Just a few blocks north of Hawthorne, bustling Southeast Belmont Street is a hub for Portlanders and visitors alike. Get in on the action with some noteworthy diversions that you won’t find anywhere else in town.
Fuel up with fun
Here’s a surefire recipe for family fun: Let diners perfect their own pancake masterpieces with tabletop griddles. That’s how Slappy Cakes does it, offering a full range of toppings, from lavender honey and chocolate to blueberries and bananas, alongside a menu of ready-made dishes to jump-start any adventure.
If you power up better with coffee, conversation and live music, TaborSpace is a great spot to get your battery charged. A community coffee house located in Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church, this warm gathering spot is lit with stained glass windows and infused with the smell of Nuvrei pastries and Ristretto Roasters coffee. The site of weekly live music, art classes, workshops and more, it’s a welcoming place for all people, regardless of faith.
Want to hear an amazing tale? Some of Portland’s best stories can be found at Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery, just north of Belmont. The final resting place of many of the city’s earliest settlers, Portland’s oldest cemetery invites visitors to connect with the past through a quiet stroll or on a monthly guided tour that highlights some of the graveyard’s famous residents, like one of the city founders, Asa Lovejoy.
For history that’s still above ground, video rental store Movie Madness doubles as a museum of sorts (besides the fact that it’s a living, working rental shop). Devoted to rare and obscure films, they also have original costumes on display from movies such as The Godfather II, The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music.
And if you want to escape to a time when video games only cost a nickel, Avalon Theatre has you covered. Their two small screens show classics and second-run movies, while their arcade buzzes with skee-ball and whack-a-mole games, as well as some newfangled digital fare, to boot.
Events for all ages
One of Portland’s quintessential Christmas traditions is a trip — on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage — down Peacock Lane. For the last two weeks of December, the houses on this street just off of Belmont are decked out in true holiday spirit with thousands of little sparkling lights. And every September, the Belmont District Street Fair attracts roughly 10,000 people with live music, food and local vendors celebrating the vibrant ‘hood.