What Should I Do In Portland?

Tomorrow morning I’m leaving for a long weekend in Portland, Oregon with my sister! I’ve never been before and I can not contain my excitement. I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about this city, from the beautiful sights and delicious food to the friendly people and laid-back vibe. To make this trip the best it can possibly be, I thought I’d reach out to you guys and ask for your recommendations! If you know Portland, please help me fill in these blanks:




Portland photos courtesy of our styling assistant, who’s from Portland! :)

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  1. You must go to VooDoo donuts for a sweet tooth craving and Stumptown coffee co is some of the best in the West. Also Powells bookstore in downtown Portland is such a neat bookstore. Have fun girl! I look forward to your posts to come ; )

    – Jordan

  2. I love Portland’s natural beauty.
    Eat @ Pine State Biscuits and order the Reggie.
    During the day hang out in Washington Park. There you’ll find the zoo, Hoyt arboretum (great hiking trails), the Japanese garden (my favorite place to just be) and International Rosé Test Garden.
    At night hang out on NW 21st & Glisan. There is a slew of great bars and restaurants. I love the Pope House bourbon lounge, Muu muu’s and 23rd Ave has cute shops & Red Onion for Thai . The east side has a ton of great restaurants and bars. I’m just not well versed in the area quite yet. Venture out. Check out Dig A Pony, Sapphire Hotel (great food & drinks) Rontoms, Kir for drinks or for food Screen Door, Ave Genes, Tasty & Sons and the food carts.

    As for cute boys. They’re everywhere! Go for a nice walk along the river, down Hawthorne St., Division St., or Belmont St. You’ll see.

    I hope this help. Have a great time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  3. I’ve not been much to Portland but I definitely recommend walking all over the place. Alder St, Burnside St, Stark St. Don’t stay on 5th avenue and whatnot seeing as most cool places are around 11th-15th ave. Walk, walk walk! Lots of awesome places to eat like Clyde Common, Voodoo Doughnuts (if you’re cool with lines), Stumptown Coffee roasters. PLaces like Yo! Vintage which are near Alder (I think), Canoe, Tanner Goods, Poler Stuff, Alder & Co (of course on Alder Street and like…12th? 14th? WALK!). A place called Petunia’s next to Alder & Co. Lotssss of food pods EVERYWHERE and they’re delicious. I cannot street it enough — you gotta walk! 12hrs.net has a 12 hour on Portland guide which is also fantastic. Have fun!

  4. Joe has some really good suggestions, if you can you should visit multnomah falls is only like 40 min drive from portportland, Columbia river hwy will be good way to get there or I-84 I love shopping on 23th free people is there!!!!!! Hope you enjoy your time here!! You are my favorite free people Girl

  5. Welcome to the wonderful Pacific Northwest! Portland is such a wonderful city, I’ve lived here almost my whole life and it never ceases to amaze me. No matter how you spend your weekend you’ll have an incredible time, but here’s a couple suggestions….
    For breakfast or lunch, check out Harlow on SE Hawthorne (http://www.harlowpdx.com). It opened about a month ago and has the most delicious all vegetarian and gluten free menu you will find anywhere. And their extensive smoothie and juice menu speaks for itself. It’s still a bit of a hidden gem, so you won’t have to deal with the huge lines you would find elsewhere. Plus, Hawthorne is a fun area to wander around for shopping and people watching.
    You also can’t visit the Rose City without hitting up a couple food carts. Mississippi Ave has a couple great food car pods, as well as a number of local boutiques to fill your afternoon. As far as food goes, check out Wolf & Bears, Koi Fusion, and Native Bowl all on Mississippi. There’s also a number of great restaurants and bars if you want to hang around for the evening.
    And a few of my favorite local retailers that you can’t miss: local jewelry designer Betsy & Iya (possibly my favorite shop in the world, you can’t leave Portland without one of her pieces), Yo Vintage! (she has an amazing handpicked vintage collection as well as a number of locally made goods, her pieces are affordable and so wearable), Lille (ad adorable little specialty lingerie stop full of beautiful things), and Halo (shoes, shoes, shoes. enough said).
    A word of caution: places like the Saturday Market, Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt & Straw Ice Cream (so so delicious) and the Farmers Market are all very ‘Portland’ – and certainly loads of fun – but are swamped with people. If you go, go early! Otherwise check out some lesser-known but just as awesome locations.
    Finally, if you want to get out of the city – go for a hike in the Gorge. Hit up the market early, pack a lunch, and drive 30 minutes east for little trails with breathtaking views. And be back in time for some pdx nightlife.
    Have such a wonderful stay in Portland! Hope I could be of a little help. It’s a beautiful city, I guarantee you’ll fall in love

  6. Skip VooDoo and head over to Blue Star Donuts and amaze your taste buds with their blueberry-basil-bourbon doughnut. Rent a bike and tour the city… there’s something wonderful around every corner.

