Weekend Getaway: The Only Guide To Portland You’ll EVER Need!

All Portlandia jokes aside (trust us, we love 'em, too!) — there is something about the Pacific Northwest’s star city that artisans, inventors, crafters, and local-loving denizens can't get enough of. It's just a special place, living beyond its hype, and after spending some unseasonably sunny time in PDX, we can totally see why it's “where young people go to retire."
Until that day comes, though, we're working hard to give you the ultimate guide to the city so you can hit up all the best indie establishments in one go. Luckily, Portland is only a short plane ride (or a very, very long drive) away from S.F., so it's the perfect weekend jaunt.
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And, to inspire your journey, we scoured every inch of the city to bring you the best shops, restaurants, bars, and places to stay. It really wasn’t hard, considering the cocktail and culinary scenes are dynamite and the retail offerings had our wallets begging for mercy. Our advice: Pack those bags, brush up on that Portlandia trivia, and book your ticket, stat! You can thank us later.
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Photos: Courtesy of Yo Vintage; Frances May

Shop

Yo Vintage
Upon stumbling into this store (literally), we were instantly taken aback by the vivid colors, quirky wares, and oh-so-sweet staff. Owner Sarah Radcliffe does an incredible job of mixing in vintage duds with enviable new pieces. The store is chockfull of cutesy vignettes of the girly and colorful variety. And not only is the brick-and-mortar spot-on, but the online store is a high-fashion e-commerce experience. If you plan on shopping in Portland, skipping this store would be a travesty.
Yo Vintage, 413 Southwest 13th Avenue (near West Burnside Street); 971-266-8811.

Beam & Anchor
Okay, this retail gem isn’t a joy to get to — it’s kind of off the beaten path, if you will. But, once you walk in you will quickly realize the trek was totally worth it. This locally driven store is brimming with Americana-inspired relics from all over — we even spotted Oakland’s own Marisa Haskell up in there. The raw layout, rustic accoutrements, and relaxing music will make you feel right at home. This is a shopper’s paradise.
Beam & Anchor, 2710 North Interstate Avenue (near North Knott Street); 503-367-3230.

Frances May
Itching to get your hands on some A.P.C., Rachel Comey, Rag & Bone, MM6, and other notable brands in PDX? Then mosey on into Frances May — its star-studded selection definitely wowed us and it was refreshing to see such hard-to-find labels smack-dab in the middle of the downtown Portland area. The minimal spot really allows the merch to take center stage. If you’re looking to score some sleek and stylish threads, you’ve met your match.
Frances May, 1013 Southwest Washington Street (at Southwest 10th Avenue); 503-227-3402.

Palace
We don’t think Palace could possibly get any cuter — sprinkled with lovely little home accessories, soaps, clothing, and purses, it’s definitely on our must-shop list for a reason. It offers a fun assortment of local brands and hard-to-nab designers, with an overall craft-like, very down to earth ambiance. It may have been the smell of Diptyque candles that lured us in, or the quirky colors, but either way — we’re glad we popped by!
Palace, 828 Southeast 34th Street (near Southeast Belmont Street); 503-517-0123.

Lowell
The biggest perk that comes with shopping in Portland? There is absolutely no sales tax! So, you don’t have to feel that guilty when you board the plane with a slew of shopping bags. And another spot that ranks high on our retail radar is Lowell. Packed with teeny-tiny trinkets and other miscellaneous artifacts, this store is one you could spend days prowling around. Seriously, if you are the least bit into antiques, this is a shop you need to scope out. It is primarily focused on Southwestern art pieces, but does have something for everyone. We bet you didn’t even know you needed a sculpture of two bears balancing on a seesaw, did ya?
Lowell, 819 North Russell Street (near North Albina Avenue); 503-753-3608.

Other notables:
Stand-Up Comedy, 811 East Burnside Street, #111 (at Southeast 8th Avenue); 503-233-3382.
Tanner Goods, 1308 West Burnside Street (at Northwest 13th Avenue); 503-222-2774.
Animal Traffic, 4000 North Mississippi Avenue (near North Shaver Street); 503-249-4000.
Solestruck, 417 Southwest 13th Avenue (between West Burnside and Southwest Washington streets); 503-224-3591.
Machus, 542 East Burnside Street (at Northeast 6th Avenue); 503-206-8626.
Bridge And Burn, 1122 Southwest Morrison Street (near Southwest 12th Avenue); 971-279-4077.
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Photos: Courtesy of Tasty ‘N Sons; Broder

Eat

Le Pigeon
Portland has quickly made a reputable name for itself in the culinary category — there’s no denying the stellar grub here. But, one standout destination that ups the ante is Le Pigeon. Brought to us by star chef Gabriel Rucker (winner of the James Beard rising chef award in 2011) of Little Bird fame, this French resto is one to hit up if you’re on the hunt for a romantic, ridiculously tasty meal in PDX. It really gives a whole new meaning to putting a bird on it (the “it” being your plate, of course). Nom.
Le Piegon, 738 East Burnside Street (at Northeast 8th Avenue); 503-546-8796.

