Home to a crowd of craft distilleries, urban wineries and more breweries than any other city on earth, Portland has no shortage of world-class watering holes. And when the weather warms and the days grow long, imbibers flock to these picturesque bar patios to pair a shot of sunshine with their summer drinks of choice.
Hip Mississippi Avenue offers a handful of top-notch patios. Order grass-fed cheeseburgers at roomy picnic tables and buy pints from an outdoor order window at Bar Bar, then catch a live show at adjoining Mississippi Studios. Down the street, locals cheer on the Portland Timbers with Cloud Ripper IPAs at StormBreaker Brewery, where outdoor seating options include a large tented area outfitted with a TV projector. For a quick European getaway, check out Prost!, an authentic German beer hall with a spacious back porch, where patrons pair imported bier with traditional bratwurst and Bavarian pretzels.
A few blocks east on the popular cycling corridor Williams Avenue, Vendetta offers a gigantic back patio with Zen-inspired landscaping, hanging lights and plenty of tables. Hungry? Nearby, The Waypost serves “Arizona-themed” fare like plantain tacos and habanero lime margaritas in a patio space that doubles as a community garden.
The rooftop garden at Noble Rot provides the Central Eastside restaurant with some of freshest organic veggies in town — and the fourth-floor view’s not bad, either. Grab a seat outside and enjoy views of the sun dipping behind downtown Portland and the woodsy West Hills. Not to be outdone, Alberta Street’s Radio Room offers two airy options: an adults-only rooftop outfitted with heaters and a wood-burning fireplace, and a family- (and canine-) friendly street-level garden warmed by a gas fire pit.
On Mondays, picnic tables in front of Migration Brewing are in high demand thanks to $3 microbrews; order a Straight Outta Portland IPA and settle in for some quality people-watching.
Summer means frequent dance parties and live band performances on the back patio at White Owl Social Club. The menu boasts a great selection of gluten-free and vegan grub, and revelers can even roast s’mores on tabletop campfires. Outdoorsy types also love Base Camp Brewing, where the vibe includes outdoor fire pits, tree stump chairs and well-rounded beers like the “In-Tents” India Pale Lager.
For a boot-scootin’ time, grab your cowboy hat (or trucker cap) and drop into the Landmark Saloon to play backyard cornhole and horseshoes accompanied by live honky-tonk tunes. Pulled pork po’boys from Leroy’s BBQ food cart keeps the crowds well fed. Super picky about your beer? Apex keeps 50 drafts on tap — and about that many picnic tables out front.
Named one of the country’s best grilled cheese sandwiches by Food & Wine, the bacon-and-Fontina sando is reason enough to visit EastBurn. The cozy fireside tables and quirky swinging chairs only add to the appeal.
Perched atop the 15th floor of the Nines Hotel, the rooftop bar at Departure boasts panoramic views of downtown, including an aerial view of “Portland’s Living Room” (aka Pioneer Courthouse Square). Settle into the comfy outdoor couches and order Asian-inspired small plates prepared by Top Chef finalist Gregory Gourdet. Another happy hour favorite, Nel Centro features a mod courtyard with a black marble fire pit and an artsy “living wall” of lush greenery.
On Deck Sports Bar and Grill claims the title of neighborhood’s largest outdoor patio, offering cool summer breezes and hi-def coverage of the day’s top athletic events. For more sophisticated pub grub, peruse a long list of Belgian beers, gourmet small plates like mussels and frites, and more than 150 whiskeys at North 45, whose tucked away brick- and tree-lined patio feels like it was transported from a town square in Brussels.