SLEEP: Most of my Portland trips have been rather last minute. My best trick up my sleeve is Priceline. We have always been able to get a great 4 star hotel at a reasonable price through the name your own price option. We’ve stayed at the Vintage Plaza, River’s Edge Hotel and Spa, and my favorite The Westin. Oh those heavenly Westin beds.
Portland is land of hipsters. Fittingly, it has a diverse food scene to satisfy the demands of all its hip foodies. Brunch is fo’ real in Portland. Plan on it taking up at least 2 hours of your day. My favorite spot is the Scandanavian cafe Broder. Since you’re going to have to endure the wait, Broder came up with a brilliant plan to occupy the bar next store for you to sip coffee while you wait. Oh, and it’s worth the wait.
If you don’t wanna make that kind of time commitment, head on over to the Waffle Window and try a plain pearl sugar Belgian waffle or if you’re adventurous go for the Bacon, Basil, Brie with peach jam. Honorable mention for brunch goes to Pine State Biscuits.
If you’re ready for happy hour, head on down to Andina in the Pearl District.
MORE EATS: Another great place to grab a drink is Teardrop Cocktail Lounge. Check out that hipster bartender, excuse me, mixologist! Yes, that’s my giant punch bowl…in Grandma’s china…to not be confused with those fish bowl drinking days of college. We are classy now.
If you need to fill up on more grub head to Toro Bravo for tapas, Pambiche for Cuban food, or Pok Pok for authentic Thai.
One of my favorite restaurants is Laurelhurst Market, sad I have no photos to share due to dim lighting and my inability to make a slab of meat look appetizing. The best steaks for the most reasonable prices can be found here.
Or you can forget all those and focus on Salt & Straw!!! Mmm, olive oil ice cream…want!
THINGS TO DO IN BETWEEN EATING:
Portland has a lot of great neighborhoods, do explore outside the downtown core. However, if you are starting downtown, don’t miss wandering around the Pearl District. I love perusing every inch of Cargo, a giant warehouse of Asian imports. I love Kokeshi dolls!
One of my favorite shops on the planet, Porch Light is also in the Pearl. I hate to say it is not as quaint as their old location; however, it still is very well done and I haven’t ever escaped empty handed.
FYI- Those rugs are Dash and Albert–so great and reasonably priced.
I would be a complete bozo if I didn’t recommend any visitor to scope out Powell’s Books. This is Mecca for book lovers. I love that used books are mixed right in with the new. The cookbook section is amazing. I have purchased several niche cookbooks, as well as my current obsession, junior league recipe books.
The Japanese Garden is another downtown sight that doesn’t disappoint. You feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden world in the middle of downtown. Don’t expect a massive garden; do look forward to a tranquil garden to sit and relax with company, or your own thoughts, and take in the beauty.
If you have the means to venture out into the surrounding neighborhoods, I recommend checking out Vintage Pink.
If you want to venture further out and take a break on your wallet and stomach, Multnomah Falls is a 30 minute drive that has options for hiking. The Willamette Valley is also easily combined with a Portland visit. Check out Erath winery. Pinot noirs are the THANG in the Valley and Erath’s is superb.