I have so much to say about Portland, but I have no idea where to begin. I was so excited to visit here and explore. So many people compared Portland to Austin, so my expectations were pretty high going into the trip.
One of the main reasons that I wanted to visit Portland, besides the food, was to see Multnomah Falls. Unfortunately, due to the fires that broke out a few weeks prior it was closed. I was super bummed about it, but our trip was still packed with lots of adventures.
Upon arrival the weather was not welcoming. It was raining and cold. We made it in fairly late Tuesday evening, so we spent the night resting and preparing for the next day. Wednesday was a gloomy and rainy day, but we made the most of it and were able to get a lot done! Thursday was beautiful! The sun was shining and it was nice and cool. It’s literally ALWAYS hot in Austin, so Portland’s weather was highly appreciated. One day of rain and one day of beautiful weather. I would say if you’re willing to risk a little rain, September is a great time to head to the weird city of Portland!
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed in the Alberta Arts Districts, and I must say…this area was really cute! It was a small community made of eclectic neighborhoods, bars, shops, and restaurants. It still had a modern touch to it, which made it feel as if you got to experience a variety of things in one small area. Alberta is about 15 minutes from the airport and downtown. I would recommend having a car if you decide to stay this far out. We stayed in an Airbnb, and it did not disappoint.
WHAT TO EAT:
Oh my gah! I literally ate so much food during this trip!! Stay tuned to see how I ate even more while in Seattle in my blog next week!
Mother’s Bistro & Bar 212 SW Stark Street – Filled with crystal chandeliers, mirrors, and black and gold wallpaper, Mother’s gives off an incredible sultry vibe. It is located in the heart of downtown, making it a popular place to grab brunch or a coffee. Rumor has it that this place has an hour plus wait on the weekend; however, we were able to walk right in and get a table. Perks of going during the week I suppose? I ordered the Wild Salmon Hash and an espresso. Norma ordered Mike’s Special Scramble. I wasn’t crazy about my dish, but Norma’s was really good! Take a peek at the menu. With over 3,000 reviews on Yelp, they have to be doing something right!! There is a mural of a beautiful African-American little girl across the street. If you are into street art, be sure to snap a pic with her.
Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St – OMG! I was not ready for this place. I read so many blogs about how amazing this place was, and the lie detector determined….that is the TRUTH! This was literally my favorite place to eat in Portland. I had The Reggie – the biscuit was perfect, the gravy was perfect, everything about it was perfect. I was full halfway through, but managed to get a few more bites in. It was that good! If you are in Portland, you must give this place a go! Did I mention how good it was? 🙂
Miss Delta 3950 N Mississippi Ave – I’m from the South, so I have high expectations of what Southern food should taste like. I am not a big Southern food eater but when I do eat it, I expect it to taste “Southern”…like grandma’s kitchen southern! Miss Delta was that place! Y’all, this place was so delish!!! I ordered the jambalaya (served with a big block of cornbread) and Norma ordered the chicken fried steak! Wow! Both dishes were superb! I literally felt as if I was in Nola eating some good Southern Cajun food! Coming in at my second favorite place to eat in Portland, I highly recommend this restaurant!
Blue Star Donuts 1237 SW Washington St – With almost 3,000 reviews, I expected this place to be scrumptious! In my opinion, it didn’t make the scrumptious cut, BUT the service was good, the place was clean and super cute, and we got to hang out here until the rain cleared. I had the OG donut. I am really basic when it comes to donuts. Give me a Krispy Kreme glazed donut, and I am good. Norma loved her donut! Apparently this place knocks VooDoo Donuts out of the lead for best donuts, buuutt my Airbnb host ranked Pip’s Original Doughnuts as the BEST donut joint in town. Unfortunately, I waited too late to give them a try. If you’re down for a taste test, check them out and leave me a comment of who wins “Best Donut”.
Salt + Straw – 2035 NE Alberta St – If you are an ice cream luva, then Salt + Straw needs to be at the top of your list. I had the Cinnamon Snickerdoodle on a waffle cone and it was divine! Ice cream is not my favorite treat, but I would definitely frequent this place if I lived in Portland. I hear the lines can get outrageous, but we missed the crowd!This place definitely lives up to its hype.
WHERE TO GRAB A DRINK:
Stumptown Coffee Roasters 1026 SW Stark St – Aha! Portland’s most raved about coffee. While I am not a big coffee drinker, this place had me come coming back for more…literally, twice in one day! There are numerous locations spread around the city, but I visited the one located in the retro yet modern Ace Hotel. I ordered a vanilla latte twice might I remind you. Both times my latte was smooth, creamy, and delicious. This was literally the best coffee that I have ever had!! Sounds a bit dramatic? Try it for yourself next time you are in Portland!
Barista 1725 NE Alberta St – I had hopes that this place would be just as good as my latte at Stumptown, but not so much. Sorry, Barista Stumptown ruined it for you. However, this location is located in the super cute Alberta area, so A for convenience.
Deschutes Brewery 210 NW 11th Ave – You can’t go to Portland and not visit a brewery! Deschutes was a cool experience. We ordered a variety of beers on our flight. Some were better than others, but my ultimate favorite was the American Wheat! It was light and refreshing and not overwhelming. The Sampler Tray consisted of six four ounce glasses of your beer of choice for $12. Bottoms up!!
THINGS TO DO + PLACES TO SEE
Keep Portland Weird Sign 3rd Street between Burnside and Ankeny – Psst…You weren’t in Portland if you didn’t get a picture of this sign, so they say! Prove your existence and stop by for a little photo op.
Powell’s City of Books 1005 W Burnside St – Recognized as the largest independent chain bookstore in the nation, Powell’s City of Book is the perfect place to get lost in on a cold, rainy day. This bookstore is home to thousands on thousands of new, used, and out- of – print books. Nestle up here with a Stumptown coffee in hand for a morning of reading!
Pittock Mansion 3229 NW Pittock Dr. – This mansion was built in 1914 by Henry and Georgianna Pittock. Although the mansion is now owned by the city of Portland, the remarkable history and stories still live. I didn’t actually go inside of the mansion, but I had the opportunity to explore the grounds and it was a beauty! Admission inside is $10 per adult. Exploring the grounds is free.
International Rose Test Garden 400 SW Kingston Ave – This little gem is located in Washington Park, across from the Japanese Garden. If you love flowers of all colors, shapes, and sizes, then you have to visit this place. There is no charge to walk around. I loved every moment of it, and the flowers smelled amazing!!
St. Johns Bridge 8600 NW Bridge Ave – I read that the same designer who designed the Golden Gate Bridge designed the St. John Bridge. I am not sure how accurate that is and obviously didn’t do the proper research to figure it out, but if true I can see some similarities. This bridge was so adorable. It’s picturesque for sure. Spend an afternoon at Cathedral Park and admire how beautiful this place is!
Mississippi Ave – I did not get to explore this area as much as I would have liked to. Miss Delta was in this area, as well as a cute bar called The Rambler. Next time I am in Portland, I will definitely give this area the proper visit.
Going to Portland soon? Leave me a comment of some more awesome places in Portland!