Every year, Alex and I like to take a quick trip out of L.A. and get our fall weather fix. We usually head to Seattle, but decided to switch things up this year and see what Portland, Oregon is all about!
To be honest, I didn’t expect to love the city as much as I did. We watched Portlandia for years, so I literally just pictured Seattle but 100x more weird. While that’s not far off, I didn’t expect it to feel so much like home. Like it seriously reminded me so much of Minnesota, in the best way! Everyone was so genuine and friendly, I feel like it’d be so easy to make friends here!
I’ve always had a thing for the PNW, and I can definitely see us moving there soon. Portland is so charming, and not to mention incredibly walkable, which I LOVE! I swear there’s like a million coffee shops, bars, restaurants and cool shops trickling the streets, you’d always get to discover a new gem.
We were only there for a long weekend, but I’ve compiled this list of what we saw, did, and duh, ate while we were in Portland! Plus, I added some of your most-recommended places you sent me that I didn’t get a chance to see…yet!
Crystal Ballroom: A historic ballroom built in 1914 that is now an awesome concert venue! It has a spring-loaded dance floor, so it literally bounces and feels like you’re floating! We saw The Growlers and it was the perfect way to spend our first night.
Powell’s City Of Books: Portland’s iconic independent bookstore that’s pretty much a must. They have used and new books, and it’s HUGE. I picked up 2 books I’d been searching for for a while—they have almost any book you can imagine!
Saturday Market: An outdoor market every Saturday (and Sunday) with tons of food, local art and homemade goods. It was the perfect fall day when we went and is by a cool part of town to walk around in before/after!
Living Room Theaters: We passed by this cute theater (near our hotel) but didn’t have time to go! Looks like a fun movie theater that’s 21+ in the evenings. There’s a bar in the front, but you can get all kinds of food + wine delivered to your seat during the movie!
Proud Mary: My fave place we went for brunch so PLEASE do me a favor + go! Get the avocado toast (seriously the prettiest I’ve ever seen) and a side of their potato hash. I’m still drooling.
Mother’s Bistro: We didn’t get to try this because of the 1hr+ wait, but it looked so pretty and so many of you recommended this to me for brunch!
Kingsland Kitchen: We went here when we couldn’t get into Mother’s (it’s next door!) and it was so yum! It transported us back to England with their typical English breakfast (Alex’s fave) but I got the avo toast + potatoes (yes I’m predictable)!
Pizza Schmizza: We walked by this place + joked about how the logo reminded us of 90’s Nickelodeon, but later were craving pizza so we tried it out + loved it! It’s a small, low-key spot where you can get your own pizza or by the slice. It was actually so good + pretty cheap!
Vtopia Cheese Shop: Portland’s go-to for vegan cheese! Fun place for happy hour to get a vegan cheese board + some wine!
Boxer Ramen: GUYS this was the best vegan ramen I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried a lot). It’s all in the creamy curry broth…I can’t stop talking about it. It’s right across from the Ace hotel + another great place to get an affordable yet filling meal!
Blue Star Donuts: Okay I’m throwing this in here because somehow it’s become a thing to get donuts in Portland? Honestly not sure why, but hey if you’re into that, these are delicious. Everyone’s gung-ho for Voo-Doo donuts, but also seem overrated. I got the Passion Fruit Cake donut + it was delish.
Backwoods Brewery: Alex got some beers + I got an impossible burger with a side of tots! I think I ate potatoes with just about every meal lol.
Tasty + Alder: Another big rec from you guys for brunch!
Teardrop Bar: Get the white flag cocktail
Pink Rabbit: Cool vibe + yummy cocktail list
Abigail Hall: At the Woodlark Hotel. If Anthropologie was a bar, this would be it. Go for happy hour + get the Hibiscus Tom Collins + the $3 shoestring fries. UNREAL.
White Owl: Good happy hour, spacious + casual indoor/outdoor space.
Low Brow Lounge: Dive bar with cheap AF drinks.
Paddy’s: Randomly stumbled upon this bar that was full of Nebraska Husker fans (where we went to school) so we felt right at home!
Tin Barrel Brewery
Clyde Common: At the Ace Hotel where we stayed one night. Went for happy hour + was pretty good! Nothing crazy but convenient if you’re staying there
Barista: A few locations + a pretty good workspace.
Stumptown: Fun to see where it all started! Also really good coffee + spacious.
Never Coffee: Cool + colorful vibe. Very instagrammable + fun, upbeat music. I feel like I’d come here a lot if I lived here!
Ace Hotel: We stayed here our last night + LOVED it. Highly recommend. It’s the epitome of a hipster hotel + the rooms are so cool!
The Woodlark Hotel: Came for drinks but I would definitely stay here, it’s adorable + has a great location!
The Hoxton Hotel: Another super cool looking hotel that I didn’t get to experience but it’s on my list for next time!
Airbnb: We stayed at this Airbnb in the Pearl District. It’s a super walkable location + a spacious loft. It’s on the ground floor so it was super loud most nights / early morning which is the only downside. For that alone I don’t really recommend it unless you have earplugs (which we did) or if you live in NYC and are used to that sort of noise haha.
Regardless, there are a ton of fun Airbnb’s in Portland! You can sign up using my link here to get $40 off!
Solabee Flowers + Botanicals: Cutest plant shop!
Woonwinkel: Cute boutique with decor, jewelry + gifts.
Tender Loving Empire: A record label + handmade goods. I got inspired by so many prints!
Buffalo Exchange: Great place to browse all kinds of secondhand clothing + accessories! The Pearl District location is awesome.
Hope this helps when you visit Portland! Let me know if you go to any of these + send me pics!
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