Explore diverse shopping, dining and cultural offerings in downtown Portland.
Know Before You Go
Downtown Portland is well served by TriMet, the city’s public light rail, Portland Streetcar and bus system.
Portland’s compact, walkable downtown offers easy access to great food, green spaces, cultural offerings, tax-free shopping and seemingly endless things to do. Browse the Rose City’s most diverse mix of retail brands, see a show and grab a bite at a food cart or fine restaurant — all conveniently located in downtown Portland.
Where to Stay in Downtown
The city center offers easy access to shopping, entertainment, culture —and other districts, making downtown Portland a natural jumping-off point for visits to the city. Downtown is home to more than 35 hotels, from independent boutiques to big-name shopping brands. With a direct MAX light rail connection to Portland International Airport, Portland Streetcar service, and short, walkable blocks, downtown is great for a car-free stay.
Where to Eat and Drink in Downtown
Coffee connoisseurs select from a hand-written menu of single-origin, house-roasted beans at Courier Coffee Bar. Once you’ve made your choice, baristas grind the beans right in front of you to prepare a perfect pour-over into a steaming mason jar. Never short on local-roasted coffee, for award-winning single-origin coffee, visit the green wall at Coava Coffee for an urban escape after wandering the city center.
Flying Elephants, a Portland-local chain across from Director Park, offers deli fare from a fresh salad or sandwich with classic pastries to sate the sweet tooth. For a modern and romantic experience, head to Q Restaurant & Bar with electric menus featuring dishes inspired by Pacific Northwest cuisine.
As the evening winds down, relax into a leather armchair at Multnomah Whiskey Library, where expert staff offers recommendations from 1,500 available spirits. Count on a line to get in; downstairs, The Green Room serves as a sophisticated (and thirst-quenching) waiting area.
Explore Downtown Portland
Eat, shop and play in the lively central city.
Downtown and Central City Shopping
Downtown Portland boasts a wide array of shopping options, from major national and international retailers to locally owned boutiques and specialty shops.
Downtown Portland restaurants run the gamut — you'll find everything from budget lunch options at a multitude of food carts to delicious fine dining at acclaimed dinner spots in central city.
Central City Activities
Walk to a wide range of entertainment in central city and downtown Portland including theaters, museums and parks that play host to festivals and farmers' markets.
Things to Do in Downtown
Museums, parks, sports arenas, shopping, and theaters; these attractions in downtown Portland are enough to keep any traveler busy for days. Known as Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square is a gathering space where most days, you can see people enjoying their lunch breaks or taking a beat from exploring the city. From food carts to art installations and performances, The Square is a must-see.
Walk along the South Park Blocks, a green strip spanning 12 city blocks ending at the campus of Portland State University, to discover public art, the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and seasonally, the Portland Farmers Market at PSU, in the heart of Downtown’s cultural hub.
Take in some music -folk, jazz, a hundred flavors of indie rock, soul, singer-songwriter- at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, a historic Portland music hall that remains among the most vital and central venues in the city. It features high ceilings, a balcony, grand chandeliers, wide, arched windows, and “floors that bounce.” The ballroom complex includes Lola’s Room, a much smaller venue and bar on the second floor beneath the ballroom. Ringlers Pub is on the street level, featuring beer from the Crystal Brewery. And the Crystal Hotel is nearby, with its own restaurant and music venue.
This neighborhood offers a thriving theater community with major venues within a few city blocks.
Downtown Shopping Highlights
Parisian-style shopping at Union Way provides only in-Portland shopping. This sleek arcade houses iconic local brands like Danner, the iconic Oregon boot brand, which has opened its first-ever stand-alone retail shop in the alley. Also, find trendy denim boutique Self Edge and if you need a sweet treat after shopping, try Wailua Shave Ice.
Nearby boutiques Frances May, Pinkham Millinery, and Tender Loving Empire feature local designers and artisans, while Woonwinkel offers a curated selection of housewares and jewelry from local and international artists.
Step into WILDFANG, a bastion of tomboy fashion, beloved by celebrities like Janelle Monae and Kristen Stewart for its feminist T-shirts and gender-binary-breaking collection of blazers, bow ties, and button-ups.
