Since 2013, long-time residents of Northeast Portland have witnessed a dramatic revitalization of the Northeast 42nd Avenue corridor, bringing with it new and culturally diverse businesses and restaurants.
Today, this eclectic strip — surrounded by a patchwork of residential enclaves and small farms — is one of the most charming areas of Northeast Portland for eating, dancing, recreation and immersing yourself in the local community.
Eat on 42nd Avenue
Home to woman-owned wholesale dessert company Rawdacious, bright, minimalist café Tiny Moreso is the go-to spot for wholesome vegan and gluten-free grub on Northeast 42nd Avenue. Specials rotate, but veggie-packed sandwiches, voluminous salads, fresh fruit smoothies and a variety of sweet treats (like homemade peanut-butter-chocolate-rice-crispy-treats) leave more than enough to choose from. Don’t leave without trying one of Rawdacious’ signature nut-based, dairy-free cheesecakes.
Owned and operated by two lifelong friends, Black-owned 42nd Ave Fish and Chips serves the all the pleasure of a Friday night fish fry, seven days a week. Specializing in flavorful, cornmeal-crusted basa (a white, flaky and tasty Asian fish), catfish, tilapia, cod and halibut, this fish and chips depot ensures that your fish of choice is fresh and cooked to order. (And no need stash emergency hot sauce in your bag; they’ve got you covered.)
After a brief hiatus of her wildly popular, reservations-only Appalachian pop-up, Mae, Chef Maya Lovelace is back with Yonder, a permanent home for her fried chicken — plus all the fixin’s. The three options for chicken include spice-dusted; North Carolina-style vinegar-dipped; and “hot,” a spicy lard-fried preparation. Wear your stretchiest pants, because the pimento mac and cheese, bacon-braised collards and homemade angel biscuits are also not to be missed.
Scoop up tropical citrus-spice flavors with titiyas (coconut milk flatbreads) at Biba CHamoru Kitchen, Oregon’s first CHamoru restaurant. Biba was opened in 2019 by Guam-born chef Ed Sablan. Previously known for food cart PDX671, Sablan is beloved by local food critics and has been featured on the food television show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Nearby, family-owned Santo Domingo Taqueria serves up homey Mexican staples like crisp tortas, more than a dozen taco options and heaping bowls of menudo on weekends.
The Spare Room Lounge is a bar within a former bowling alley … and it looks like it. Soul, funk, country and an assortment of other live music events recur on their calendar, as do karaoke and bingo nights. Pick your vibe, grab a drink and kick back at this quintessential Portland dive bar.
Things to Do on 42nd Avenue
You can’t miss the façade of Caribbean Spice. Adorned in bright red, yellow and green, this colorful marketplace offers a wide array of Afro-Caribbean ingredients — perhaps even some you’ve never seen before. (Don’t be intimidated; it’s a great place to taste something new.) The shop also offers authentic jerk, adobo spice blends and even flour for making fufu.
There’s cause for Com(motion) at this community-led movement studio. Bring a friend or make a new one at the studio’s group classes, which include African dance, pilates, tai chi and capoeira, among other styles. All ages, levels and bodies are welcome.
Experience the joy of making something beautiful by hand at Hey Ceramics Studio, a woman-owned space for creatives of all levels and practices, including potters, hand-builders, slip casters, sculptors and more.
Things to See on 42nd Avenue
See farm-to-table dining in action at the Side Yard Farm, a women-led urban farm and kitchen offering multi-course suppers, free workshops, bike-in movie nights and more (check out their events schedule for details).
Before it was beautified, the land now known as Fernhill Park was once a dumping ground for stripped-out stolen cars. Today, it’s an essential part of Portland’s urban nature and recreation scene, with dedicated spaces for baseball, volleyball, soccer and tennis, in addition to paved walking paths, picnic tables and a playground.
Lined with street art, galleries, restaurants and bars, this Northeast Portland neighborhood is best known for its colorful monthly street fair.
Just across the river from downtown, this area caters to convention attendees, sports fans and shoppers.
This family-friendly Northeast Portland community brims with historic architecture and great eateries.