As I mentioned in my previous outfit post, White Walls, E and I ventured down to Portland, Oregon last weekend. E has been several times, but hadn’t seen much more than the inside of Portland’s many pubs. I had never been though and kept hearing such amazing things about the city while being chastised for having lived in Seattle for 3 years and never making the short trip down. So, we decided on a whim during the week that this was the weekend we’d go for it, and we couldn’t have picked a better weekend!
We set off on Saturday early morning so that we could get a full day to explore the city. We had been able to book a hotel just across the river from Downtown for a steal, so we planned to walk everywhere since we had heard how walkable everything is. We’d also been told to go hungry because you want to eat your way through Portland, so that’s what we did! The first thing we wanted once we entered city limits was to locate a great brunch spot. A friend had recommended Broder, a Swedish brunch/dinner spot, to us. We arrived around 10:00 and there was no wait (crazy by Seattle standards!) and sat down to a delicious breakfast of which the fritters were the star. Then, we luckily just missed the Rose Parade which had just happened on the street in front of our hotel. We had no idea that the parade was even happening!
Once we checked in to the hotel, we set off into the city. We walked into town over the beautiful Broadway Street Bridge and took in the site of the river. The weather was in the high 80’s and there were so many boats on the water, which made for great people watching. We continued on into the Pearl District downtown, and stumbled onto the huge Portland Saturday Market. We stopped at a big fruit and smoothie stand first and picked up some refreshing smoothies that we sipped on as we wandered through the endless stretches of food, clothing, jewelry and trinket stalls. I found the cutest rose gold earcuff from a small jewelry stall in the heart of the market (for only $8!) where you could watch as the owner created more of his simple yet beautiful rings and earcuffs.
From there we walked down past the Navy ships in town for Fleet Week and the carnival stretching along the waterfront. Although we missed the parade, we were able to see the creative, rose laden floats lined up on display outside the carnival. Powell Books, a Portland institution, was the next spot on our list. We wandered the maze of aisles and departments and found many books we wanted but couldn’t possibly carry. Next place, the Ace Hotel’s restaurant Clyde Common for happy hour. Several people had recommended this place to us for its cool and laid-back atmosphere and local beers on tap. We each sampled a beer and shared the happy hour mussels and fries. Before heading back to our hotel we stopped in to the Francis May boutique just on the other side of the Ace Hotel building. It’s a pricier shop that carries designers like A.P.C. (my fave!), Kenzo, Opening Ceremony, and Rachel Comey. It a great place to pick up a beautiful investment piece made all the better by Oregon having no sales tax! Once we left there we caught an Uber back to our hotel and set to work on finding a place for dinner.
We were surprised and delighted to find that many amazing restaurants in Portland had availability during the core dinner hours that evening. In Seattle, you need to make a reservation for 7:30 on a Saturday days in advance or risk an hour or more wait. We decided to try a quaint Italian restaurant in the Sellwood neighborhood called a Cena Restorante. We shared the antipasto starter with wine and then I opted for one of the homemade pasta dished and E had a pizza. The food was very fresh and flavorful and the interior was decorated to resemble a country home which made for a romantic and cozy environment. I’d highly recommend visiting this cute little place and the surrounding neighborhood if you venture out of the downtown area. After dinner, E and I decided to turn in early and head out again early the next day.
After checking out of our hotel, we headed over to a brunch spot I’d spotted the day before that was just down the street. Citizen Baker had just opened as it turned out, so we were some of the first people to visit this modern, communal style restaurant. Upon entering, you are greeted with a display of mouth watering pastries that were so hard to resist! E and I both selected items off their small and simple menu though and were not disappointed. I had the House Cured Salmon Tartine while E went for the Home Made Granola and a chocolate chip cookie. Both dishes were beautiful and they definitely did not skimp on the portions!
Once we were again filled to the brim, we headed over to NW 23rd Street, or Nob Hill. This is an adorable street lined on each side with boutiques, restaurants and upscale home goods stores. E and I walked up and down each side, popping in to the little shops as we went. We spent a good amount of time in the Goorin Bros. hat shop, which I was familiar with because they also have a location just off the Pike Place market. I love the vintage look and feel of this brands’ shops and have to try on every hat each time I have a chance to visit! After E finally dragged me out of there, we walked down to Salt and Straw, a quirky and unique ice cream shop that usually has a line out the door. They feature sweet and savory flavors and a tasting bar where you can literally sample every flavor before committing to anything. E and I both went for traditional sweet flavors and enjoyed them in the sunshine just outside the shop.
We decided to set out to Cannon Beach on the coast to wrap up our whirlwind trip. Only a hour and a half away, Cannon Beach feels like a slightly retro beach community you’d see on the east coast. The shops along the beach strip were all painted coastal pastels and bright colors, and every restaurant was offering “the best fish and chips in town”. There were candy shops, boutiques, cafes and real estate offices everywhere you looked. The beach itself was massive which the famous rock formations just off the shore shrouded in a light fog. Many people were out enjoying what was clearly a very warm day for this area, but this Texas girl was still freezing so we didn’t spend too much time out on the sand. We had a fish and chips lunch at a small pub on the main street that offered its own house brewed beer on tap, and headed out back to Seattle.
All in all, we immensely enjoyed our trip down to Portland, and fell in love with the laid-back pace and compact lay-out that the city had to offer. I would highly recommend a visit, and you really don’t need more than a weekend to experience what this amazing place has to offer.