Visiting Portland (Spring 2013 update)

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by guajolote, Apr 4, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Updated to add some restaurants & a more decriptive Beer Bar/Bottle Shop section.

    Original thread
    Update v.1

    Surely many of us agree that this forum could use an easily seachable/bump-able "I'm visiting Portland, where should I go?" thread. Here, I'll attempt to cull the consensus "must-hits," along with other highly recommended PDX breweries, brew pubs, bottle shops & beer bars that appear in this type of BA thread. Recommendations & suggestions are encouraged.

    (Almost) Universally Recommended "Must-Hit" Breweries & Brew Pubs
    Cascade Brewing Barrel House
    Deschutes Portland Pub
    Hair of the Dog
    Upright Brewing

    Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brew Pubs
    Breakside Brewery
    The Commons Brewery
    Gigantic Brewing
    Hopworks Urban Brewery / Hopworks Bike Bar
    Laurelwood Brewing
    Lompoc Brewing

    Highly Recommended Beer Bars / Bottle Shops
    APEX (Taproom, Bottles-to-go)
    Bailey's Taproom (Taproom, Growler Fills, Bottle List)
    The Beermongers (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
    Belmont Station (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Bridgetown Beerhouse (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
    The Green Dragon (Taproom, Food)
    The Hop & Vine (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Horse Brass Pub (Taproom, Food)
    John's Marketplace (Bottle Shop)
    Oregon Hophouse (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
    Roscoe's (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
    Saraveza (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    (A Few) Beer-centric Restaurants:

    Just about any decent restaurant in PDX has an acceptable beer list. Many are more-than-acceptable. This might be the most debatable section of this thread.

    Cheese Bar
    Grain & Gristle
    Higgins Restaurant
    Some helpful maps:
    The Beer Mapping Project
    Oregon & Washington Brew Map
    Oregon Beer Country map
    digita7693’s map

    A couple suggested Pub Crawl maps:
    Cascade > HotD > Bailey's > Deschutes > Upright > HUB/Side Bar
    Inner SE Pub/Brewery Crawl (APEX -> Beermongers -> The Commons -> HotD -> Cascade -> Base Camp -> Burnside)
    Sunnyside Pub Crawl (Horse Brass -> Belmont Station -> Hawthorne Hop House -> Bazi Bierbrasserie)
    North Portland Pub Crawl (Amnesia -> Bridgetown Beerhouse -> Prost! -> HUB BikeBar -> Lompoc Sidebar/5Q)
    Other BA resources:

    Portland BeerFly listing:

    Some other forum threads on the topic:

    *disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a catch-all for Portland beer establishments. There are literally hundreds of well-regarded beer institutions throughout the greater Portland area, many of which are not listed in this post. This thread is an attempt to present the most frequently recommended and highest-regarded spots often cited in the Northwest BA forum. Exploration and experimentation are certainly encouraged!
    pudgym29, buffs9, PaulQuinn and 12 others like this.
  2. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Nice update!
  3. BK1017

    BK1017 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Texas

    Beautiful. Thanks for updating. Visiting next weekend (19th-21st) so this will help. Definitely will be hitting the universally recommended spots.

    I was hoping to get some insider BA advice for the following (non-beer related questions):

    - Good wineries in the downtown area? (my fiancee is a wine snob)

    - Great restaurants? I know that's a stupid ass question, but after doing a bunch of research on Eater PDX, the choices are overwhelming. The restaurants don't necessarily have to be beer-centric, just friggin delicious. No particular style, just something that is worth visiting and worth spending money at. Was hoping to get some insider opinion.

    We'll be staying at the Ace Hotel (b/c we're damn Austin hipsters) for a few nights then on the Willamette for the last night of relaxation (Riverplace). Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  4. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    For wineries, enjoy them in Willamette. I highly highly recommend getting a reservation for a wine tasting at Soter vineyards in Willamette (Carlton area) and eat dinner at Paulée in Dundee, huge wine menu and a very nice tap list too.

    In Portland I would go to Wildwood for dinner if you want something nice. Other, seemingly, universal recs for restaurants: Pok Pok, Andina, Le Pigeon, Ned Ludd, Bamboo Sushi, Grüner, Apizza Scholls... most of which are listed on my map.

    dianimal likes this.
  5. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Just a few more additions to what digita7693 recommended.

    For restaurants, I would also recommend places like Paley's Place (probably as close to a high end restaurant as Portland has) and Higgins. Higgins can be a bit inconsistent with their food (I've had fantastic meals, and others that I thought were just pretty good), but they have a very solid wine and beer selection (Paley's has an excellent wine list, but their beer selection is no better than so-so). Both places are fairly close to the ACE hotel. For that matter, the full sail riverplace establishment isn't half bad, both for food and beer (wine list is decent, but is a bit spendy IMHO).

    In terms of wineries, there are a few tasting rooms in PDX, but most of the better one's are out in the Willamette Valley (as digita7693 mentioned). However, very close to your hotel is one of my favorite places, which is Oregon Wines on Broadway. It's a combination tasting room and retail store, where you can also order light snacks (cheese plates, marcona almonds, etc.). You can order wine by the sample size, glass or bottle there, and they have an excellent selection of Oregon pinot (which is what they focus on). They also typically have a few Oregon whites open as well, and also 5 or 6 Washington reds (cabs, cab blends, syrahs and the like from Columbia Valley and Walla Walla). They sell a variety of different wine to go as well, generally at close to normal retail mark-ups. I personally love the place, as well as the staff working there, but I know the staff can sometimes rub some customers the wrong way with their often somewhat crude and earthy banter (I don't mind it at all, but some customers clearly are expecting a more upscale, sophistiicated experience, and so are put off by the place).

