If you only have one day to explore Portland’s city center, here’s how to do it right.
Neighborhood Spotlight: Downtown
Portland’s highly walkable city center is filled with terrific food, art and tax-free shopping.
By Molly Woodstock | Nov. 16, 2016 (updated Feb. 14, 2018)
Coffee connoisseurs select from a hand-written menu of single-origin, house-roasted beans at this fiercely independent shop. Once you’ve made your choice, baristas grind the beans right in front of you to prepare a perfect pour-over into a steaming mason jar.
One of the most celebrated brunch destinations on the city’s west side, this hot spot offers international small plates like pork schnitzel, pan-fried halibut sandwiches and chocolate potato doughnuts, all best enjoyed one of their boozy “grown ass milkshakes.”
Whether you want to gear up for your next camping trip or simply rock Portland’s outdoorsy street style, visit this West End outfitter for hip hoodies, hats, puffy vests and rucksacks. If you’re sleepy, cozy up in a “napsack,” one of Poler’s famous wearable sleeping bags.
Take a moment to stroll through Pioneer Courthouse Square — affectionately known as Portland’s living room — on your way to the central city’s premier shopping center, which boasts more than 75 stores, including H&M, Apple and J. Crew. (Did we mention that all shopping in Oregon is tax-free?)
Head back to the West End to find a full city block filled with friendly food carts, including local legends like The Whole Bowl and Nong’s Khao Man Gai. If the weather isn’t optimal, grab a pork meatball banh mi at nearby Lardo, a former food cart turned brick-and-mortar.
Once you’ve explored four floors of art, it’s time for a snack! Opened in 2016, the newest restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Vitaly Paley serves up French-influenced seafood dishes (think prawn cassoulet and sea urchin beurre fondue) inside the storied Heathman Hotel.
This cocoa-centric nirvana invites patrons to sip luxurious drinking chocolate and nibble small-batch bars from around the world, from rare Venezuelan dark chocolate to local Xocolatl de David squares spiked with Olympia Provisions smoked meats.
End your evening by relaxing into a leather armchair at this sophisticated drinking spot, where expert staff offers recommendations from amongst 1,500 available spirits. Count on a line to get in; downstairs, The Green Room serves as a sophisticated (and thirst-quenching) waiting area.