Central city’s premier shopping center, Pioneer Place boasts more than 75 stores, including H&M, Apple, and J. Crew. (Did we mention that all shopping in Oregon is tax-free?)
Things To Do Outdoors
Visit verdant parks and outdoor attractions nestled amid downtown's hustle and bustle.
Portland's Central City
There's a lot more to Portland's urban core than Downtown, a center for retail, restaurants and cultural attractions. Goose Hollow is home to Providence Park soccer stadium, while the Pearl District is famous for upscale bars, boutiques and galleries. Old Town Chinatown offers streetwear shops, Saturday Market and Lan Su Chinese Garden and Northwest/Nob Hill boasts shopping, dining and access to Forest Park and the historic Pittock Mansion. East of the Willamette River, the Central Eastside offers family-friendly attractions, shopping and nightlife, while Lloyd is home to the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Explore Downtown Portland and all that it has to offer at these upcoming events.
Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize Exhibition
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University is pleased to present the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize exhibition from February 28 – April 29, 2023. A public reception will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2023, from 5 – 7 pm. To mark the prizes’ decade-long establishment, please join the PSU School…
Conductions: Black Imaginings
Conductions: Black Imaginings is a programmatic series of in-gallery ephemeral activations by Black artists that look at the ways in which Black performance, sound, video and social practice works become bridges between present Museum practices and future Black imaginings of those spaces. Drawing on the use of the term “conduction” in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel The…
Nature Vive: Paul Missal
Nature Vive is an intimate exhibition celebrating the masterful work of Paul Missal through the lens of his playful and symbolic still-life paintings and prints. This exhibition explores themes of decay to renewal, the cool tension of balanced dualities, and nature as guardian. The show’s title inverts the traditional term nature morte (literally, dead nature,…
The Odyssey of the Historic Jantzen Beach Carousel
The Jantzen Beach Amusement Park officially opened on May 26, 1928. It added a new attraction in July of that year—an impressive four-abreast carousel built by C. W. Parker. The Odyssey of the Historic Jantzen Beach Carousel examines the carousel’s journey from Parker’s Leavenworth factory to California’s sunny shores to the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park,…
Ticket to Dine
Portland’s “Ticket to Dine” offers patrons scratch-off tickets and a chance to win big prizes for 10 days in March.
Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe
Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe introduces new generations to one of the twentieth century’s most innovative Native American painters. Howe (1915–1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Yanktonai Dakota culture. He proved that art could be simultaneously modern and embedded in customary Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) culture…
Hito Steyerl: This is the Future
This is the Future, by the film and new media artist Hito Steyerl explores a vibrant, imagined garden through an immersive environment of video projection, sculpture, and an augmented reality (AR) experience. Steyerl is one of the foremost artists offering critical reflections on the complexities of the digital world, global capitalism, and the implications of…
Woodlark Artisan Market
The Woodlark Hotel is celebrating the end of Women’s Month with their first highly curated artisan goods market. Shop and support a selection of local and incredible women-owned brands. Vendors include: Amy Wike Ceramics, Essance Skincare, Tacky Dayz, Renée Staeck, Amsha, Barrow PDX, FUN IS FOREVER, Momo Cocoa, Ayumi Angel, Throwing Tiny Fits, Punctuation Ceramics,…
Cheerful Tortoise Comedy Open Mic
Comedy Open Mic for every skill level. Beginners are welcome. Weekly mic every Monday night with 8:30 p.m. sign-ups. Hosted by Sam Bass and Milo Loza. The Cheerful Tortoise is an iconic Portland bar that has been around for more than 60 years and provides a cheerful environment for everyone to enjoy.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU is pleased to present Weaving Data, featuring the work of Faig Ahmed, April Bey, Jovencio de la Paz, Ahree Lee, Kayla Mattes, Shelley Socolofsky, Joan Truckenbrod, Vo Vo, and Sarah Wertzberger. The exhibition is on view from January 24 through April 29, 2023, with an opening reception…
“If life were everything it should be, it would be more like HAIRSPRAY. It’s irresistible!” – The New York Times You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour. Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular…
Ride Every Wednesday
Every Wednesday morning in March and April, PBOT will be popping up with fresh coffee and Kuto credits for anyone who rides transit, bikes or walks into downtown. Welcome to Every Wednesday. A new Portland tradition designed to brighten up your midweek. Whether you’ve been coming into the office throughout the pandemic or prepping for…
Live Entertainment in The Nines Living Room
Every Wednesday, local Portland area artists perform from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in The Nines Living Room. Cocktails and a limited menu are offered at each performance by Urban Farmer Steakhouse while you relax and listen. Located at the historic Meier and Frank building, The Nines Hotel Portland is an authentic piece of the…
Farmers Market at Portland State University
The Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University will be open every Saturday, year-round. April through October hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. November through March hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Market at PSU is located in Downtown Portland in the South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets.
