6 Underground Bars In Portland That You Need To Visit
One of the most difficult things to do when you're going out for a night on the town is picking which spots to visit. Portland doesn't make things easy. It has dozens of different restaurants, clubs, dives and themed bars. You could walk up and down Fore or Commercial St. and never be bored. But sometimes the harder places to find are the best places, so we've compiled a list of 6 underground bars in Portland that you definitely need to check out (or visit again).
Lincolns may be Portland's best spot to hide while simultaneously drinking. At least that's what Dave Chappelle attempted to do when he visited town. You won't find a street sign or neon lights leading you on a path to Lincolns. You just have to know where it is...or ask a local. Don't pay any attention to their Facebook page, this bar isn't in Kentucky. Once you find it though, be prepared to enjoy yourself. It's the quintessential speak easy, with a relaxed atmosphere, terrific service and everything is just 5 bucks. Yes, EVERYTHING. Mixed drink? $5. Craft beer? $5. The whispers around the Old Port have gotten louder, you HAVE to visit Lincolns.
Bramhall isn't located in the heart of the Old Port like a few on this list, but it's worth your journey off the path. When you first walk in and see the stained glass and lighting, it almost feels like you're transported to a soiree taking place in a castle. Instead, you'll get an amazing selection of beers and mixed drinks, an exquisite menu of high end food and various theme nights that include trivia and board games. Located on Congress St, don't blink or else you'll drive by Bramhall and miss out on competitive game of Candyland.
Rhum is Portland's only "tiki" bar but they are far more than just a bar. If the custom made glasses and unreal cocktail menu doesn't get you, maybe drinking a volcano bowl out of a vintage gas can will. (it's much more delicious and safer than it sounds) Rhum also boasts in an impressive menu as well, featuring many raw bar options, salads and even this chef interpretation of the classic pu pu platter (pictured below). Rhum is located at 4 Free Street below Arabica coffee and is the perfect place to escape to somewhere "tropical" for a few hours.
When you walk into Maps, it has the kind of atmosphere that you're drinking at your buddy's homemade bar in his basement. Of course, your buddy would have to be really into geography and play all his music on records, but thats cool. Maps always has a rotating selection of some of Portland's best craft beer and they also provide Portland, Maine with some of the best gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches you can find on planet Earth. If you're walking down Market St. in the summer and see the sign on the sidewalk that says, "BEER IN HERE", walk down those stairs and enjoy yourself.
THE ARMORY LOUNGE
The Armory isn't quite as underground as some of the others on this list, but you do need to walk down a couple steps to get in, so we're including it. Located in the Regency, The Armory is well known for their signature cocktail list. Typically, a hotel bar wouldn't be your first choice when visiting a city filled with amazing options, but the Armory has its own unique charm and atmosphere. The lounge feels like an old smoking room, minus any smoking and men wearing smoking jackets. The faux library decor is a trademark and one of the many reasons why the Armory is visited not just by tourists, but by locals as well.
Howie's Pub is one of those places that you've probably driven by 100 times and always wondered, "how do I get in that place?". Howie's is the ultimate neighborhood bar for those living in the Washington Ave and Veranda St. area and should be a destination for those who don't. Howie's welcomes you with a steep staircase, but when you finally reach the bottom and walk in, you'll be glad you did. A hospitable staff, some of the fairest prices in Portland and a host of TVs to catch your favorite sports teams. Howie's is the kind of place that could quickly become your favorite bar in town once you visit.