Criss-crossed with train tracks and lined with old industrial factories, some of Portland’s favorite restaurants, boutiques and events call the Central Eastside home. Read on for our recommended things to do and see in Portland’s Central Eastside.
Where to Stay in the Central Eastside
Across the Willamette River from downtown, the Central Eastside area blends industrial Portland with new restaurants, microbreweries and riverside recreationand offers easy access to other central-city and eastside districts.
The epicenter of Portland’s art and design scene, the Central Eastside neighborhood is also pushing the limits of culinary arts.
With galleries, boutiques, design studios and showrooms, the Central Eastside is beginning to rival downtown as Portland's fashion hub.
Once a warehouse district, Portland's Central Eastside now stores exciting ways for people to connect with natural wonders, innovative tastemakers and bright minds.
Place to Eat and Drink in the Central Eastside
You’ll want to start early if you’re looking to try Southeast Portland’s Delicious Donuts. Often selling out before closing, this low-key, family-owned doughnut shop sneaks under the radar in Portland’s food scene. With their flagship coffee shop in the Central Eastside, Water Avenue Coffee roasts interesting blends and single-origin coffee beans, and then makes you an excellent cup.
With a year-round patio, live music and DJ, and weekend brunch Produce Row Cafe is a gastro-pub you don’t want to miss. A champion of craft beer in Portland since 1978, pair beer with whiskey and a great meal. Kachka brings a little bit of the old world to Portland with traditional Russian cuisine (their dumplings are incredible) and vodka samplers, open as a market with a deli counter daily and fine-dining by evening — be sure to make a reservation. For Italian classics and thin-crust pizza, Nostrana brings complex flavors in simple dishes. Get your fill of ramen and steam buns at Japanese-fusion restaurant Boke Bowl, many Portlanders’ go-to for a rainy day.
What to Do in the Central Eastside
The Central Eastside knows how to have fun any time of day. Head to Water Avenue, which runs along the Willamette River, and find shops, restaurants and an old — and renewed — business district. Tucked under the Marquam Bridge, OMSI promises fun for all ages. Kids who love trains shouldn’t miss the nearby Oregon Rail Heritage Center. At Kerr Bikes, rent any style of bike, including a surrey that will hold the whole family, and bike along the Springwater Corridor or Eastbank Esplanade.
Enjoy a pint and play games, like ping-pong at Pips & Bounce, or bowling at Grand Central Restaurant & Bowling and you can sing your heart out at Voicebox, a karaoke bar with private rooms. If you’re in the mood for live music, Central Eastside has many world-class venues from Doug Fir to Holocene. Bunk Bar on Water Avenue, is an intimate, converted warehouse with eclectic bands, pinball, beer and Bunk sandwiches.
With plenty of boutiques and small storefronts, Central Eastside provides trinkets of all kinds. Mother Foucault’s is a stunning used bookstore, with old-world charms and occasional readings by local or touring independent authors. With apparel for hard-working folks, Red Cloud Collective — a group of artists, designers, musicians, woodworkers, motorcycle mechanics, skateboarders and photographers — is full of locally hand-crafted clothing, leather and products.
A historic Central Eastside high school is reinvented as a music venue called Revolution Hall, the city's top destination for live entertainment.
The epicenter of the emerging craft distillery movement, Distillery Row is home to independent, small-batch distillers who have put Portland on the spirits map.
With five breweries and counting, Portland's bustling Central Eastside practically overflows with award-winning suds.
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