Last week Arden, my Mom and I took a girls’ trip to Portland, Oregon. I haven’t been to Oregon before and I heard they’re having some amazing weather this summer. So I thought it would be the perfect addition to the 36 hours series.
I’ve had a crush on Portland for awhile now, so a visit has been a long time coming. I think it’s unofficially the hipster capital of the US 😉 But is also known for amazing coffee, micro-breweries and eco-conscious living just to name a few. For veg-centric eaters (like me!) Portland is a wonderland of amazing vegan and vegetarian eateries. I’ve had a couple of friends move there recently and the reasonably-priced housing market has been calling my name. I was pretty excited about the trip and went on research overkill, lol. Luckily I hooked up with Travel Portland earlier on in my planning process and they were able to help me plan my trip – such a great resource when planning a trip to Portland by the way.
Portland’s classic coffee brewery, Stumptown has been around for a long time and is a huge favorite among locals and tourists alike. I grabbed an almond milk latte for $3 and then walked a couple of blocks over to…
blue star donuts
Blue Star Donuts aren’t quite as famous as Voodoo, but they have a loyal following almost as large. I loved that they had vegan flavors as well. We got an orange olive oil cake donut and a glazed blueberry cake donut. Both were vegan and oh, so tasty! $3
After breakfast we walked about 8 blocks over (FYI blocks in Portland are about half the size of a usual city block.) to Jamison Square where they have a great fountain to play in. Arden had a ton of fun running around in the water since it was almost 90 degrees! I couldn’t resist wading around either.
All that water play worked up a bit of an appetite, so we walked a couple of blocks and hit up Prasad. Wow, so. much. healthy. tasty. food! I got the the Dragon Bowl with quinoa and jalapeño cashew cheese for $9.50, Arden got the Littlest Dragon Bowl with rice and garlic tahini sauce for $6 and my Mom opted for the Chipotle Black Bean Chili with jalapeño cornbread for $6.50. Oh and the Super Greens Lemonade might look a bit scary but it’s so refreshing! It was all so good, I want to go back so I can sample more of the menu.
After lunch we walked a couple of blocks over to Powell’s for some good reading material. Powell’s if famous for being the largest independent bookstore in the world. It has both used and new books and is worth a stop and shop.
After browsing the book store for awhile it was time to check in at the hotel. The Ace is only a block away from Powell’s. If you’ve never stayed at an Ace, it’s minimalist chic at it’s finest. Furnished only with the necessities, but those necessities are of the highest quality: super comfy (and firm) beds, organic sheets and towels, danish-style street bikes in the lobby to borrow for free…All situated in a historic building. Such a fun place to stay. The mezzanine above the lobby houses books to borrow, iMacs to use and an antique library card catalog where you can write a little note and leave it for others to discover. $255/nt
PEDAL BIKE TOURS
After checking in we decided it was time to check out the river front. We walked over to Pedal Bike Tours and rented a bike with kid’s trail-a-bike attached to it at Pedal Bike Tours. They were super nice and also had the best prices in town! We rode down on the waterfront and across a couple of bridges. Arden loved it! $14/hr for both bikes.
After biking I met up with a couple of friends that live in the area for some happy hour fun. Downstairs in the Ace Hotel is Clyde Common. It’s a like a tavern mixed with a trendy restaurant. Great place for drinks or for dinner. There are communal tables and a great beer and cocktail menu. We shared the popcorn (yum!) and the grilled padrón peppers. I had the Bittersweet Symphony drink as well as some tasty local beer. Great happy hour prices too! $15
In the evening we headed over to the Northwest district for some sushi! Bamboo Sushi is known for their sustainable fish and menu. The food here was super fresh and very, very tasty. The service was great too. It can be a bit of a crush and they don’t take reservations. It worked out though because we put our name on the list and headed next door for dessert first 😉 The prices are really reasonable too, we spent around $50 for two adults and one child.
Salt & Straw
Right next door to Bamboo Sushi is Salt & Straw, Portland’s infamous ice creamery. You can’t miss it because the line goes out the door and around the corner. Fortunately the line moves fast and the ice cream is every bit worth the wait. We got a scoop of Petunia’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (vegan) and it was so creamy and delicious. Easily the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had. $4
|POWELL’S BOOKS | LÖYLY|
|JAMISON FOUNTAIN | STUMPTOWN COFFEE|
|CLYDE COMMON | PÉPÉ LE MOKO|
It’s hard to compete with Stumptown in this town, but if anyone can do it, it’s Heart. Super sleek and modern this coffee shop is stylin’. Seriously. I wish I could live there 😉 I also adored their house-made almond cashew milk. So tasty in my morning latte! $4
After getting my caffeine fix squared away I walked across the street this inspired home goods shop. So. much. eye candy. Wow. Every display is perfectly curated. So fun.