Broder
Located in Southeast Portland, Broder has to be one of the quaintest brunch spots we’ve seen around, hands-down . Nestled in a little house-like building, you can nosh on unique Scandinavian cuisine in a small, intimate setting. Don’t be scared by the long waits, though, the menu is off-the-chain appetizing, and has a few yummy stars like the Swedish meatballs, potato pancakes, and Danish pancakes with lemon-curd and jam.
Broder, 2508 Southeast Clinton Street (at Southeast 20th Street); 503-736-3333.

Tasty ‘N Sons
Brunching in Portland is no joke. It’s a sport — only you aren’t exactly slimming down. Another Portland brunch hotspot is Tasty ‘N Sons with its airy, open vibe and family style, made-to-be-shared dishes. Its rich breakfast, pork items, meat and cheese plates, and bacon-wrapped dates are not to be overlooked. If you’re feeling like mixing it up, be sure to head over to Tasty ‘N Alder, the newly opened sister restaurant. Let the food coma ensue.
Tasty ‘N Sons, 3808 North Williams Avenue (near Northeast Cleveland Avenue); 503-621-1400.

Ox
Meat lovers, be sure to pencil in a trip to Ox on your itinerary. This Argentinean-style, wood-fired-grill spot showcases local meat dishes that are beyond savory and enjoyable. The large, open, exposed-brick building is minimal and feels like you are dining in a sleek loft of some sort. The skirt steak ranks high on our list, by the way. We’re still dreaming of Ox’s delicious fare. Be sure to make this a must-do!
Ox, 2225 Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (near Northeast Sacramento Street); 503-284-3366.

Food Carts
It would be a crime to travel to Portland and nonchalantly whiz past the now-infamous food carts. Regardless of what you may be hungry for, chances are you can find any type of cuisine at one of these portable food pods. Sprinkled all across town, these creative little stands are a staple in Portland’s food culture. Even if you don’t end up chowing down at one, be sure to wander over where you see clusters of them, because they definitely are a sight to see.
Locations vary, see list of carts by neighborhood here.

Other Notables:
Jam On Hawthorne, 2239 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard (at Southeast 23rd Avenue); 503-234-4790.
Screen Door, 2337 East Burnside Street (at Northeast 24th Avenue); 503-542-0880.
Bamboo Sushi, 310 Southeast 28th Avenue (at Southeast Pine Street); 503-232-5255.
Farm Café, 10 Southeast 7th Avenue (between East Burnside and Southeast Ankeny streets); 503-736-3276.
Voodoo Doughnut, 22 Southwest 3rd Avenue (near West Burnside Street); 503-241-4704.
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Photos: Courtesy of Dig A Pony; Clyde Common

Drink

Secret Society
This nondescript, cozy little bar is located right above popular restaurant Toro Bravo and is definitely a hideaway watering hole (hence the name). With a running theme of underground clubs and unions throughout history, it gives a members-only vibe upon entering. The specialty cocktails are out-of-this-world amazing and the dim, yet welcoming atmosphere is enough to make you never want to leave. The dream of the 1890s is alive in this quirky Portland establishment, that’s for sure!
Secret Society, 116 Northeast Russell Street (near Northeast Rodney Avenue); 503-493-3600.

Dig A Pony
While the name may stem from an old song by The Beatles, this hip haunt is anything but aged. One of Portland’s hottest bars, the vivacious venue features a cool horse-shaped bar and open layout and serves up stiff (and cheap) mixed drinks. The venue houses an array of different DJs on different nights, so there’s no shortage of solid tunes circulating throughout. This place isn’t to sit and chum it up with neighbors, but rather fit for those with dancing fever.
Dig A Pony, 736 Southeast Grand Avenue (near Southeast Morrison Street); No phone.

Clyde Common
Sure, maybe Portland didn’t invent the craft cocktail, but it sure as hell has perfected it. Clyde Common’s superstar bar manager Jeff Morgenthaler knows a thing or two about mixing up mighty tasty (and strong!) drinks. Seriously, this place does not mess around when it comes to cocktails. Situated right next to the Ace Hotel, the high-ceilings, communal tables, and minimalist décor are fantastic pluses, but the beverages really take the cake. Tip: The Heavy Petting and Bourbon Renewal are ones to sip on…if you ask us.
Clyde Common, 1014 Southwest Stark Street (at Southwest 10th Avenue); 503-228-3333.

