Northeast Portland’s Alberta Arts District is best known for its colorful monthly street fair, Last Thursday, but this vibrant avenue is worth exploring any day of the month. Follow our guide for a perfect day on Northeast Alberta.
Case Study Coffee
Wake up with a cup of direct trade coffee at hip local roaster Case Study Coffee, which serves seasonal java in an inviting café filled with warm wood beams, leafy potted plants and ample natural light.
Tin Shed Garden Cafe
Case Study shares a patio with one of Portland’s most popular (and most dog-friendly) brunch destinations, Tin Shed. Chow down on the Thai-inspired “Tim Curry” with roasted sweet potato and organic tofu or try “Everything Nice,” a sampler platter piled with potato cakes, sausage, French toast and scrambled eggs.
Green Bean Books
If you’re traveling with little ones, don’t miss Green Bean Books, an independent children’s bookstore st\uffed with great picks for all reading levels. In addition to titles ranging from Pat the Bunny to The Fault in Our Stars, kids can explore a whimsical collection of toys, games and st\uffed animals. Check their event calendar to catch craft stations or story time (in multiple languages!) on Green Bean’s spacious porch.
While you’re splurging on the kiddos, make a stop at this charming children’s emporium. The locally-owned shop prioritizes organic, American-made clothing and non-toxic toys, guaranteeing that your purchases will be safe, sustainable and adorable.
Who says kids get to have all the fun? The folks behind Grasshopper also own a grown-up boutique right next door, where stylish ladies can stock up on colorful, versatile dresses and accessories by indie designers, including a tasteful house line.
Experience the “art” in Alberta Arts District by venturing inside the Guardino Gallery. This expansive exhibition space has hosted monthly shows by Northwest painters and sculptors since 1997 and has grown to include multiple gift shops selling items like silver gemstone jewelry, silkscreened clothing and hand-printed cards.
When your stomach starts to growl, head to lively Bollywood Theater to feast on Indian street food and small plates (think lamb samosas, pork vindaloo, chicken curry and fried sweet and sour cauliflower).
One of Alberta’s most unique shops, CORD styles itself as “a collection of ranked and well-stowed objects.” The shop is stocked with axes, knives, waterproof speakers, titanium sporks, wooden sailboats and other assorted gear for outdoor adventure.
Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books
Right next door, you’ll find another curiosity shop, Ampersand Gallery. Visitors can admire installations of contemporary artwork and anonymous, found photography as they browse a tightly curated collection of fine art books with names like One Hundred and Four Digitally Printed Color Photographs of Graffiti-Removal.
Kick back with a mason jar of boozy peach lemonade at this stalwart watering hole, where locals chow down on bowls of brown rice, Brussels sprouts and barbecue tofu on a sun-dappled patio.
Alberta Rose Theatre
An evening of entertainment awaits at the historic Alberta Rose Theatre toward the street’s east end. First opened as a motion picture house in 1927, the quirky theater now hosts an eclectic array of acoustic concerts, cabaret and circus performances and storytelling shows.
Back to Eden
End your Alberta adventure with a sweet treat from twee Back to Eden Bakery. This gluten-free and vegan bakeshop wins over even the most discerning sweet tooth with chocolate root beer doughnuts and passion fruit cardamom cupcakes, staying open until 10 p.m. for those late-night cravings.
Caravan — The Tiny House Hotel
Need a place to sleep? Alberta has a creative alternative to the run-of-the-mill hotel: the world’s first tiny house hotel. Each cabin includes a kitchen, bathroom, dining area and loft bed — all in less than 200 square feet (18.5 sq m).