Portland Saturday Market
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
Eye Dotting Ceremony
The eye dotting ceremony, awakening the dragon, and blessing the boats marks the beginning of the 12-week-long Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race season. Outside the King Tide Fish & Shell, The Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association (PKSCA) proudly presents the Eye Dotting Ceremony, signaling the start of the 12-week-long Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race…
Weaving Data Exhibition Tour
Visit the JSMA at PSU for a tour of the exhibition, Weaving Data. Led by JSMA staff, the tour will cover highlights of the exhibition. This program is free and open to the public. ASL interpreting will be provided.* Exhibition, education, and outreach programs have been made possible by a grant from The Ford Family…
Art Focus Night: Illustrators Work & Chat
Professional illustrators, graphic designers, digital painters and artists are invited to come and have free snacks, meet other creators and have time to work together. Bring a project to work on. Hosted by artist Shelly Swann @fairywulf and Gallery Go Go @gallerygogo
Sasha Velour presents an immersive evening of drag, storytelling, and live art, in celebration of her forthcoming book The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto of Drag (Harper Books, 2023). The book documents the histories and controversies surrounding drag alongside Velour’s personal story. The live show brings this to life with iconic new performances from Sasha,…
Ten grand pianos. Ten amazing pianists. One sensational stage with many special guests. THE PIANISTS: Michael Allen Harrison and more are to be announced soon. Enjoy this amazing group of performers while supporting Play it Forward live and in person at The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Brian Quinn (Q), James Murray (Murr) and Sal Vulcano are the Creators, Executive Producers, and Stars of truTV’s hit series, Impractical Jokers. Now in its 10th season, Impractical Jokers is a hidden-camera comedy show that follows Q, Murr and Sal as they compete to embarrass each other among the general public with a series of…
Anti-Authoritarianism in Art and Design: Vo Vo and Andrew Santa Lucia
Join in on a dynamic conversation between Vo Vo and Professor Andrew Santa Lucia (School of Architecture at PSU) about the relationship between anti-authoritarianism, anti-fascism, anarchism, art and design. This event will take place in the galleries of JSMA near Vo Vo’s multimedia installation Still Fighting: Textile Workers of Lawrence, Strike of 1912 to present…
Breaking the Chains: The Legacy of Oscar Howe
In this one-and-a-half-day event, artists will join academic and community scholars to explore ideas about Oscar Howe’s life and legacy introduced in the Dakota Modern exhibition and book. Speakers will discuss the role of cultural authority in Howe’s practice and his art in relation to Native American politics. Other topics include the impact of Howe’s…
The Sound Of Animals Fighting
For the purposes of mystique (and, one assumes, legal reasons due to the various participants owning recording contracts), the experimental noise rock collective the Sound of Animals Fighting appears in public only in cheap creepy cute children’s Halloween masks with cartoon animals on them. Furthermore, the members of the band — really more of an…
Portland World Culture Festival
The World Culture Festival was born out of an inspiration to create a celebration that reflected both the world’s unity and incredible diversity with it’s music and dance, soaring artistry and visionary dreams. And so a stage was born. Since it’s inception in 2006, the festival has entertained, thrilled, and inspired more than five million…
Peter & the Wolf
Prokofiev’s enchanting children’s work for narrator and orchestra is both a fable about a headstrong boy and, cleverly, an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Artists TBA, Conductor Dance West Pacific Youth Choir Pam Mahon, Narrator Oregon Symphony
The Catalyst Quartet: UNCOVERED | Remarkable Women Composers
Hailed by The New York Times as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…playing with earthy vigor,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet was founded by the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Catalyst combines a serious commitment to diversity, education, and contemporary works with virtuosic…
Dust to Matter : rettaM ot tusD
