I'm sure I won't be the first person to tell you that Portland is cool- the real deal definition of the word cool. A cultural melting pot with a deep love of all things food and drink, this artistic hub will be an ideal place to explore while working.
Tri-Met is Portland's public transit system, and, in a city as eco-aware at this one, it's no surprise that there is a solid metro system in place. With buses, light rail, and commuter rail, utilize this system while you're in town to support local (and also to allow for a distillery visit or two...)
Portland is a charcuterie lovers mecca. Striving constantly for better and more environmentally friendly cured meats, pates, mousses, and pastes, Portlanders have turned charcuterie into an art.
Olympia Provisions has two locations in Portland and makes all its cured meats in house with local ingredients and lots of passion. Offering thoughtfully crafted charcuterie boards that exemplify different regions of Europe and the flavors particular to that region, bring a friend and sample a few different boards. Paired with local beer or an excellent glass of wine, this is a special place that is not to be missed.
107 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: 11AM- 10PM
If Olympia Provisions calls itself a Salumeria, Laurelhurst Market describes itself as a "butcher shop", but this is no regular butcher shop, and the charcuterie plates that they assemble for you are extraordinary. Using meats from local farmers, allow the good people at Laurelhurst Market to put together a plate for you, using daily meat specials in addition to crostini, pickles, and even local mustard.
Little Bird is a proper restaurant with a lot to offer besides their charcuterie plate, but I need to give it a special shout-out because they really do their daily charcuterie specials right here. Expect large portions of exotic selections like Oxtail Terrine and Foie Gras Brûlée, but if you think it stops there, you're wrong. Each exotic treat comes with a jam or mustard pairing. These exquisite plates make you understand why Portland might be the most daring food city in America. Also, this little gem lives right around the corner from Portand Center Stage. Just. Sayin'.
215 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204 HOURS: 11:30AM- 12AM littlebirdbistro.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing** **Open Late**
Inside the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland, star mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler runs the Clyde Common Bar that consistently wins awards for its spectacular cocktail menu. Morganthaler is possibly best known for his barrel-aged cocktails, so splurge on a few of those, but stick around for the daytime or late night Happy Hour menus as well, offering food items to pair alongside your perfect cocktail- like Grilled Pork Ribs with citrus glaze and biscuits ($7) or Cheddarwurst Croquettes served with sour beer mustard and pickles ($6.)
1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205 HAPPY HOUR: Mon- Sun 3PM- 6PM, 10PM- close HOURS: Sun- Wed 3PM- 11PM Thurs- Sat 3PM- 12AM clydecommon.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
The dimly lit, hip sister bar to the highly acclaimed restaurant, Beast, Expatriate offers a select but solid cocktail menu, along with their house punch (whose ingredients are kept highly secret.) However, I've heard that the real thing that sets this Portland bar apart from the rest is a special dish available only between 5PM and 6PM or after 10PM- The Expatriate Nachos. Fried wonton chips, thai chili cheese sauce, spicy lemongrass beef, crema, kaffir lime & tomato salsa and herbs come together to create a tremendous bar snack unlike anything you've had before at only $14, so come for the cocktails, stay of the nachos.
5424 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211 HOURS: Mon- Fri 5PM- 12AM Sat- Sun 10AM- 2PM, 5PM-12AM expatriatepdx.com **Open Late** **Kitchen Open Late**
Life of Riley
The Life of Riley Tavern is a quintessential theatre bar. Located around the corner from Portland Stage and their actor housing, this spot is open late with a friendly staff and a mellow enough feel to chill after a show. With an extensive beer list, highlighting local brews from Oregon and California, get a pint and settle in with your cast.
300 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 HAPPY HOUR: 4PM- 7PM DAILY HOURS: Mon- Fri 11:30AM- 2AM Sat- Sun 10AM- 2AM lifeofrileyportland.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing** **Open Late**
Hair of the Dog
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company was founded in 1993 with a philosophy of innovation and experimentation at its core. Family owned and operated, all the beer here is made by two men- Denver Bon and Alan Sprints- and they are doing something right. This brewery produces absolutely delicious beers, and a huge variety of them, too, all available for sampling in their spacious, welcoming taproom. With a dedication to buying local for both their brews and their menu at the taproom, swing by, pull up a chair, and get a flight or two alongside maybe some poutine? This is a fun afternoon outing worthy of your time.
