Portlandia: Season Three Locations

Portland's favorite parodists take their show for a third spin around town at these spots.

portlandia-season-three-bridgeCROPPortlandia's Carrie and Fred on the pedestrian bridge at Union Station.
Image courtesy of IFC

Three is the magic number for the Portlandia crew — at least according to critics — because the third season is when the sketch comedy show based on Portland hit its stride. Skewering the city’s sometimes funnier-than-fiction foibles, the IFC show once again filmed all over town. Relive some of the season’s most memorable moments at the places where the cameras actually captured them.

Season 3, Episode 1

Stu’s Stews

The sketch – watch it

Donald, played by comedian Jim Gaffigan, can’t explain why people aren’t lining up at Stu’s Stews, a food cart that features, well, you know what.

The location

Filmed across the street from Mississippi Marketplace, a popular food cart pod on North Mississippi Avenue. While you won’t find chunky soups there, you can instead feast on Asian fusion at Koi Fusion or vegan BBQ at Homegrown Smoker.

Season 3, Episode 2

Take Back MTV

The sketch

Spyke may not own a television, but he’s sick of today’s driven-by-tweens MTV. With the help of some of the cable channel’s original personalities, he hatches a plan to take the station back.

The location

The idea takes shape at the Florida Room in North Portland, an authentic neighborhood dive bar bedecked with all sorts of Sunshine State kitsch. Here, microbrews and cheap cans of beer are served alongside pool tables and a four-hour daily happy hour.

Fred Armisen in "Meditation Crush"

Fred Armisen in “Meditation Crush”

Meditation Crush

The sketch

Carrie’s character gets hopelessly lost in love while meditating into the eyes of Fred’s character, then she finds herself again when she hears the sound of his grating, annoying voice.

The location

Filmed at Yoga Pearl, a popular Pearl District yoga studio that offers a holistic approach to health including massage, naturotherapy and acupuncture. Prasad, the studio’s vegan cafe, also appears in episode 5’s Fart Patio sketch — but fear not, the restaurant doesn’t have a designated flatulence area (and its ultra-healthy eats won’t make you gassy, either).

Season 3, Episode 4

Funny Evite Replies

The sketch

What are all those laptop-lugging people doing in Portlandia’s coffee shops everyday? If you believe Thor83, the username of Patton Oswalt’s character in this sketch, it’s refining their craft of posting the world’s funniest Evite replies.

The location

Filmed at Oblique Coffee Roasters, a regular filming location for the show on Southeast Stark Street. Pouring freshly ground coffee with Chemex brewing systems, their cups are rich, smooth and strong, and the lovingly restored shop, which was once a corner market, has plenty of seating, inside and out.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in "Spanish Guitar Dance."

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in “Spanish Guitar Dance.”

Nina’s Party

The sketch

It’s a birthday of epic proportions, with pre-dawn horseback riding and an evening of Spanish tapas. But when the experience isn’t as authentic as a couple of attendees would have liked, they jump up on the table to perform a Spanish guitar dance for the ages. But once the check arrives, and the party can’t divvy it up correctly, they call in the professional tipper to sort out everyone’s tab in style.

The location

Filmed at Oba Restaurante (now closed), a “nuevo Latino” eatery in the Pearl District. Putting a Pacific Northwest twist on Latin American fare, this restaurant packs big flavor into generous portions and pairs them with high-quality cocktails — think butternut squash enchiladas and Marionberry margaritas.

Season 3, Episode 5

Defiance of Anthropomorphic Sea Mammals

The sketch – watch it

Four concerned parents team up to change children’s music, forming their own band named Defiance of Anthropomorphic Sea Mammals. The results are as scary and inharmonious as you might think.

The location

Filmed at Portland Children’s Museum in Southwest Portland’s Washington Park, a 400-acre space with other attractions including the Oregon Zoo and the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, both also great places to take kids of all ages. The Children’s Museum is an especially fun place to explore, with hands-on exhibits encouraging young ones to make some noise (even if they sound like Portlandia’s band).

Season 3, Episode 6

Battle of the Gentle Bands

The sketch

With no microphones (so as not to harm any insects), songs about dreaming of grandfather’s wooden chair and feathers for instruments, this live music throw down in a public park is softer than soft rock. It’s practically soapstone.

The location

Filmed at Northeast Portland’s Woodlawn Park, which features a natural amphitheater where Trek in the Park got its start, public concerts are performed, and summer movie nights under the stars bring the neighborhood together.

Season 3, Episode 9

Artisan Movie Theater Food

The sketch – watch it

In Portlandia, they’re always trying to improve the movie-going experience. In this sketch, Fred and Carrie take a local theater far beyond the norm with newspaper-flavored “artisan” popcorn, microscopic Italian sodas, sun-dried grapes (aka raisins) and salted ice cream served with hand-drizzled caramel and a major spoiler.

The location

Cinetopia — across the river from Portland in Vancouver, Wash. — is a premium movie theater where they really do have a gourmet popcorn bar, wine, beer and cocktails, and a full menu of lunches and dinners that are delivered to patrons in their seats, sans spills or spoilers.

Season 3, Episode 10

The Next Level

The sketch – watch it

How many more escalators do Fred and Carrie have to take before they get to the theater for their movie? Lots. And when they get to their seats, what’s on the screen? It’s a documentary about escalators, of course.

The location

Filmed at Pioneer Place, a mall with four levels; two wings; major stores like Apple, Gap, Kate Spade, Microsoft and Tiffany & Co.; and a fair number of escalators.

Communal Dining

The sketch

When Carrie and Alexandra tuck into a local restaurant for an intimate dinner, it turns out they have communal tables. That makes for an awkward scene when Alexandra breaks up with Carrie, while other diners borrow forks and water glasses.

The location

Filmed at Fifth Quadrant, a brewery and pub on North Williams Street that serves up suds from the Lompoc Brewing Company. It’s one of the city’s older and most popular brewpubs, especially among craft beer fans.


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