The west coast Portland that is. With many of my readers visiting Portland and emailing me in search of recommendations of places to shop, eat and sleep, I thought I’d share my personal city guide favorites to keep you busy, entertained, well-fed and in style.
Now there are many pockets of Portland, each with their own personality, much like every metropolis. And the two that I have lived in and can confidently make myself at home in are the Pearl District and Nob Hill (West of Burnside and North of I-405).
Below are a lists of places organized into seven categories: Food, Shopping, Entertainment, Grocery, Stay, Pets, Transportation). Each of the destinations below are included based on my first-hand experience and recommendation. If you are making a trip to the Pacific Northwest, and have further question, feel free to contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
~A Dinner for Two or a Double Date – Andina – (1314 NW Glisan St.) a Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl District – wonderful atmosphere, busy and bustling with exquisite food, wine and service
~A French Brasserie in Oregon – Brasserie Montmartre (626 SW Park Avenue)– located next door to Nordstrom, I love to stop in for lunch or dinner and enjoy their hamburger on a brioche bun, or spoil myself with their unique lasagna. Many nights have live music, and seating outside looking onto a side street.
~Drinks with a Friend or a First Date – Coppia (417 NW 10th Ave.)– nestled in the Pearl District, this Italian themed restaurant offers a wonderful happy hour with savory cheese and chutney pairings
~Weekend Brunch – Mother’s Bistro (212 SW Stark St.) – while the wait is long on weekends, the food is worth it. The French toast or their oatmeal are two of my favorites.
~My Paris Escape – Saint Honore Bakery (2335 NW Thurman St.) – no wifi to encourage conversation, the breads, patisseries, salads, sandwiches and quiches will leave your mouth watering, and with ample seating outside, be patient because the experience is worth it.
~Papa Haydn (701 NW 23rd Ave.)– While living on NW 23rd, I would stop in to pick up a dessert as they have beautiful creations to choose from. They’re dinners and lunches aren’t bad either, but their desserts, worth making the trip for just one slice of delicious goodness.
~Lovejoy Bakers (939 NW 10th Ave) – While living in the Pearl or whenever it’s lunchtime and I found myself in the Pearl District, I always made sure to stop by Lovejoy Bakers and either order one of their delicious sandwiches or pick up a pastry. With brioche rolls, daily fresh bread in all shapes and sizes, take your dog, meet a friend and sit outside in one of the many adirondack chairs on the boardwalk (literally) and people (and dog) watch.
~Kornblatt’s Deli (628 NW 23rd Ave)– a classic Jewish deli with a wide variety of bagels, corn beef and traditional dishes, when I lived just across the street, it was on Sunday morning for brunch that I would meet family and friends for their classic savory matzah brei or lox, bagel and cream cheese.
~While Wandering on NW 23rd – Vivace Coffee House & Creperie – (1400 NW 23rd St. ) – amazing crepes of all varieties & delicious coffee
~Grilled PB & J’s food cart (919 NW 23rd St) – the food cart scene in Portland is famous, but I’ve only tried one so far, one that I highly recommend. A bit nostalgic, I fell in love with the adult versions of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Cooked with Oregon cheeses, berries and jams, you have never had a PB&J like these.
~Consignment – Seams to Fit (2264 NW Raleigh St.)– Just off of NW 23rd on Raleigh is a consignment shop with treasures from Christian Dior, Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, as well as Vince, J.Crew and Citizens for Humanity. Clothing, jewelry, shoes. I stop every time I’m in Portland and always find at least one item to add to my closet.
~A Carolina Herrera khaki summer dress~
Looking for Chic Workout Clothing? ~Lucy (1015 NW Couch St.)– workout wear for women that keeps women’s body’s in mind. I still swear by their workout pants and capris. With options that provide the same structure as Spanx, as well as other options, the quality clothing will last for years.
~Sur La Table (1102 NW Couch St.) – What could be “on the table” are fine dishes, Le Creuset dutch ovens, or any kitchen essential you need. With classes to learn how to cook French pastries, pizzas, and more, I always love poking my head inside.
