Something for Everyone on NE Alberta
Northeast Alberta Street has long been known as one of the best places in the city to experience the city’s burgeoning arts community. What some who don’t frequent Alberta on nights other than Last Thursday may not know is that the street is also known for its lively bars.
Though you probably wouldn’t want to do a bar crawl that included a libation at every bar on the list, there is truly something here for everyone. There are dive bars, whiskey bars, wine bars, sake bars, and brew pubs. There’s even a lodge with a bar that’s open to the general public. You really can’t go wrong with a night on the town on this awesome little street.
Here’s a complete guide of the avenue’s bars, from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard all the way to Northeast Thirty-Third. Be careful out there if you plan on crawling the entire boulevard!
Bye and Bye
Bye and Bye, in the block between tenth and eleventh, is known for its hip crowd, full bar, and its menu full of inventive vegan food.
Alberta Street Pub
Right across the street from the Bye and Bye, this place has multiple beers on tap, great live entertainment many nights of the week, and a covered patio. The Alberta Street Pub is favorite spot for locals on this end of the strip.
The Radio Room is just up from the Bye and Bye . Featuring a Bloody Mary Bar during weekend brunch, live bingo, a rotating art show, an upstairs patio, and a fire pit, this has a little bit of something for everyone.
Donnie Vegas, at the corner of Twelfth, serves gourmet hot dogs and cocktails on tap. What more is there to say? Hot dogs and cocktails on tap. There. We said it all.
Everyday Wine is a dog-friendly bottle shop and wine bar located between Fifteenth and Sixteenth on the strip. Dog owners and wine drinkers now have no excuse when it comes to heading out on the town for a beverage.
Occupying the former home of the Nest at the corner of Eighteenth, Solae’s Lounge offers diners and drinkers the opportunity to drink and dine mere feet from some of the area’s best smooth jazz players.
Zilla Sake House
Directly across the street from Solae’s is one of Portland’s best-kept secrets, a sushi bar called Zilla Sake House that is more sake bar than sushi bar. Be forewarned, sake lovers: the sake list is impressive and deep at this neighborhood restaurant.
The Hilt, at Twentieth and Alberta, features a massive partially-covered outdoor patio and a serious lack of pretension. This neighborhood dive is a good place to go when relaxation is more the order than fancy.
Walk another block up the street, and you’ll find The Know, one of Portland’s smallest live music venues. The music rotates through subgenres of punk, metal, and rock. The beer is cold and the crowd is unpredictable, as you’d probably expect.
The American Legion
On the corner of Twenty-First there stands a Quonset hut, and this Quonset hut is the home of American Legion Post 134. Post 134 hosts a variety of community events and maintains a food pantry for homeless veterans. It also houses a lovely little bar.
Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House
Tucked behind Pine State Biscuits on Twenty-Second, the Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House is a brewpub that serves some good bar fare and pours some great house made and guest beers.
The Knock Back
Another block up Alberta Street you’ll find the Knock Back, a hip little joint with a craft cocktail program, beer, wine, and small plates to fill up your belly.
The Cruz Room
Also in the 2300 block, the Cruz Room is a tequila and mescal bar that prides itself on having great tacos to go along with its many drink specials and specialty liquors.
The Alleyway Bar
Located in the next block, the Alleyway Bar can either be a mellow little place to enjoy a couple of beers with friends on the patio, or jam-packed with music fans craning their necks to catch the band. Shows at this bar are infrequent, but when they happen, they definitely take over the place.
Housed in an old electric station at the corner of Twenty-Seventh, The Station prides itself on serving upscale comfort food and having plenty of screens available to watch the big game on.
Located the same block as the Station, but with a radically different feel, Binks prides itself on being a real neighborhood bar. The menu is simple, the drinks are solid, and the place is popular with the locals.
Branch Whiskey Bar
Our last stop on Alberta Street, Branch Whiskey Bar in the block between twenty-ninth and thirtieth, has one of the best whiskey collections of any bar in the city. The food is quite good as well, and though a bit on the more expensive end for Alberta, it pairs quite nicely with the upscale drink offerings.
Eighteen Bars in Eighteen Blocks
If NE Alberta Street suffers from anything, it certainly isn’t a lack of good bars. From smooth jazz to smoother whiskey, this strip has something for just about anyone looking to get their drink on, or just to have a cocktail or glass of wine with friends.
[Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons; Great Notion Facebook page]