It’s summertime, Portland State, which means it’s time to put the books down and soak up some sun. What better way to do it than with these awesome bars and patios near campus?
Elephants in the Park
877 SW Taylor St.
Elephants in the Park is great because it’s close enough to be in walking distance, but still far away enough to make you feel like you’re really escaping PSU on your lunch break. It’s a great spot for a midday getaway or a short respite for the non-drinker.
Elephants specializes in burgers, but the menu has other staples like hot dogs, soups and milkshakes. If you want, you can booze it up with a cocktail, but Elephants in the Park isn’t a bar like the rest of the options on this list.
The patio is essentially the entire square. It’s open and breezy, with a fountain where kids and cute pups splash around. There’s a giant, free-to-use chess set, which usually has adorable old men playing. And if you want to turn your getaway into an all-day escape, Fox Tower is right there as well.
725 SW 10th Ave.
Few things beat munching nachos and sipping some cold brews with your buds. If that’s the type of night you’re after, Momo’s is your bar.
Momo’s is the right amount of dive-y without falling into the typical pit of smelling like urine, bleach and desperation. The food is solid—really, eat the nachos—and the beer selection is ideal. The patio is smoke friendly, and the bar has a cigarette vending machine, if that’s your thing.
The patio is also heated, so if you fall in love with it, you have a go-to spot when Portland gets back to acting like Portland.
415 SW Montgomery St.
If you’re looking to wet your whistle but don’t want to venture too far away from campus, the only sane choice is Pizza Schmizza.
PSU’s Schmizza is the ideal spot for the student looking to get a bite and a pint (or two or four) on the cheap. Seriously, you can get a mighty mug of Pabst for $4.25 during happy hour. Unlike most of the other restaurants in the chain, PSU’s has a full bar, so you aren’t limited to stereotypical college beer choices. In terms of the ‘za, there are plenty of carnivorous, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
The seating options are ideal—there are covered and uncovered benches that wrap around the building along SW 4th and Montgomery.
So go forth and raise a mighty mug, Vanguard style. But for the love of God, just stay away from the Fireball.