In all reality Portland is a sleepy city known for its impressive food scene, that being said I can't guarantee that you won't gain five pounds during your visit. Portland isn't a chew you up and spit you out kind of city, it's a let your freak flag fly, you do you boo boo, all creatives welcome place. It's a myriad of famed food carts, local breweries, green parks, and unique bakeries. My first visit I found myself falling in love with everything Portland had to offer. The city itself is quirky as hell, overflowing with recent transplants eager to start over. So here it is, my faux Portlander's guide to Portland.
W H E R E T O S T A Y
If you're not ballin' on a budget, staying at the cheapest Airbnb like myself, stay at the
Probably one of the most instagramed hotels in Portland, from their photobooth snapshots to their iconic lobby. Ace is a boutique hotel thoughtfully designed to feel like your cool stylish friends home. It's prime location is perfect for exploring what Portland has to offer. Aside from being anomalous the Ace has a wonderful bonus of having its own Stumptown Coffee.
N E I G H B O R H O O D S
One thing you need to know about Portland is the neighborhoods. Keep I'm mind that the area is divided up into 4 sections, South East, North East, South West, and North West. Below are some of my favorite places to explore.
NE or North East // N. Mississippi Ave./
NE is a quieter area on the outside of the city. Here you find quaint houses, quirky shops, vintage bars, and endless character. The laid back vibe of Mississippi Ave leads me to believe that if I lived in Portland this is where I would spend a majority of my time. Checkout the vintage shops or go bar hopping, there's plenty to do.
SE or South East// Hawthorn District./
The SE section of the city is another laid back scene where Hawthorn District is located. Vintage shops, bars, breweries, record stores, and intriguing cafes. This neighborhood is home to some of the best vintage shops I've ever seen. The shops here are the type that you need hours to fully absorb. Around every corner there is another shop filled to the brim with treasures, the walls holding countless stories and long lost memories.
P L A C E S T O E A T
Just because it's the most instagramed doesn't mean it has the best food (I'm looking at you Voodoo)
I would like to think I know my way around a donut, that being said Blue Star is hands down the best donut shop in Portland. Be sure to order the blueberry bourbon basil, and go early so they're not sold out.
Caffeine is always a good idea. Good Coffee lures you in with it's welcoming and beautiful interior yet keeps you around with their great coffee and prices. It's a coffee shop that's hard to part with.
I may be bias since Mexican is my food of choice, but Po Que No? blew me out of the water. I'm not sure why I thought Mexican and Portland wouldn't go hand in hand, but I was very wrong. Affordable but not lacking in flavor or food quality. I always order the Hibiscus Margarita and Bryan's Bowl... the orange sauce is a gateway drug.
Sometimes after a long day ordering in is your best option. This pizza is cooked to perfection and will appeal to your Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free friends (If you surround yourself with those types of people). Get the Wyld Stallyn and you wont be disappointed.
Division Food Carts// SE 28th Division at Tidbit /
There are fantastic food carts all over the city, but this one never disappoints. Who knew such great food could come from such small kitchens?
B R E W E R I E S
Endless breweries spewed throughout Portland, but rather than paying and going on a tour why not create your own.
This brewery just screams Portland. Get a flight or two if your bad at making decisions like myself. Beers here are very hoppy and adventurous so if that's not your style this might not be the place for you.
Oh Rogue you hold such a large special place in my heart. Their beer is great, I have yet to taste one Rogue beer that I didn't like. I'm a sucker for good graphic's and every bottled beer here is truly unique.
Close to downtown and has a large variety of beers on taps. They also offer flights that serve the brewers choice, you can pick your own but why not trust the experts. As a bonus they have to die for locally brewed Kombucha.
Ecliptic Brewing // 825 North Cook St./
A brewery where beer and astronomy meet. Each brew has a cheeky name that ties in with their Constellation theme. If the weather is good sit outside and enjoy your beer with Fremont Bridge and city views.
S H O P P I N G
Locally owned stores filled with unique goods you can't find anywhere else, is what Portland shopping is all about. Okay, get out your pitchforks... I recommend skipping Powell's Books unless you have a rare book you need or are obsessed with literature.
Based on experience, going shopping directly after going to the brewery's may not be in your best interest, you might end up with Sloth themed everything and enough stationary to last 20 lifetimes, that being said if you know anyone that needs a cartoon sloth tea towel, let me know.
Crafty Wonderland carries over 160 handmade goods from Portland area artists and these people are incredibly talented. I wanted to stay here forever, I was enamored with all they had to offer. This also may or may not be where I acquired all of my sloth items.
With a few locations CARGO is an overwhelming experience that everyone should have. The walls are lined with imported furniture, one of a kind wonders, and flea market finds. What makes it truly amazing is that there are products here from all over the world and each textile, furniture piece, antique or decoration tells a story.
One of my favorite hidden gems in Portland. It's a magical place where all your plant and apothecary dreams are realized. The building exterior looks like your average city building, but upon entering the front door, you are transported into the coolest man made forest ever.