Join Weaving Data featured artist Shelley Socolofsky for a material conversation on slow looking, slow making, and the healing properties of weaving and touch. With an art practice grounded in storytelling, myth remaking, and ritual, Socolofsky’s gallery talk invites a deeper interrogation of the binary. Specifically, where weaving, a process of information storage through a…
They Might Be Giants
The show is “an evening with” and TMBG will play two full sets with their electrifying live band featuring the show-stopping Mark Pender on trumpet. The sets will span the band’s entire career from early favorites to brand new tracks, as well as the live improvisations that have become a highlight of TMBG shows. Plus,…
Impulse: Sweet 16
Portland’s award-winning premier teen improv group is back for another season of laughs. Now in its 16th year, a new class of comedic comrades will create fast-paced scenes and games — all based on audience suggestions. Get ready for a quick-witted, hilarious night. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
The Magic Flute
In a mystical world of fantasy filled with terrifying dragons, mischievous fairies and charming forest animals, Tamino and his bird-catching sidekick Papageno embark on a life-changing challenge: to rescue the beautiful princess imprisoned by the evil sorcerer. Armed with little more than a magic flute and an unshakeable commitment to true love, the pair face…
Story Time + Art Activity
Join in for a story and art activity led by Portland-based artist Latoya Lovely. As part of our programming for Weaving Data, Lovely will read weaving-related stories to children and their guardians in the galleries, followed by an art activity. This program is geared towards pre-K through early elementary students. A guardian must accompany children…
Danzmayr Conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 4
Music Director David Danzmayr leads Mahler’s sunny Fourth Symphony, with its curious sleigh bells, puckish woodwinds, and a moving finale that imagines a child’s awe-inspiring vision of Heaven. Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling enchants with the “purity of her sound” (Gramophone) in both Mahler and Osvaldo Golijov’s tender, tragic Three Songs. Program Osvaldo Golijov: Three Songs…
Bridge to Brews
The iconic Bridge to Brews race returns in 2023 At Waterfront Park, join the annual 8k and 10k walk/run over 4 of Portland’s iconic Bridges. After the race, there will be a beer/cider-tasting event on the waterfront. Sip on some of Portland’s best beer and cider while enjoying live music, games, and goodies from local…
Portland Art Museum Free Day
Enjoy free admission all day in celebration of the special exhibitions Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe and Jeffrey Gibson’s They Come From Fire and To Name An Other. Families and children are invited to storytelling sessions and art-making activities with Indigenous educators Karen Kitchen and Sunshine Guzman, along with an array of presentations,…
Some Stars of Native American Comedy
Some Stars of Native American Comedy (aka Some Stars), The Rez Car Broke Down, features four Native American comedy storytellers sharing their take on life, love and dream catchers from a Native perspective. The award-winning line-up takes on everything from identity politics, cultural stereotypes, dating, white guilt, and rodeos with a mix of charm, irony,…
Paper Weaving Workshop
The JSMA at PSU is pleased to host a paper weaving workshop with Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize recipient Johanna Houska (BFA Art Practice, ‘22). The method introduced will utilize various non-traditional weaving materials and draws on inspiration from 2-D artists to develop intricate woven work through color, shape, and pattern. Participants will learn to…
Steinway Piano Series – Susan Chan Master Class
Founded in 2015 and directed by piano professor Dr. Susan Chan, the PSU Steinway Piano Series brings internationally recognized performers and educators to Portland for a weekend of public recitals and master classes each year. Acting as a bridge between world-class stages and the college classroom, the series elevates awareness for PSU’s outstanding music program…
Inspired by a request from Los Angeles skateboarding collective the Worble, musician Andy Harry formed the electro-punk duo Cobra Man with his friend Sarah Rayne. The group’s first task was to write a score for the Worble’s video about a human skate ramp. The instrumental “Manramp” introduced Cobra Man’s thrashy, disco-punk synth and bass approach,…
Portland Youth Philharmonic concludes its landmark 99th season with the famous and revered Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Joining PYP’s first performance of this magnificent choral symphony is the Portland Symphonic Choir, which featured vocal soloists Anthony Kalil, Vanessa Isiguen, Zachary Lenox, and Hannah Penn. Program highlights: The PYP Orchestra Conducted by David Hattner…
