The city’s oldest neighborhood is filled with surprises. From authentic Chinese restaurants, tea houses and a city-block sized traditional garden, Portland’s original downtown is a bustling entertainment district and streetwear shopping hub. Read on for our favorite things to do and see in Portland’s historic Old Town Chinatown.
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Where to Stay in Old Town Chinatown
Portland’s original downtownand historic Chinatownis today a bustling entertainment district and streetwear shopping hub. This central-city neighborhood puts you in the heart of the action, with easy access to the Pearl District, downtown and Northwest Portland.
Where To Eat and Drink in Old Town Chinatown
Pair your visit to Old Town Chinatown with traditional Chinese tea service at Red Robe Tea House, which features premium loose-leaf blends served alongside classic Cantonese dishes.
Deadstock Coffee & Gallery is helmed by a former Nike shoe designer and decorated with vintage Michael Jordan memorabilia. This one-of-a-kind coffeehouse doubles as a gathering place for “sneakerheads” and local footwear employees from Adidas, Under Armour and Columbia (to name just a few).
Pop into Pine Street Market for a quick — and gourmet — bite at this modern food hall, restaurants like Checkerboard Pizza, local arepa chain Teote Outpost, Kinboshi Ramen serving locally sourced ingredients and handmade noodles daily, Korean street food at Kim Jong Smokehouse, and Wiz Bang Bar, Salt & Straw’s soft serve venture, bring something to the table for everyone.
A walk down Ankeny Alley, where you can get in line for Voodoo Doughnut, will bring you to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, opened in 1907, serving classic chowders and oysters. Wander the alley to find other old-salt Portland bars.
Portland's oldest neighborhood is home to historic restaurants, contemporary eateries and one of the world's most famous doughnut shops.
If you're looking to load up on made-in-Portland souvenirs, unusual artwork and Northwest heritage home goods, look no further than Old Town Chinatown.
The area where Portland started is just as vital today, housing some of the city's most beloved attractions, nightlife options and art galleries.
Things To Do in Old Town Chinatown
A place to begin to learn about the Chinese American Community in the Rose City is Portland Chinatown Museum, which showcases the Chinese immigrant experience, and features Chinese American art, history and culture. Crawl into Portland’s catacombs — aka the Shanghai Tunnels — to learn the lore of the early days in this port town.
In 1999, a team of experts traveled to Portland from our sister city in Suzhou, China, to build an authentic, 40,000-square-foot (3716 sq m) Ming Dynasty-style garden. Today, visitors to Lan Su Chinese Garden escape the bustle of the surrounding city to admire tranquil pools and seasonal foliage while wandering the grounds.
This district was also once home to a vibrant Japantown. The Japanese American Museum of Oregon offers poignant and informative exhibits exploring the history of Japanese Americans in Portland and beyond.
If you Go-By-Train you’ll know Portland’s Union Station. Nestled in Chinatown, near the Broadway Bridge, this transportation hub is also a Portland landmark.
Shopping in Old Town Chinatown
With boutique clothing, comics, shoes, and skateboard, Old Town Chinatown packs storefronts of local makers in some of the oldest buildings in Portland.
Open Saturdays and Sundays, Portland Saturday Market, an outdoor arts and crafts fair, runs from March to Christmas every year. The bustle of this river-side bazaar nestled between Old Town’s Archways and the Westside of the Burnside Bridge is a beloved weekend tradition since 1974. The Portland Saturday Market features over 250 vendors of arts, crafts, wares, and freshly made food to fill the senses.
Floating World Comics, frequently named one of the best comic book shops in America, also stocks zines, graphic novels, international art magazines and even new and used vinyl. This hip comic headquarters also serve as an indie publisher and art gallery.
Operated by and for skaters since 1976, Cal Skate Skateboards hyperbolically bills itself as “the oldest skateboard shop on the planet.” Exaggeration aside, the store’s selection of nearly 500 unique decks and skateboards truly can’t be beat.
Pick out a pair of sneakers at Index PDX, Portland’s premier sneaker consignment store, where shrink-wrapped Yeezys and mint-condition Air Jordans sell for thousands of dollars. (Hey, it’s tax-free!) This is one shop to get your foot in on the Portland Sneakerhead Scene.
End your evening with glitz, glamour and a bit of risqué humor brought to you by an all-star cast of female impersonators (including Darcelle, the country’s oldest performing drag queen) at the West Coast’s longest-running drag show, Darcelle XV.
Explore local history at the Portland Chinatown Museum before visiting other neighborhood mainstays.
Experience Portland's Chinese American culture, community and heritage through art, attractions, shopping and more.
Connect with the city's historic and vital Chinese American community.
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