This May, we made a little trip up to Portland, Oregon. We recently visited in October, so our to-do list was a bit smaller. Because it’s so rare for us to get any time off, it’s easy for us to run around like crazy trying to take in as much as we can. This trip, we decided to relax and visit old standbys plus a couple of newcomers. Here are 10 places to eat, drink, and be merry on your next trip to Portland.
1. HAT YAI PDX
This was our first stop because we were hungry monsters after the flight. The food was so good that I forgot to take photos BEFORE we started eating. If you follow my Instagram Stories, you may have seen a couple clips before we devoured everything. We greatly enjoyed the Fried Chicken Leg Quarter Roti Set, Southern Thai Ground Pork, Soy-Cured Short Rib, and Sauteed Cauliflower. Pictured above is the Coconut Mango Horchata, which is also available non-alcoholic. It was a solid option to help cut the heat.
Getting fat on vacation is a huge priority made easier courtesy of ice cream. Even though there’s a Salt & Straw in LA, it’s an hour of driving in traffic and at least 15 minutes of parking-spot-stalking away. I’ve still never been. Since everything is easier in Portland, I opt to visit when I’m in town. Sure, we had to wait 30 mins for ice cream, but that’s literally the ONLY thing I had to wait for in Portland, so it’s not a big deal. Plus, where did we have to be?
This was the BEST Rainbow Sherbet I’ve ever had. This flavor was a childhood favorite, but I’ve never tasted one as unique and delicious as Salt & Straw’s! It’s 3 flavors in one:
-Hibiscus ginger sherbet made with the powerfully pink Big Hibiscus tea from Smith Teamaker and freshly grated ginger
-Honey lavender sherbet sweetened with honey that’s been cuddling with lavender overnight
-And orange blossom sherbet blending orange blossoms, orange juice, vanilla, and a touch of black pepper.
We also tried the Wildflower Honey and Ricotta Walnut Lace Cookies with Portland Farmland Honey from Bee Local. This one was creamy with great texture from the cookies. A little sweet for me, but that’s what makes sharing 2 different cones fun!
Luckily we were staying in the Northeast within close proximity to this juice cart. I’m not saying I’m into juice because I’m from SoCal, but…ok, you got me. After a couple days of eating meat, slurping ice cream, and drinking beer, our bodies NEEDED something green(other than the beautiful Oregon foliage). Sip was fresh, fast, and provided us with a nice kick of hydration and veggies before literally having a beer flight next door. What? The patio looked amazing!
We stumbled upon this place from Sip next door. The patio was open and inviting–so much so that we had to sit adjacent to it because it was full. No worries, we got to sample some interesting sour beers and I even found a healthy-ish salad here that was satisfying!
5. Case Study Coffee-Alberta
I used to come here between classes and it’s nice to see some places don’t change. The coffee is consistently good, the baristas are pleasant, and the atmosphere is chill. There’s always seating and it’s equally enjoyable to come solo or with a friend.
6. Clyde Common
At some point, we always find ourselves wandering The Pearl wondering what we’re doing there. The Pearl is one of those places you tell tourists to go visit. It’s the shiny, expensive, boxed-up, display of what Portland can be. I suppose the name is fitting. That being said, there ARE a lot of excellent happy hours in Portland, and specifically, The Pearl. We have a handful of favorites, but only one liver, so we opted for the classic–Clyde Common. If you’re hungry, they have a good spread of happy hour food offerings as well. And select cocktails are $6! Coming from a city that thinks $10 is a happy hour cocktail price, that is a major bargain.
7. Wiz Bang Bar
If you’re downtown, you might as well check out Salt & Straw’s new addition, a soft serve dessert bar. We did. I got Chocolate Fudge with a Blueberry Lavender Shell & he got Vanilla Custard with Cocanu’s “Gray Chocolate” Sesame Shell. Wiz Bang Bar is located inside Pine Street Market, which houses a bunch of other food stalls so you will want to go hungry. We wanted to get Chocolate Tacolates SO badly, but we couldn’t even finish the soft serve we had. Next time, fantastical dessert novelties! Next time!
8. La Moule
If you’re a fan of St Jack, definitely check out La Moule. We stopped in for late night happy hour and loved it. In typical Portland style, happy hour at La Moule is a great value. We enjoyed the Brazillionaire & The Gainsbourg cocktails pictured above. The Chicken Liver Mousse & Mussels Marinière were perfect snacks to share.
9. Coava Coffee-Grand Ave
I love Coava’s original space and open design. The weather was warm and sunny enough to open the large garage doors that lead to the expansive warehouse space. I’ve been visiting this spot since 2010. It’s always solid for a cup of coffee or a milk-based espresso drink. To be honest, parking can be rough around this neighborhood, otherwise I would’ve visited more often.
This salt company has grown by leaps and bounds since it was founded. If you’re already in the SE Industrial area, you can walk here from Coava. You may also want to hit up Alma Chocolate on the way. In Jacobsen’s showroom, you can taste through all of their salts, caramels, and Bee Local honeys. It’s a great opportunity to try their full line.
11. The Commons Brewery*
All that sea salt left us thirsty, so we headed to The Commons’ beautiful new taproom. They have a base of year-round brews, but what I especially enjoy are their rotating beers. I’m always down to sample a seasonal or experimental brew from Commons because 9 times out of 10, it’s balanced, delicious, and tickles that part of my brain that says, “Hey, that’s new and interesting!” I have no idea what beer I was drinking in this picture and they were also at the bottom of the keg for that beer, so we may never know! *Enjoy the bonus place to visit!
Have you visited any of these places? What are your favorites?
Let me know below & follow me on Instagram for more adventures!