~Mabel & Zora (748 NW 11th)– Find Trina Turk seasonal collections and other chic modern women’s clothing items
~Delicious Coffee or New Interior Decor – Schoolhouse Electric (2181 NW Nicolai St.) Looking for retro, yet new home decor and accessories, then you have come to the right place. Having picked out my cupboard fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric and dreamt about their furniture, if all I walk out with is a delicious cup of jo, then I still leave inspired.
~Retro Decor and Lighting – Rejuvenation (1100 SE Grand Ave) – With endless lighting options that will take you back, furniture for the porch, bath and living room that will create a welcoming, yet signature decor, do stop by.
~Obilation: Papers & Press (516 NW 12th St.) unique and special cards, stationary, journals that will help you create your signature style
~Book Lover’s Paradise – Powell’s Books (1005 W Burnside St.)– With racks, rows and colorful floors, you will be able to spend hours perusing the new and used book shelves.
~Sammy’s Flowers (1124 NW Lovejoy St., & 2280 NW Glisan St.) – Beautiful seasonal flowers from local growers, the quality is top notch and unique options a treat for bringing a touch of Mother Nature indoors.
~Looking for that Documentary? – Fox Towers Theater (846 SW Park Ave)– Located next to Nordstrom, these small, intimate theaters always seem to have that small documentary or limited release film when I can’t find it anywhere else. While they also show the big headliners, it is convenient if you are staying in the heart of the city.
~My Favorite Go-to Wine Shop – Liner & Elsen (2222 NW Quimby St.)– A knowledgeable staff, regular wine tasting hours on select wines (sign up for their newsletter), and an bottles from the Pacific Northwest, California, and around the world, there is a reason the Wall Street Journal recommended them as a wine shop to visit.
~Whole Foods (1210 NW Couch St.)– Located in the heart of the Pearl District, when you can’t find what you need at the local markets, a dependable and delicious destination
~Frugal, Fabulous Food – Trader Joe’s (2122 Glisan St.) – Delicious food, frozen surprises and items you just can’t find anywhere else, especially at such great prices
~Zupan’s (2340 W Burnside St.)– Small, but full of gourmet meats, cheeses and fresh produce. Find flowers and other hard to find grocery items as well as wine, beer and the celebratory bottle of champagne.
~Gourmet Groceries – Elephant’s Delicatessen (115 NW 22nd Ave)– to take home and cook or sit and enjoy, the deli is full of gourmet cheeses, meats, desserts and more.
~Portland State Farmer’s Market – endless options from local farmers, artisans and bakers. And that’s just to whet your palette.
~Luxury Travel with Your Dog – The Heathman Hotel (1001 SW Broadway)– Luxury accommodations that welcome your pet, this hotel is located on Broadway next to Arlene Schnitzer concert hall and two blocks from Nordstrom. With the famous Heathman Restaurant and quiet library to slip away to, you will find it hard to leave.
~Ideal for Hotel Accommodations – Embassy Suites Downtown in the Historic Multnomah Hotel (319 SW Pine St.)– situated in an iconic building, this is not your ordinary Embassy Suites. With complimentary breakfast and VooDoo donuts just around the corner, reserve a room during the holidays and enjoy the festive decor.
~Downtown Contemporary Luxury – Hotel Lucia – (400 SW Broadway) – located on Broadway, a hotel with beautiful, modern interiors.
~Urban Fauna (939 SW 10th St.)– Treat your dog to a new toy or have them groomed with my groomer of nine years – Katie. An expert at making dogs feel welcomed, the only place I take my boys.
~Portland Street Car – a simple and affordable way to get around my two favorite districts, as well as across the river to the east side, for $1, you can hope on and be dropped off at your next simply luxurious destination.
As you can see, staying on the west side can certainly keep you busy for days (you may have noticed, I did slip in one east side gem). Portland is a city to explore, offering wonderful food to delight in and a culture to soak up and spark your creativity. There is so much more I look forward to exploring, but for now, everything you see above was visited, tested and approved by moi. The next time you stop into the Rose City, I hope you have a wonderful visit.