The Ultimate Guide to Northwest Portland

Portland is composed of five districts, or regions, each grouping together neighborhoods. There is North Portland, Northeast Portland, Northwest Portland, Southeast Portland, and Southwest Portland. Northwest Portland consists of Nob Hill/ 23rd Ave, the Pearl District, and Old Town Chinatown. It is one of the most well-known and visited parts of Portland, especially for tourists. In this ultimate guide to Northwest Portland, I am covering all the things to eat, drink, and do in this district.

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The Ultimate Guide to Northwest Portland

Getting Around Northwest Portland

Getting around Northwest Portland is easy! If you are staying in the area you can walk or bike to most places. There are lots of bikes and scooters around the NW Portland area that you can pay to use. Parking can be limited in the downtown area and by 23rd which are where most of my recommendations are, but it’s definitely possible to find it. Street parking will be your best bet in most cases.

If you are visiting anywhere in Washington Park, the best way to get there is by driving or taking the MAX, which is the light rail. Most MAX lines run every 15 minutes, just make sure you are going in the right direction because it will take you all the way to Gresham if you’re not. If you’re visiting Pittock Mansion, you’ll want to drive to get there!

Where to Eat in Northwest Portland

1. Bamboo Sushi

Bamboo Sushi is a great place to grab sushi in Northwest Portland. There are also other locations throughout Portland. Portland is known for being vegan-friendly and this restaurant is no exception. There are two different vegan options and they have been the best vegan sushi that I have had at any restaurant. During COVID, reservations are required. They book fast on weekends so make sure to reserve a couple of days ahead of time.

Address: 836 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Hours: 4:00 pm- 9:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website here.

2. Harlow

Harlow is a cozy cafe that specializes in vegan and vegetarian food. There are lots of drink options, a range of smoothies, healthy and comfort food selections, and select baked goods. I have been to Harlow many times and I recommend trying the Hawthorne Mac (add chili), Mighty Bowl, and Wellness Toddy. Their baked items of the day are always great, too! This location is large and full of light, but there is also another location on Hawthorne.

Address: 505 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Hours: 9:00 am- 8:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website here. 

 

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3. Petunia’s Pies and Pastries

Petunia’s Pies and Pastries is my favorite place to grab vegan and gluten-free baked goods. The location is situated near Powell’s Books. I recommend trying the buster bar, babycakes, thin mint brownie, and salted caramel cookie bar. I have brought a lot of people to try the pastries here and everyone has loved the baked goods – whether they were vegan or not!

Address: 610 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Hours: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website here.

4. Blue Star Donuts

Portland is known for it’s amazing donuts. Skip Voodoo, which is also in NW Portland because those donuts are about as good as the donuts as you can pick up from a grocery store. Blue Star is local to Portland and has a selection of more “sophisticated” donuts. I recommend the blueberry bourbon basil or lemon poppy old-fashioned if you’re not vegan. For delicious vegan options, try the orange olive oil (my favorite!) or the passion fruit cake. If you’re not in the Pearl district, there are a few other locations around Portland.

Address: 1701 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR 97201

Hours: 7:00 am- 2:00 pm Wednesday- Sunday (Closed Monday, Tuesday)

Visit the website here. 

 

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5. Sizzle Pie

Sizzle Pie is one of my favorite places to grab a slice of pizza when at Powell’s Books or otherwise in the area. Currently, due to COVID, there is no indoor seating. There is a pickup location at a window and a few spots of outdoor seating. Their pizza is thin-crust style and they have both vegan and non-vegan pizza options. The vegan options I recommend are the spiral tap and void. The garlic knots are also really good. There are a few other locations around town if you are not in the Northwest area.

Address: 926 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97205

Hours: 11:00 am- 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, open until 12:00 am on Friday & Saturday

Visit the website here. 

 

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6. 10 Barrel Brewing

10 Barrell is a great place to go for a beer and pub food. There is a large area inside for seating, as well as rooftop seating on sunny days. I recommend trying for rooftop seating and grabbing a flight on warmer days!

