Things To Do In Portland

If you’re planning to travel to Portland (the Oregon one, not that lame-ass place in Maine), keep this blog post handy. Before a recent trip a friend of a friend sent me this incredibly extensive and helpful email with restaurants, activities, and suggestions, which I’ve broken up and hyperinked just for you.

The greatest thing about this list is it’s from an actual Portlander, not some guidebook. So consider these suggestions properly vetted. Enjoy, and keep Portland weird.

Outdoor Activities

Timberline Lodge

Go up Mt. Hood to Timberline Lodge – you can ski year round if you want or just hang at the gorgeous lodge and get some food and drink and walk around in the snow.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is very cool to see – about 30 minutes from downtown up the Columbia Gorge – take the scenic route. You can walk a nice paved trail up to the top.

Angels Rest

Angel’s Rest is a popular hike.

Pony Tail Falls

Pony Tail Falls is a cool fall that you can go behind. It’s part of the Horsetail Falls Loop. More info here.

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion is a cool mansion in town with views of all the mountains.

Forest Park

The rose garden up in forest park/washington park is nice.

The drive straight out route 26 to the ocean to Cannon Beach is spectacular! 1.5 hours – gorgeous drive – Sleepy Monk Coffee House is amazing! It has a restaurant/booze too I think…. easy to park right next to that and they’ll point you to the beach!


Cascade Brewing

Cascade brewing is pretty cool – right in town on Belmont – known for interesting Belgian sour beers.

Base Camp

Very close to that is a new fun brewery called Base Camp – great outdoor area and a pizza truck right there – great if the weather is good.


Prost! seems cool on N. Mississippi.

Upright Brewery

Upright Brewery is a cool cavernous brewery in a building on Broadway – really nice beer – only open on weekends. Broadway is a nothing busy street but very close to North Williams which has lots of food….


Clyde Common

Clyde Common is a restaurant in the Ace Hotel – reallly good food and fun and good cocktails…… go there!

Beeker and Flask

Beeker and Flask is near that Basecamp Brewery – great restaurant and attached behind it is a place called Rum Club with all fun rum drinks and they spin old vinyl – cool.

Le Pigeon

Le Pigeon – seriously awesome! Go. Best restaurant in town – chef wins awards – not pretentious – open kitchen behind bar to watch him cook.
It’s On East Burnside next to the Jupiter Hotel which houses the Doug Fir Lounge and band venue – Doug Fir is fun to hang at – outdoor fire pit etc…

Little Bird Bistro

Little Bird Bistro is a good restaurant downtown. Sister restaurant to Le Pigeon which is famous. Johnny the bartender/part owner is awesome – he used to run the bar at Clyde Common.


Biwa is a great looking Japanese Izakaya in Southeast Portland – cool cement industrial chic basement – yummy food – not too expensive.

Miho Izakaya

Miho Izakaya is an awesome Japanese restaurant – Izakaya is Japanese comfort food. It’s in a renovated bunglow house – we love it!

Por Que No

Por Que No is great taco restaurant on Hawthorne around 46th or 47th. There is one on Mississippi Ave as well. Fun “Mexican” and big margaritas – fun people watching.


Check out Alberta Street for sure – I’d say Alberta is cooler later in the day. Salt n’ Straw Ice Cream is great. And Random Order Cafe on Alberta at 15th is great. Sweet and savory pies and really good bloody marys and other yummy coffee drinks – alcoholic or not….. lots of cool shops and bars.

All the way from 33rd Ave to 10th Ave there is cool stuff. Zilla Sake restaurant is next to Random Order too – lots and lots and lots of sake and sushi – cool place.

Pok Pok on SE Division Street is fabulous and delicious – he just opened 2 places in NYC – SE Division has lots of cool bars and stuff from 33rd up to almost 50th….

Pok Pok owns a bar across the street called Whiskey Soda…. The Woodsman Tavern on Division is nice – I’ve only had raw bar and cocktails – menu seems so so to me. Cool tho….

Ava Gene’s is new fancyish Italian – not sure how Italian really.
Cibo is really nice big clay oven for pizzas and other roasty toasty things. Around division and 37th – Urban Winery is right around the corner. Pok Pok also opened a funky noodle house on Division at 34th.

SE Clinton St. has cool places to eat at 26th (like Broder) and at 20th (St. Jack to eat and drink) Nite Light Lounge to eat and drink (Night Light is our favorite bar).

Hawthorne Blvd between 34th and 38th is very Portland – a fun street.
Hit that Powell’s Books right there. Get a waffle at the Waffle Window right off Hawthorne on 36th.

Close to Hawthorne is Belmont. SE Belmont St. between and 32nd and 34th is cool. Some bars and shops.

N. Mississippi Ave is a cool street of shops and restaurants.

N. Williams is a street with restaurants etc…. Tasty and Sons, Eat, Lincoln

SE 28th Ave between Burnside and Glisan has a bunch of restaurants, bars, and shops and cafes…..

East Burnside has a bunch of restaurants too – intersects 28th…..

Walk around the Pearl district in the NW section around 13th Ave and Everett – our SoHo. It’s where Wieden+Kennedy is.

NW 23rd is our preppier shopping street – not sure for the boys – like Newbury Street in Boston – lots and lots of shops – Besaw restaurant is good for apres strolling….

Band Venues

Doug Fir

Mississippi Studios

Mississippi Studios has a cool bar called Bar Bar attached.

Wonder Ballroom

Secret Society is a popular bar next to it…. you can grab the WW (Willamette Week – our Village Voice) for listings.

And lastly, make sure to check out Moonbrine Pickles, the best pickles in Portland.