61 SE Yamhill St, Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: Mon CLOSED Tues-Sat 11:30AM- 10PM Sat 11:30AM- 8PM hairofthedog.com
New Deal Distillery
New Deal Distillery is an intimate tasting room housed in an industrial part of town where, from the moment you walk in, you will be taken care of. Offering exceptional spirits like their bourbon whiskey, rye whisky, gin, vodka (their vodka is exceptional), rum, pear brandy, as well as many others, this personable, expert staff with lead you through a tasting of 5 spirits of your choice for $10 , as well as giving advice on how to pair the alcohol with perfect cocktail ingredients. This couldn't have been a more informative, enjoyable afternoon stop, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
With fourteen rotating taps, and a large, dark wood bar area, The Woodsman would be a solid spot for a drink no matter what, but they've sweetened the deal here with an Oyster Happy Hour that keeps the locals pouring through the doors. These fresh, consistently tremendous oysters are $2 each on Happy Hour, so treat yourself to some fresh seafood while working in the Pacific Northwest, and this is a perfect low-key bar to do just that in.
4537 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206 OYSTER HAPPY HOUR: Mon ALL DAY Tues- Fri 5PM- 6PM HOURS: Mon- Fri 5PM- 10PM Sat- Sun 9AM- 10PM woodsmantavern.com
Noble Rot is named after the beneficial grape fungus that transforms ordinary grapes into the kind of grapes used to make incredible wines, and, at this beautiful Portland wine bar, you can expect to have some incredible wines alongside a singularly incredible view. Located on the fourth floor of an eco-friendly building, this bar hosts panoramic views of the city of Portland all around. So try one of their expertly crafted wine flights and soak in the city.
Happy Hour deals include $5 draft beer and wine as well as snacks like Pork Croquettes ($8), Herb Ricotta Toast with crunchy veggies ($7), or the house Mac & Cheese ($10.)
1111 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 HAPPY HOUR: Mon- Fri 5PM- 6PM HOURS: Sun - Thurs 5PM- 9PM Fri- Sat 5PM- 10PM noblerotpdx.com
Teardrop Lounge is a popular lady. Since opening its doors in 2007, this bar has consistently won national awards for their cocktails, year after year, in periodicals like Esquire, Food & Wine, and Travel + Leisure. These are gorgeous, hand-crafted cocktails done by some of the best in the business, so try an old favorite of yours to have it done perfectly, and then ask for a recommendation on something new.
1015 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209 HOURS: Sun- Thurs 4PM- 12:30AM Fri- Sat 4PM- 2AM teardroplounge.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing** **Open Late**
Bridgeport Brewery is Portland's original craft brewery, and this large brewpub, housed in an old warehouse building, was established over 30 years ago using ingredients from local farms in Willamette Valley. With an ever rotating tap list of top quality beers, their IPA is glorious and their partnership with local business, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, has yielded some delicious beer combinations as well.
1313 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209 HOURS: Sun- Wed 11:30AM- 10PM Thurs- Sat 11:30AM- 11PM bridgeportbrew.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Hour Spirits is an award-winning distillery in the heart of Portland, crafting sleek, high quality beverages like Westward American Single-Malt Whiskey and Krogstad Festlig Aquavit (winner of best aquavit in the world at the San Fran World Spirits Competition.) Visit their tasting room, and, for just $5, you can try everything they have to offer. This distillery also offers fantastic weekday tours run daily at the top of the hour, starting at 1pm with the last tour running at 5pm. On weekends, tours run at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday, and 3pm on Sunday. Weekends can get busy, so go online and reserve a spot ahead of time.
65 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: Mon- Sun 12PM- 6PM housespirits.com
A Portland institution that has since branched out to Austin, Denver, and L.A., Voodoo Doughnuts has acquired a national reputation for their playful, origination, and occasional bonkers doughnut toppings like Coco Puffs, Butterfingers, and bacon. Offering raised-yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, or special vegan-friendly doughnuts, these little wonders are sure to please, and, with the location closest to Portland Stage open 24-hours, perfect for a late night craving.
22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204 HOURS: OPEN 24 HOURS! voodoodoughnut.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing** **Open Late**
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is another Portland hit that has since expanded into other cities like San Diego, L.A., Seattle, and San Francisco, but visiting their original Portland location is still very worthwhile. This is a foodie mecca, and, as soon as you take in the menu, it's clear why that is. This expertly crafted collection of flavor innovations will shock and delight you into (hopefully) trying something utterly new. For me it was the Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper. That may sound commonplace to some, but that was a flavor combination I had never heard of or tried before, and it was just perfection. Other fascinating flavors include Arbequina Olive Oil, Pear and Blue Cheese, as well as Cinnamon Snickerdoodle.