Address: 1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: 11:00 am- 11:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, open until 12:00 am on Friday & Saturday

Visit the website here. 

7. Deschutes Brewing & Public House

Deschutes is a well-known brewery in Portland and Bend. The atmosphere is inviting and the food + beer is great. There are 26 on tap and outdoor seating is open during the warmer months.

Address: 210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours:  11:30 am- 9:00 pm Sunday through Thursday, open until 10:00 pm on Friday & Saturday

Visit the website here.

 

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8. Salt and Straw

Salt and Straw is an ice cream shop that was started in Portland and has since expanded to other cities like Anaheim, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Miami. It’s that good! Each month there is a whole new set of seasonal flavors. There are always 1- 2 dairy-free options in the season selection, as well as on their permanent menu.

In January the seasonal selection theme is veganuary so if you’re vegan it’s the perfect time to go! The ice cream flavors are all unique. I recommend the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons and Honey Lavender. if you’re vegan, go for the seasonal flavors! This location is the original salt and straw and most nights there is a line out the door. It’s worth the wait and you can try as many flavors as you want without being rushed if you’re not sure what to get!

Address: 838 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Hours: 11:00 am- 11:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website.

9. Thai Peacock

Thai Peacock has great Thai food and a great atmosphere to go with it. It’s vegan-friendly and easy to decipher what is vegan and what’s not. Try the House Thai Peacock Curry if you love peanut sauce, curry, and spicy foods.

Address: 219 SW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97205

Hours: 11:00 am- 9:30 pm Sunday- Thursday, 11:00 am- 10:00 pm Friday & Saturday

Visit the website

 

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10. Backwoods Brewing

Another great brewery, Backwoods was started in the Columbia River Gorge and has a location near Powell’s Books. This Brewery has great food and great beer.

Address: 231 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: 11:30 am- 10:00 pm Sunday- Thursday, 11:30 am- 11:00 pm Friday & Saturday

Visit the website here. 

Where to Drink in Northwest Portland

1. Sisters Coffee Company

There are a ton of different options to grab a coffee in Northwest Portland, but Sisters is one of my favorites. The huge fireplace and loft library makes for an inviting atmosphere and it’s somewhere that you are going to want to hang out for a while. I recommend trying one of the house specials & if you are hungry they have vegan and non-vegan breakfast sandwiches.

Address: 1235 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Open 6:00 am- 6:00 pm, 7 days/week

Visit the website here. 

2. Tea Bar

If you love matcha or any other kind of tea, make a stop at the Tea Bar. The Tea Bar specializes (as the name suggests) in boba tea, matcha lattes, and other specialty drinks with tea. I recommend the London fog or the ginger lemon tea toddy. It’s also a very aesthetic and calming environment if you drink your tea there!

Address: 1055 NW Northrup, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website here. 

 

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3. Pink Rabbit

This cocktail bar is not only super cute, but the drinks are SO good! The neon pink rabbit sign when you enter is iconic and the velvet blue booths pull everything together. This is a great spot to go to for happy hour, which is every day from open to 7:00 pm. It’s one of my favorite places to grab a drink when I am in NW Portland.

Address: 232 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Monday through Thursday 4:00 pm- 12:00 am, Friday & Saturday 4:00 pm- 2:00 am, Sunday 6:00 pm- 12:00 am

Visit the website here. 

 

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4. Teardrop Lounge

Teardrop Lounge is another one of my favorite places to grab a drink in Northwest Portland. There is heated (uncovered) outdoor seating, but I recommend trying to grab an indoor table or sit at the bar. Make reservations ahead of time because they can fill up fast.

Address: 1015 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: 4:00 pm- 12:00 am Sunday through Thursday, 4:00 pm- 2:00 am Friday & Saturday

Visit the website here. 

5. Multnomah Whiskey Library

Multnomah Whiskey Library is a more upscale option for whiskey-lovers. This lounge has a vintage feel with leather seating and exposed brick. This is a membership lounge, however from Sunday through Thursday you can purchase a “Hall Pass” for $25/person with parties less than 6 for two hours. You can purchase a hall pass up to 2 weeks in advance. This is a more expensive lounge, but great for celebrating a birthday, engagement, or another event.