  7. Ah I live in Portland right now! I agree with the person above skip Voodoo if theres a massive line (not worth a 45 minute wait!), Blue Star Donuts is amazing the smore donut is a dream. Definitely check out NW 23rd, Mississippi ave and Hawthorn! And if you don’t mind going a little ways out of the city a hike at the multnomah falls Is gorgeous! Oh and the rose garden is just gorgeous too!

  8. East side representing!
    Meat Cheese Bread for lunch and the attached bar, Beer for drinks.
    Screen Door for brunch, but beware the wait!
    Shop at a cute textile and vintage spot nearby called Appetite and coffee at Heart Coffee.
    Also if you do get to Mississippi St. check out Beam & Anchor for a curated local collection of pretty things.

    Don’t miss Salt & Straw or What’s the Scoop for Icecream!

    Have fun.

  9. I just got back from Portland, where I spent the summer doing an internship! I’ll fill out the form, hopefully you’ll leave Portland as happy and inspired as I did!

    What I love about Portland is how genuinely kind and open the people are.

    When you’re there, you must eat at The Farm Cafe (best vegan/vegetarian options I have ever had) and you must order their famous “Farmhouse Veggie Burger”.

    During the day, you should relax in the International Rose Test Garden, where you can take gorgeous pictures in the midst of hundreds of different types of fragrant roses.
    Come night time, you’ll have the most fun at Doug Fir Lounge, a small but wonderful music venue and bar. Make sure you look up to see what shows they have while you’re there!

    Oh, and make sure you swing by the Northeast side of Portland (Alberta area), it’s where all the cute boys hang out :)))

  10. Don’t go to Voodoo! Wait in line for god knows how long just for a donut with cereal thrown on top of it.

    Tonalli’s Donuts and Cream on Alberta St. has amazing donuts. They are open until 1AM.

  11. I live in Portland and wouldn’t have it any other way. You are seriously coming at the most perfect time.

    You should visit the DOUG FIR LOUNGE for some great live music (plus cute boys.) Located at,830 E Burnside St Portland, OR 97214.

    The PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET is a must for all sorts of food vendors and arts / crafts galore! But be forewarned it gets super crowded (try to hit it up early in the day.)

    If you enjoy Lebanese food try NICHOLAS RESTAURANT located 318 SE Grand Ave Portland, OR 97214, order the VEGAN METZA! It’s very inexpensive ($9 bucks) and enough food for two people.

    SKIP Voodoo Dougnuts, the wait is far too long and not worth it.

    For some outdoorsy-ness try MULTNOMAH FALLS; you cannot take a bad picture anywhere at this place. It’s about 30 – 40 min east of Portland. I recommend going during the day on a week day, less tourists. Located at, 50000 E Historic Columbia River Hwy Bridal Veil, OR 97010.

    Go to HOUSE OF VINTAGE, located at, 3315 B SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214. This is a great thrift shop that has an old school photo booth in working order. I always find a gem or two at this place.

    Hope this helps have fun!!

  12. Eat at Chaing Mai and get Khao Soi (I crave this all the time) or eat at Kurata Sushi!
    Also, do some hikes in the Multnomah falls area!

  13. I currently live in portland, or and all i can say is i wish you were staying for longer than a weekend !

    hawthorne, division, clinton are all cute SE streets, but NE / North portland is where it’s at !
    take a stroll down Alberta. Definitely check out Mississippi for cute shops, bars, venues, etc.

    eat at Pok Pok or Grain & Gristle. check out liberty glass. rontoms. dig a pony.the bye and bye.

    there are honestly too many places to even make this a cohesive comment !!
    but enjoy !

  14. I’m so excited you are coming to see my city!! Depending on when you arrive, there’s a great event from 11-1 on NW23rd – where there is already a FP shop. I don’t know if you want to simply relax or still network! :)
    Food? Salt N Straw on 23rd – best exotic ice cream!!
    Por Que No? – Killer Mexican food on Mississippi St. and SE Hawthorn :)
    Fireside on 23rd…Great Food and Bar
    Tea Chai Te – tea on 23rd
    For Night cocktails? The Sapphire Hotel on Hawthorn …
    For Manly Eye Candy? … Hm… The Hereafter on Belmont – all vegan fare and bar
    Every trip to portland needs to include a trip to Powell’s books… go browse and get lost inside :)
    Friday night, I’d say don’t miss a great show. Portland is known for musical talent! The band THANKS will be playing at the Union Pine on SE 6th and Pine. They play at about 9-9:30. Jimi, the lead singer will blow you away!