Driftwood Room
This gem-like libation haven is nestled in the upscale Hotel Deluxe, but stepping inside the dimly lit area transports you to an entirely different world in Portland. Add a dash of old-school glam to your evening at the Driftwood Room while sipping on artisanal cocktails in a swanky setting. Not only is its happy hour one to write home about, but it has an impressive selection of champagne cocktails. If you’re looking for a sexy spin on Portland nightlife, this is it.
Driftwood Room, 729 Southwest 15th Avenue (at Southwest Yamhill Road); 503-219-2094.

Stumptown
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a watering hole of the booze variety, but it would be ghastly to not call out one of Portland’s standout coffee shops. We love Stumptown for its incredibly strong beans (seriously, it’s strong), smooth taste, and wide selection. Plus, the staff is sans the barista ego, which we dig. Stroll in, sip a cup, and take some of those coveted beans home with you. You won’t regret it.
Stumptown, 1026 Southwest Stark Street (at Southwest 11th Avenue); 503-224-9060.

Other notables:
Rontoms, 600 East Burnside Street (at Southeast 6th Avenue); 503-236-4536.
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 East Burnside Street (at Southeast 9th Avenue); 503-231-9663.
Heart Coffee Roasters, 2211 East Burnside Street (at Southeast 22nd Avenue); 503-206-6602.
Mint 820, 816 North Russell Street (at North Albina Avenue); 503-284-5518.
Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, 1015 Northwest Everett Street (between Northwest 10th and Northwest 11th avenues); 503-445-8109.
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Photos: Courtesy of Jupiter Hotel; Ace Hotel

Stay

Ace Hotel
If you’re going to rest your head at any Portland hotel, make it Ace. No miniscule details is overlooked and its approach on understated luxury is definitely something we can appreciate. Everything from the terrarium-drenched lobby and the art to the photo booth and continental breakfast is impressive. The building is definitely an oldie and it has a certain aged charm that can’t be replicated easily. The rooms are all different, with a minimal but painfully cool touch that permeates through each. We’re talking claw-foot tubs, record players, Malin + Goetz bath products, and more. And it’s conveniently located right next to Stumptown and Clyde Common. Score!
Ace Hotel, 1022 Southwest Stark Street (at Southwest 11th Street); 503-228-2277.

Jupiter Hotel ‬
Packed with an art gallery and unique décor, this less-expensive, woods-themed hotel is the way to go if you’re looking to save a buck, but still stay in a cool spot. The Doug Fir Lounge is connected to it, so if you want to swing by a show and grab a few cocktails, it’s a hop and a skip away. The location is smack-dab in the Burnside neighborhood, so you’re surrounded by tons of interesting shop and bars, too.
Jupiter Hotel, 800 East Burnside Street (at Southeast 9th Avenue); 503-230-9200.
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Photos: Courtesy of White Stag Sign; Oregon Travel

Unwind

Drive To The Coast
There’s something pretty magical about viewing a rocky shoreline that intersects with wooded scenery. It’s our happy place. If you are able to snag a seat in a car, make sure you take a drive out to the Oregon coast. The sleepy town of Astoria (where the hit film was shot) is a quick jaunt, and if you’re a Goonies fan, you don’t want skip out on this opportunity. Plus, you can even visit the official house! But, the entire Oregon coast is a definite place to see, explore, and relax. Don’t limit yourself to the Portland border, guys — there’s tons of nature to dip your toes in!

White Stag Sign
At the risk of sounding like total tourists, taking a walk across the Burnside Bridge to ogle to White Stag Sign is a must. It’s the ultimate way to end (or walk off) that dinner if you’re in the area. It’s a Portland landmark and has been around since the ‘40s — and heck, we think it’s pretty cool. Also, it makes for some pretty great Instagram porn. Sold? We thought so.
White Stag Sign, 70 Northwest Couch Street (at Northwest Naito Parkway); No phone.

Skidmore Bluffs
Being that Portland has some striking similarities to S.F., we knew it had to have a Dolores Park-like offering. And we were right! Skidmore Bluffs is the perfect spot to chill out, picnic, pop a beer, and view the gorgeous Portland sunset — provided weather is on your side. Bikes are scattered on the lawn, people are sprawled out on blankets — yep, it’s a little slice of hipster heaven.
Skidmore Bluffs, 2206 North Skidmore Terrace (near North Burrage Avenue); No phone.
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