Address: 1124 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205

Hours: Sunday 4:00 pm- 10:15 pm, Tuesday through Thursday 4:00 pm- 11:15 pm, Friday & Saturday 4:00 pm- 12:15 am, closed Monday

Visit the website here. 

6. Vault Cocktail Lounge

Vault is another cocktail lounge with a great atmosphere and good drinks. There is happy hour every day from 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm. They also have vegan and non-vegan snack options.

Address: 226 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Sunday through Wednesday 4:00 pm- 11:00 pm, closed Monday, Tuesday

Visit the website here. 

7. Tope

Tope is a rooftop taqueria and bar located inside the Hoxton Hotel. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. This is a great rooftop bar to grab a seat at on a sunny day if you want cute drinks.

Address: 15 NW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Thursday through Sunday 4:00 pm- 11:00 pm

Visit the website here.

 

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Things to Do in Northwest Portland

1. Explore the Portland International Rose Test Garden

From late May to October, you can visit the International Rose Test Garden. There is no entry fee, so it’s free to visit. The gardens are open from 5:00 am- 10:00 pm. These gardens have over 10,000 rose bushes with over 600 rose varieties. The purpose of the garden is to test out new hybrid rose variations. Parking in the area is limited since the lot is shared, but you can take the light rail and there is a free shuttle from March– November.

Address: 400 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97210

Visit the website here. 

2. Check out the View at Pittock Mansion

The Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style château located in Northwest Portland. You can tour inside the mansion, or you can visit the grounds. I have never been inside of the mansion, but the grounds are a great spot to visit to watch the sunset, which I have done a few times. To get into the mansion, it costs $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 6-18, and free for children under $6.

Hours: 10:00 am- 4:00 pm (opens on noon Tuesdays, and is open until 5:00 pm during the summer)

Address: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210

Visit the website here. 

3. Watch a Comedy Show at Al’s Den

Al’s Den is a McMenamins bar located in the basement of the Crystal Ballroom, which is near Powell’s Books. Every Friday and Saturday at 9:30 pm there is a comedy show for 21+. There is a $5 cover fee for the show. Make sure to show up early because you can only get on the list in person and the show becomes full fast. You can grab drinks at the bar while you wait!

Address: 303 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Visit the website here. 

4. See a Drag Show at Darcelles or CC Slaughters

Darcelle is the world’s oldest working drag queen and you can catch a show at Darcelle’s in NW Portland! There will be a line to get in when you visit during a weekend. Another option is catching a drag show at CC slaughters which is the gay nightclub next door and has drag shows every Friday night at 9:00 pm. Make sure to arrive early to grab a spot and grab a drink before the show starts. It’s a fun experience!

Address for Darcelle’s: 208 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Visit the website here (for showtimes).

Address for CC Slaughters: 219 NW Davis St, Portland, OR 97209

Visit the website here. 

5. Go to the Oregon Zoo

Located in Washington Park, like International Rose Test Garden is the Oregon Zoo. Currently, timed ticketing is in place so you need to reserve a spot ahead of time by going to the website. Parking in the area is limited since the lot is shared, but you can take the light rail and there is a free shuttle from March– November. Tickets for ages 12 and up are $24 and for ages 2- 11 are $19.

Address: 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221

Hours: 9:30 am- 4:30 pm Friday through Monday, the latest entry is 3:00 pm

Visit the website here.

6. Explore the Portland Japanese Gardens

Like above, the Japanese Gardens are located at Washington Park. There are eight different garden styles and depending on the season there are demonstrations and performances. Entry prices are $19 for adults, $16.25 for seniors, $13.50 for ages 6- 13, and free for kids under 5. Parking in the area is limited since the lot is shared, but you can take the light rail and there is a free shuttle from March– November.

