Ah, summer! The 80-degree days, the perpetual sunshine, the abbreviated hemlines. These things make you want to be outside, probably on a patio, and probably drinking. Sounds delightful! But maybe you don’t know which patio to choose so we’re here to help. Find what you’re jonesing for—that word is so back for the summer—on the list below, and we’ll match you up to the outdoor space calling your name.
Without further ado: if you’re jonesing …
… To Do the Parisian Thing Where You Quaff Wine and Watch Trains Go By
Emanon in Northwest District ***CLOSED***
It’ll seem Parisian after a few glasses, at least. You’ll find a decent selection of Northwest reds at this neighborhood café, but their bloody mary isn’t to be missed if the rumbling streetcars put you in more of a vodka mood. Either way, lean back, wave to the commuters from your bolted sidewalk table and continue to live that quasi-European dream.
Emanon Cafe, 1000 NW 17th Avenue, 503.222.6435
… To Know a Parking Lot Can Be Romantic
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, Northwest District
This brewery isn’t new, but its patio deserves a mention. Come nighttime, its steely blue lights bring out the ones on the hills stretching west of the industrial neighborhood. Bring a date, have a beer just before their midnight closing time, and wander across the empty parking lot—no guarantees on the kiss, but it’s pretty hard to resist one when everything around you looks a lot like the stars.
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, 1945 NW Quimby, 503.517.4352
… To Replicate a House Party, Now That You're an Adult
The Liberty Glass, Boise
The patio of this hot-pink two-story building is a house party complete with smokers crowding the door back into the bar. But now your crush can bring you a ginger-infused something delicious instead of a tallboy, and the vintage-mod interior is way sexier than the Goodwill college décor of yore. Try the food, too—come on, you’re not too grown-up for Triscuit nachos, right?
The Liberty Glass, 938 N Cook Street, 503.517.9931
…To Not See Anyone You Know as You Contemplate the Columbia
Sextant Bar and Galley, NE Portland
Sometimes we all just need to get away—really, really far away, if you live anywhere outside this bar’s neighborhood. Sextant has solid drinks and food, but you’re really coming here to get pensive, get into your scotch and watch the day sink into night over the river. When you’re done drinking alone, call your friends to meet you on the deck, because there’s no party like a maritime harbor bar party, especially not in the summer.
Sextant Bar and Gallery, 4035 NE Marine Drive, 503.281.5944
…To Sip on Some Chablis and Impress Your Date With the View
Noble Rot in Kerns
Actually, forget the Chablis—with that skyline?! Order up some Champagne instead and revel in having gotten a good seat on what will undoubtedly be one of Portland’s most coveted patios this summer.
Noble Rot, 1111 E Burnside St # 400, 503.233.1999
…For a Chat With the Night's Bluegrass Performer Over a Microbrew
Alberta St. Pub in King
You’ll find the musicians (and everyone else) taking in the summer night air between sets, and this sweet little patio space (and that local IPA in your hand) will encourage you to make friends. Who doesn’t love chatting up the local banjo player?
The Alberta Street Public House, 1036 NE Alberta St, 503.284.7665
…To Feel Like You’re Not Downtown If You Get Stuck (Or, of Course, Decide to Go) There
Momo's in Downtown
This patio is here to convince you that the downtown bar scene is not without its charms. Order your favorite well drink and sip the night away in this largely meathead-less garden space hidden by the unassuming façade of a dive bar out front. Exposed brick, a good amount of foliage, and some Chinese lanterns will just keep looking better and better with each round of whiskey-splash-soda.
Momo's, 725 SW 10th Ave, 503.473.8470
…For a Boozy Canoodle With Your Summer Sweetheart
Doug Fir in Buckman
Yes, we all know about this one, but I'm talking during the day, ladies and gentlemen. The sun-speckled patio will be all yours, and there’s something about being ten feet from Jupiter Motel’s rooms that really takes the honeymoon phase to the next level. So share a chocolate milkshake, drain those Bellinis before the next round arrives, and PDA to your heart’s content—at least until 5:00, when you’ll be back in the eye-rolling real world of the happy hour crowd.
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St, 503.231.9663
…For a 20 Ounce PBR in a Treehouse
Basement Pub in Buckman
Basement Pub offers a treehouse that doubles as a smoking lounge in the back of a dive where happy hour means everything on draft is served in 20-ounce imperial pints. PBR is recommended as the best pairing for the secondhand smoke you’ll be inhaling should you choose to go out back, since the elevated patio’s shroud of leaves discourages air circulation. Prefer to breathe freely while imbibing? There are a few picnic tables out front, too.
Basement Pub, 1028 SE 12th Ave, 503.231.6068
…To Watch People Watching the Timbers Game
4-4-2 in Buckman
This bar is owned by a former Bosnian soccer player who shows pretty much any game being played anywhere. But it’s a treat to come here on Timbers nights, when all you need to do is sit outside under a thatched awning and listen to roar of the crowd to know the score. Good beer, room to breathe, and being near the glory of the fans? Total win.
4-4-2, 1739 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, 503.238.3693
…For Some Chilled Sake on a Patio Only You Know About
C Bar in Creston-Kenilworth
This bar is a lot of things: local hangout, Yoko’s unofficial waiting area, the place you go to have a “real” drink before you park it across the street at Ship Ahoy for pitchers. Their sake list is a vestige of C Bar past, and the fact remains, few libations go so well with the sunshine as a bottle of junmai ginjo. And no one ever seems make it past the pinball machines to their well-manicured patio out back.
C Bar, 2880 SE Gladstone Street, 503.230.8808
…For Some Spicy Rum Punch in an Alleyway
Circa 33 in Sunnyside
It’s a well-appointed speakeasy-style alleyway to boot, with the requisite steel fixtures and dark wood. Punch is looking to be the it-drink of the summer, with good reason—but that’s for a different article. Bring a few friends and try a carafe or four of the blind pig, a sweeter incarnation of this “communal” beverage. It’ll be just like Prohibition when you stumble out of the darkness and onto the main drag of Belmont!
Circa 33, 3348 SE Belmont Ave, 503.477.7682
This is by no means a comprehensive list, so leave your suggestions for us friends, drinking buddies, and patio enthusiasts in the comments below. It's an open thread; feel free to post your favorite patio spot, or even your own!