In outer Southeast Portland, the Foster-Powell neighborhood sits between Southeast 50th and 82nd Avenues and is accessible by bus from downtown. Colloquially referred to as “FoPo,” the triangular district houses a hub of diversity. Vibrant shops, family-owned eateries and well-established watering holes line Powell and Foster boulevards. Improvements are underway to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety with wider sidewalks, tree-lined streets and new bike lanes.
Matthew Mičetić is president of the Foster Area Business Association and owner of Red Castle Games. The bustling dance scene at Tango Berretin was what first brought Mičetić to the neighborhood over a decade ago. Red Castle opened its doors at the beginning of 2010. “The writing was on the wall in 2009 that [Southeast Foster Avenue] would become an incredible main street in the future,” Mičetić says. “I think we are starting to see that.”
While becoming President of the business association wasn’t Mičetić’s objective, becoming more closely involved within the local community was. The business association hosts an annual Foster Tasting Tour and holiday tree lighting, along with supporting Second Saturday Art Walks.
Mičetić’s favorite FoPo spots include Pieper Café for coffee, Bread and Roses Market for produce and Nayar Taqueria for tasty Mexican fare. The neighborhood has plenty more to offer; read on for a dozen other excellent Foster-Powell destinations.
Portland is famous for its imaginative artisanal donuts, and vegan Doe offers some of the best of the bunch. Wake up with an “All or Nothing” doughnut stuffed with cookie butter and topped with chocolate ganache. Or sample the signature “Doe!,” topped with housemade strawberry milk glaze.
Devour crispy cutlets of chicken fried steak and veggie-heavy egg scrambles at this cozy FoPo brunch haven with a diner feel. Walk past the unassuming façade to try out deep-fried French toast or the cult favorite Angry Bird sandwich: pulled turkey, pepper jack cheese, eggs, roasted garlic mayonnaise and Sriracha on a roll.
Pick up a bánh mì and Vietnamese iced coffee combo for a tasty, affordable meal at An Xuyen. Meanwhile, peruse the store’s case of assorted and delicious baked goods. The ultra-buttery guava cookies are a must, as are the pillowy steamed bao buns.
Bustling brunch spot by day and burger joint by night, this retro establishment houses two formerly standalone vegetarian restaurants. The breakfast menu (branded as A.N.D. Cafe) includes knockouts like sweet pumpkin cheesecake waffles and five bloody Mary variations, available before 2 p.m. After a brief midday hiatus, check back in for Off the Griddle’s old-school veggie burgers and boozy floats.
This colorful hub of Latin American culture and community is a must-see for visitors and locals alike. Nine food carts, a beer and wine shop, and Sandino Coffee Roasters provide on-the-spot nourishment, while the indoor grocery store and carniceria (butcher shop) offer excellent ingredients for any meal. The Portland Mercado is an incubator for minority-owned local businesses, so your dollars do good here.
If your trip to FoPo leaves you inspired to create, pick up some art supplies at I’ve Been Framed. From gouache paints to handmade notebooks perfect for sketching the sights, this funky store will have you covered.
Seventeen food carts are jam-packed into this lively all-weather pod tucked alongside the intersection of Foster Road and 52nd Avenue. Standouts include the succulent skewers at entirely paleo Jurassic Cart and hard-to-find Venezuelan offerings at La Arepa. You can even get a haircut at cozy Salon Bucci, which is housed in a ‘70s-inspired vintage trailer.
Tango Berretin is the unofficial headquarters of Portland’s nationally-renowned tango scene. The dance hall specializes in Argentine tango, which emphasizes improvisation (unlike the closely choreographed ballroom tango). Beginner lessons are offered from 8–9 p.m. every first and third Saturday of the month. More advanced prácticas are held on Wednesday afternoons, and there’s a milonga (social dance) every Saturday night.
Another multifaceted business, Bar Carlo does triple duty as a restaurant, bar and record shop. The vinyl is well stocked and perfect for perusing while you wait for a table. Since it closes at 9 p.m., it’s ideal for happy hour crowds.
Dive bar devotees will be pleased by the Lay Low’s build-a-burger menus and Big Buck Hunter. The FoPo tavern’s wood paneling and velvet-adorned décor will transport you directly into the basement of your friend’s house circa 1974.
Follow our guide to eat and explore the best that Montavilla has to offer, only an easy 6-mile journey from downtown Portland.
Perhaps the city’s hottest dining destination, Southeast Division Street features restaurants, shops, boutiques, wine bars and other attractions.
Experience Portland like a true local with a journey to the diverse Southeast neighborhood of Lents, where beer, baseball and good eats abound.