Dots

2521 SE Clinton St. Portland, OR 97202
Phone: (503) 235.0203

Located in: Southeast Portland
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BarFly's Review of Dots


Eons ago, when ironic decor meant wacky signage and folks wore their grampa's eyeglasses because they were blind and poor, Dots' Cafe was the sole local arbiter of faux-vintage lounge chic, and, even as the city's transformed itself, the spiritual home of indie Southeast remains as fun and shruggingly-vibrant and ineffably-cool as the day it opened - proving hipster landmarks age rather better than their clientele.

The many, many variants of fries are beloved by both bacon-addicts and vegetarians seeking a deeply-unhealthy comfort food, and there's few better ways to spend a Sunday morning coming down than staring at the wallpaper of this underlit, kitsch-strewn (big-eye paintings, doll-part-chandelier) wonderland.

Although Dots changed hands in 2012, much to the knee-jerk despair of its loyal regulars, the new owners (being old Portland souls, themselves) have kept the faith, retaining both the iconic decor, much of the menu (regretably '86ing our beloved Grilled Cheese Deluxe. R.I.P.), and after the initial harumphing, most of the old crowd, too.

Recently acquired (as of July 2013) "drink robot" dispenses adult Slurpees of reguarly rotating flavors for a refreshing $5 a pop. Try the house favorite - Negroni. Really shouldn't work, but totally does!

Regular prices: $4 well/pints, $7 house cocktails.

Crotchfruit welcome until 10pm every night.

No longer cash only - flash the plastic with impunity.

Hours: Monday - Friday, 12pm - 2:30am

Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 2:30am

Pool x 1 (free!).

Mondays: 'Mayor Monday' with DJ/de facto mayor of Clinton Street, Mike Hughes. 9pm, free!

50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.

Dots's Happy Hours
Monday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
Tuesday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
Wednesday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
Thursday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
SaturdayAlas, no happy hour today.
Sunday50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
50 cents off beer and well, $1 off wine, $2+ menu, 2pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm and 11pm-2:30am, Saturday and Sunday.
Nearby Bars
, 442 Soccer Bar, Alberta Street Pub, Alexis, Amnesia Brewing, Analog, Assets, Bazi Bierbrasserie, Beaker & Flask (CLOSED), Blue Diamond, Boogie's Burger & Brew, Box Social, Bravo Lounge, Burnside Brewing Company, C.C. Slaughter's, Cardinal Club, Cascade Brewing Barrel Room, Chopsticks Express, Circa 33, Coasters Bar and Grill, Conquistador, Copper Rooster, Cyril's at Clay Pigeon Winery, Da Hui, Dog House Saloon, Double Barrel, Double Dragon, Dr. Feelgood's Pub, Ducketts, East Bank Saloon, East Burn, Edgefield (Powerstation Pub, etc.), Embers, Expatriate, Farm Cafe, Fez Ballroom, Fireside, Front Avenue Strip Club, Funhouse Lounge, Hawthorne Strip, High Dive, Hound Dogs, Huber's, Huckleberry Pub, Imperial, Irishtown, Jade Lounge, Joe's Burgers and Bar, Joe's Burgers Downtown, Joe's Burgers PSU, Joe's Cellar, Katie O'Brien's, Kelly's Olympian, Kit Kat Club, Lodge, Lost and Found, Matador, Melt, Midnight Roundup, Morton's The Steakhouse, Nest, Nick's Famous Coney Island, Nicoli's Grill & Sports Bar, Old Gold, Old Town Pizza Vanport, Oregon Public House, Over and Out, Paymaster Lounge, Peter's Bar and Grill, Pink Feather, Prost!, Punch Bowl Social, Quartet, Ración, Raven and Rose, Riverside Corral, Rose City Strip, Sellwood Public House, Sheridan's 52nd Ave Sports Bar, Slabtown, Slide Inn, Sloan's Tavern, Southeast Wine Collective, Space Room, Stammtisch, Star Theater, Station Pub, Sunshine Tavern, Tabor Tavern, Tanker, Tannery, Teardrop Lounge, The Knock Back, The Observatory, The Waypost, Top of the Hill Tavern, Trader Vic's, Trap, Twilight Cafe & Bar, Vern (aka Hanigan's), Via Chicago, Vie, Wurst


Images for Dots
Dots Portland Dots Portland

Reader Reviews of Dots
Dots has 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings and 14 user reviews.
Terrible service

Working at a restaurant can be a crap job and I can sympathize but I have never had a someone be as rude and terrible to me here. With a small group of people I stepped to the other quiet, empty side of the restaurant to answer an important phone call instead of stepping out in the rain. The bartender demanded I leave loudly until I got off of the phone. Aggressive older tattooed guy named Rob I think. After I complained to the waiter and once sitting back down my friends asked what happened. As they looked across the restaurant he yelled "Do we have a problem?!". It made me and my friends so uncomfortable and me upset that we left. We had already gotten over it and sat down when this happened, like he was trying to start a fight with them because I was sitting with two men. It was two in the afternoon on a sunday. Plenty of other places with better service and better food.

Reviewed Anonymously by grace on January 19, 2014, 9:26 pm
Great, except for hipsters

Great place. Loud rock, great drinks awesome food exceptional prices. A Portland Institution. The best place for food at 1AM.

The only downside are the hipsters. The place is dark which adds to the experience. But what the heck is that? A Hipster 'Zine photographer WITH A FLASH? One or two photos would have been cool, but sucking up to two drunk girls by taking dozens of photos of them for 20 minutes sucked. The staff did nothing, despite several people asking them do put an end to it.

