Unless you want to spend Valentine's Day where the girls have to like you (the strip club), then you're probably gonna have to spring for dinner, preferably at one of the spots on our list of Portland's most romantic restaurants, which, because things are a little weird here, includes everything from fine dinning spots to... um, ping pong (?).
This massive winery and taproom from the ChefStable group has 44 taps pouring wine, beer, and cider, which is an icebreaker alone right there. Sit same-side in a booth (even though servers hate that) and watch the hooch flow.
This open-air steakhouse in the Nines Hotel is all about the presentation of beautiful plates with sustainable, organic ingredients. And you never know, you could just be one Mason-jar cocktail away from booking a room upstairs in one of the classy suites.
If you can’t take a lady-friend on a date that involves bacon, pork shoulder, or huge and messy double burgers, like the kind at this atmosphere-heavy, pig-loving sandwich shop, then why date her at all?
This beer hall dedicated to ping pong might not have been your first pick for a sexy date, but think about it, bouncing balls, paddles, scoring... plus, after a few drinks she might mistake you for an athlete.
Take your lady (that makes you the tramp) for some homemade pasta, and just like in the Disney movie about a pure-breed falling in love with a mutt, the spaghetti and meatballs for two is served in one bowl.
Why wait for dinner when you can have a Valentine's Day-appropriate brunch at this homestyle spot, where the French toast will hopefully lead to some French something else (!).
In the back of the crazy-popular Thai comfort food spot PaaDee, LangBaan holds five weekly seatings (one on Thursday and two on Friday and Saturday) for an authentic Thai tasting menu. If your goal is to impress a date, you may want to see if you can scalp a reservation, since everything's probably booked out for eternity.
This quaint space is a favorite for fine dining in PDX, thanks to delicate plates and creative tasting menus from the mind of James Beard award-winning chef, Gabriel Rucker. The food alone will bring the romance.
This rustic Italian spot on the newly remodeled Division St definitely brings the ambiance with low candlelight, handmade pastas in rich sauces, flavorful vegetable dishes, and a diverse wine list. A classic date spot if there ever was one.
Because you can’t drink beer at REI, take your “loves hiking and kayaking”-kinda date for a pint or few at this rugged, outdoorsy brewery. Pro tip: the S’more Stout comes with a toasted marshmallow that'll make you wish you were camping.
Sign up here for our daily PDX email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Portland has to offer.
1. Coopers Hall404 SE 6th Ave, Portland
2. Urban Farmer525 SW Morrison St, Portland
3. Lardo1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
4. Pips & Bounce833 SE Belmont St, Portland
5. Grassa1205 SW Washington St, Portland
6. Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar7937 SE Stark St, Portland
7. LangBaan6 SE 28th Ave, Portland
8. Le Pigeon738 E Burnside St, Portland
9. Ava Gene's3377 SE Division St, Portland
10. Base Camp Brewing Company930 SE Oak St, Portland
The wine-heavy Coopers Hall has become one of the best places for large parties to party, mostly thanks to a space designed by the same cats who took that little hotel on Stark and turned it into the powerhouse combination of the Ace Hotel, Kenny & Zukes, and Stumptown.
An actual sustainably sound restaurant (not just another trend-follower...), Urban Farmer boasts "barrel to bar" drinks, beef-cut options that will make you pound your chest, and sides like Asparagus and Lefse (asparagus and what?), which consists of crème fraîche, confit lemon, and dill. It's located on the 8th floor atrium of the Nines Hotel and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. There's also a popular weekend brunch complete with a Bloody Mary bar.
With a motto like "Bringing Fat Back," Lardo promises some of Portland's most indulgently carnivorous sandwiches. The term "lardo" actually refers to a specific cut of fatback pork salami that's typically cured with rosemary and other herbs. In the spirit of artisanal salami-curing, this narrow red sandwich joint is all about repurposing traditional meat cuts and charcuterie in more contemporary iterations, as evidenced by the double burger topped with pork pastrami or the spicy meatball banh mi. Even the fries here are loaded with crispy fat and Parmesan. And because no plate of fatback is complete without a beer, Lardo has a rotating selection of craft beers on tap.
This beer hall is the place to be if you're into ping pong because there are tons of ping pong tables, and everyone knows that playing ping pong is way cooler than playing pool.
From the same team that brought you Lardo, Grassa's an Italian resto that dishes out house-made pastas like radiatori, chitarra, and strozzapreti with delicious Boot-inspired sauces and toppings.
The husband-&-wife chef team at this cute little spot (decorated with tons of wooden tables) turn out fresh, Southern-inspired comfort food.
LangBaan is the Thai word for "back of the house". This spot prides itself on providing the complete experience of Thai-style dining from the century-old inspiration. The food is traditionally prepared from the fresh local and seasonal ingredients.
Yes, it's named after a pigeon, but their amazing upscale fare draws no comparison a common bird. They specialize in French food and they always have market-fresh fish and seafood, as well.
You'd expect a restaurant by Stumptown Coffee Roasters founder to serve good coffee, but Ava Gene's also excels at vegetable-focused, Roman-inspired New American fare. The chef, Joshua McFadden, honed his green thumb during years spent working at Maine's Season Farm, and puts his experience to use in elemental dishes that are packed with flavor, from carrot and beef slaw to roasted cauliflower with chili and anchovies. That's not to say meat doesn't sing here: duck leg is sweetened with pomegranate, and buttery porterhouse steak is served with mussels. The menu is "aggressively seasonal," so while you can't count of it being the same during every visit, you can be sure it will be fresh, with a different farm or producer highlighted on that day's list. Family-style meals, which the chef will craft based on the harvest, are worth splurging for.
For Base Camp Brewing Company, it's not just about the beer. Okay, so maybe it's mostly about the beer, but that's a good thing! They're constantly devising new recipes and strategies for their brewhouse, and the extensive selection of beers they've concocted should speak for itself.