The Meadow was founded by Mark Bitterman in 2006, and this Portland institution can now be found in cities across the U.S., but it was born in and of Portland as a highly specialized shop for all things salt. Bittern's book, Salted: A Menifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, won a James Beard award in 2010, and the time and care this man has put into his shop is still visible today. Offering salts from around the world, salt blocks for cooking/ seasoning, as well as chocolate and ice cream, this little gem of a store requires a visit by anyone spending time in Portland.
805 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210 HOURS: Mon- Sun 11AM- 8PM themeadow.com
An internationally award-winning institution, Ken's Bakery in downtown Portland is your go-to spot for all things bread and pastry. Offering exquisite croissants, perfect ciabatta, and delicious brioche buns baked fresh daily, this is as solid a bakery as any in the world.
338 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209 HOURS: Mon- Sat 7AM- 6PM Sun 8AM- 5PM kensartisan.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Nothing displays Portland's cultural diversity better than its expansive food truck scene. Food from all over the world, sometimes only one or two particular dishes per truck, is showcased. Here are just a couple of favorites but there really are so so many...
Nong's Khao Man Gai
Nong's Khao Man Gai is a Thai food truck known all over town for its chicken and rice. My partner was under impressed when we were handed our orders, wrapped up expertly in butcher paper, but, after a few bites, his tune changed completely. This is a simple dish done just perfectly. The chicken is tender and flavorful, the rice is fresh and fluffy and perfectly cooked, and two house-made thai sauces are served on the side to complement everything. Just delicious.
1003 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205 HOURS: Mon- Fri 10AM- 4PM kmgpdx.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Potato Champion makes the argument that fresh cut potatoes fried right really may be the greatest thing in the world. Those perfectly made fries are the backbone of everything on this menu, from their Poutines topped with cheese curd and gravy to their Pulled Pork Fries to their Palak Paneer Fries, this food truck is a sure-fire pleaser at any time, but, late at night, nothing will hit the spot more.
1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: Sun- Thur 11AM- 1AM Fri- Sat 11AM- 3AM potatochampion.com
Chez Dodo specializes in Mauritian Cuisine- yep. Inspired by African, French, Indian, Chinese and Creole flavors, the uniqueness of this cuisine would make it well worth a trip, but Chez Dodo also does this food right. The menu is very select, offering only 5 options with variations on protein available for each, you also get to choose between 5 spice levels from "Mild" to "How Dare You." Their giant Shyamosa has garnered city-wide acclaim, but really you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, and of course I say, go spicy or go home.
427 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97204 HOURS: Mon- Fri 11AM- 3PM chezdodopdx.net
Powell's City of Books
Established in 1971, Powell's City of Books houses over 1 million books in its expansive walls. This impressive Portland institution is a bright, gorgeous warehouse in the heart of a bustling downtown and a worthy escape from the overcast weather to collect some reading during your stay in town.
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209 HOURS: Mon- Sun 9AM- 11PM powells.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Sweedeedees. I cannot say enough good things about this teensy cafe. It is without question worth whatever wait awaits you there- and chances are good there will be a wait of some kind. But, not to fear, this staff effortlessly maneuvers big crowds in a tiny space, and there's a reason for all the hype- everything here is tremendous. From the homemade whipped cream next to your pie to the perfect cup of coffee, everything here is handled with more care and love than can be believed. A worthy mention: the Moisonberry Pie I had here was to die for.
5202 N Albina Ave, Portland, OR 97217 HOURS: Mon- Thurs 9AM- 3PM Fri- Sat 8AM- 3PM Sun 9AM- 2PM sweedeedeepdx.tumblr.com
Tasty n Adler
Dinner at Tasty n Adler is delicious as well, but this place is a madhouse at brunch and there's a good reason for that. This flavor-packed, innovative brunch menu includes unexpected treats like an open-faced omelette with fried oysters, bacon lardons, cheddar and a buttermilk biscuit and a Boudin Blanc Sausage Omelette, as well as an impressive list of brunch beverages like 5 different takes on a Bloody Mary, So come hungry and leave full and invigorated from this popular Portland spot.
