Where to eat, stay and shop in Portland, Oregon
Author: Brian Johnston
Photography: travelportland.com and Brian Johnson
In contrast to the 1,700-odd new beds slated to appear by the
end of 2017 in a raft of on-trend city hotels, this 1912 fantasy
project built by a timber titan retains its uniformed bellmen, a
wood-panelled steakhouse and a super-sized lobby lined with walnut
and marble. The ambience is delightful, the blueberry pancakes at
breakfast are memorable and the downtown location convenient. The
Benson's concierges are savant-like in their knowledge of
309 SW Broadway, coasthotels.com
Opened in June last year, the first luxe hotel in the newly fashionable Central Eastside features huge windows, original artworks, deep bathtubs and designer furnishings. The hotel's Altabira City Tavern has clever food-and-beer pairings with rooftop river views; Citizen Baker has artisan bread and singleorigin coffee.
1021 NE Grand Ave, hoteleastlund.com
Though it's hard to single out one neighbourhood in booming Portland, Central Eastside's edginess and burgeoning food scene demand attention. On its fringe, hip Bollywood Theater serves Indian street food below a movie screen (bollywoodtheater pdx.com). Among the current hotspots are gyoza and ramen shop Noraneko (noranekoramen.com), Italian restaurant Renata (renatapdx.com), and Kachka (kachkapdx.com) for updated Russian cuisine. The Loyal Legion pub has a record 99 Oregon beers on tap (loyallegionpdx.com).
As a break from the studied stylishness of the inner city, head to this Renaissancestyle château-folly built by Henry Pittock, an early 20th-century newspaper and railroad tycoon. Its opulent décor and clashing Turkish and French themes are unfashionably OTT, and a glimpse of the taste of the time.
3229 NW Pittock Dr, pittockmansion.org
PDX is Portland airport's code - and this shop best exemplifies the city's abundant creativity. Everything is made in Portland: clothing, jewellery, kitchenware, stationery, art, even tools (we like the axe collection). And locally made chocolates, jams, sauces and spirits. Each product comes with a bio of its maker.
40 NW 10th Ave, madeherepdx.com
Browsing here is a tactile experience - it's hard to resist fingering the recycled Japanese and American textiles. Hand-dyed shibori cloth, old kimono fabric and pre-loved denim are fashioned into striking patchwork clothing, blankets and accessories, and new clothes are made with old techniques, such as ai-zome indigo dyeing.
107 SW 5th Ave, kirikomade.com
Cup & Bar
This café in a former Eastside warehouse is a collaboration
between Trailhead Coffee Roasters and Ranger Chocolate Company.
Expect mediumroast coffee, tastings of single-origin, Peruvian
chocolate and cold-brewed coffee mocktails.
118 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, cupandbar.com
This vegan restaurant in a tiny 14-seat designer space places
guests in close proximity to chef Aaron Adams in action. He
prepares refined evening tasting menus featuring mostly local
produce, such as carrot jerky and foraged mushrooms with Oregon
1414 SE Morrison St, farmspiritpdx.com
In an industrial-chic 1908 railway building, local chef Erik Van Kley reinterprets classic American dishes with curve-ball surprises: fried chicken with mint and curry spices, say, or peanut butter cookies with grape sorbet.
117 SE Taylor St, trwpdx.com
Set among the downtown food-cart fraternity, this stall serves just one item: jian bing, the northern Chinese street-snack crêpe filled with scrambled egg, pickles, wonton crackers, chilli and black bean paste.
SW Ninth and Alder Sts, bingmiportland.com