I've actually never ventured beyond the bar at longtime Portland institution Veritable Quandary. I know there's a dining room back there somewhere, but the bar area is just so cozy—warm lighting, bottles stacked against an exposed brick wall, a bare-chested ship's figurehead presiding over it all from her post above the door. Plus, there's a bar menu served from 3 pm until midnight, featuring snack-y options like fried cashews ($5) and bacon-wrapped dates ($6), alongside burgers and a pizza of the day. The only downside: The bar is tiny, and it fills up fast. ALISON HALLETT
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