Travel Guide: Portland
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
Oh, beautiful Portland, Oregon-- the Bay Area's younger, hipper, more care-free sister. While I love Portland for many reasons the one that I think get's less attention than the food or art scene, but deserves some love, is its walkable scale and easy transportation. The blocks are small, the sidewalks wide, and the streets narrow (and complete with a light rail!). During my weekend trip to Portland, I hopped on the light rail to get from the airport to Downtown and easily took the bus or train to just about every neighborhood I wanted to visit. I could navigate the tiny, people-centric streets easily.
But what would walkable streets be without worthwhile destinations? Portland has a great food scene, lively (and affordable!) nightlife and of course vistas of the majestic the Pacific Northwest. Of course, my favorite topic is almost always food so this Portland Guide will be pretty food heavy, sprinkled with some natural beauty you can take in as you walk off your delicious meal. For any Portlanders out there, I apologize in advance for the lack of PDX carpet pics-- where are your favorite places? Let me know in the comments
While I do like pizza, it's not usually the first thing I go for BUT Pizzicato pizza is amazing. Their pizzas are flavorful and fresh without the greasy heaviness the pizza joint on the corner normally supplies.
What to Order
The Puttanesca has roasted garlic, olives, feta, artichoke hearts, and fresh tomatoes. I'm rarely the person to go for the vegetarian option but I have to say it was my favorite.
121 SW 3rd Ave
Mother's Bistro is one of those places where you feel like you could stay for hours and hardly notice. Their brunch options were delicious and made it so hard to choose. What I especially loved is that they give you an andagi (okinawan donut) with your order which that really took me back to my home state of Hawaii.
Pepe Le Moko
407 SW 10th Ave
This little basement bar feels like you enter a different time when you make your way downstairs. Their craft cocktails have unexpected and fun takes on traditional drinks like manhattans or gimlets. It's a great place for a date night
The Ace Hotel
While people love to make fun of boutique hotels, they're genuinely full of surprise and delight. I appreciated my stay at the Ace, particularly for the art interspersed throughout the hotel and the thoughtfulness of their guest experience. Their survival guide to Portland is well designed and easy to carry around while exploring what Portland has to offer.
The Willamette Waterfront
There are so many things you can do at the Willamette waterfront so you can take your pick between jet ski, paddle-board, or just walk along the riverfront. It's gorgeous and so close to downtown.
Get weird and have fun on your next adventure in Portland!