Talk about a city that has something for everyone! You will never be at a loss for something to do in the awesomely unique city of Portland! I am happy to share some of the great food, nightlife and things to do in Portland that we were lucky enough to experience! We only visited for a little over a week, so I’m sure this really only scratches the surface, but it is certainly enough great places to visit for food, nightlife, and other fun things to do!
Food in Portland
On our first night, we got an Uber and headed out for the Birthday Boy’s night out! After perusing through Yelp, we decided on Trifecta which was in an area where we could easily walk from place to place. We enjoyed some cocktails and craft beer at the bar, had a pickle snack, mussels and an entrée. We really liked it here, especially because we got to sit at the bar, chatted with our neighbors and were entertained watching the bartenders work their magic!
Tiago’s aunt and uncle were so kind, and generously treated us to dinner at Andina, their favorite Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl. This was a very classy place, with excellent service and food. Since his uncle is gluten free, they paid extra close attention to what he was ordering and made sure to guide him in the right direction on the menu. We had tasty cocktails, appetizers and amazing food that we were all thoroughly pleased with!
The morning after Tiago’s birthday, which was also our first night in Portland, we decided to head to Bethany to get some groceries and food. We found a great Korean/Mexican place called Koi Fusion for our lunch. Think tacos and burritos, with Korean BBQ fillings. SO delish! We shared their steak burrito and a rice bowl.
Another great spot in Bethany was Taiwan Eats, right next to the other places we went to. Since we were going to having a layover in Taiwan on our trip to and from Thailand, we figured we’d give it a shot. We were not let down! Some of the delicious food we got included pork belly, beef noodle soup, and Zha Jiang Noodles. We had never had Taiwanese food before, and were happy to experience the unique flavors to us.
Food Trucks and Markets
Food trucks In addition to Portland having the most strip clubs per capita, they are also known for their food trucks! We were in HEAVEN! They have several, what they call, “pods” throughout the city. We went to the one on Washington and NW 9th, which was huge! It literally took up a whole block (which I think was or is a parking lot). There is something for everyone here including several Thai, Korean, Hawaiian, coffee, Indian, Halal, Egyptian, Chinese and more. Many were not open when we went, but there was still a ton to choose from. The weirdest thing we got was a warm, Hawaiian SPAM musubi! It was actually really good! We also enjoyed some steamed buns, boba tea, Indian apps, and dumplings.
If you have a hard time making up your mind amongst a group of people, head over to the new Pine Street Market! We went twice because it was so great! This place opened up spring of 2016 and is actually pretty small, but filled with quality! We had a great lunch at Pollo Brava, where we got a great deal on some chicken, sides and a cocktail. We finished our trip with an Oregon Black Raspberry ice cream, dipped in chocolate at WIZBANGBAR. On our second trip with Tiago’s aunt and uncle, they were looking for a gluten free option, so we chose the Korean BBQ place, called Kim Jong Smokehouse, which did not disappoint.
Nightlife in Portland
After we had dinner on the Birthday Boy’s night, we stopped at Rum Club. We were able to walk here from Trifecta, and thankfully it wasn’t raining out. We got a spot at the bar, and got a rum drink each, because this is naturally what you get at a rum bar, duh. They were pretty busy with 20-30 somethings, including groups of people doing shots on a ski, while the song “Shots” played on speakers each time.
On the following Saturday, we hiked over 11 miles at Columbia Gorge. Even though we were incredibly tired, we felt it was necessary to stop at one of Portland’s 58 breweries! Great Notion, on NE Alberta, was where we ended up, which is such a cool part of Portland! I started with the Petal Roselle saison, which came in a 5.5oz glass and was pink! It was pretty tart, and reminded me of a cider, but it was really refreshing. Next, I tried their guest beer, the Saison Dolores, which was a lot different than the first, but I still enjoyed it. We were about to fall asleep standing up, so we made that visit short. It would have been great to go back if we had the time!
Technically this was a daytime activity, but we will keep it in the theme of drinking in Portland! On the Sunday after our hike, with sore calves and hips, we made our way to the 5th Annual Farmhouse Beer Festival at the Bad Habit Room and Saraveza. It was $25 to enter, and you got 10, 4oz samples of all farmhouse and wild ales. This was a fairly small event, but gave you the opportunity to sample some rare, wild and sour beers from around the state.
Things to do in Portland
Powell’s City of Books is a must see when you come to Portland. This is a great free activity to do in Portland, and can keep you occupied for hours. This book store has been here since 1971 and has everything you could possibly imagine. They have several different rooms, and floors full of all kinds of books, both new and used. One of the coolest things they have, is a special room filled with rare books!
On one of our last days, we got to visit the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). We went specifically for the display, The Art of the Brick, Nathan Sawaya’s awesome Lego art exhibit! After seeing this exhibit, I had wished we got to see more of the museum. I guess we will just have to wait until next time!
Afterward the OMSI, we walked along the river walk and over a few bridges, getting some serious steps in! It was nice spending time with the, catching up, and learning more about the great city of Portland! We have seen some nice river walks in other cities, such as Jacksonville and Austin. It is a great way to make the city more accessible on foot, bike, and provides a really scenic way to exercise! On our walk, we stopped at the Portland Saturday Market, which also runs on Sunday! Lucky us, but too bad we don’t have enough room in our suitcases for all the cool stuff they sold!
Wrapping up Portland
This will be my last post on Portland, until our next visit some day! Unfortunately for us, we got a lot of rain while we were here, which put a mild damper on the fun we wanted to have. The climate here is very similar to Seattle, but we enjoyed the culture and people in Portland much more! This is such a fun, colorful, unique city. It is filled with great food, nightlight and things to do in Portland. We would have loved to visit in the summer, which we hear is beautiful!
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