Life

My Guide To Portland, Oregon: Discovering a New City

At the beginning of November Luke and I spent a week in Portland, Oregon. For everyone who hasn’t been there the number one question I was asked upon my return was, “what is there to do in that city?”

Below are all of my favorite things we did in the week we were there. If there is something you have experienced in Portland that was awesome, make sure to leave a comment about it and why you liked it!

Food

Food is the first category because we were exposed to a lot of food in Portland. Between eating three meals a day and there being food literally around every corner (thanks food trucks) it was fun to try a little of everything!

Fried Egg I’m in Love

fried egg I'm in Love in Portland, Oregon

This was our first stop of the trip because it was really close to the place we were staying in the Hawthorne section of Portland. Lucky for us the food was delicious so we went back on our last morning of our trip because it was good! We are big fans of breakfast and this place gave us eggs in basically every form. From over easy eggs in a bean bowl to a breakfast burrito with eggs scrambled, there was something for everyone.

Laughing Planet

Autumn Bento and Laughing Planet in Portland, Oregon

This was a bit of a diamond in the rough. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and it’s super affordable so I didn’t have super high hopes for this place. However, once we got our meals I was pleasantly surprised. We both something off the seasonal menu and both meals were delicious! It was also the perfect portion, I was able to eat my entire plate without feeling like I was going to explode.

The Hazel Room

This was the next breakfast spot we checked out. It was a very homey restaurant with only a few tables, but it felt cozy in a good way. I went with “The French Connection”, which basically has eggs, a meat, and pancakes or french toast. I went with over medium eggs, chicken sausage, and these gluten free coconut french toast. I think my favorite part was the french toast because it was so completely different from anything I had ever tried when it came to french toast. The sausage was also really good and the eggs were more over easy than over medium.

In addition to having food, there was also a small boutique selling handmade and small business goodies from jewelry and clothes to candles and soaps. I loved walking around and seeing all the creations.

The Saturday Market

Speaking of handmade things, the Saturday Market was full of handmade goodies as well as food trucks. From hand knit beanies to hand painted artwork there was so much to take in at the market. I really enjoyed walking around, but there are no bathrooms only temporary toilets which I make a point to avoid. We grabbed lunch at the Saturday Market at a place selling Halal.  The boot could have been called “The Taste of Beirut”, but don’t quote me on that. It was delicious and similar to a gyro. It was hard to find seating so we just found a wall to sit on while we ate.

After walking around the market a bit more we happened upon someone in the market selling kettlecorn and apple cider so Luke and I also snacked on that. It was super delicious and a sweet way to end the day!

Paradox Café

Matcha Smoothie in Portland, Oregon

This was our third breakfast place of the trip, but we headed there around lunch. This was a great place for vegan food! I don’t really have a strong opinion about tofu, but I ate it in a meal that was a play on eggs benedict and it was delicious and complemented my matcha smoothie perfectly!

Salt and Straw

Salt and Straw -Portland, Oregon

This was my absolute favorite food spot of the trip for two reasons. First, I love ice cream. Second, I love weird ice cream flavors! Salt and Straw was great because they had flavors like Olive Oil, cranberry sauce and turkey, and sweet potato casserole with maple pecans (for thanksgiving). For our first visit I got a double scoop in a waffle cone (the cones are made in house). My first scoop was their coffee with chocolate flavor that they have year-round which was the most delicious coffee ice cream I have ever eaten. My second scoop was the sweet potato casserole with maple pecans which was also super delicious and had an absolute ton of pecans in it. It was such a tasty trip we went back on our last night in Portland for a single scoop each and I got the ooeey gooey brownie which I can confirm was as delicious as it sounds.

The Pie Spot

We went to two places for savory pies (a favorite food of Luke’s) and this was my favorite of the two. This place was nice because they had good sized individual savory pies and then smaller sweet pies so Luke and I had one of each. Luke went with classic chicken pot pie and a pumpkin pie. He liked both, but especially enjoyed the lemon flavor that was in the crust to balance out the super savory pot pie filling. I chose a mushroom and cheese pie and a s’more pie. My savory pie was super delicious it just had a ton of cheese melted on the top so I only ate some of the cheese.  The s’more was good too, but it had 2/3 marshmallow and 1/3 chocolate filling so I would have preferred half of each or 1/3 marshmallow with 2/3 chocolate. Just because it ended up being really sweet. The restaurant itself was cozy and had a homey feel with the décor.

