What to Eat, See and Do in Portland

Portland's food and craft beer scenes are popping and now is the perfect time to head to the PNW to experience everything this hip city has to offer. Read on for our guide on what to eat, see and do in P-Town.



EAT

Portland is practically a mecca for foodies and beer lovers, so finding nourishment worthy of an Instagram photo won’t be difficult. Whether you’re a raw vegan or a committed meat lover, Portland’s food scene covers the full spectrum of dietary preferences.

Flytographer Whitney recommends Vita Cafe, which serves vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free comfort food. In true Portland style, the cafe offers happy hour from 5 - 7 pm daily, with $1 kids specials available. For the rest of us, Wednesday night happy hour specials include riffs on sliders and poutine.

For a more classic take on comfort food, Bernie’s Southern Bistro has you covered with fried chicken on almost everything. For sushi, Whitney recommends Bamboo Sushi, where the focus is on sustainably caught, humanely raised and naturally grown seafood. And when in doubt, just wander down Alberta Street. You’ll find ever-popular favourites like Pine State Biscuits and Salt & Straw, as well as inspired takes on ethnic cuisine like the Burmese-inspired Expatriate and the gourmet Mexican dishes at Autentica.

No visit to Portland would be complete without a proper sampling of local coffee and beer. For your daily caffeine fix, try Stumptown Coffee Roasters or Coava Coffee Roasters. Portland has so many wonderful local breweries that it can feel a bit overwhelming. Don’t despair - you can’t really go wrong when it comes to Portland and beer. If you’re a sour lover, don’t miss Cascade Brewing, which specializes in deliciously tart brews. Otherwise, pick a brewery and order a flight, or just ask a friendly local what they recommend.

SEE

Flytographer Whitney recommends seeing Portland through its neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood has its own charming reasons to visit, but try the Alberta Arts District for its aforementioned food and quirky art. Nob Hill’s stylish boutiques and Victorian architecture make it a terrific spot for an afternoon stroll. If you’re into shopping, theatre and books (we’re looking at you, Powell’s), the Pearl District is where it’s at.

Portland has no shortage of local bands playing every night of the week. Whitney recommends catching a local band at Alberta Street Pub or Radio Room.

DO

People flock to the Pacific Northwest for its natural beauty, so don’t forget to get some fresh air during your Portland visit. A trip to the Portland Japanese Garden in the West Hills of Portland is one way to do that and now is the perfect time to visit to fully appreciate all of fall’s colours.

Suit up and take a dip at the historic Kennedy School, a former elementary school now rehabbed and open as a quirky hotel, complete with a restaurant, bars, movie theatre and soaking pool. The ceramic soaking pool is open to the public for just $5 per person, per hour. What was once the teacher’s lounge can now be your private paradise.

Flytographer: Whitney in Portland