You might have seen the t-shirts: "San Simón is a bar," (you're welcome, San Simón, for the Source Weekly Restaurant Guide quote used on that shirt) but the readers of Central Oregon would likely add a few more adjectives to that description. Perhaps they'd call the spot in Bend's Tin Pan Alley "hip," or "eclectic," or "moody," or "full of great specialty liquors and well-made drinks" — but however else you describe it, they'd certainly call it "best," since it's once again won the top spot as Best Bar in our annual readers' poll.
San Simón has won Best Bar before, but this year, Co-owner Brian Trottier told the Source Weekly he thought that wouldn't be the case, because of The Flaming Room – the plant-filled, "vaguely Equatorial" bar in the Century Center that he and his team opened in 2022.
There was concern about a split vote among fans of both bars. Turns out, there was room for both places on the podium, because readers also voted The Flamingo Room second place for Best Bar this year.
The heart of San Simón is the hard-partying saint that the bar is named after – a namesake that the managers of both San Simón and The Flamingo Room asked to be photographed with for this story. We had a little trouble keeping his ubiquitous cigarette in his mouth and his legs may or may not be duct-taped together, but I think it worked out all right. Find San Simón the saint in his usual spot, on an elaborate altar along the wall of San Simón the bar, from 2pm to late, seven nights a week.
845 Tin Pan Alley, Bend
Open daily 2pm-late
Second place: The Flamingo Room