Portland has long been a place where diverse cultures not only converge, but are celebrated. A local hot spot that draws inspiration from abroad is also home to delights that can be found only in Portland. Reminiscent of Paris’ intimate passageways, clean Scandinavian architecture and Middle Eastern bazaars, Union Way, a modern arcade connecting downtown Portland’s West End with the Pearl District, opened for business in summer 2013. Converted from two former nightclubs, the corridor packs various businesses into a covered galleria that links Powell’s City of Books to the Ace Hotel.
With shops ranging in size from 187 to 1,500 square feet, the bright alleyway, lit with skylights, is the perfect bridge to connect the city’s newest shopping neighborhood (the West End) to the Pearl District, with its many boutiques and galleries. Danner, the iconic Oregon boot brand, has opened its first ever stand-alone retail shop in the alley showing off Portland style in a whole new light alongside the gritty denim looks available at Self Edge. Local clothier Bridge & Burn crafts apparel that’s meant to be both stylish and functional, with utilitarian details woven into their designs. California-based retailer All Good joined the ranks in mid-2017, offering Pacific Northwest-compatible outdoor wear that will keep you dry when it rains, cool when its hot, and warm when its cold—which is just another spring day in Portland.
Great food always draws a crowd in Portland, which is why some of the city’s most innovative tastemakers are setting their tables in Union Way. Boxer Ramen (from the founders of Little Big Burger and Blue Star Donuts) serves up piping bowls of noodles and broth with a background of whimsical art. Finally, experience an authentic taste of Hawaii at Wailua Shave Ice, the Kauai-based shave-ice shack churning out mountainous bowls of snow topped with tropical flavors like pineapple juice, coconut foam and guava puree.