Portland is one of my absolute favorite cities, and while I think it’s partially because I spend more time there for business than any other city, I think it’s not unfounded.
One of my (and the world’s) favorite bloggers Joanna Goddard is planning a trip there soon and I figured, might as well put my list of things to do online so instead of forwarding an email around (as I’ve been doing for the past couple years), I can share it more easily.
So a few caveats: I don’t have kids, I rarely leave Portland proper, I’m a vegetarian so most of these restaurants have a veggie option, and I’m not a huge nature fan (hiking, etc). That being said, there are still SO many cool things to do, eat, and drink in Portland.
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai (food cart or full location- note hours/menus vary)
- Food Carts (PDX is known for their food carts – which are kind of like LA’s food trucks but permanent, and often clustered together to take up entire blocks. Some favorites: Dump Truck, Brunch Box, Small Pharaoh)
- Screen Door (sit-down, SO GOOD, Cajun/Southern, no reservations)
- Pine State Biscuits (breakfast/brunch)
- Andina (tapas, downtown, great sangria)
- Veritable Quandry (my favorite “nice” restaurants in Downtown –
- Pok Pok (thai) – not life changing (like Lotus of Siam in Vegas), but really really good
- Mother’s – homey food, great service, nice location in downtown
- Luc Luc (vietnamese, downtown)
- Blossoming Lotus (tons of clean, veggie options)
Haven’t been, but heard good things: Tasty n Sons/Tasty n Alder for brunch or any time, and Ken’s Artisan Bakery, a little further outside of the city (good if you’re driving from the Bay)
- Voodoo donuts is a tourist institution, and a great example of “Keep Portland Weird” – open 24 hours, more touristy, but note that I think the donuts are just okay…
- Blue Star Donuts more fancy, more pricey, BUT SO GOOD! (Note they sell out most days, so go early!)
- Salt & Straw ice cream, 3 locations – the best. Flavors I LOVE: Olive Oil, Honey Lavender, Pear Blue Cheese
- Everywhere good should have Stumptown Coffee
- Lots of breweries if you like beer – like Deschutes (and there are others outside of downtown if you have a car)
- Happy Hour is big in PDX like Seattle – both at normal HH times and late night — Portland City Grill has a BEAUTIFUL view at night (Saucebox is popular too)
- Powells (must do, biggest new/used bookstore in the world) – if you love books/reading/browsing, it’s a great way to kill a few hours between meals
- Multnomah Falls (~30 minutes east) – you can hike or opt to just take in the view
- International Rose Garden
- Japanese Garden
- Portland movie theaters are really interesting — many have bars/restaurants and are adults-only, plus are cheap (like Bagdad, or Living Room Theaters)
- Portland Aerial Tram
- Go shopping! No sales tax in Portland (learning to calculate gratuity without tax as a reference is pretty jarring)
And I know I’m missing things too — so let me know! I already bookmarked these fountains that Joanna posted about this morning… good thing I’m heading back up there next month. Woo!