When you’re stuck at a painful group dinner with your friend’s brother who’s telling you all about his can’t-fail bitcoin strategy, Empire is where you’ll wish you were instead. Not only do they make some of the best dim sum north of Boston, but they also pull off the balance of being somewhere that’s perfect for a lively group and intimate enough for a date. Also, between their great cocktails, attached music venue, and multiple table options (which you can reserve in advance for groups of four or more), you can basically have a whole night out here without having to switch locations. In terms of food, there’s everything from soup dumplings and pork buns to lobster rangoon and bacon fried rice, all of which are meant to be shared.
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Boda in the West End serves some of the best Thai food in Portland, and serves food until 1am everyday.
The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box
Head to the Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box for the drinks and decor, but stay for the DJ sets and great staff.
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The Portland Hunt + Alpine Club
We’re not sure whether to call the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club a bar or a restaurant, but fortunately this Scandinavian spot works well as either.
The Honey Paw
Head to The Honey Paw for vinyl, cocktails, and a mix of noodle and rice dishes from across Asia.
The Back Bay Grill
Back Bay Grill in Bayside is an upscale spot with classic dishes like fresh seafood and pasta, and is perfect for a celebratory meal.
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