View Full Version : Portland travel advice

07-10-2012, 10:55 AM
So in a little under three weeks, I'm undertaking a heck of a roadtrip: http://g.co/maps/p6u5s

I've got most things planned out, but the one thing I don't have much planned for is the two nights I have in Portland. The only thing I know I want to do is go to a Rogue brewpub, but I don't even know which of the several in the area is the best bet. Tips on places to stay, places to eat and things to see would be appreciated. Even tips on what the nicer neighborhoods are would be great, I know nothing about the city.

07-10-2012, 11:50 AM
Don't know about Portland, but you'll be driving right by EE...

07-10-2012, 03:22 PM
I lived there for 3 years so I will throw in a few suggestions.

I prefer the Rogue Public House in the Pearl District on 13th and Flanders. 2 blocks up on 13th and Hoyt is Barista (one of the nations premier coffee shops) and an actual Filson store (buy everything, or at least some socks).
Portland has several world famous culinary-type places, and must see stuff IMHO.
The Pearl Bakery (9th and Couch).
Stumptown Coffee (3rd and Ash)
VooDoo doughnuts (practically next door to above) try the famous maple bacon doughnut, my fave is a plain buttermilk bar.
Kens Artisan Pizza

If i had two nights I would eat at Kens Pizza one night and prolly Pok Pok the other, or Ringside for a steak.
The Ace Hotel is a cool place to stay.
IMO the best areas to casually visit are The Pearl District and the nearby Northwest District (NW 23rd st, Papa Haydn is fun for a late evening desert and drink).

There are a few Puddletown folks present here (yes you Spike) that will no doubt have other great suggestions.

07-10-2012, 04:15 PM

07-10-2012, 05:33 PM
The Pearl District and Old Town/Chinatown are fun to walk around in and Old Town will spit you right out onto the waterfront which is always makes for a nice walk. Not too far from the Rogue brewery in NW is Deschutes - a must hit if you are a beer lover as there are always some really good special bottlings/editions on tap. If you are driving through the gorge, stop in at the Walking Man Brewery in Stephenson, WA right across the river from OR. They make some great beers and the smoked salmon dill pizza is pretty damn good (the salmon is smoked by a family just down the road). Also - Double Mountain in Hood River has excellent beer AND some of the best pizza in the area. There are also plenty of phenomenal hikes in the vicinity - I spent an entire summer hiking in the gorge 3-4 times a week and never got bored or unchallenged.

Back in Portland, some restaurants in a variety of budget ranges that you can't go wrong with IMO are (in no particular order):

Toro Bravo (always a long wait but the Secret Society upstairs makes great cocktails)
Tasty & Sons
Le Pigeon
The Country Cat
Podnah's Pit BBQ
Ned Ludd
Por Que Non
Mi Mero Mole
Lardo (newly opened B&M - a pork lovers dream!)
Laurelhurst Market (if nothing else sit at the bar and have one of the best burgers in town)
Apizza Scholls (I am one of the ones who thinks that they edge out Ken's for the best pizza in town)
Salt & Straw (amazing ice cream - go to their website and check out the flavors)

If really creative mixology is your thing, check out Teardrop Lounge and/or Beaker & Flask.

I could really go on....

07-10-2012, 06:44 PM
Apizza Scholls is tricky because the make one batch of dough a day and when they run out they are out. They open at 5 and often finish by 8.
One of our favs for brekkys is Pen and Ink on Hawthorne, they have a bacon and avocado scramble that is amazing, and the grilled polenta is beyond the pale. I often order the biscuits and gravy with polenta instead of biscuit.
Hair of the Dog on Water Ave. has beer that goes beyond the description of "beer" and has a brisket that will amaze.
There are just too many options here! Garden State Biscuits, Screendoor Cafe, it goes on and on! We have a bunch of southern style places that do chicken and waffles that expats from those regions swear by as well.
So what do you like?

07-10-2012, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the tips guys.

What do I like? Everything. I'm open to any styles and I won't be bothered by 30 bucks a plate before drinks for dinner. Given that I'm basically camping all trip, I'm only going to have casual clothes.

What I will say though is I'm from Toronto and I'll be spending time in Vancouver on this trip, so I don't think asian styles will hold all that much appeal. I can get that here. Regional cuisine, southern cuisine and bbq all seem like good ideas, just because that's what should be better there than here, you know? But if a place is special that does italian or french or whatever, I'm game.

