The husband and I took a little weekend getaway to Portland and it was a blast! We decided on Portland because it was close, pretty inexpensive, and we it was somewhere we’ve both never been. And now that we live on the West Coast, we want to get as many of these lovely Westie places as we can! We stayed for just 2 full days, but we packed a lot of fun and, of course, food, into our trip. Here are some of my planning tips and highlights of the places we loved!
The past few trips we’ve taken we’ve really lucked out with an AirBnB place to stay and Portland was no exception. I browsed all the neighborhoods and decided we would stay on the Northwest side of town. From everything I read, it was a cute neighborhood, with lots of shops, food, bars and things to do. I found this super cute place and booked it!
We arrived on a Thursday night, took an Uber to our apartment and passed out because we knew we would be exploring a lot in the next 2 days. Our place was SO cute. I immediately loved it and felt like I could live in there. It was an adorable little studio in a old apartment building. It had a small kitchen, giant claw food tub in the bathroom and a big fluffy bed. It was so lovely!!
We woke up and started searching for placed to eat. We didn’t have a car, so we needed some place in walking distance and decided on Tasty n Alder in the Southwest part of Portland.
The place had really great reviews and the menu looked amazing. It is a family style, so what you order, you order to share. C and I both picked a dish – me, I picked the Cast Iron Frittata that was loaded with fava beans, asparagus, onion, fontina and salsa verde and C picked the Korean Fried Chicken with short grain rice, kimchi and pickled eggs and an egg on top. With a bloody mary on the side, I was a happy girl.
After that we needed some breakfast desert (yeah, that is a thing. Just like a breakfast appetizers are a thing. Go with it). We headed up the road to Blue Star Donuts. We picked three treats to taste and split. I picked the blackberry compote and peanut butter number, C picked a maple bacon one, and we split a buttermilk old fashion.
I LOVED my pick and could have eaten another one. The bacon one wasn’t my favorite. I feel like the bacon flavor is a little over powering, and the old fashion one was somewhere in the middle of those too on the rating scale. I liked the old fashion, but it was really dense and cake like – almost like a pound cake!
We were then sufficiently satisfied in the eating department for a little bit it was decided we needed to get moving! City hiking is a favorite of ours – which is basically just trekking it around towns to see what we can see.
We made our way to Washington Park, explored the gigantic Rose Garden, and walked up to the Japanese Gardens.
The rose garden was pretty amazing and the walk up to the Japanese Gardens was lovely. But - the Japanese Gardens has an entry fee and we really didn't care that much about it, so we opted out of going into the actual gardens and decided to hike back down and move on with our day.
We knew we wanted to check out some local breweries and thought it would be fun to rent bikes to go to and fro. I REALLY wanted a bike with a cute basket on it, but by the time we got to 21st Avenue Bikes, they were gone for the day. Oh well - we still got a couple for the day and set out on our drinking tour.
We planned before we headed out and decided on 4 places, the first stop being the farthest from our apartment. We didn't want to have to bike a long distance after having a few drinks. And we decided ahead of time, only one beer per place with a hefty lunch some where in the middle. No BUIs for us!
First stop - Across the water to the Cascade Barrel House.
If you are a sour beer fan - this is your bar. So.many.choices!! I grabbed 2 tasters, the Gose and the Kriek, and C ordered up the Strawberry and Apricot. The Gose was super sour and refreshing and the Strawberry was full on flavor. Both were my favorite. We didn't stay too long because we got a little bit of a later start (around 12:30)so since we've had Cascade before, we just did some samples here and decided to move on to our next stop.
Stop 2: Basecamp Brewing Company
I loved, loved, loved Basecamp! I don't know what it was, but it was just such a fun place. I bar was relaxed, the people were friendly, and they had a great outdoor patio. I chose the In Tents IPA and C got the Helles. They have a S'mores Porter that comes with a toasted marshmallow! If it wasn't so warm, that would have been my pick, but the day was calling for an IPA for me. If we didn't make our one beer per place agreement, I would've gotten that next, but oh well. I adored this place, though.
Stop 3: LUNCH! It was time to chow down. Biking and drinking makes me hungry.
We made our to BUNK for some sandos to refuel.
We read that the Pork Belly Cubano was top notch, so I got to the counter first and order away. C got the Italin Cured Meats as an altertive. We have this thing about not getting two of the same on the menu.
