Portland, Maine, a city known for its picturesque waterfront, historic architecture, and vibrant arts scene, is also home to a thriving nightlife. The city’s bars, pubs, and clubs offer a diverse range of experiences, from cozy craft beer spots to high-energy dance clubs. Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite hangout or a visitor eager to experience the city’s nightlife, Portland’s bar scene has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the city’s most popular bars and what makes them unique.

The Craft Beer Scene

Portland is a city that loves its craft beer. In fact, it’s often ranked as one of the best beer cities in America. Here are a few of the standout bars where you can sample the local brews:

  • Novare Res Bier Cafe: With a beer list that boasts over 300 options, Novare Res Bier Cafe is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast. The bar’s rustic, European-style decor and spacious outdoor patio make it a great spot to relax with friends.
  • The Thirsty Pig: Known for its house-made sausages and extensive beer list, The Thirsty Pig is a favorite among locals. The bar regularly hosts events like trivia nights and live music, adding to its lively atmosphere.
  • Allagash Brewing Company: While technically a brewery, Allagash’s tasting room is a destination in its own right. Visitors can sample the brewery’s award-winning Belgian-style beers and take a tour of the brewing facilities.

Cocktail Bars

If you’re more of a cocktail fan, don’t worry – Portland has plenty of bars that specialize in handcrafted drinks. Here are a few you might want to check out:

  • Hunt + Alpine Club: This Scandinavian-inspired bar is known for its innovative cocktails and small plates. The bar’s cozy, minimalist decor makes it a stylish spot for a night out.
  • Bramhall: Located in a historic building, Bramhall combines old-world charm with a modern cocktail menu. The bar’s candlelit ambiance and unique cocktails, like the honey-infused Bee’s Knees, make it a popular date night destination.
  • Portland Hunt + Alpine Club: This bar is a favorite among locals for its creative cocktails and Scandinavian-inspired small plates. The cozy, minimalist decor adds to the bar’s stylish appeal.

Live Music and Dance Clubs

For those who prefer their nightlife with a side of live music or dancing, Portland has plenty to offer. Here are a few venues where you can dance the night away or catch a live show:

  • Blue: This intimate venue hosts live music every night of the week, with a focus on jazz, folk, and acoustic performances. Blue also offers a selection of local beers and wines, making it a great spot to unwind with some music.
  • Port City Music Hall: This mid-sized venue hosts a variety of concerts, from local bands to nationally-touring acts. With a spacious dance floor and a full bar, Port City Music Hall is a top destination for music lovers.
  • Bubba’s Sulky Lounge: If you’re in the mood for dancing, Bubba’s Sulky Lounge is the place to be. This unique bar features two dance floors and a light-up disco floor, making it one of the most fun and energetic spots in the city.


From craft beer havens to stylish cocktail bars, Portland’s nightlife scene is as diverse as it is vibrant. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the city’s bars is a great way to experience the local culture and meet new people. So next time you’re in the Pine Tree State, be sure to check out some of these standout spots.

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