kenny & zuke’S
Headed back to the Ace and hit up this stereotypical deli for a tasty bagel with lox. Those bagels are amazingly tasty and the lox was scrumptious too. $3
Bellies full we craved some fun, so we visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. We could have spent all day here. There are so many fun exhibits for kids and adults. The submarine tour was my fave, but I think Arden like the science playground area the most. Tickets $9.50+
tidbit food pods
The OMSI actually has a really good-looking (and healthy) cafe, but we wanted to sample some more Portland fare. We traveled down the road to Portland’s newest food pod, Tidbit. There’s something for everyone here and in such a unique and fun environment. $15
After lunch I decided it was time to slow the pace down for a bit. When research Portland, I stumbled upon this great Scandinavian sauna/spa and knew I just had to check it out. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m usually not the biggest fan of a hot sauna (preferring a steam room or hot tub) but the sauna cycle at Löyly was so relaxing. I really recommend trying it and they have an amazing weekday special of only $19! I’d definitely recommend their spa services as well. A massage here is definitely a good way to treat yourself 😉
This is a brand new restaurant by the same chef as the supremely popular, Portabello. The chef, Aaron Adams decided to follow his passion for fine dining and service and open up a restaurant that reflects that….And Farm Spirit was born. They have only one seating a night (7pm) and can only fit 14 diners, so as you can imagine, it books up fast! The menu was so unique, with every detail thought out. The menu is plant based showcasing local and in-season fruits and vegetables. The chefs preparing the meal were meticulous in their preparation and presentation – I felt like I was a judge on Top Chef with all of the care put into each dish 😉 Oh and by the way, they are 9 courses. Each course is matched with thoughtful wine pairings or you can go the non-alcoholic route and taste their delicious homemade juices. Hands-down the best meal I’ve ever had. $65
I needed childcare while dining at Farm Spirit. It’s a little nerve wracking being in an unfamiliar city and needing a babysitter, let me tell you! So I turned to Urban Sitter. I’ve used Urban Sitter in the past locally and am such a fan of the ease of use. I love that you can read reviews on each sitter (and leave them in return). Urban Sitter also lets you filter sitters by different skills, background checks, certifications, etc. Also it’s super easy to use the website or app. You can easily book jobs by viewing sitters’ schedules and openings. It was a no brainer to use them while traveling.
back to eden
Three words: vegan soft serve. Yummmm. Not to mention all of their other vegan goodies. This place is pretty close to Farm Spirit and is a vegan dessert lovers paradise 🙂 $3.50
bye and bye
Time for after dinner drinks maybe? The Bye and Bye is the perfect choice. It definitely veers towards hipster without going overboard 😉 And yes, it’s a vegan bar! Mind blown, who knew those even existed?! Their cocktails are so fun including beet infused tequila and cucumber gin. Tons of imaginative cocktails for your drinking pleasure. $8
|CLYDE COMMON | CANOE|
|FARM SPIRIT | SALT & STRAW|
|OMSI | HEART COFFEE|
|PEDAL BIKE TOURS|
A tasty vegetarian restaurant that serves a 4 course prix fixe meal for $45. They offer vegan and options as well. I had dinner here one night and was blown away by the creativity and playful menu 🙂 I stuck to the vegan (lefthand) column and everything was super fresh and tasty. One of my Portland faves, that’s for sure!
pépé le Moko
I didn’t get a chance to visit this little speakeasy in the basement of the Ace Hotel. I heard it serves some amazing drinks and is a fun place to sip on the latest trendy drinks. Definitely on my to-do list for next time!
This great kids art studio just opened up this month. We didn’t get a chance to visit, but it sounds right up our alley with their focus on the creative process and sensory play for kids.
This park is a little out of the way if you don’t have a rental car. We would have loved to see it, but didn’t make it there. There’s a nature-based play area that sounds amazing!
Did you guys know that Schoolhouse Electric is based here? I wanted to stop by their store, but didn’t get a chance to.
We had an evening flight out of Portland, so on our last day we decided to venture out of Portland proper. We had to visit the iconic Multnomah Falls. then we continued on and visited…
Hood River is a quaint little town settled right next to the Columbia River. Lots of fun little shops and boutiques. It was a beautiful day and the river was filled with kite surfers 🙂
You can view my google planning map here!
|MULTNOMAH FALLS | HOOD RIVER|