Right across the street was our 4th stop, The Commons Brewery . How convenient, right?
The brewery was this huge open space with lots of room to mingle around. I had their Urban Farmhouse and felt it a was a great choice. Plus it was crazy cheap! I think like $4 each - what?! That's chump change. I felt like I needed to buy two to make it worth my while. But we stuck with our 1 beer a place rule, enjoyed our time and went on to the next on our list.
FAT HEADS!! Our last, but not least, spot on our little tour. Fat Heads is a brew pub, so they had lots of options for greasy, beer loving food as well as a huge list of beers made in house. We grabbed a table on their street side patio area and, of course, I chose the IPA, and it was fantastic! Just the right balance of everything I like.
After our quick stay, we jumped back on our bikes and headed back to the bike shop to turn our rentals in. We regrouped at the apartment and tried to figure out a place for dinner.
A good size dinner were needed at this point in the evening. We had to soak up all the booze I guess. Through a few recommendations we landed on a cute little ramen shop called Boxer Ramen.
We got some fancy tots with creamy spicy sauce, tonkatsu sauce, bonito, togarashi and nori to start with then we each got ramen - me, I got the traditional, and C got the spicy red miso. There was SO much food, neither of us could finish. Luckily, we had a fridge back at the apartment so we boxed up our goods and headed in for the night. Full and happy.
Onto Day 2!
We slept in and tried to ease into our next day. We woke up to another sunny, clear 70 degree morning in Portland and decided to check out this teeny tiny cafe called B Street Coffee House.
The waffle with bananas, walnuts, and almond butter is where its at. Fuel for the day!
I really wanted to check out some local shopping while in Portland, since it is TAX FREE and all! Too bad I didn't check a bag or else I probably would have brought home a crap ton of stuff I didn't need.
Books on books on books!! Powell's Books has 5 stories of new and used goodness!! We spent close to 2 hours in this joint. Places like this make me so happy.
We headed for a walk to the water front where they have a huge seasonal open air market on the weekends. The Portland Market was a little overwhelming, but incredible. They had food, drinks, shirts, jewelry, candy, hats, pretty much you name it, they had it.
I grabbed a bottle of this tasty kombucha from Brew Dr. B! Since I've been making it on my own at home, I wanted to do some "research" on different flavors. I'll be laying with ginger in my kombucha soon enough. Then I stumbled upon One Fork Farm Caramels and grabbed a variety pack to bring back to share. Real talk - they are still at my house because I haven't decided yet to share them - the are decadent.
Ok, at this point we walked around a ton and worked up an appetite. Food pods and food trucks are a big thing in Portland so we strolled over to the Alder Street Food Cart Pod. We took a survey and walked the block to see what looked good and ended up at The Dump Truck where we split some lovely dumplings for a snack.
YUM! Such a great snack.
We couldn't decide what to do next for our day. We already turned our bikes in, but there were a few things on the other side of the river we wanted to check out. It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to walk.
We stopped at The Dragon, which is a beer bar in Portland with a ton of taps and look what I spotted! Heretic in Portland - wohooo!
Pfriem IPA was my pick at this joint and it was the best beer I had all weekend. SO, SO Goood.
If you are in Oregon and can score this - do it!
We went back to The Commons and Basecamp since they were close by to The Dragon then took an Uber back to the our neighborhood.
A big "to do" on my list was Salt and Straw - ICE CREAM! It was right down the road from our apartment so we headed their for a pre-dinner treat. The line was stupid long, but it was worth it! Splurge for the waffle cone - trust me. I tried a few samples and settled on Coconut with Salted Caramel Pieces. Dear lord, roll me home now please. C got the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons. Mmmm....
Food coma enter here.
We headed back home and C ended up passing out. Literally, food coma. I took advantage of the claw foot tub and soaked in a bath. Sleep came easily that night. That means we did the totally adult thing and had ice cream for dinner. Damn straight.
And so I woke up nice and early on our last morning and went for a little walk down the road to Barista.
Coffee was a must.
And a perfect way to wrap up our weekend of eating, drinking, and urban hiking.
I heart Portland!
There were a few places we didn't make it too, but that just means we have something to look forward to next time. Two days went by pretty quickly!
Now where shall we go next...?!