    So happy to share our city with you!! hit me up for coffee and let’s chat!!

  15. What I love about Portland is the Waterfront!! When you are here you must find and eat at the Koi Fusion food truck and I recommend ordering their monthly special. During the day you should berry/flower pick on Sauvies Island. Come night time grab happy hour or dinner at Departure and take in the beautiful views. Cute boys are everywhere but Alberta St. and the Saturday Market are good places to start!

  16. Pizzicato, Salt & Straw, Pioneer Place, The Nines, Portland Saturday Market, Willamette Jet Boats & Mother’s are some of my favorites.

  17. Ice Crea – Salt and Straw
    Sushi – Saburu
    Good Food – Tasty and Sons
    Skip – Voodo Donuts

  18. So many followers adore Portland.

    The market brings together the truest crowd of Portland, and is in such a great location. You and your sister should stay at the Ace Hotel. It’s connected to a Stumptown and shows off Portland’s character. I’ve had a great experience eating at Mothers for brunch on Sundays with their mimosas. Although, have heard wonderful things about Tasty & Sons. Enjoy it!

  19. Salt & Straw!! for sure! if you go on 23rd you can wander around the cool shops there. The nines is also fabulous. if you’re an ice cream freak (like me) Ruby Jewel is also fun!

  20. GO TO VODOO DONUTS FOR ME! They look amaze and it’s on my must hit list for sometime in this lifetime!

  21. Perfect timing- I’m going to Portland in 2 weeks and couldn’t be happier with all of these recommendations! Love it and thank you!

  22. Everyone raves about Voodoo donuts but if you live in Portland you know that it is just an over-hyped long-lined donut place. The REAL best donut spot is downtown at Blue Star! Their buttermilk donut is to die for and the blueberry bourbon glazed one is amazing too.

    Going out at night, Dig A Pony is great and has tons of cute guys. SE Belmont has some great spots. I love going to the Sweet Hereafter and sitting at their picnic tables in the back.

    You can get lost for hours in the House of Vintage on Hawthorne. An absolutely great place for any kind of retro/vintage finds. Red Light Clothing Exchange, also on Hawthorne, has great bohemian clothes for cheap.

    One last good spot for the weekend is the Saturday market by PSU in the park blocks.

  23. I absolutely love Portland! I got to school two hour south of there, and I can’t get up there enough! The japanese rose gardens are beautiful this time of year. You can see the whole city from inside of them! Also, walking downtown by the Willamette River is beautiful, there is always someone playing music or entertainment. The Saturday Market is not something to be missed! The art, food, and people are something to see! Luc Lac has the best vietnamese food of anywhere, there tofu Bahn Mi and Pho are amazing. Also, Mothers Bistro has amazing breakfast with the best Marionberry jam! Marionberries are native to Oregon so you must try them! If you have time, check out Alberta Street for great local shops and great food! Have fun!

  24. What I love about Portland is the Saturday Market. When you’re there you must eat at Papa Hayden’s for dessert on NW 23rd. Order any of their desserts. You should hike at Multnomah Falls or go to the Hawthorne area. At night you can do anything! Swing by Stumptown – there’s cute hipsters.

  25. I’m third generation Portlander. Most of these places are good, but crowded. Sunday is breakfast day in Portland, so anywhere you go will be about an hour wait. I love The Waffle Window on Hawthorne and there’s a really good Goodwill across the street. Tasty n’ son is amazing for Brunch but the wait can be over an hour. Skip Saturday Market, it’s too crowded. Voo-Doo donut is awesome and founded by one of the original owners of X-ray Cafe which was a big punk grunge club in the 80’s and 90’s. If you want really good pastries go to PIX patisserie on Burnside. Forest Park is perfect for a daytime hike. Washington Park is great too, natives and locals spend Summers there. If you want to see beautiful old estates they’re up in the West Hills by Washington Park. Laurelhurst park is a beautiful Victorian park with original buildings. Good shopping streets are Hawthorne, Alberta, Mississipi, and NW 23rd. I don’t go to nightclubs or bars so you’ll have to go with someone else’s suggestions. Have fun!

