Portlanders love both the outdoors and food, so it’s no surprise that the kitchen is the favorite room of the house for many locals. After all, that’s where the smell of earthy nuts, leafy salads, sun-kissed fruits and fresh-from-the-line fish mingle in delicious meals. (Also, it’s where we keep the microbrews and Oregon wine.)
As a result, local kitchenware purveyors have an eager market with impeccable taste. Here are a few shops where you can grab souvenirs of Portland’s food scene to savor at home.
With five locations citywide, locally owned, nationally known favorite Kitchen Kaboodle stocks everything from flatware and Fiestaware to furniture and food processors. Imagine a kitchen mecca that stocks Le Creuset in every shape, size, and color — this is it.
A national chain that got its start in the Pacific Northwest, Sur La Table has launched the careers of gourmet chefs and family feeders alike with its lineup of popular classes. For 40 years, they’ve also stocked shelves and drawers with roasting pans, mixing bowls, measuring cups and knives, and their Pearl District location, across the street from Powell’s, buzzes seven days a week.
While Powell’s City of Books has a great selection of cookbooks, Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard’s Powell’s Books for Home and Garden offers a curated collection of new and used cookbooks, plus gifts like aprons and tea towels to match.
Spices, oils and vinegars
With a wide variety of high-quality, hard-to-find ingredients, like the artisan Portland Pepper Sauce made with locally sourced jalapeños, The Meadow is a great place to discover local flavor. But their most popular products are their more than 110 salts from around the world, including Himalayan salt blocks, which can even be used as dishes or cooking surfaces. In addition to the original store on North Mississippi Avenue, there’s an outpost in Manhattan’s West Village and a new shop on Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland.
With hundreds of spices and ingredients, including olive oils from Oregon Olive Mill and locally made Blossom Vinegars, Sellwood’s aromatic Savory Spice Shop houses plenty of Portland cooking secrets. In the Pearl District, visit Penzeys Spices to sniff and sample the popular catalog retailers’ many varieties of chili powder, vanilla, barbecue rubs and more. Downtown, you can get your spice and caffeine fix in one fragrant stop at the Spice and Tea Exchange, while Benessere Oils & Vinegars stocks gourmet oils and vinegars from around the globe.