580 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 HOURS: Mon- Sun 9AM- 10PM tastynalder.com
SPECIAL OCCASION SPOTS:
I almost don't even know where to begin with Kachka. This place hosted one of the best food experiences of my life. Arrive at 4PM on a weekday and get one of the spots up front reserved for walk-ins. It's bright and beautiful by the front windows, and you can people watch and settle in for a long experience. It's happy hour so you can try a number of different vodka infusions at a discount, up to 100 grams for $9, and these infusions are glorious, everything from Earl Grey, Horseradish, Caraway, Blackcurrant, and Birch. Do a couple of vodka flights with your meal as well and learn incredible things about vodka production from your server. There are Happy Hour snacks as well, and you will want to get a few of them. I recommend the dumplings ($9) and Salva's Drinking Board (providing all kinds of little delights to pair with while drinking), and then settle in for the Ruskie Zakuski Experience. For $25 a person (and the whole table does have to participate) they will proceed to bring you plate after plate after plate of Slavic delights to write home about. It seems never ending. No, really, you think it's done about 10 times before it actually is, and everything pairs magically with your tastes of vodka and the wonderful servers and the beautiful collection of people. This restaurant is deeply special and deeply magical, and I cannot say enough good things about.
720 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214 HAPPY HOUR: 4PM- 6PM DAILY 10PM- 12AM HOURS: Mon- Sun 4PM- 12AM kachkapdx.com
The second child of Gabriel Rucker, the 2011 winner of the James Beard Award for Rising Star (age 30 or younger), Little Bird is the more accessible sister restaurant to his first Portland hit, Le Pigion. Rucker is known for his French-inspired dishes that often involve daring ingredients. I raved above about the Charcuterie Plate above, which I think is a must for any diner, but everything on this strong little menu is exquisite. Happy Hour offers $7.50 on beer and wine and a discount on the Charcuterie Plate as well.
215 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204 HAPPY HOUR: Mon- Fri 2:30PM- 5PM (6PM at the bar) Sun (all night at the bar) DAILY 10PM- 12AM HOURS: Mon- Fri 11:30AM- 12AM Sat- Sun 5PM- 12AM littlebirdbistro.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing** **Open Late**
And here's Gabriel Rucker's first restaurant, Le Pigeon. This is a very special occasion place, but it also embodies so much of what the food scene in Portland is, exquisite innovation. With an exciting menu including dishes like "Total Recall Noodles" dry ramen with dungeness crab, chili garlic, sweet soy, and fried shrimp ($23), there are also two Chef's Tasting Menus available to let this chef take you through a 5 or 7 course experience.
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 HOURS: Mon- Sun 5PM- 10PM lepigeon.com
The child of rising star female chef Sarah Pliner, Aviary is as solid a Portland restaurant as they come. Located in the Alberta Arts District of Northeast Portland, Aviary applies classic French techniques to exotic Eastern flavors and wildly fresh seasonal ingredients. The most famous dish on the menu is the Crispy Pig Ear entree with coconut rice, chinese sausage, and avocado. Think about swinging through during Happy Hour where food specials include their Banh Mi Burger ($9), Duck Liver Toasts ($5), and Deviled Tea Eggs ($5.)
1733 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 HAPPY HOUR: Mon- Fri 5PM- 7PM HOURS: Mon- Sat 5PM- 10PM Sun 4PM- 9PM aviarypdx.com
Ox is an Argentinian wonderland of grilled delights. Owned and operated by husband/wife team Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez, who won the James Beard Award in 2017 for Best Chefs Northeast. This straightforward, exceptional menu prizes top-tier ingredients and a magical grill above all else to provide hearty flavors to meats, seafood, and vegetables.
2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212 HOURS: Sun- Thurs 5PM- 10PM Fri- Sat 5PM- 11PM oxpdx.com
Case Study Coffee Roasters
Case Study is a great option near the theatre and actor housing for a hangout with a book. Brightly lit spaces, and lovely background playlists lend themselves to focused time to work/ study.
802 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 HOURS: Mon- Fri 7AM- 6PM Sat- Sun 8AM- 6PM casestudycoffee.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
This famous Portland institution got famous for a reason. Stumptown's coffee is delicious and visiting the original locations in Portland is a treat well worth giving yourself.
1026 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205 HOURS: Mon- Fri 6AM- 7PM Sat- Sun 7AM- 7PM stumptowncoffee.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**
Courier Coffee is another great spot to take a book or a script or to meet a friend. They layout here is small, and the location's a bit off the beaten track, but the coffee and lattes make it entirely worthwhile.
923 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205 HOURS: Mon- Fri 7AM- 6PM Sat- Sun 9AM- 5PM couriercoffeeroasters.com **Close to Portland Center Stage Actor Housing**