    Also, depending upon what time you get in on Friday, you might want to give this place a try:

    It's a bit farther away than OWOB, but Scott Paul makes great Oregon pinot from the Willamette Valley, and some of the Burgundy he imports are amazing. However, the Portland tasting room is only open on Friday, from 5-8 PM.

    Have fun.
  6. BK1017

    BK1017 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Texas

    Awesome thanks guys.

    Any Cantillon hanging around in Portland? Trying to snag a bottle or 2 for the old man.

  7. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Hahahha, funny!

    Think you need to take i5 north for about 6hrs for any hope of such things.
    However, the commons has bottles of myrtle still, which is wonderful and only $8/btl.
  8. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

  9. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I'm not a huge fan of Cantillon, so it's not something that is typically on my radar. However, I thought I saw some bottles of cantillon over at the Apex the other day. The only reason I gave it a second thought, is that Apex tends to be a bit expensive for some of the more limited/rare bottles they carry, and I remember wondering what they might be charging for a bottle of Cantillon. However, definitely call the Apex before heading over if you're looking for Cantillon, as I didn't look closely to make sure I was right about what I (thought) I saw.
  10. BK1017

    BK1017 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Texas

    Great, thanks. And thanks to all who contributed to this thread. Very helpful!

  11. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Yes apex has some cantillon but very very expensive! I don't think they want to sell it, $75 for fou fonne I think
  12. BK1017

    BK1017 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Texas

    Damn talk about price gouging. I bought 2 from the brewery last year for ~10 euro a piece. Or less.
  13. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I confess I don't undertand the thinking over at Apex. (sorry, don't mean to threadjack, but...). I think their prices are pretty reasonable for most of their stuff, but when they think they have something rare or limited, man do they mark it up. I saw someone picking up some bottles of elder to go the other day as well, and was tempted to ask what the price was (except I was afraid to hear the answer). Even draft elder there is $8 a pint, which I'm fairly sure is the highest price for draft elder in town.
  14. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    It's the Toronado mentality. Jack the prices up so that only someone who's really desperate (or trying to impress someone) will buy a bottle, and in the meantime you have the appearance of offering an incredible bottle selection.

    As for the Pliny, everyone in town could charge $8-10/pint and it would still sell quickly, just due to the almost obsessive cult following the beer has garnered. As you mentioned, most of their prices are pretty darn good, so perhaps Jesse is capitalizing on the Pliny craze so that he can have lower prices on other stuff.

    Either way, I'd rather drink a Hop Venom, so I could care less what he's charging for Pliny. :slight_smile:
    pudgym29, libbey and flexabull like this.
  15. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    Back on topic, I agree with digita7693 regarding wineries. The local tasting rooms and wine bars are great, but the scenery in the valley in incredible (especially this time of year with everything blooming), so if at all possible try to make the drive down 99W between here and McMinnville and hit a few of the actual vineyards. There's probably 3 dozen wineries along that stretch alone, and most of the are excellent.

    I recommend Sokol Blosser and Erath for sure; both of them have delicious wine and awesome views of the valley from their tasting rooms.
  16. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I agree. It's not that big of a deal. PtE is relatively easy to find around a town, so I'll just go elsewhere for my fix.
  17. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Sokol Blosser is a very nice one w great views too. I love Soter as it has an amazing view and they do very small tastings, 6-8 people around a table, and they have great wines!
    Penner Ash is good as well, very nice location and views and good wine, bergstrom is another I'd recommend.

    If you make it all the way down to McMinnville is contact heater Allen about visiting them, the tasting room is not open yet, but you can visit and taste the beers if they have time.
  18. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    :-) Shrug. We could go on and on about our favorite wineries out there.

    Bergstrom and Penner both make good wine, but I think their wines have just gotten too pricey. They're not quite as bad as Domaine Serene just yet, but they're well on their way.

    OK. I go out there all the time, so I guess I might as well throw out my two cents. For a great view (along with very good wine), I would consider Domaine Drouhin, especially if it's a nice day. In the Carlton area, I'm partial to Scott Paul and Tyus Evans. The latter tasting room is an especially good spot, as they're owned by Ken Wright, and so typically offer a number of their single vineyard pinots to sample. The Tyrus Evans label is what KW uses for their Washington sourced fruit (they used to offer wines with fruit sourced from Southern Oregon, but no longer I believe), and they have some terrific syrahs, viognier and cab blends. If the OP is going to visit the Dundee area, then by all means stop by the Ponzi tasting room and Argyle. Argyle is kind of touristy, but their wine is pretty good (IMHO, they are still making the best sparkling wine in the valley). If the OP is going to be driving around a bit, then I would also recommend places like Cristom and Bethel Heights. If he's in McMinnville, then I would call a visit to Eyrie an absolute must stop. Eyrie is one of the older, more respected wineries in Oregon, and over time they've accumulated a pretty extensive library. They now offer some amazing old pinots and pinot gris, that you really can't find any place else. It's expensive to taste their library wines, but what they have on offer you likely won't find any place else in the valley. Anyway, that should keep you busy...
  19. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    Since this is a beer-centric site, let's keep it beer-centric in the forums, OK?

    Private conversations are good for all the winery recs... :wink: (Erath, Sokol Blosser & Penner Ash are personal favorites)



    PPS: whoa, edited and noticed blackcloud below me mentioned the same foodie site. Cool :slight_smile:
    blackcloud likes this.
  20. blackcloud

    blackcloud Savant (1,197) Apr 28, 2012 Alaska

    as far as food goes, i just looked at the recently updated eater 38... and it's pretty damned spot on. you can't really go wrong at any of those. some tasty tacos from gorditos are a must with a visit to apex, if you ask me. (and are probably the number one food thing i crave since moving away)
    digita7693 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.