A Must In Any Season: Girl’s Night Out

No matter what age you are, girls night out is a sacred activity. In my group of friends, it’s an opportunity to regroup, relax…and of course, enjoy great drinks out on the town! But with so many places always opening, it’s hard to know where you want to spend this precious time. Behold, my tried and true list of favorite Portland spots (new and old) with my girls!

rhum painkiller

The Hippest New Spot: Rhum

Rhum is a tiki lounge that recently opened and everyone is going crazy for. Opening a tiki bar or spot in the middle of winter may seem kind of odd, but it’s a great excuse for a night out or a quick escape from the ordinary. In my opinion, it’s not a dinner spot, but the appetizers on the menu are a great place to start. Note that I was warned against ordering off of the raw menu because of my oyster allergy, so this may just be my personal experience. Recommended: The Painkiller, as well as the classic Mai Thai. To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with any of these killer drinks and it’s a must for a girls night out to remember!

Solid Food & Drinks: Bramhall

There are lots of things to love about Bramhall, but I’m a real fan of the inexpensive nature of both the food and drinks. The burger on the menu is a reasonable price, and not too large that you’ll feel sick drinking afterwards. I also adore the cocktails, especially the Nurse’s Aid, which goes down smooth with a slightly sweet taste. One of the appeals of Bramhall is the atmosphere, which is definitely in Speakeasy territory. A basement pub with a specialty in rum and bourbon makes this a great spot when you want a chill girls night without dealing with the Old Port crowds.

portland hunt and alpine club cocktails











The Nordic Classic: Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

When we want an elegant, refined girls night, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club is the first place my friends and I like to stop. From the moment you walk through the doors, you can tell that Portland Hunt & Alpine Club knows exactly what they are doing. Whether you sit at the bar or decide to people watch by the windows, you’ll have a tough time choosing a drink, because they all sound so good. I like to start with the daily punch, since you never get the same thing twice, but you know it will be delicious. My favorite cocktail: the bubbly White Noise, which always puts a smile on my face after I take the first sip. Their cocktails are fantastic here, so know that you’re in great hands.

Photo credit to Megan Cullity

Photo credit to Megan Cullity

Chocolate Martinis, Yes Please!: The Bar of Chocolate

You can’t have a good girls night out that doesn’t include a chocolate martini. There’s just something about a thick and sumptuous Chocolate Martini that elevates your night out to a whole new level. If you’re not a chocolate fan, the Grapefruit Martini and the Mocha Martini are both equally delicious. If you’re feeling especially daring, try some of the dessert from The Bar of Chocolate. It’s sweet, rich and it’ll hit the spot instantly! Me personally, I’ve tried quite a few things from the desert martini list, but the Chocolate Martini is what I come back to, time and time again.

spicy margarita local 188

Local 188: Atmosphere & A Spicy Margarita

When I find things I like, I tend to come back for them, again and again. This is definitely the case for Local 188’s Spicy Margarita, which features house strawberry tequila. There’s just something about a spicy cocktail that is so satisfying, especially when it’s spicy and simultaneously sweet as well. There have definitely been nights where girls night out stays close to home in the West End, especially in the winter! I enjoy the atmosphere at Local as well, which lends itself well to conversation, as well as trying new things while doing some serious people watching.

The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box: A Different Cocktail Every Time

With so many amazing choices in Portland, it can seem impossible to find somewhere new and different to try. The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box definitely hits both of these square on the head. From the moment you walk in, you can tell that this isn’t your standard bar. The cocktail and drinks menu is constantly changing, so it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll never try the same thing twice. The vibe is speakeasy meets 1920s jazz bar, which is helped along by the gorgeous bar set in the front. Be prepared to try drinks you’ve never heard of, and loving them.

MJ’s Wine Bar: Wine Is Always In Style

No girls night out list is complete without a wine bar! MJ’s is perfect for conversation, as well as discovering new wines from their extensive menu. From a bubbly prosecco to a vibrant red, they have everything you need for a successful night out. Add great company and a meticulously arranged cheese plate and you’ll have a night to remember. And in case girls night out goes til morning, on Sundays they have $3 waffles and $4 mimosas. Talk about a great time!

Did I miss your favorite spot for girls night out? Let me know in the comments!

Sarah Gelber

About Sarah Gelber

A recent graduate from the University of Southern Maine, Sarah has always had a passion for food. Follow her escapades around Portland, trying every new restaurant in her path! Conquering Portland, one meal at a time.