  26. Check out a restaurant called Duckfat! I was up in Portland earlier this summer to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and that is when I stumbled upon this restaurant. Try the hand cut french fries cooked in duck fat :) I found them unique and interesting.. enjoy your trip!

  27. LE HAPPY!

    You must, must, must go to Le Happy, Portland’s sweetest hole-in-the-wall “Original French Style” creperie. They have delicious crepe’s, savory and sweet, and wonderful cocktails. They are open from 5pm to 2pm most nights which makes it a perfect place as the sunsets in Portland and late into the night!

    There are of course tons of other wonderful places, but Le Happy has always been one of my most favorite of them all. Hope you have a wonderful time in Portland. It’s my favorite place in the world!

  28. For some history, check out the pittock mansion. It is beautiful and has a nice view of the city. Enjoy your travels!

  29. Voodoo donuts is a must! It is so unique and fun! I would try to go during the day because it gets very crowded at night! Powell’s bookstore is great as well because they offer used books! I think there is something cool about buying used because you never know what little notes you will find in them! The rose garden is absolutely gorgeous and it should be in bloom right now. I’m sure you will have a wonderful time there it is very beautiful and green! It tends to rain a lot there so be warned!

  30. Just did a girl’s weekend there a few weeks ago and stumbled upon the Crystal Ballroom for 80’s night. We closed the place down. So fun and they play the original videos on giant screens. Amazingly fun!

  31. There are many, many things to do in Portland…it depends on her interests. Favorites: Japanese Garden, Park Blocks downtown near Portland State University with shops all around, Jimmy Mak’s jazz and dinner club downtown, cruise the river on the Portland Spirit, Rhododendron Garden near Reed College, microbreweries, Pearl District for art galleries and restaurants and to make the scene (little NYC, complete with tiny pooches), lots of theater, music, dance clubs, you name it!

  32. You must go to Powell’s City of Books Store. It is amazing. Not only is it HUGE (you get a map when you enter), it is stocked full of new releases as well as vintage and antique books. I snagged some of Platos works for $11 and they were only 3rd editions. So much fun I was lost in there for hours and walked out spending $125, well worth the books I found. Also, check out a cute restaurant called The TIn Roof. Good food and a quirky environment.

  33. As a native Portlander, first I’d like to say Welcome!. If you’re wanting something to satiate your sweet tooth I’d highly recommend grabbing a slice of the best pie you’ll ever eat at Random Order on Alberta street. For breathtaking views go to the Rose Gardens in Washington Park or up to Pittock Mansion ( great history there too!). As far as shopping bargains, nothing beats Hawthorne, you will find anything you could dream of there! And of course, Stumptown coffee is always where its at. For fun drinks check out Circa 33 on Belmont for that fun vintage vibe. And if you’re craving an awesome burger go to Dick’s Kitchen on Belmont or NW 21st. They have a great and delicious variety of meat and vegetarian /vegan options. Avoid Downtown as there’s no true vibe there, and it’s not as stimulating as all the beautiful neighborhoods in NE and SE. That’s just a few, whew. Hope you have a rockin visit!

  34. You must go to Salt n Straw for ice cream, all local and homemade, and try the Almond brittle ganache ice cream. Well, thats what i go for anyway, i am such a chocolate person. also, please do splurge and get the waffle cone, it’ll blow your mind. Its on 23rd, which is convenient because there are also a ton of great bars, food places and boutiques right there in the area.

  35. 1. Go to 23rd St to shop (its like the Abbot Kinney of Portland). Eat at Papa Hadyn’s there and get the carrot cake if you want something sweet.

    2. Tour the Pittock Mansion for a bit of Portland history or head to the Japanese Gardens or Rose Gardens for some serenity.

    3. Head down to the Saturday Market if you want to really see how the dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland.

    4. Wander around the Pearl District for boutiques and pretty mini parks. Also there is a cute letterpress store there called Oblation.

    5. And someone’s probably mentioned it, but Powells Books if you can. :)


  36. During the summer months on the last thursdays of the month is the Alberta Street Fair. This is the most wonderful, vibrant fair Portland has to offer. A great place to be for tasteful food, art and music. Anyone and everyone is welcome to make, sell and enjoy local art and music. And while you’re there, check out the Vintage A Go Go bus for you vintage loving free people. We’re a mobile vintage shop inside of a pink 1979 school bus.

  37. This is perfect! I am going to Portland in just 2 weeks and I had a couple suggestions but this is rounding out my list nicely! So sad that I will only be there for a day or two, but I am going to try and squeeze in as much of these awesome recomendations as possible! Love the local opinions. Great idea to gather ideas :)

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