Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Ore.
Before opening this ground-level restaurant and basement performance space in 2004, Doug Fir's architects had to evict the rats and other detritus left behind by a damaged former diner, punk club and parking garage. The cozily redesigned, wood-paneled room ("like Paul Bunyan's home in outer space," one local writer put it) is perfectly located in central Portland, less than a mile from downtown. Try the Eggs La Bamba.
Fun Fact: The Doug Fir is housed at the Jupiter Hotel, along with a tattoo parlor and a hair salon -- perfect for that multitasking scenester.