of drink specials, Life of Riley has that down-home divey feeling you're looking for in a cozy neighborhood sports joint.

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10. Space Room Lounge 4800 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215 (Hawthorne Dist)

With all-day breakfast options, plus a full bar, this divey restaurant-bar-combo with an inexplicable outer-space theme serves up delicious eats and libations in Hawthorne. If you're really looking to blast off, order their Purple Alien, a mutant concoction of lemons, grape vodka, grape juice and 7-Up.