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Portland Bar Review: Victoria

Have you ever wished for a friendly, neighborhood bar with a good tap beer selection, fantastic craft cocktails with a nostalgic flair, and delicious food where you can eat, drink, and socialize on a nice patio, huddle in a quiet corner, or muscle up to the bar to watch all of the action behind the stick? North Portland's Victoria Bar checks all of the boxes! We absolutely love the drink menu that features Princess Bride themed cocktails with names like The Cliffs of Insanity and The Six Fingered Man. Lisa Victoria Hare is creating some amazing flavors in her Lightning Bar Collective space. We recommend trying the Pit of Despair cocktail (if it's on the menu yet). We can't wait to return!

Seattle Bar Review: Zig Zag Cafe

One of the most important cocktail bars in the Pacific Northwest, Zig Zag Cafe is situated along the staircase above the Seattle Aquarium near the the famous Pike Place Market. No trip to Seattle is complete (if you enjoy a good drink) without stopping here. Home of bartending legends like Murray Stenson and Erik Hakkinen, Zig Zag was an early west coast destination in the current cocktail renaissance that helped establish the fact that great drinks can be made outside of New York!

Portland Bar Review: Bible Club

Remember back in college when you used to tell your parents you were going to meet some friends at "The Library", but instead of studying, that was the name of a local bar you were visiting? Well, last week, we finally made our way to Bible Club. Of course, it's not a place of worship—unless you place the vintage art of craft cocktails above all else!

Visiting Bible Club is like stepping back in time to an era when alcohol may have been taboo, but you'd be willing to break the law to experience a libation made just for you by a professional using the right tools, ingredients and technique. It's a speakeasy in every sense, with an unassuming residential facade that hides an authentic, antique atmosphere within. Attention is paid to every detail, from the 24k gold ceiling and antique decor to the use of period bar tools

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Portland Bar Review: Ataula

The commercial area around NW 23rd has plenty of reasons to attract folks interested in shopping, dining and drinking, and thanks to Ataula, it also has a fantastic restaurant that is home to delicious tapas and paella—as well as a great cocktail program. Chef Jose Chesa puts his passion to work in the kitchen but isn't afraid to wander the tables to ensure everyone is enjoying their meals. We weren't sure where to start, so we let the staff take care of us with an impromptu tasting menu of the chef's choosing. If you love Spanish fare, put Ataula high on your list of destinations. The bar program is also expertly managed by Angel Tata who adds a touch of Spain to most recipes and makes a fine Sangria to boot! We also loved the Elixir de Amontillado.

Portland Bar Review: Imperial

What can we say but the facts. This is a great downtown spot on SW Broadway that always has delicious food and a terrific cocktail menu. Being one of chef Vitaly Paley's restaurants, it's arguably one of the top places to eat in Portland. With cocktails created by former barman and local mixology hero, Brandon Wise, it's hard to go wrong at Imperial. Come for happy hour and sit at the bar where you might stare right past (or through) gigantic blocks of crystal clear ice. Imperial does craft cocktails properly, serving unusual combinations and house mixers (radish gastrique is amazing!). They even have a couple of cocktails on tap along with wine, beer, cider and even some carefully constructed non-alcoholic selections.

Portland Bar Review: Hamlet

We visited Hamlet, a small but unique spot in the Pearl District of NW Portland during their opening week. Apparently a project to complement the success of Oven and Shaker located just around the corner, Hamlet is another great place to eat from the imaginations of chef Cathy Whims, Ryan Magarian and Kurt Huffman. If Oven and Shaker is any indication, this place could do very well.

Two things stand out about Hamlet: ham and sherry.

Featuring several different service options that include amazing, hand-sliced jamón ibérico as well as domestic, acorn-fed varieties, you basically start with your cured meat selection and add accompaniments. We ordered the best ham they serve along with a baguette & butter. Ham service like this is not something we have seen anywhere else, so this alone is worth checking out. The cocktails are also delicious. There is a focus on sherry drinks which is

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Portland Bar Review: Kask

It's easy to think of Kask as a drinker's waiting room for Grüner or even the Multnomah Whiskey Library, but if you make that mistake you are likely to skip the other places completely and just hang out here for the evening. With a fantastic selection of signature cocktails and house-made mixers, there's something for everyone. The menu includes a daily punch special (possibly be the best cocktail value downtown) alongside a half-dozen seasonal recipes that punctuate a very complete cocktail list of recurring classics and originals. Everything is nicely laid out by spirit category. We love how each category is further divided into "Shaken" and "Stirred" sections giving clues to the type of drinks you might expect (shaken cocktails often contain citrus or other cloudy ingredients, while stirred drinks are always spirit driven). The cozy space also serves small bites

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