Monqui Presents welcomes French electronic music group M83 to the Portland’5 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for the Fantasy 2023 Tour. Blending synth-pop and shoegaze into lush music that makes the most of nostalgia’s emotional impact, M83 became one of the more influential acts of the 2000s and 2010s. Anthony Gonzalez’s fascination with memories, melancholy, and…
Portland Business Alliance's Rose City 5K Run – Presented by Nike
With a spring in your step, lace up your sneakers, and join the Portland Business Alliance’s annual Rose City 5K, presented by Nike. Whether you’ve competed in an Ironman or enjoy a lovely stroll, all are welcome to register as a team or solo. Online registration will close at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 10. Participants…
Classical Gershwin with the Oregon Symphony
Steeped in jazz, blues, and ragtime, Gershwin’s Concerto in F Major is a quintessentially American take on the classical concerto, making it the perfect vehicle for the dynamic pianist Aaron Diehl. Shostakovich’s brooding, deeply personal Tenth Symphony pursues great extremes in emotion and orchestral color, from wistful wind solos to menacing marches. PROGRAM Unsuk Chin:…
Ella Mai wasn’t unknown before signing Mustard’s 10 Summers label. Still, after the ink dried, the contemporary R&B singer/songwriter achieved true international stardom with “Boo’d Up” (2018), a sparkling slow jam exhibiting her casually commanding vocals. A Top Ten U.S. pop hit and a Grammy winner for Best R&B Song, the track drove its parent…
Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew
Jerry Harrison is the keyboardist and guitar player for the legendary band Talking Heads. He is a member of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2021. He has multiple critically acclaimed solo albums, including Casual Gods. Additionally, he has an illustrious career as a record…
Tom Hanks: in Conversation
Literary Arts presents a special event with legendary actor, filmmaker, and writer Tom Hanks, in conversation about his new novel The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. About Tom Hanks: Tom Hanks has won Academy Awards for best actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. He has starred in, among many other films, Big, Sleepless…
Thomas Lauderdale Meets The Pilgrims
Over 25 years in the making. Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale’s rumored collaboration with legendary surf rock sensations Satan’s Pilgrims, was lost in the mists of time. This long-awaited album, recorded concurrently with Pink Martini’s seminal debut “Sympathique,” is finally seeing the light of day. Buoyed by Lauderdale’s sparkling piano fireworks atop the Pilgrims’ iconic…
Against the Grain
The season finale will showcase Faust Overture by Emilie Mayer, an underappreciated contemporary of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Emilie challenged the expectations of female composers during her time, veering away from salon music in favor of grand form. Despite her eight symphonies and numerous overtures, the Faust Overture was the only work printed during…
Grammy-winning artist Kali Uchis’ new English language album, Red Moon In Venus, is slated for release on March 3 via Interscope. “Love is the message,” Uchis explains about the new album. “Red Moon In Venus is a timeless, burning expression of desire, heartbreak, faith, and honesty, reflecting the divine femininity of the moon and Venus….
National Geographic Live
Alize Carrere: Adaptation Explore the remarkable ways people around the world are adapting to our changing planet with environmental anthropologist and filmmaker Alizé Carrère. Dive into the South Pacific waters of Vanuatu, where islanders are using innovative techniques to combat outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish that threaten the surrounding reefs. In Bangladesh, discover how farmers in…
Portland's Central City
There's a lot more to Portland's urban core than Downtown, a center for retail, restaurants and cultural attractions. Goose Hollow is home to Providence Park soccer stadium, while the Pearl District is famous for upscale bars, boutiques and galleries. Old Town Chinatown offers streetwear shops, Saturday Market and Lan Su Chinese Garden and Northwest/Nob Hill boasts shopping, dining and access to Forest Park and the historic Pittock Mansion. East of the Willamette River, the Central Eastside offers family-friendly attractions, shopping and nightlife, while Lloyd is home to the Oregon Convention Center and the