TA-DAH! Here’s a few of my favorite places around Portland (where to eat/drink/sleep) that I think you guys will love! I was there for less than a week but wish Corey and I could have stayed longer. There’s so much creativity in Portland that I couldn’t help feeling inspired and I hope this little guide of my favorite stops and standouts helps inspire you as well!
We stayed here and were hosted by Emily and Adam—artists and all around cool people—at their bungalow in the Alberta area, located in walking distance to a few of our favorite food stops and an easy/cheap Uber ride into downtown. Emily is a macrame teacher/genius and the home reflects her talent with an eclectic vibe and treasure trove of art objects by the couple and their friends. Fun fact: this home was a location for sketch show Portlandia and has been featured in coffee table book, The New Bohemians.
Tasty N Sons: Their happy hour is AH-MAZING and they might just serve the best burger I’ve ever eaten (only $8 on their happy hour menu). Plus their potatoes bravas reminded me of the tapas I ate in Spain. We loved this place so much we went twice…and it was so worth it!
Tasty N Alder: A little fancier than Tasty N Sons (but same owner), we stopped here for brunch and weren’t disappointed. This downtown eatery has an eclectic menu ranging from Asian-Spanish fusion to gourmet takes on classic brunch items. We ordered the Korean fried chicken with rice and kimchi (OMG YUM!), decadent banana walnut bread (came with sanding sugar for a delightful crunchy texture and sweet taste), potatoes bravas (not as good as the N Sons location but still delish).
Cascade Brewery: Portland specializes in sour beers which—shock of the century—I ended up liking! I’m not beer drinker at all. I’ll have a sip just to say I’ve tried something but other than that, pass me a glass of wine or cocktail. HOWEVER…we ordered several tasters of sour beers that I actually kept reaching for. They tasted fruity and were slightly fizzy and sweet. I couldn’t even taste the alcohol! To pace myself, I ordered a pulled chicken sandwich topped with crunchy coleslaw as a snack. I had low expectations (since, “brewery food” doesn’t have the best reputation) but was happily surprised when I couldn’t put it down.
Circa 33: We met Corey’s cousin at this old school Prohibition era cocktail bar. We ordered cocktails and burgers. The mixed drinks were on point but after eating the best ever burger at Tasty N Sons, Circa’s just couldn’t compare (still good though) but the fish and chips and curried devil eggs hit the spot. Also fun fact: though we didn’t have time to check it out, there’s an actual speakeasy complete with pool tables, darts, and live entertainment behind a bookshelf—just enter the code in a “mafia” book.
Gravy: We waited for over 1 hour before sitting down at this heart attack inducing eatery that specializes in…well, gravy. This hearty breakfast joint (breakfast is served ALL DAY!) serves fluffy biscuits with a choice of sausage or veggie gravy. We opted for the sausage gravy and oh man, we put that gravy on EVERYTHING! Hashbrowns, check. Eggs, check. I even ate the gravy straight up. I’m not sure what exactly was in it but it was highly addicting. To reduce the damage, we wanted to split our meals (one fried chicken combo and one biscuit and gravy) and it was a good thing because once the waitress set down those plates, I snapped a couple pics for proof, and then they were GONE. Total food coma after that but SO. Worth. It.
Saint Cupcake: After discovering the best cupcakes in Barcelona (Who knew? Go figure), nearly every cupcake has paled in comparison. Until Saint Cupcake. While still not again as delicious as the aformentioned Spain cupcakes, it was still a deliciously decadent experience. The cake was soft (a sign of freshness) and the frostings are flavorful—my only complaint was that there wasn’t more on the cake!
Blue Star: We skipped the over done Voodoo in favor of this super chic donut shop. We waited in line for over 30 minutes and…was it worth it? I’ll say yes because they were delicious but truth be told I’m more of a fan of Sidecar than Blue Star. We ordered 5 donuts: an apple fritter, chocolate, berry…but I wasn’t that impressed (they were mostly cake donuts and I’m partial to light, airy yeast donuts). I admit, we scarfed the contents of our box down, but there were still a few bites left—something that never happens at Sidecar. Oh, and there’s a location in L.A. (ironically it’s near Sidecar).
Salt & Straw: These handcrafted, small batch seasonal flavors are a welcome change from the overly sugared and artificial tasting flavors are ice cream chains—think “Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherries” and “Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper”. Of course, if you’re not planning on visiting Portland and you reside in the L.A. area, there’s a location in Larchmont/Beverly Hills, or if you live anywhere else, you can have it mailed to your house.
The Meadow: This uber gourmet salt and chocolate shop is stocked full of goodies worthy of gifting to the ultimate foodie or chef.
Canoe: For anyone with an eye for design, this gifting go to has elevated essentials in home goods and furniture. Everything is carefully curated with notable names in design like Marmol Radziner.
Ink & Peat: This bohemian boutique is such a dreamy spot to discover artisanal finds from beauty to clothing and textiles to jewelry and sweet smelling soaps. There’s truly a price point for everyone although fair warning, the bigger items come with an equally big price tag.