This vibrant North Portland street offers stellar shopping, dining and things to do.
Pack in stylish shopping, delicious international cuisine and quirky bar-hopping in North Portland’s Williams neighborhood. Read on for more of our favorite things to do in Williams.
Eat and Drink on Williams
When the craving for dumplings and noodles strikes, check out XLB on North Williams for classic Chinese comfort food and their namesake xiao long bao.
Named “Restaurant of the Year” in 2019 by The Oregonian, Eem’s Thai dishes, such as sweet and sour fried chicken and fried egg-topped soy curl stir fry, are all jammed with flavor. Cocktails arrive in over-the-top, photo-worthy Tiki glasses, but the cuisine crafted at Eem remains its star component.
More notable meals on Williams include handmade pastries and bacon-flecked baguettes by Dos Hermanos Bakery; beautiful, intricately decorated desserts at Jinju Patisserie; and vegan-friendly, authentic Japanese ramen at Kayo’s Ramen.
Migration Brewing on Williams opened in 2021 with a redesigned airy and open interior. Grab a pint from one of their 18 Migration beers on tap and head out to the 2000 square feet (186 m²) dog-friendly patio with both covered and uncovered seating. Another great place to grab a pint on Williams Avenue is AleFire. While you’re there peruse their highly curated list of hot sauces where you can take home a bottle of Hellfire.
More Tastes to Sample on Williams
North Williams Avenue is home to several eclectic drinking holes and delicious places to eat, including these favorites.
Shopping on Williams
SpielWerk Toys sells new children’s toys, but it transports shoppers to a simpler time. Filled with classic playthings crafted from natural materials, the shop’s simple, kid-powered toys like jump ropes, tea sets, dress-up kits and musical instruments promise timeless fun. Offering ethically sourced clothing made by small-batch designers, Monochromatic is a women-owned business committed to providing pronoun inclusive, simple designs.
Stop by Workshop Vintage where designing duo Audra Santillo and Nate Moore showcase their love for all things vintage and custom-crafted pieces. This quirky boutique is uniquely modern with a rustic interior, boasting both newly created and nostalgic collectibles.
Questions About North Williams Avenue
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Activities on Williams
Start a stroll down Williams with a visit to The Wishing Tree. Planted in a neighborhood local’s front yard, the humble tree is strung with thousands of handwritten notes, each fastened to strings threaded through the tree’s branches. (Leave your own note by using the pens and paper stashed in mason jars at the base of the tree.)
Across from the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center is a small park with a big history. Dawson Park is a 2 acre (1 hectare) park that functioned as an unofficial town square for the surrounding African American community and was the epicenter of many political and social movements — like civil rights marches. With a restored 120-year-old gazebo and a splash pad, this park is a great place to enjoy the summer while learning about the history of the surrounding neighborhood.
Events in Williams Neighborhood
Get to know the neighborhood at these upcoming events.
Ward Davis first gained attention in Nashville as a songwriter, placing songs on albums by Trace Adkins, Wade Hayes, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, and Cody Jinks. The latter was a pivotal connection for Davis. After he co-wrote three songs for Jinks’ 2018 album Lifers, Jinks chose to go out on tour with the like-minded…
Tony Molina / The Softies
Northern California native Tony Molina has a restless, multi-faceted musical personality. He got his start playing in hardcore bands, but over time developed two distinct styles that are very far removed from that sound. Initially under the name Ovens, then as a solo artist, he crafts bite-sized chunks of melodic pop that can be broken…
November Ultra welcomes us into her personal diary. From the bottom of her heart, she shares moments of her life, bright and dark stories, and sweet lullabies that gather touches of R&B, Pop, folk and music hall. Soft and intimate, her first LP Bedroom walls shares all her secrets, and intimacy in a colorful sanctuary:…
Vandoliers are a uniquely Texas band, distilling the Lone Star State’s vast and diverse musical identity into a raucous, breakneck vibe that’s all their own. After spending much of the last three years furiously writing and recording music, this Dallas-Fort Worth six-piece is back with The Vandoliers. This new album proves these rowdy, rollicking country…
Night Heron / Foamboy
Night Heron on ‘Instructions For The Night’: “This record was made during a time of deep personal upheaval, so the lyrics carry a certain weight, but the music is paradoxically smooth, which I’ve realized was almost a reflexive defense mechanism; a way to ameliorate the hard stuff. The thing that is really interesting to me…
Makrokosmos Project 9: Ghosts of Cascadia
9th annual new music marathon featuring great composers of the West like Kenji Bunch, Bonnie Miksch, Karen Tanaka, Tomas Svoboda and Adam Schenberg. Complimentary food and wine.
