Once a sleepy thoroughfare, Southeast Division Street is now one of Portland’s most dynamic and stylish neighborhoods. Spend a day wandering its many blocks, stopping along the way to snack, sip and shop. Read on for our favorite things to do in Division/Clinton.
Where to Eat and Drink on Division/Clinton
You could plan a week’s worth of meals on Southeast Division Street, the city’s hottest dining corridor, and still not hit all of the must-try restaurants. But don’t let that stop you from trying.
Begin where Division Street’s heralded food scene got its start back in 1999: Stumptown Coffee Roasters. With brewers, grinders and beans by the bag, this neighborhood café is home to more than just expertly brewed joe.
Find foods from any cuisine and something to suit any desire as you eat your way down Division/Clinton. Here are some highlights: La Bonita is a family-owned and operated local chain, serving up Mexican fare with the best, local ingredients. At Alpenrausch find house-cured meats from Olympia Provisions featured in Alpine cuisine. A local favorite and Division Street stalwart, Bete-Lukas, try authentic Ethiopian dishes with house-made injera.
If you’re in the mood for fine dining, wander over to Clinton Street for Northwest seafood at Jacqueline, an upscale oyster bar.
Upscale restaurant Nuestra Cocina has been a neighborhood staple for years, thanks to nuanced Mexican cuisine such as authentic albóndigas (meatballs served in a hearty chipotle sauce) and spot-on margaritas.
For casual dining or lunch and dinners on the go, grab a vegan slice from Virtuous Pie, and be sure to sample their non-dairy ice cream treats. With a large, outdoor patio for sunny dining, Mestizo is a dedicated gluten-free (and soy-free) restaurant serving up tasty Latin American food with vegetarian and vegan options; try their chifles (plantains chips) and ceviche. For more vegan fare try DC Vegetarian, with vegan burgers and subs. Garden Monsters is a beloved food cart in Portland that caters to many food intolerances in its salad-focused menus.
Bike over to the Division Street beer garden, APEX, and sit outside on one of the many picnic tables. Home to a rotating menu of 50+ great beers from around the world and the Pacific Northwest, as well as an excellent pinball arcade, it’s a lovely place for people-watching.
At Bar Norman find a long list of local and natural wines and an outdoor patio on the quieter side of Clinton. Divison Wines is another bottle shop and a bar with great imports, with a knowledgeable staff to help you choose the right glass or bottle. Sit at the bar and enjoy a wine flight and a house-made charcuterie board. Or, for low-key cocktails head across the street and try cool-kid neighborhood bar Cat’s Paw Saloon.
What to Do on Division/Clinton
A walkable stretch in Portland, Division street’s transformation from modest homes to bustling urban streetscape offers boutique shopping and Portland landmarks.
Wild Cactus Boutique sells shoes and clothing from fashion-forward brands in a beautifully designed space. They also stock eye-catching accessories, body care products and tastefully chosen home goods. On the right day, you might be greeted at the door with hugs and kisses from their dedicated, furry sales staff, Finn, a floofy white labrador.
Books with Pictures -as they say- is a “kid-friendly, woman-owned, aggressively inclusive” comic book store on Division Street. The staff is full of recommendations and ready to help you find the right comic. For the collectors, make your way to Clinton Street’s Cloud 9 Comics for a wide selection of vintage and rare comics.
Art, Film and Music
First opened in 1915, the Clinton Street Theater is a gathering place and a champion of Portland artists and activists. Showing cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night since 1978, this classic theater will keep you coming back for avante-garde cinema and fan favorites from the past.
Landmark Saloon is a great place to wet your whistle on Division Street. With a second bar outside, that includes a fire pit, corn hole courts and a food cart, this is a perfect place to spend an evening. The authentic country bar also hosts live music most nights, getting everyone inside and out to do some toe-tapping.
Retro style doesn’t get more authentic than the vinyl stocked at Clinton Street Record and Stereo, where customers can dig through rare records and pick up high-quality audio gear — including vintage headphones.
Equal parts clay studio and curio-laden gift shop, Carter & Rose, founded by a ceramicist and a florist, sells ceramic air plant wall planters and made-in-Portland bags, jewelry and home goods.
Division/Clinton offers an abundance of Portland-only cool treats, like Italian-style gelato and sorbetto from Pinolo Gelato made with local fruits and natural ingredients. With fun flavors, non-dairy options (try their vegan-staple coconut lemon saffron), and house-made gluten-free waffle cones Fifty Licks, tucked away on Clinton, is a must-try. Don’t let the lines scare you away; Salt & Straw delights experimenting with peculiar ingredients such as olive oil, blue cheese and spring flowers, but visitors can always play it safe with Double Fold Vanilla or Freckled Woodblock Chocolate. The pies at Lauretta Jean’s, with layer after layer of buttery, crispy crust, routinely lock customers in indecision over what slice to spring for. Rhubarb streusel? Chocolate cream? Apple? You can’t lose.
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Savor culinary creativity by the scoop at Portland's top ice cream spots, including regional chains, frozen yogurt shops and vegan options.
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Rest and Relaxation
An entire bar devoted to the mildly psychoactive (and totally legal) root drink from the South Pacific, Bula Kava House can help ease any nerves. Served in coconut cup shells, the drink’s mood-altering effect can be euphoric, but it’s also consumed for relaxation.
But to truly unwind, treat yourself the Scandanavian way with relaxing steam at Löyly Sauna, which offers wet and dry saunas and full-body Swedish massages. Their packages bundle bodywork, steam treatments, facials and more.
Located in Portland’s vibrant East Side Arts District, the First Friday Art Walk takes place on the first Friday evening of every month year-round. Offering a gateway into Portland’s thriving arts culture, First Friday PDX includes more than 23 independent galleries, shops, and studios and a street exhibition from April to October. The self-guided tour…
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Illustration by Subin Yang
Southeast Portland Neighborhoods
East of the Willamette River and south of Burnside Street, this large southeast quadrant is home to many favorite neighborhoods and business districts, as well as the dormant volcano at Mt. Tabor Park, delectable Asian food in the Jade District and urban nature at Leach Botanical Garden and Powell Butte.
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