Mad Hanna (address and info) It’s really saying something that Mad Hanna is coming out ahead of a strip club shaped like a gigantic jug of rum, but that’s just a testament to the charm of Mad Hanna, which fixed up the former Rovon Inn, but just enough that it’s nice without losing its diviness. The cocktails are great, the pudding shots are better, and the pack porch -- with ping pong, horseshoes, and other greatness -- is one of the city’s best. It’s also a bar that balances friendliness and surliness perfectly. By visit number two, you’re basically family.
O’Malley’s Saloon and Grill (address and info
) Just your average dark, cavernous Irish bar run by metalheads serving great slabs of Sicilian pizza and cheap beer to spill on the pool table. Also, O’Malley’s has its own beer fest
. It’s all macro brews. And it’s magnificent.
Thatchers (address and info
) Montavilla is ever-changing. Except Thatchers, which was always a gigantic, pitcher-slopping, food-frying, no-light-entering spot that looks like it was transported from a land rife with truck nuts. It’s a perfect contrast. And they serve breakfast daily!
Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive (address and info
) Rare is the bar that’s overtly inserted the word “dive” in it’s name and earned the right to do so, but Billy Ray’s is no Guy Fieri-approved start-up hospitality venture masquerading as a hole in the wall. This is the real deal, folks. It’s cash-only, tallboys are under $3, the stereo only plays music made by dudes with mustaches and Ford Econolines, and the food they offer to skirt OLCC requirements that coincide with liquor sales consists of pretzels and Swanson’s Hungry-Man dinners. A few spots come close, but Billy Ray’s is easily the gold standard for dive bars in Portland.