To the dirty hipster: Why yes, it WAS me that tossed my dirty wet balled up napkin across the room at you! I had to throw it at that very moment, because my retinal damage would have prevented accuracy in another minute. Seeing it 'splot' against the side of your bearded hipster head and your disbelief that someone would do such a thing was AWESOME!

I wasn't the only one that fled Dots because of the flash. But I was the only one to take direct action. And I am proud of what I did in defending a Portland Institution!

Reviewed Anonymously by Chuck Yeager on May 15, 2010, 6:44 am
soco amaretto and lime

my favorite drink from the east coast and the first bar i have been to in PDX in which the bartender pulled it off without batting an eye.

only two places on the west coast have pulled it off

one is in seattle

the other is Dots

Reviewed By BarFly User saddays on April 18, 2009, 6:23 pm
DOTS FUCKIN ROCKS!!!!

Dot's is THE BEST damn bar in Portland...period. Awesome food, strong ass fuckin' drinks and SUPER CHEAP!

I don't know how they stay open; its so cheap!

I will always love you Dot's :)

Reviewed By BarFly User Lococito on December 7, 2008, 10:13 pm
yummy!

Beware, this place has an addictive quality to it. Been going here for years and never had bad service or food. The vegan burrito is delish! Drinks are strong-ish too. :)

Reviewed By BarFly User Rocket! on November 25, 2008, 2:09 am
DOTS

The first time I went to Dots was years ago. Gosh I can't even remember and I fell in love with the place as I was a crazy teenager thinking I was at a pretty hip place. I then moved super close and would walk to eat there at least once a week. Um dirty things in the bathroom while drunk...hehehe. The BT and Wait staff changed though and got really rude. So please if any of those that work there are reading this please note that yes I am not a hipster, but I love dots. So....treat people w/ some damn respect and maybe you will get a damn tip!

Reviewed Anonymously by For me to know on May 13, 2008, 9:38 pm
Dot's Rox

I have been going to Dot's frequently for about a year and it is one of my favorite places. The food is cheap and delicious. I'm now addicted to the vegan vavoom, and I'm not even a fuckin vegan! I love meat! The atmosphere is awesome, the crowd has always been cool, and the staff are not super friendly but very attentive. It's also a great place to stumble in sunday mornin hung as fuck, because it's really mellow and usually only a few people there. But be prepared if you come i late on a weekend the place gets packed and there usually isn't enough places to sit. Try the fries with the spicy tofu sauce...you'll thank me.

Reviewed By BarFly User ky on February 28, 2008, 4:45 pm
stop by on the way home

This is where I like to stop on my way home after a long night of getting wasted. The food here is really good and it is dark so no one can tell how fucked up you really are. I have always been served good drinks here regardless of my condition. Good service and friendly people. They also have 1 pool table. Every time I have taken a girl here on the way home they loved it and bugged me to take them back. I actually like the fact that it is off the beaten path and kinda hard to find.

Reviewed By BarFly User ed2020 on February 27, 2008, 3:06 pm
LOVE IT!

Dot's is honetly one of my favorite places in Portland. The eclectic style, strong/cheap drinks, great diversity in food from heavy meat to vegan selection, pool... ahhh.... The staff are awesome also. As the other review said, the two owners are great and remember you as they wait tables themself, other staff also has my drink ready for me when I sit down. :)

Reviewed By BarFly User JacobM111 on February 16, 2008, 5:36 pm
Ditto.

The Gentle Ben is my personal fav, and of course who could resist the spicy fries with Tofu sauce. Great veggie menu, and very attentive staff. Once your eyes adjust to the darkness, and after you drain your first Gin & Tonic, you'll say "Fuck you Disneyland, this is the happiest place on Earth!"

Reviewed By BarFly User cidermaster on January 22, 2008, 8:57 pm
drink it eat it

I have fallen in love with the Border Melt... Border Melt, you filthy bitch, why have you taken my heart. All I can do is look to the booze for comfort, then I only want you more. Damn. If there was ever a place to fall in love with a patty melt, this is it. Good luck finding a table on the weekends.

Reviewed By BarFly User cidermaster on May 10, 2007, 4:23 pm
Awesome food, awesome drinks, the owner is a peach!

I used to live in SE when I first moved here and went to Dot's almost every night. The food is great, the drinks are strong, and the owner, Monica, always remembers me and asks after my family. She rocks! I can't wait to move back to SE so I can start going to Dot's again. Mmmm....bacon cheese fries. And a Plain Old Plus? With beer, it's a perfect end to an evening.

Reviewed Anonymously by swiller on December 30, 2005, 12:03 pm
Dot's Rocks

Dot's is a great place to go for just about anyone. Yes, it is popular with the hipster crowd, but there is always a good mix of all types there.

Reviewed Anonymously by buzz on October 29, 2005, 10:34 am
Great place

I love Dot's, its one of my favorite places to go in Portland. The food is great and you can get the greasiest cheese fries to vegetarian fare. It's open late and crowd is a nice mix of locals and yuppie goth's. Depending on the bartender the drinks are great and the prices are very reasonable.

Just beware of the co-ed bathroom doors that don't always lock.

Reviewed Anonymously by A on September 2, 2005, 9:43 pm
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Overall Rating of Dots

Absolute boozer heaven
Pretty freakin' nice
Could be worse
Exemplifies mediocrity
Ugh, shoot me.

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