During the period I lived in Portland, Oregon, I went on a lot of dates. From casual outings in parks to hip happy hours to late evening drinks in quiet, dark bars, I found that Portland is one of the most romantic cities in the US.
So if you live in the PDX area or are stopping there for a vacation with your partner, check out this date guide to find out some of the hottest spots — including sincere recommendation on why a date night at the strip club could be the best thing for the both of you.
1. Khun Pic's Bahn Thai
3429 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
Looking for the best Thai food in Portland? This little cash-only restaurant in Southeast is where you want to go. Run by a husband and wife team, Khun Pic's Bahn Thai serves up incredible dishes off a simple menu while giving guests the feeling that they're sitting in somebody's living room. Everything from the entrance to the decor to is romantic, so look no further for the best first date spot in the city.
2. Swift Lounge
1932 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
This is an excellent bar in Northeast PDX with a killer happy hour, including $5 mason jars full of delicious cocktails, as well as insanely good (and cheap) food. If you're looking for a place to take somebody on a second or third date, this is definitely it. The atmosphere is fun but relaxed, so you two can hang out and talk, play a card game, or just sit and stare longingly into one another's eyes while listening to R&B.
3552 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227
You might be asking yourself how doing trivia could be romantic, but no joke — it was one of my favorite spots for dates. Quizzissippi is a quiz night that takes place Wednesdays at Mississippi Pizza in North Portland where teams can put their minds together and answer tough questions on topics ranging from current events to Radiohead to sports history. Allowing you to find out your group members' secret expertises and talents, it is the absolute perfect place for a double date, yet still works so well for couples who feel like getting social at the same time as they get closer.
4. Casa Diablo
2839 NW St. Helens Rd
Portland, OR 97210
If the thought of a strip club freaks you a little out but you're curious nonetheless, you should really, really try Casa Diablo. It's a vegan strip club — the first of its kind! — and exclusively gives change in $2. It also has some of the friendliest dancers and other staff that you will find at any establishment in Portland, strip club or otherwise, who will not only make you feel excited you're there, they will also make you feel totally comfortable, even (actually, especially) if it's your first time. If you and you partner have never been to a strip club together before, it can be a fun new adventure that you won’t regret.
5. Mount Tabor Park
SE 60th Ave
Portland, OR 97253
For those who love hiking and the great outdoors, Portland has a ton to offer in that department. Mount Tabor Park is located in Southeast PDX, and is a lovely place for couples who want to sit out in the sun, read book together or have a long talk while breathing fresh air.
6. Ringler's Annex
1223 SW Stark St.
Portland, OR 97205
Need somewhere snazzy to take your date? As part of the McMenamins chain, the Annex is a quirky but sweet place to spend your evening. There's nice food, lovely drinks and, on occasion, A+ entertainment — the first time I went there, a great musician crooned lots of love songs, ending with "Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You" while everybody sang along.
7. Urban Farmer
525 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97204
Feel like going somewhere on the sophisticated side for a lunch or dinner date? Urban Farmer is a wonderful match with its humane, diverse menu, unreasonably good happy hour, and sunny design. You and your date will enjoy your meals while also being able to soak in the relaxing atmosphere together.
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