An easy 6-mile (10 km) journey by car, bus or bike from downtown, you’ll find this charming east Portland neighborhood (named one of the country’s top 10 neighborhoods in 2017 by Lonely Planet). Follow our guide to the best things to do, eat and explore in Montavilla.
Things to Do in Montavilla
Originally opened in 1948, the Academy Theater underwent a full-scale remodel in 2006, including a restoration of the lobby’s glittering two-story metallic dome. Tickets to second-run flicks cost a mere $4 for adults. Parents can purchase tickets for their children for $3 each, or drop them off in the babysitting room for $9.50. (Call ahead to reserve a spot.) A stellar concession stand offers 10 microbrews on tap, plus pizza and sushi from nearby Flying Pie and Miyamoto.
Food and Drink in Montavilla
Start your day with a mug of Stumptown Coffee and a freshly frosted cupcake at the Hungry Heart Bakery, this family-friendly coffee shop. An ever-rotating menu of mini cupcakes includes seasonal flavors, like late summer peach, pink champagne, wintery horchata and butternut sage.
Founded as a deli counter in 1999, Ya Hala has grown to become one of the city’s most beloved Middle Eastern restaurants. (It’s also one of the most beautiful.) A lengthy lunch menu boasts traditional Lebanese dishes like zaatar, fatoush, shawarma and soujouk. Vegan and gluten-free options are clearly indicated.
A precious hidden gem, East Glisan Pizza Lounge is a favorite Montavilla hangout for folks of all tastes and diets. Start your evening with an order of pepperoni rolls or chickpea fritters, then chow down on a large pie. Pizza toppings include broccoli rapini, roasted eggplant, house-made pork meatballs or vegan fennel sausage on a polenta crust.
With a focus on congee, jian bing and dumplings Master Kong is a not-to-be-missed gem. A sister and brother team owns and runs this unassuming Chinese restaurant that focuses on flavors from their home provinces, coastal southern Guangdong and Tianjin. Try the gingery pork steam buns or the spicy jain bing crepe wrap, or opt for a traditional bowl of congee with your choice of additions like salt-cured pork or preserved egg.
Sweeten your visit with a slice of handmade pie at this Montavilla neighborhood gathering place. The Bipartisan Cafe serves up hot drinks from Water Avenue Coffee and Tao of Tea and a rotating assortment of made-from-scratch fruit and cream pies. Pop in during the warmer months for a slice of seasonal pear raspberry pie, or enjoy a heavenly plate of German chocolate cream pie.
Wind down with a classy adult beverage at the Vintage Cocktail Lounge, this old-meets-new lounge is open until 2:30 am daily. Modern and retro recipes are mixed together on their impressively long list of craft cocktails. Select your beverage of choice from a list of no fewer than seven categories, including bubbles, agave, brandy and “whisk(e)y.”
Open since 1984, Flying Pie Pizzeria is a Montavilla neighborhood staple that makes and hand-rolls its dough fresh daily and offers an extensive list of pizza toppings, including traditional Italian meats, vegan cheeses and unexpected offerings like shrimp, smoked oysters and pastrami. For those not in the mood for pizza, Flying Pie also crafts calzones and hot subs and offers 10 beers on tap.
Questions about Montavilla
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Shopping in Montavilla
Striving to make a uniquely Portland fashion statement? Look no further than Union Rose, a women’s boutique stocked exclusively with locally made wares. The shop carries clothing, jewelry, body products and home goods crafted by more than 60 independent artists and designers.
If your kiddos have aged out of teething rings, stop by Beanstalk to pick up a new toy or dress-up item. This family-owned business offers cute consignment clothing, pre-loved books and games, and top-notch trikes, diaper bags and strollers.
Illustration by Subin Yang
Southeast Portland Neighborhoods
East of the Willamette River and south of Burnside Street, this large 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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