Food & Drink

The 10 Most Romantic Bars and Restaurants in Portland

Published On 01/28/2015 Published On 01/28/2015
Le Pigeon

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 (?).

Dina Avila

Coopers Hall

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.

Urban Farmer Portland

Urban Farmer

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.

Dina Avila


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?

Siteworks | Design

Pips & Bounce

Lower Morrison
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.

David Reamer


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.

John Valls

The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar

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 (!).

Lang Baan kitchen & family style dining


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.

David Reamer

Le Pigeon

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.

Ava Gene's

Ava Gene’s

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.

Base Camp Brewing Company

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.   

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1. Coopers Hall 404 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

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.

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2. Urban Farmer 525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204 (Downtown)

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.

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3. Lardo 1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

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.

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4. Pips & Bounce 833 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

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.

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5. Grassa 1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

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.

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6. Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar 7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215 (Montavilla)

The husband-&-wife chef team at this cute little spot (decorated with tons of wooden tables) turn out fresh, Southern-inspired comfort food.

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7. LangBaan 6 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

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.

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8. Le Pigeon 738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Buckman)

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.

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9. Ava Gene's 3377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202 (Se Portland)

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.

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10. Base Camp Brewing Company 930 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

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.



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