feeble little horse
feeble little horse makes thrilling and wildly unpredictable songs that are a reflection of the joys that come with making music with your best friends. The Pittsburgh quartet’s sophomore album, Girl with Fish, focused on intuition over intention: letting the magic of collaboration come first. “Anything that makes us laugh or puts a smile on…
Michigan rapper BabyTron stands out for applying his lyrical wit and clever punchlines to uncommon instrumentals. After his 2019 track “Jesus Shuttlesworth” went viral on the strength of BabyTron’s comical flow over a somewhat throwback synth pop backdrop, he became known for his ability to rap over any outlandish beat, which he exhibited on releases…
Powered by brilliant, crystalline melodies, Sabrina Teitelbaum’s eloquent writing takes root in the concrete: every line is literal, a keyhole to a bigger truth. “I think my kink is when you tell me that you think I’m pretty,” she sings on “Kiss City,” a witty expression of learning to state desire; “I think you watched…
Singer-songwriter Eliza McLamb is coming of age right in front of us. When the beginning of the pandemic interrupted McLamb’s studies at George Washington University, she eschewed the pre-law path she’d planned for herself and headed west. She started sharing original songs on TikTok while working on farms in North Carolina and Kansas and was…
Anchored by the powerful vocals and incisive songwriting of Erika Wennerstrom, the Heartless Bastards are a roots rock band whose tough, emotionally resonant music incorporates elements of blues, hard rock, garage punk, and country as filtered through tales of a hardscrabble life lived in the American Midwest. While Wennerstrom — the group’s sole constant member…
Pecos & The Rooftops
Pecos & The Rooftops are a group of friends based out of Northeast Texas and came to meet in Lubbock, TX, consisting of frontman Pecos Hurley, Brandon Jones (Rhythm Guitar), Zack Foster (Lead Guitar), Kalen Davis (Bass, and Kris Stephens (Drums). Their debut E.P. “Red Eye,” was released on January 24, 2020.
An Australian singer/songwriter with a lyrical, laid-back sound, Ziggy Alberts blends acoustic guitars and heartfelt lyrics (often filled with images of nature) with engaging pop melodies and an up-to-date rhythmic pulse. Alberts began his musical career as a busker, and the low-key immediacy of street performing can still be heard in his work, particularly on…
British neo-psychedelic band Temples combine a trippily retro approach with classic pop craftsmanship, though they aren’t afraid to stretch the fuzzy boundaries of their chosen sound. The group debuted a core style of chiming guitars, tight harmonies, and an easygoing T. Rex-inspired boogie on 2014’s Sun Structures. This album gained the band a following that…
The Expendables and Bumpin Uglies
With a band name like that, The Expendables beg for snotty drive-by non-reviews of the “Yes, quite” variety. The problem is that their music doesn’t always provide enough defense against that kind of quick dismissal. Hailing from the beachside town of Santa Cruz, CA, the Expendables refer to themselves as a “surf culture” band, more…
With a rousing style of indie pop that plays to the back rows of the festival crowd, Yoke Lore is the solo project of Adrian Galvin, formerly of Walk the Moon and his previous solo project Yellerkin. He launched Yoke Lore with a series of EPs including 2016’s anthemic Far Shore and 2017’s more melancholy…
Dutch electronic duo Droeloe emerged in 2016, pairing a bright, percussive future bass sound emphasizing visual aesthetics. Comprised of producer Vincent Rooijers and visual designer Hein Hamers, Droeloe caught the ear of fellow Dutch producer San Holo, who signed them to his own Bitbird label, where they made their mark with singles like “Make My…
On his third album, Adjustments, singer-songwriter Noah Reid documents the kind of minor schisms and major upheavals that leave our lives forever altered. Endlessly revealing the nuance and character of his voice, the Toronto-bred artist imbues his incisive storytelling with a potent expression of unease and frustration and ineffable wonder — an emotional complexity perfectly…
Playing shimmering indie pop with an electronic edge, the Aces are a quartet from Provo, Utah. Mixing the clear pop vocal stylings of Cristal Ramirez with the harmonies of her bandmates, layers of atmospheric guitar jangle, and dance-friendly rhythms, the Aces demonstrated they could lend an accessible air to indie-oriented sounds on their first album,…
Australian-born adult alternative singer/songwriter Dean Lewis pens yearning, emotionally vulnerable tunes in the vein of contemporaries such as Jamie Lawson, Ed Sheeran, and Lewis Capaldi. Emerging in the late 2010s, he had his first taste of international success with the multi-platinum-selling, multi-billion-streaming single “Be Alright,” included on his official full-length debut, 2019’s A Place We…
Half Moon Run
Emotional, expansive, and ethereal, Montreal-based indie rockers Half Moon Run rose in the early half of the 2010s with a pair of albums that blended the icy alt-pop atmospherics of bands like Radiohead and Alt-J with the richly detailed, harmony-laden modern folk of Fleet Foxes. Formed in 2010 around the talents of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists…
John Paul Cooper was born and raised in Manchester in northern England. Initially a keen sportsman, he developed an interest in music in his teens after falling in love with grunge, teaching himself to play guitar and forming a rock band while still at school. Later he discovered soul music via artists like Donny Hathaway…
Like many bands that started in the early 2020s, Sun Room started off as a quarantine project by lead singer Luke Asgian, who grew increasingly interested in music during those times. While the people he used to play music with in high school stopped, the singer decided it was up to him to dive deeper…
Hania Rani is a pianist, composer and musician who was born in Gdansk and splits her life between Warsaw, where she makes her home, and Berlin where she studied and often works. her debut album Esja, a beguiling collection of solo piano pieces on Gondwana Records, was released to international acclaim on April 5, 2019,…
Illustration by Subin Yang
North Portland Neighborhoods
Sometimes called the “Fifth Quadrant,” North Portland encompasses a range of neighborhoods and commercial districts, including St. Johns, Mississippi/Williams and Kenton. Attractions include the St. Johns Bridge, Portland International Raceway, Peninsula Park Rose Garden and Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area.
More North and Northeast Portland
Discover two city quadrants at these local spots in North and Northeast Portland.
Enjoy live music, local shops and popular restaurants and bars on this historic North Portland street.
This serene woodland sanctuary in Northeast Portland features 62 acres (25 hectares) of lush botanical gardens. No matter what time of year you visit, the Grotto offers calm, peace and introspection, transcending boundaries.
Alberta Arts District
Lined with street art, galleries, restaurants and bars, this Northeast Portland neighborhood is best known for its colorful monthly street fair.
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