On a recent trip to Portland, I only had a couple days. I think it’s a doable venture even when short on time. My recommendation being to take a piece of the city that has a lot that it offers locally, like Downtown Portland or 23rd Ave. Both are popular walkable spots that give a good quick taste of the city. This post will focus a lot on the food and coffee culture of Portland since my time was limited and my focus was on coffee crawling the best spots.
My first spot was completely unplanned. After waking up early and spending hours in travel without coffee, I stumbled upon Case Study Coffee outside the garage I parked in downtown. It was delicious and I found out later it’s a popular shop in Portland.
I asked the barista his recommendation for brunch and he said Tasty n Alder. It was downtown also so I walked there after coffee. On the way there were a lot of cute boutiques to browse in and out of. Tasty n Alder was a great local spot: I loved the atmosphere and the food was served tapas style. I got the baked eggs in a tomato sauce with peas and asparagus. It was reasonable at $11 for a small plate, but it could be pricey if you went for more of a tapas style brunch.
Across the street was what I had most anticipated in my visit to Portland: heart coffee. It had begun to drizzle so I spent the next hour inside sitting at the window people watching and sipping on my cappuccino.
Another spot within walking distance that I was recommended to by a friend was Blue Star Donuts. I headed there. Their old fashion lemon poppy seed donut was perfect.
I then met up with some friends – Perry, Nella, and Jeff from the Phoenix coffee community – to continue this Portland coffee crawl. Perry had heard of a brand new coffee shop for us to try: Good Coffee.
I was hoping with Perry’s expertise on coffee and understanding of their offerings that he would order our coffees, so I was glad when he ordered all these coffees for us.
It took us awhile to figure out our next stop, but Perry didn’t disappoint: Stumptown at the Ace Hotel. I had completely forgotten about this downtown spot popular not just for coffee but it’s photogenic space. I loved how the day was spontaneous but unfolded in the best way possible.
As I mentioned before, once you are downtown, you are close to all the local popular spots. While parking we noticed a Sizzle Pie, so after Stumptown we headed there for dinner. We got a large pizza split with two types and both were great.
On my second day in Portland, we went to Jam on Hawthorne. Their space is very eclectic and we all really enjoyed what we ordered, though we weren’t crazy about the drinks. Pictured below is the Florentine Eggs Benedict.
Next we went to 23rd Ave for Salt and Straw. We were there on a weekend, so the line was out the door. I’d recommend trying to go during the week, but the wait wasn’t too long: we probably waited 30 minutes.
Across the street from Salt and Straw was a popular Portland coffee shop Barista. Probably my favorite coffee from all those we went to.
There was another Blue Star Donuts spot and a lot of boutiques. Overall 23rd Ave is a great place to walk around and get a good feel for the Portland culture.