Portland greeted us with a beautiful morning on our first day. We were staying in the Northwest so we wandered down 23rd Street, past little boutique stores, great looking restaurants, and delcious coffee shops, to our destination for breakfast: Besaw’s. It was a holiday Monday so the line was, unsurprisingly, pretty long. But, like all my favourite brunch places in Calgary, they had coffee for us while we waited. It was warm and sunny so we couldn’t really complain about the wait. We were on vacation afterall.
Breakfast was fantastic. Re-energized, we wandered around the Alphabet District and Northwest a little more before heading to the Pearl District and downtown. I loved all of Portland’s neighbourhoods, but the Pearl was probably my favourite. Warehouses, industrial buildings, and rail yards have been converted to art galleries, restaurants, cafes, breweries, shops, and housing. My love for those old painted advertisements you see on older brick buildings is no secret and this area had plenty. I pointed out ad after ad to N, happily snapping photos and gushing that this one was my favourite so far.
this one actually was my favourite.
Barista has a cafe in this great old building. We sat outside, enjoying coffee and the beautiful sunshine. Well, I enjoyed coffee. N had already had his daily cup at brunch. He’s not as coffee-obsessed as I am.
No trip to Portland is complete without a stop at Powell’s City of Books. It’s incredible. There are stacks upon stacks of books on every subject you could imagine. I spent most of my time in the travel and food sections. Predictable as ever.
The next day was equally gorgeous and full of food. I haven’t posted much about the rest of our first day because all we did was eat and drink. Literally. We had brunch, coffee, lunch, drinks, happy hour dinner, and real dinner, followed by more bar hopping before grabbing Voodoo Donuts and heading to bed. It was ridiculous. We were never once hungry or thirsty that day. As I’m trying not to overload this post with photos, I’ll talk more about what we ate and drank in Portland in other posts. There’s just too much to say about this city!
We started the day with coffee and Bloody Marys at Tasty & Sons. I’ve never really been one for morning drinks aside from coffee. I just never think of it unless someone else suggests it. I mean, I love mimosas as much as the next girl, but it always seems excessive to do a mimosa and a coffee.
Tasty & Sons had a whole Bloody Mary menu though so we decided it was probably best if we shared one. Just to try. (It was delicious and spicy). We also shared the breakfast board and a pork panini they had on special. Our food was amazing and I definitely loved every bite, but next time I’m trying one of their stews. I’m so curious about what Burmese Red Pork Stew with short grain rice & eggs two ways would be like for breakfast. I guess we’re going back sometime.
We spent the afternoon in the Mississipi District. It’s mostly just a street, but definitely one worth visiting. The only downside to the East side is getting around. We did a lot of walking on that side of the river before crossing back over for some afternoon drinks and donuts. No trip to Portland is complete without experiencing Voodoo Donuts. (We went twice. Because we’re ridiculous like that.)
That evening we headed over the bridge again to grab drinks before dinner at Pok Pok. We found a cute little pub and sat outside enjoying our pints. There is no shortage of delicious beer in Portland. Dinner at Pok Pok is a fun story, but I’ll save it for when I talk more about the food piece of our trip.
Our final morning in Portland we drove over to Alberta Street in the Northeast for a massive breakfast. Then I grabbed a final cup of Portland coffee, N picked up beer at Rogue Brewery, we grabbed saucisson sec from Olympic Provisions, and hit up a food cart for a fried cheese sandwich we certainly didn’t need before hitting the road for Seattle.
It was sad to say goodbye to Portland. I know we’ll be back though. There’s so much more to eat!