This zine will have you living on the edge … of Portland, at least. Portland is divided into five quadrants (North, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest) that offer delicious meals, tax-free shopping, one-of-a-kind bars and much more off the beaten path. Here’s what to do in Southwest Portland.
Get Out: Southwest Portland
Use this handy guide to food, activities, craft beer and fun in Southwest Portland.
By Brittany Powell | Nov. 11, 2015 (updated Jan. 20, 2017)
How does a place all the way out in Hillsdale get a reputation as one of the best bakeries in town? It probably has something to do with their small batch process and high-quality ingredients, but who cares when the Katie Bun is so good? Note: there’s no law against eating here for breakfast and lunch on the same day.
Looking to escape the rain? Bamboo Grove’s live music (Thursdays– Saturdays) will brainwash you into thinking you’re on a sunny island. Bonus: you’ll actually have a tropical drink in your hand and a massive plate of grilled meat in front of you.
While you could go to Medley for breakfast or lunch, the real draw is the afternoon tea. Order one of their Tea Time Platters or mix and match your own finger sandwiches and scones to accompany the tea you choose from their extensive selection.
The Elk Rock Garden property was Peter Kerr’s labor of love, and his daughters gave it to the Episcopal Bishop with directions that it should be open to the public. Take advantage of the Kerr family’s generosity and tour the grounds for free. You’ll enjoy the plantings throughout all four seasons, as well as the Willamette River view.
Even on a rainy day, there’s plenty to see at the Oregon Zoo. It’ll feel like you’re continent-hopping as you watch the otter feeding, spy on giraffes in the Africa Savanna exhibit, and glimpse the penguins underwater in the Penguinarium. As if that weren’t enough, the new Elephant Lands opens to the public in winter 2015.
This Multnomah Village store is chock-full of women’s shoes and clothing from independent designers. Let the friendly salespeople help you find your size or pick a style. Most of their goods can’t be found anywhere else in town.
While unassuming from the outside, Barbur World Foods is picnic central on the inside. They specialize in Middle Eastern products but carry an impressive array of meats, cheeses, beer, wine, and grocery items from around the world. You can easily make a meal from the deli offerings, and make sure you add a few packaged foods to enjoy later.
Don’t be deterred by the humble exterior; the interior of John’s Market is filled like a clown car with an incredibly huge selection of beer and wine. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for, but if you don’t know what you want, ask their resident experts.
Give Portland Kayak Company a call to schedule your Ross Island Kayak Tour on the Willamette River. The outing, for newbies as well as experienced kayakers, lasts from 2 1/2 to 3 hours and costs $45. You’ll paddle near Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles and osprey) and your river-based perspective will offer a postcard view of Portland’s skyline.
Brittany Powell is an Oregon native who gave up horse training, personal assisting and handing out samples of natural kitty litter to cut things out of paper, embroider SkyMall products into quilts and make paintings of strangers' cell phone photos. See her work at brittanypowell.com and lowcommitmentprojects.com.
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