07-10-2012, 10:33 PM
A place like Pok Pok is Asian that is worth checking out even if you have a lot of Asian experience. Casual clothes are the norm around here!
Places like Bunk Sandwiches are pretty Portland, and Wed. on the Travel Channel has a program about them in their Sandwich series.
You might check out "www.oregonlive.com", the Oregonian has a special on Portland Diners that would be a good resource.

07-10-2012, 11:51 PM
So far, you have gotten a lot of solid recommendations.

If you want to choose from a variety of regional beers, try the Horse Brass.

I second the Laurelhurst Market, Pok Pok and Tasty & Sons (for breakfast). I would add Nostrana to the list if you had more time to spend in the area.

Barista and Stumptown for coffee are good choices.

07-11-2012, 09:26 AM
Also check out pdx.eater.com for more about the food and drink scene here.

You could easily go to any of the above mentioned places in casual attire and feel comfortable.

07-11-2012, 10:42 AM
When driving through the gorge, is it worth it to take the 14 instead of the 84?

Given all the praise for Pok Pok, I might have to check it out. Boar collar meat sounds pretty good.

Other than the food stuff, for which the recommendations are greatly appreciated, is there any other touristy stuff in town I should check out? Beyond walking through Pearl and the waterfront, that is. Any special buildings in town, museums, parks, etc?

07-11-2012, 11:16 AM
I'm also noticing that pretty much all the restos being recommended are well on the other side of the river from the neighborhoods being recommended. Is that typical for Portland? The good food is away from the touristy spots?

07-11-2012, 02:41 PM
When driving through the gorge, is it worth it to take the 14 instead of the 84?

I would do a loop, up one side and down the other but prefer 14 as it is slower and more winding.

A smaller trip would be a crossing at Bridge of the Gods (yes, it almost lives up to the name).

WA side should include Stevenson as previously mentioned.
Brewery there, amazing world-class kiteboarding and windsurfing viewing right on the bank of the Columbia, Big River Grill.

Beacon Rock, Cape Horn overlook, and the Bonneville dam- fish ladder should all be stops.

Multnomah Falls on the OR side.

A larger loop should include Hood River, which is another crossing.
Cool old town includes a windsurfing mecca, brewery, bike shops, etc.
The Hood River Valley (my favorite), just up the slope; scenic orchards, vineyards, llama farms, lavender fields, etc.

If time permits head up Mt Hood to historic Timberline Lodge (some outdoor scenes fron The Shining were shot there).
Mt Adams will be visible on the way back down...

Some spectacular views and the weather should be gorgeous.

America's Rhineland.

07-11-2012, 08:33 PM
The best places for food are all over the city. No area has an advantage. Olympic Provisioners has a place in the Eastside industrial area and another in the Pearl district. NW 23rd has great places as does Montevilla, with the Country Cat.

07-11-2012, 09:55 PM
You will also be within less than an hour's drive south to Oregon wine country if wine is your thing (pinot noir and whites in particular).

There are certainly good restaurants on both sides of the river here but you will find that the general tone of places on the eastside is a bit more casual and a different representation of what the Portland food scene is about. The westside has great restaurants too, of course, it just happens that I don't find myself crossing over the river to eat out as much!

As far as more touristy things to do other than the surrounding natural attractions, the Portland walking tours are pretty awesome. You can check them out here: http://www.portlandwalkingtours.com/

07-12-2012, 03:16 PM
I'd be interested in the wine thing, but I'm on a bit of a schedule here to make all the campsites in all the parks. Not a lot of time to deviate from the route. I decided a while back that I'd rather do the drive along the coast than check out wine country. I'll be stopping in on Walking Man on my way into town though.

So far I think I've decided to go to both Bread and Ink and Tasty & Sons for breakfasts, Pok Pok probably for lunch, Porque no? for dinner and I'll try Horse Brass for drinks after. That still leaves one dinner up in the air, but I'll figure it out. I want to go for genuine Southern fried chicken, but the gf is resistant because she basically can't digest things that are battered or fried.

You guys are proving to be an incredible resource. Thanks a million.

07-12-2012, 05:07 PM
Another really good dinner place is called "Three Doors Down", on 37th just off of Hawthorne. And as far a wine country, there is a wine country in the city! Hip Chicks Do Wine and some other wineries are operating inside the city!
Oh-Oh!! and there is "Wild Abandon", aka the Red Velvet Lounge, it is a truly wonderful little place. 24th and Belmont, east side.