Zell’s Café

This was another breakfast place we went to and it felt like a cross between a diner and a bar. It felt upscale, but the way all the waitresses were running around made it feel more like a diner. We sat ourselves and we immediately brought water and scones with jam. These were so delicious! I love a nice free baked good so we nibbled on them while we decided what to order. I went with an avocado, bacon, and tomato omelet and it was really good. I felt like I was eating an egg BLT, but it wasn’t too heavy which was nice. Luke ordered an omelet with bacon and oysters which he wasn’t a huge fan of.

Pok Pok

Finally, we went to PokPok a well-known thai place with a few locations within Portland. We went to the one in Hawthorne with their full menu. It’s a tapas style so we ordered three dishes to share and honestly for me it felt like too much. I would get two plates if I went back. We ordered pork skewers with peanut sauce, spicy wings (they are known for these), and noodle soup that I cannot remember the name of, but was very good. There were a lot of great flavors and spices in each dish.

Shopping

Goodwill Boutique

I had never been to a Goodwill boutique before this trip. I was an interesting experience because the store was basically a completely different animal than a regular Goodwill. Regular Goodwill stores there are usually a ton of racks filled with clothes that you have to sift through. However, at the boutique it is a lot smaller and all the racks are curated by a sort of theme. For example, all of the plaid jackets and pants were together. This Goodwill boutique was also set up like all the racks were spread out and nothing was too full. The biggest thing I noticed were the prices. They had more unique pieces so the prices were a lot higher than your average thrift store.

House of Vintage

This place was so extremely overwhelming! It’s basically a giant warehouse full of vintage from a ton of different vendors. They even have stuff on racks in the front of the store. Luke and I were there for probably 30-45 minutes, but I think we could have been there for hours if we were really digging.

Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo exchange isn’t unique to Portland, but I love going into consignment chains like this to see what kind of stuff they have in different parts of the country. I was not disappointed. Luke found a pair of jeans and I found a pair of pants and a jumpsuit! It’s more expensive than your average thrift store, but honestly, I feel like stores like this are just a lot more curated so it’s easier to find pieces you like.

Crossroads

Crossroads is similar to above, and I have been to one in New York and Dallas. I have never been disappointed. Now I can add Portland to the list! At this Crossroads I picked up a handbag and a scarf.

Powell’s Books

Powell's in Portland, Oregon

This is another well-known location in Portland. It was easy to tell why. This is the largest bookstore in the US (maybe the world?), spanning an entire city block! Did I mention it was absolutely awesome! It was 3 or 4 stories of so many books!! Luke and I browsed for hours, and honestly, I could have stayed longer if we didn’t get hungry. Which still probably wouldn’t have been an issue because they also have a small coffee shop inside Powell’s!  Powell’s doesn’t just have books either. When we were there they had socks, planners, tarot cards, games, posters, mugs, and I am sure there was more that I am missing. Luke ended up getting three books and game, and I picked up three books and a planner for 2020.

Artifacts

We stopped at this cool store that sold both vintage clothes and furniture which I loved, but was also sad that I didn’t live in Portland to be able to take advantage. It was fun to go from room to room seeing the curated clothes and then the merchandised furniture.

Things To Do in Portland

Stok Outfitters Enchanted Waterfalls Hike at Silver Falls National Park

This was by far my favorite part, followed closely by Powell’s. If you can get out of the city and take a hike here go do it! It was such a beautiful area and we saw 5 or 6 waterfalls I can’t even remember. It was an out of body experience just hearing the sound of the waterfall and taking in the beauty around us. We booked a hike in advance with Stok Outfitters lucky for us the trail we were supposed to go on was closed so we got to extend our hike three more miles and see an additional waterfall! Our guide was very knowledgeable, and we all some tasty soup out of bread bowls at the end! It was the perfect day to spend the day.

Brewvana Tour

This was something I felt like we absolutely needed to do while we were in Portland due to the crazy number of breweries in the area. It was well worth it! We got to try a ton of different beers and learned about how the craft beer culture started in Portland. We initially signed up for a group tour, but since we went in the colder months (less tourism) there weren’t enough people to take that specific tour so we needed to take the private walking tour which I think was just as fun! We got to know and chat with our guide and it was still a really good time!

See a Show at Crystal Ballroom

crystal ballroom, portland oregon.

The reason this trip came to be is we wanted to see a band that was on tour, but we had to miss the dates on the east coast so we decided to see a new city and check out one of our favorite bands at the Crystal Ballroom. This was a beautiful venue and it was super easy to navigate.

Tell Me About Your Trip To Portand!

That’s all I’ve got! These were my favorite places that I visited while I was in Portland! It was truly a trip I will never forget and I would definitely go back to see even more! Let me know if you have ever been to Portland, and if so what your favorite part was!

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