Best Clubs in Portland

Portland clubs are a well-known part of the city’s nightlife. While infamously rumored to have more strip clubs than any other city, Portland’s popularity as a clubbing hotspot is only slight less well known but well deserved.

When the sun goes down and the revelers come out, the clubs in Portland are waiting with hot dance floors, endless drinks and quirky atmospheres to match the city’s reputation for unique experiences. Naturally, nominations for on the best clubs in Portland vary depending on personal preferences in music, style and budget.

A few Portland nightclubs, however, take top billing for mass appeal, unbeatable sound and the most distinctive atmospheres. No matter what brings you to Portland or what you usually gravitate to, these bars are worth a look while you’re in town. Be sure to check the details before you go, as some clubs rotate between styles or only host events certain nights of the week.

Best Clubs in Portland

1. The Whiskey Bar

If you like an “underground” feel to your clubs, the Whiskey Bar is for you. One of the most popular Portland EDM clubs, the Bar prides itself on its top of the line audio, visual and lighting equipment and the high-end clubbing experience it delivers. Located directly in the downtown Portland neighborhood, the Bar rivals those in Vegas, South Beach and other major clubbing destinations. It’s a great place to go dancing, particularly for visitors used to hitting big, flashy venues in their travels.

Slideshow image sourced from Yelp.

2. Trio Club

Vegas lovers routinely rate Trio as one of the best nightclubs in Portland for its trendy feel and custom cocktails. Only for the 21 and over set, Trio is also known for its Karaoke Lounge and monthly karaoke contests.

With an attached restaurant and full bar, this nightclub is a great place to pass an entire evening. Happy hour starts early at 3 p.m. on weekdays, making it a great option for clubbers who still have to go in to work the next day.

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3. Dirty

Located in Old Town Chinatown, Dirty lives up to its name. It’s the only one of the downtown Portland nightclubs to boast 17 poles, giving dancers every chance to get dirty, crazy or both on the dance floor. Split into two rooms, each with its own DJ and music style, Dirty guarantees dancers will find something they like, from the music to the contests and events it runs four nights a week.

If you’re looking to plan something special for a friend’s birthday or to celebrate a promotion or other special event, the club has you covered. You can reserve tables ahead of time, or you can pay for VIP rooms with their own poles for a private party.

Slideshow image sourced from Facebook.

4. Lola’s Room

Connected to the Crystal Ballroom, one of the city’s most famous historic music venues is Lola’s Room. Lola’s Room is considered one of the best dance clubs in Portland. Particularly popular for its later than usual hours, Lola’s is also the site of the beloved “80s Video Dance Attack” event.

Every Friday, the club invites dancers to pull out their best 80s outfits and spend the night rocking to 80s their favorite hits. Lola’s Room also offers other themed nights so you can dance through different decades.

This Portland dance club also home to Portland’s only floating dance floor, which is a unique enough experience in and of itself to justify a trip if you’ve never been.

Slideshow image sourced from Twitter.

5. Jones

Another of the favorite clubs downtown, Jones blurs the line between diner and dance venue. Located in Old Town Chinatown, it specializes in mixing 80s and 90s dance hits with current favorites. A full menu ranging from breakfast to pub favorites to specialty cocktails will keep you fueled for a full night on the floor. If you do decide you need a break, the Jones dance club has you covered there, too.

A photo booth and arcade games stand ready to keep patrons entertained off the dance floor, and a later Happy Hour, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., accommodates partiers getting off later shifts. Patrons who show up before the end of Happy Hour get in free. Later comers pay a modest $5 cover fee.

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6. Holocene

Holocene is known among Portland adult clubs as the place to go for dancing and unique events. A 21 and over only venue, the club specializes in intensive dance parties, themed and otherwise, set to music ranging from hip hop to retro to indie pop. The club promotes a wide assortment of music and events, including those that celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.

This Portland dance club’s entertainment rotates between DJs and live music, and the club offers new, creative alcoholic slushies every night to keep the party going.  A nominal cover fee usually applies, and a full schedule of the latest events is available on the club’s website.

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7. Aztec Willie’s

A taqueria by day, Willie’s turns into one of Portland’s most distinctive dance clubs by night. The city’s premier Latin dance club, Willies plays host to patrons dancing salsa, bachata, mambo, cumbia and merengue. Three nights a week are dedicated to salsa and bachata specifically, and at least one night per week the venue hosts lessons of one form of Latin dance or another.

The cover change for this Portland club ranges from $7 to $10, and patrons can choose from a delectable spread of Mexican food, cocktails and beers when they take a break from the floor to grab a bite.

Slideshow image sourced from Yelp.

8. Church

Chief among the city’s hip hop nightclubs, Church perfectly embodies’ Portland’s quirky, irreverent personality. This interactive and engaging bar features Roman Catholic decor, right down to a converted confession-turned-photo-booth open for patron use.

Most nights, a DJ can be found running the busy dance floor and intermittent events like karaoke keep the schedule lively. Small in space but big on atmosphere, Church has a lot to offer anyone who likes a good night out. 

While there’s never a lack of places to go and things to do in the city, it’s a sad truth that there aren’t a lot of under 21 clubs Portland. Escape, an underage club that used to cater specifically to the young LBGTQ+ crowd, was a noticeable exception until it lost its building a few years ago.

Slideshow image sourced from Facebook.