Tucked between two trendy Northwest Portland neighborhoods (the Pearl and Nob Hill), Slabtown is a unique mix of residential and industrial buildings. The trendy area, which boasts walkable streets, plentiful shopping, coffee, restaurants and art galleries, is within walking distance of many other local hot spots. From here, you can easily access downtown, the Pearl District, Nob Hill and Forest Park, either on foot or via Portland Streetcar. But feel free to stay put — everything you need can be found in this lively, friendly neighborhood.
Inn at Northrup Station
If you’re looking for a place to stay, the Inn at Northrup Station is a quirky hotel with plentiful amenities. This retro charmer, located right on the streetcar line, offers bike rentals and weekly complimentary beer and wine tastings.
Hearty breakfast options can be devoured at Besaw’s. This storied brunch spot originally sat two blocks away but closed in 2015 after 112 years in business. Locals were overjoyed when Besaw’s reopened at their current location in 2016, offering fortifying morning cocktails and elevated brunch classics.
For a lighter breakfast and caffeine fix, head to Commissary Cafe. Housed in a former film storage building, this locally owned coffee shop pays homage to the golden age of cinema. Marvel at the understated Art Deco decor while devouring a satisfying breakfast sandwich named after a Hollywood starlet. The espresso is carefully crafted by expert baristas (and the chocolate chip cookies are downright addictive).
The Yo! Store
Stop next door for local shopping at the Yo! Store. This adorable boutique offers a bit of everything, including quirky jewelry, luxurious apothecary products and baby toys. Also offered is their curated selection of new and vintage clothing for both women and “tinies.”
Ready for lunch or an afternoon beer? Head north to Breakside Brewery. This highly respected Portland brewery opened a Slabtown location in early 2017. Here, visitors can sip award-winning beers and eat pub grub made using seasonal ingredients and local producers. (Heads up: as of summer 2017, you can do all that while basking in the sun on their rooftop patio.)
Pok Pok NW
Hungry for a weekend lunch (or dinner any day of the week)? Grab Ike’s legendary Vietnamese chicken wings and a drinking vinegar cocktail at Pok Pok NW. This Portland institution, founded by James Beard award-winning chef Andy Ricker, serves authentic Thai street cuisine and this is the newest of its four locations.
More local shopping can be found at beloved clothing boutique Folly. Fashion designer Sarah Bibb opened her cheery shop in 2008, providing visitors with Portland-made clothing, jewelry and accessories. A hefty portion of the store’s clothing comes from Bibb’s own line, which she creates right in the shop. Much-loved favorites include her line of gorgeous slips and dresses.
Grab dinner at sunny neighborhood favorite Le Happy. This itsy-bitsy French-inspired restaurant serves savory crepes (like the decadent Le Cinq, which features five different kinds of cheese). Order a side of their perfectly seared steak, sweet treats and vibrant house cocktails.
CoHo Productions has been putting on locally produced, artist-driven plays in their homey 99-seat theater space since 1995. Don’t miss the annual Summerfest, which highlights experimental solo acts and smaller cast shows. (Past productions include an all-lady cabaret version of Moby Dick.)
The Solo Club
Finish out your night at Solo Club. This cozy bar offers a menu of generously spiced, globally inspired dishes. Dig into their kofta sliders and za’atar popcorn while sipping on an inventive cocktail. (The drinks menu highlights amari and bitters, courtesy of co-owner and local bitters evangelist Mark Bitterman.) Although it’s the perfect late-night escape, Solo Club also offers an equally tantalizing weekend brunch.
When the weather heats up, folks flock to the water. For paddlers, that typically means hitting one the many rivers in and near Portland.