When Portlandia returned for its second season, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen were able to dig deeper into Portland’s eccentricities and explore more colorful locales. Here are some filming locations from the series’ second run through town.
Season 2, Episode 1
The sketch – watch it
When Andy Samberg’s character whips up a ginger-based bourbon drink infused with honey, lemon and charred ice, garnished with cucumber and a baby tomato, and sprinkled with some lime zest and homemade bitters (not to mention the egg whites, eggshell, egg yolk and rotten banana), you don’t dare call him a bartender — he’s a mixologist.
Filmed at North Portland’s Mint/820, which doesn’t offer that exact drink, but has pioneered the cocktail scene since 2003. Owner/bartender Lucy Brennan offers popular classes in the art of the cocktail (and is frequently referred to as a mixologist). On the extensive menu: a creamy avocado daquiri and the “Sweet Love” — a mixture of Kahlua, banana rum and coffee garnished with whipped cream and Mexican chocolate.
Around the World in 80 Plates
This fictional restaurant “is a culinary voyage across the seven seas of flavor,” says the waiter played by Kumail Nanjiani. That means they don’t serve hamburgers, but they do serve “slamburgers” — as Fred and Carrie discover — as well as iced tea or, rather, “smile tea.”
Newport Seafood Grill, in Lloyd Center, has a much more straightforward menu of Pacific Ocean-caught fare. Their daily happy hour is popular among locals looking to enjoy Pacific oyster shooters served Northwest style with a bit of spicy Bloody Mary mix on top. Oh, and they do serve great hamburgers (not slamburgers).
Season 2, Episode 2
The sketch – watch it
When buying a knot for a housewarming gift, there’s a lot to consider, says Alan, the owner of The Knot Store (played by Jeff Goldblum). Do you want a contemporary knot or something more modern? You certainly don’t want to skimp.
Paxton Gate on North Mississippi Avenue looks like it could sell some pretty swanky bowlines in real life. But instead you’ll find a charming array of treasures and oddities like taxidermy, books, glass art and home goods, all with a natural science bent.
Season 2, Episode 3
Spyke and Iris’s rehearsal unification ceremony is chock-full of parachutes, recycled bicycle art, a priestess and crazy personal drama.
Filmed in North Portland’s Cathedral Park, a picturesque public space where many real-life Portlanders get hitched, rain or shine.
Season 2, Episode 4
Wanna Come to My DJ Night
Fred and Carrie discover something about Portlandia that they can’t escape, no matter where they go: Almost everyone is running a DJ Night, and they want you to come!
Filmed at many locations across Portland, including Jackpot Records and The Waffle Window, both on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. An epic treasure trove of vinyl, Jackpot has new and used records to round out any collection. Just be careful if you hit the Waffle Window first — their topping-heavy sugar waffles will leave you with a full belly and sticky fingers, a no-no for thumbing through LPs.
Season 2, Episode 5
Dream of the 1890s
To paraphrase Spyke, Dream of the ‘90s is OVER! Turning Portlandia’s first-ever sketch on its ear, this tour of Portland locales shows how Portlanders are pickling vegetables, brewing beer and growing mutton chops — just like in the 1890s.
Filmed across the city at locations like Southeast Portland’s Olympia Provisions, which serves up savory, traditional dry-cured salamis and other charcuterie in dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner. The old-timey bar in this skit looks suspiciously like The Woodsman Tavern, where employees routinely don suspenders and mustache wax without irony.
When the mayor taps Fred and Carrie with redesigning the police department uniform, the duo tries out their new, street-sassy design with local skateboarders. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t go over well.
Filmed at Burnside Skatepark, under the Burnside Bridge in Southeast Portland. Made by locals and endorsed by the city, this epic collection of ramps and bowls has attracted skaters from around the world, including legends like Tony Hawk.
Season 2, Episode 6
Performing in front of sellout crowds, the band Cat Nap — fronted by a feline named Kevin — realizes the dangers of its success when obsessive fan Gathy (with a G), played by Kristen Wiig, kidnaps them.
Filmed at the McMenamins Bagdad Theater & Pub on Southeast Hawthorne. A historic movie theater that has been lovingly restored down to the neon marquee, the Bagdad is a local favorite for catching flicks while enjoying a McMenamins-made microbrew and a slice of pizza.
Season 2, Episode 9
Every city would love to host the Olympics, but Portlandia is not every city, say Fred and Carrie, as they lobby all over town to bar the quadrennial games from the city.
Fred and Carrie costume-up to teach some school children all about northwest explorers Lewis and Clark. Unfortunately their imaginary Sacagawea doesn’t want to contribute to the demonstration.
Filmed at the Oregon History Museum in downtown Portland, where more than 85,000 artifacts — from ancient artifacts of the Pacific Northwest, to the Portland Penny, which helped decide the city’s name — tell the state’s story in compelling detail.
The sketch – watch it
How mainstream have bicycles become in Portlandia? According to this sketch, local businesses have started valet-parking customers’ rides (with limited success). Such a service hasn’t started in Portland … yet.
Filmed at the Portland Art Museum, the seventh oldest museum in the U.S., just across the South Park Blocks from the Oregon History Museum. With a revered collection of native American art, the museum is always popular among guests and frequently attracts world-class traveling exhibits.
Bonus: The beleaguered bicyclist in this sketch is none other than Johnny Marr, famed guitarist for The Smiths and Portland resident.
Season 2, Episode 10
What happens when everyone in Portlandia tries the hot new brunch spot on the same day? A near endless line that explores how society goes wildest when cutting comes into play.
The hot spot in this sketch (Fisherman’s Porch) is fictional, but the brunch craze in Portland is very real. The interior shots were filmed at Pattie’s Home Plate in North Portland, where a free jukebox provides a classic rock soundtrack for classic breakfast fare. To experience real lines — and really amazing food — try Screen Door or Tasty n Sons.