Address:611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Hours: Entry hours are 10:00 am- 4:30 pm (enter at 3:30 at the latest), closed Tuesdays.

Visit the website here.

7. Visit the Hoyt Arboretum

The Hoyt Aboretoreum is a ‘living museum’ with over 2,300 species of trees and shrubs from six different continents. The Arboretum is located in Washington Park and it’s free to enter. There are 12 miles of hiking trails and it’s a scenic place to get outside if you’re visiting NW Portland and don’t want to head to the Columbia River Gorge! Parking in the area is limited since the lot is shared, but you can take the light rail and there is a free shuttle from March– November.

Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221

Hours: Grounds are open from 5:00 am- 10:00 pm and the visitor center is open from 10:00 am- 3:00 pm

Visit the website here.

8. Visit Powell’s Books

Powell’s Books is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world that covers an entire city block. There are over a million books among the 68,000 square feet, nine rooms, three floors, and 3,500 sections. This bookstore is loved by locals and tourists alike. If you love to read, or just want to browse the books, I highly recommend visiting! the cafe has also recently reopened so you can grab a coffee while you shop!

Address: 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: 10:00 am- 9:00 pm 7 days/week

Visit the website. 

 

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9. Shop for Souvenirs at Tender Loving Empire

Tender Loving Empire is a cute local shop that has the best souvenirs for your visit. There are greeting cards designed by local artists, stickers and pins, soaps, prints from local artists, jewelry, and more. It’s a great place to grab a few gifts for friends and family back home if you are visiting.

Address: 525 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Hours: 10:00 am- 7:00 pm

Visit the website. 

10. Pop into Solabee Flowers and Botanicals

Solabee Flowers and Botanicals is a beautiful flower + plant shop. Even if you’re visiting Portland and don’t plan on lugging flowers or plants back home, it’s a fun shop to browse. The larger main shop is located on Killingsworth and is stunning. If you get the chance, the drive to the other conservatory-style shop is worth it!

Address: 1759 NW 24th Ave., Portland, OR 97210

Hours: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm Monday- Saturday and 10:00 am- 4:00 pm Sunday

Visit the website.

 

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11. Climb at Movement Portland (Formerly Planet Granite)

Movement is a climbing gym with 30,500 ft to climb by top rope or bouldering. There are 149 routes to climb with walls up to 55 ft high, so you’ll never get bored. They also move their routes around so if you want to become a member you won’t be repeating the same climbs all the time. For just a day pass, it’s $23 for adults or $17 for children under 13.

Address: 1405 NW 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Monday through Friday the hours are 6:00 am- 11:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am- 8:00 pm, Sunday 8:00 am- 6:00 pm

Visit the website. 

11. Get Some Creative Inspiration at SCRAP PDX

SCRAP is a non-profit organization that sells exclusively donated materials to be used for creative repurposing. They have the coolest selection of supplies for art at a great price. It’s also a fun activity to involve your kids with. It’s fun even to just wander around and think of the repurposing possibilities.

Address: 1736 SW Alder St, Portland, OR, 97205

Hours: 11:00 am- 7:00 pm, closed Tuesdays

Visit the website.

Other Tips:

This area, like other areas of Portland, has a lot of homelessness. Some of the city parks are gated off, and there are streets full of tents. I would avoid Chinatown because there are a lot of homeless encampments in this area. Also, in some areas near the waterfront and around Pioneer Square Mall, there are a lot of homeless encampments. Generally, you should stay away from Pioneer Square Mall anyways because after the riots in Portland in April 2020, most of the buildings are still boarded up and shut down and it’s not a great part of town to be around.

That’s it for my complete guide of Northwest Portland. If you are traveling to Portland, you can make an entire trip out of the things to eat, see, and do in Northwest Portland. But, I do recommend the other neighborhoods in Portland as well to see the less-city side, and will be posting neighborhood guides for those districts soon!

If you have visited Portland, or live in the area, let me know your recommendations for NW Portland down in the comments below! If you want to be up to date with new posts be sure to follow my Instagram @maddie_deer here or like my FB page here.

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