Sure, there are two very good reasons not to visit the States right now (eg. summer’s imminent arrival in Vancouver, the one and only Donald J. Trump, the unrelentingly shitty Canadian-to-American dollar exchange rate, etc.), but there are still so many Portland pros that far outweigh all the American cons. For starters, Portland is, well, Portland. It exists in its own little universe, and we never tire of getting to know it better. We’ve put together a quick guide based on our own recent, first-hand experiences. With Portland Beer Week on the horizon (June 8-18) and the Canada Day long weekend coming up, there’s still time to make a plan…
THINGS TO EAT AND DRINK
Unless you’ve been biologically blessed with more than one stomach, one of the key reasons we keep going back to Portland is its plethora of food and drink options — far too many to pack into one jaunt. We dig how the scene is strong with family-style restaurants and cocktail-forwards joints. Here are some of our favourites:
With its long booth seating, moody art-deco inspiration, Dame oozes a sexy fun and feminine vibe. Aim for the spruce-scented chicken with sorrel and morels. Ask your server for a pairing from their killer wine list.
2930 NE Killingsworth St. | www.damerestaurant.com
Cool, artsy Cali-vibes with Middle Eastern flavours from the fine peeps behind the always amazing Ava Gene’s. Chef/owner Joshua McFadden and his kitchen team don’t deal in duds, ever. Everything on the menu is delicious, and sharing is in order. Bonus: dig as deep into the cocktail list as you can.
2448 East Burnside | www.tuskpdx.com
MILK GLASS MRKT
Delightful, unpretentious daytime spot that plays with dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Ridiculously superb biscuit sandwiches. Take home a jar of tomato jam.
2150 N. Killingsworth | www.milkglassmrkt.com
Both the atmosphere and menu pay homage to the Luddite tradition of doing things the old fashioned way. High quality fare. Cool environment.
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd | www.nedluddpdx.com
Troika Spirits Horseradish Vodka to take home; to stay, the ingenious $1 100g pickle juice footnote to their vodka tasting menu. Chicken Kiev and crispy beef tongue are both revelatory.
720 NE Grand Ave. | www.kachkapdx.com
Chef Matt Sigler is a magician with traditional pastas, wood-fired pizzas and hearth grilled entrees. Wonderful room. If Savio Volpe had an Oregonian sister…
626 SE Main St | www.renatapdx.com
The perfect first stop after a long day of traveling. Hit Powell Books for a good read and slide up to the bar here for a glass of wine and some oysters. You might even forget that you’re in Portland – not that you’d want to.
921 SW Oak St | www.mauricepdx.com
¿POR QUE NO?
Quality tacos, proper margaritas and good people make this easy-going Mexican restaurant one of our favourites for brunch, lunch or dinner. Two locations, both in rad neighbourhoods.
3524 N Mississippi Ave. + 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd | www.porquenotacos.com
PINE ST. MARKET
Housing nine restaurants under one roof, Portland’s Pine Street Market is a one-stop gut buster. Offerings include coffee, juice, burgers, noodles, chicken and more from some of Portland’s best culinary minds. It’s also the location of Salt N’ Straw’s new soft serve establishment, WizBang Bar – the perfect finish to any meal and every summer night.
126 SW 2nd Ave | www.pinestreetpdx.com
Located in the Mt. Tabor neighbourhood, Coquine is the perfect spot for a pre-hike brunch or lunch. Plus, round out your picnic basket with a dozen of their award-winning cookies by placing an advance order for pick up. With smoked almonds, salted caramel and some damn good chocolate, you won’t be sorry to have these as souvenirs for the trip home.
6839 SE Belmont St | www.coquinepdx.com
THINGS TO DO
MAKE | The DIY force is strong in Portland! Real keeners who want to leave the city feeling accomplished should sign up for a class at ADX and make their own Portland souvenir. Workshops currently slated on their calendar include woodworking, jewellery-making, laser-printing, screen printing and bookmaking. Roll up your sleeves and make something on your visit! Get all the details on options at www.adxportland.com
EXPLORE | Portland is a city of many names, one of them being the City of Bikes. And we think there’s no better way than cycling to get around and take in the sights of the city – not to mention, all that pedalling will help to justify stuffing your face with as much of Portland’s food as humanly possible. For first-time visitors or those who want a little guidance, look to Pedal Bike Tours for a two-wheel tour. You can cycle through the city’s history…or go brewery- or food cart-hopping! Details at www.pedalbiketours.com
PORTLAND BEER WEEK | Actually, it’s more like “Portland Beer Half-Month” – a week can’t contain the city’s unequalled love for beer! From June 8th-18th the city will be overflowing with beers of all ilks, for the seventh edition of the event. Kicking things off with a colourful start, the Fruit Beer Festival showcases a rainbow of beverages – from cider to dark beer – and a bevy of fruits. Events like the Beer & Cheese Festival and SNACKDOWN! highlight culinary pairings; but less traditional pairings – like yoga – are also on the calendar. The Rye Beer Festival is in its sixth incarnation this year and, giving further proof that no beer goes unacknowledged during Portland Beer Week, there are even events dedicated to the world’s best face-puckering sours and a Weird Beer Bonanza. Plus tap takeovers, quiz nights and other citywide events make this June in Portland a modern day beer love-in. Find out all the details on the PDX Beer Week website: www.pdxbeerweek.com
PLACES TO SLEEP
THE ACE | To paraphrase Foreigner, every visit to Portland feels like the first time when you stay at the Ace. Sipping Stumptown coffee in the lobby or cocktails next door at Clyde Common are two quintessential Rose City experiences that we never tire of. In addition to its eco-friendly practices and amenities like free bicycle rentals, the iconic hotel’s downtown location can’t be beat. 1022 SW Stark St | The Ace Hotel
SOCIETY | By now the Ace is a no brainer for accommodations but, mere blocks away in Chinatown, resides its conceptual doppelgänger. The new Society Hotel is a more affordable and less hyped option with an equally charming heritage atmosphere and modern amenities. You can book a bunk bed in one of their shared rooms for a pseudo-camp experience, sans the unsavoury outdoor elements; private rooms with shared washroom facilities and suites are also available. The lobby cafe has a full food menu and a bar with daily happy hour specials which are best enjoyed with the scenic view from their rooftop patio. The Society Hotel (203 NW 3rd Ave.)