As Portland’s urban grid rule-breaker, Sandy Boulevard stretches diagonally across the east side of the city, from the Central Eastside to Portland International Airport. What was once a stretch of auto shops and warehouses has become a destination for dining, drinking and entertainment. Check out our round-up of the best spots to try on Sandy.
Street Spotlight: Sandy Boulevard
This busy street on Portland’s east side is a thoroughfare of delicious food and great shopping.
By Katie Vaughan | August 3, 2016 (Updated January 20, 2017)
If it’s a lighter breakfast you crave, get your coffee at Case Study and head next door to this compact but bright bakery. The James Beard Award semifinalist specializes in a wide range of baked goods made with whole-grain flours. Don’t leave without a figgy buckwheat scone.
A long-time neighborhood spot, this quirky café full of kooky grandma decor puts a Korean twist on the greasy spoon, serving brunch classics like the 14-inch (36 cm) Acre Pancakes alongside more international diner fare. Try Sue Gee’s Pindaettok, a Korean-style pancake packed with veggies, beans and rice — with a side of kimchi, of course.
This one-of-a-kind sanctuary provides 68 acres (27.5 hectares) of gardens and peaceful respite for the spiritual and secular alike. Created as a Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother, the Grotto is anchored by a cave in the cliff wall featuring a replica of Michelangelo's Pietà sculpture. Be sure to take the elevator to the top of the 110-foot (33.5 m) cliff to find more glorious gardens and stunning views of the city.
A must for music lovers, this storied local chain has been hawking records and CDs for more than 20 years. Their staff is knowledgeable and approachable, and old-school listening stations allow you to sample an album before you buy. Dig through their massive used collection, spanning genres from classical to hip-hop to bluegrass. (You might even find a hidden gem or two!)
Fresh pita and flawless homemade falafel (made from Pacific Northwest chickpeas) is reason enough to visit ChickPeaDX. The eatery also offers fresh salads, creamy hummus, flavorful sauces like zhug and tahini and a rotating roster of sides such as eggplant with sweet and spicy chickpea miso.
Not feeling falafel? You’ll find many more dining options at the Zipper, a micro restaurant pod where ChickPeaDX shares a dining space, food court-style. Get crispy fried chicken and Kool-Aid soft serve at Basilisk, shrimp po-boys à la New Orleans from Bywater Grocery and whiskey (from the all day happy hour menu!) at Paydirt. From pizza to gumbo, the Zipper has something to please everyone in your group.
The historic Hollywood Theater started showing films in the silent era and hasn’t stopped since. It remains an icon of Sandy Boulevard, thanks to its placement on the National Register of Historic Places, nonprofit status and plenty of community love. In addition to independent films and brand new blockbusters, film buffs will appreciate reoccurring events like “B Movie Bingo” and Hecklevision.
A welcoming mélange of Europe and the Pacific Northwest, Providore Fine Foods offers high-quality provisions from near and far. Local goods like fresh Pastaworks ravioli, sustainably harvested Netarts Bay oysters and local berries share space with imported candies and international wines. Toss back oysters at the on-site Flying Fish Oyster Bar or nosh on Italian-style rotisserie chicken at Arrosto. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or stopping in for a meal, Providore is a delightful one-stop shop.
Hidden behind a nondescript door in a parking lot is the laid-back private yard and the airy minimalist beauty of Han Oak. On Fridays and Saturdays, reservation-only Han Oak serves prix fixe Korean dinners featuring thoughtful dishes and fresh ingredients, like koji salt baked pork belly bossam. Visit on Sunday mornings for a one-of-a-kind brunch.
Han Oak is part of Sandy Boulevard’s second micro restaurant pod, the Ocean. Sample vegan Indian fare at the Sudra, classic Italian meatballs from 24th and Meatballs or mouth-watering authentic tacos from Uno Mas Taquiza. Enjoy your selection at one of the plentiful outdoor tables and finish with a brown butter pecan or bourbon peach pie hole (a tasty cupcake-sized pie) at Pie Spot.
Couldn’t get tickets to the Blazers game? Century Bar has you covered. This is a sports bar like no other, with tiered bleacher-style seating, a full bar offering draft beer and fancy cocktails and a food menu that ranges from Americana (fried pickles, loaded fries and funnel cake) to convincingly meaty vegan Reubens and burgers.
For a tropical end to the evening, head to Rum Club for elaborate cocktails without the fuss. The understated island atmosphere and friendly staff make for a laid-back evening sipping classics like the Rum Club Daiquiri or house favorites like the Million Dollar Mermaid.
Tours & Itineraries