Alberta Arts District Activities

Find — and make — art, or explore the bounds of bar food on this eclectic street.

2 min read Alberta Arts District

Peppered with locally owned shops, cafés, bars and galleries, this Northeast Portland street is famed for its monthly Last Thursday street fair, but offers entertaining options any day of the month.

Arts Events on Alberta

Alberta businesses pack in late-night crowds during the monthly Last Thursday street extravaganza — expect some of Portland’s best people-watching here (especially in the summer months, when the road is closed to traffic and crowds fill the street). The Alberta Street Fair, held in August, features live music on multiple stages, more than 150 local vendors, kids’ activities, a beer garden and more.

Anchoring the neighborhood’s east end, the Alberta Rose Theatre offers up live music, comedy nights, art house films and other events year-round, meaning there’s never a bad time to stop in. Several blocks west, Alberta Street Pub hosts live music almost every day of the week (and sometimes several times per day), along with trivia nights, kid-friendly concerts and community events. (As a bonus, the pub offers a massive outdoor patio with plenty of seating and games to play while you eat and drink.)

Monthly Art Walks in Portland

Explore Portland's art gallery scene with three regular art walks, held in different creative neighborhoods around town.

Bars & Beyond on Alberta

McMenamins Kennedy School is a 1915 grade school transformed into a comfy and offbeat hotel, complete with a restaurant, movie theater, outdoor soaking pool and no fewer than five bars. Reward yourself for good behavior at the original location of Salt & Straw nearby, where ice cream gets the gourmet treatment; it’s worth the wait in line for a homemade waffle cone filled with original flavors like pear with blue cheese.

Learn about vegan bar food at The Bye and Bye, where the options range from a brown rice bowl with barbecued tofu and Brussels sprouts to a crave-worthy chili pie of Fritos topped with vegan chili, sour cream and cheese. (Don’t forget to order their eponymous drink, which comes in an enormous mason jar.)

Get an education in saké at Zilla Saké House, where the 70+ varieties of saké include offerings from SakéOne, located in Forest Grove, west of Portland. Let the experienced staff pour you a flight; they can also recommend the best pairings from the sushi menu.

Get Your Craft On

This being an arts district, it’s the perfect place to pick up some supplies (and skills) for your own artistic endeavors. Boutique art-supply store Collage offers inspiring DIY products and free demonstrations on weekends to help you create new treasures to take home.

Aspiring to join Portland’s numerous successful Project Runway contestants — or just wanting to sew yourself some new duds? Visit Modern Domestic for sewing classes and open sewing hours on their fleet of Bernina machines; a few blocks east, you’ll find a wide range of material at Bolt Fabric Boutique. Next door to Bolt, yarn shop Close-Knit wins fans with its inspiring sample projects, great yarn selection and friendly staff.


Portland is a hub for artists, entrepreneurs and creators alike, with community studios, warehouses and makerspaces that let you DIY your way around town.