14 Places I Love in Portland

There is so much to love about Portland. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m listing off the places I love most by category.  For February 14th, here are 14 places I love in Portland.

5 Restaurants I Love in Portland

These are all on the East side with the exception of Bamboo Sushi, which has locations in all 4 quadrants of Portland. An urban girl at heart, I like to walk to dinner so my favorites are within a couple miles of one another.

Por Que No – Delicious tacos, margaritas, and ceviche

Guero– This place started as a food cart and the lines have moved down the street to their brick and mortar location for good reason. Don’t miss the guacamole with pickled carrots on the side.

Apizza Scholls– Great pizza and beer selection. Get there early as they close once they run out of dough. They do take limited reservations.

Harlow– This is my favorite spot for a healthy lunch. If you are under the weather, the Wellness Toddy is a must. Need a pick me up? Skip the coffee and get a Stumble Bee.

Bamboo Sushi– This is the best sushi I’ve found in Portland. My favorite date night spot.

5 Coffee Shops I Love in Portland

There are so many great coffee shops in the Rose City but these are my go-to spots.

Crema– Great baked goods and ample seating to get some work done. Bring your headphones, this is a social place, not a quiet place. Places I love in Portland

Never Coffee Lab– A great stop between Mt. Tabor and Laurelhurst Park with unique coffee drinks. Try the Rich Kid.

Either Or– Coffee, cocktails, lunch… Hunker down on a rainy day, this place has it all.

Prince Coffee– Known for their Stroopwafels but I always order the quiche.

Oracle Coffee– Incredibly unique coffee drinks on the south waterfront. You feel more like you’re in a trendy cocktail spot than a coffee shop. Don’t be surprised if you run into some Fall Out Boy fans.

4 Outdoor Stores I Love in Portland

The Mountain Shop– Our go-to place to rent skis, snowshoes or any other outdoor equipment. 

Next Adventure-Large store with plenty of selection of outdoor gear and a separate water sports shop open in the summer.

US Outdoor Store– Great outdoor store in downtown Portland. Don’t miss the bargain room upstairs.

Columbia Employee Store– If you are lucky enough to get a pass from someone who works at Columbia, the employee store is filled with Columbia, Mountain Hardware, Prana and Sorel, about 50% off retail. 

Happy Valentine’s Day Portland! Enjoy eating, sipping and shopping in the loveliest city in the West.

Watching Portland

As my move to Portland drew near, everyone asked if I watched Portlandia. I had seen it, but it seemed too satirical to give me a sense of the real place.  Upon moving here, I realized, it was less satire than I thought. I found myself chuckling when I saw something happen that reminded me of an episode. Even so, Portlandia wasn’t for me.  I craved other shows filmed in Portland.

While I lived in Chicago, I watched more than one show simply because it was shot in Chicago. I loved to see familiar locations or point out fake ones, looking at you ER. This year, I got my wish of some new, locally shot, Portland shows that are entertaining and have Portland references and locations for interactive viewing.


Here and Now (HBO)

This one is especially fun for me because it has no shortage of scenes in Portland coffee shops.  Since I make a habit of touring coffee shops with my friend Erin* it’s provided endless opportunities to mumble names of coffee spots until I land on the correct one then rewind to actually watch the scene.  There are stickers in the lockers from Sizzle Pie and Voodoo coffee cups.  The authentic Portland references are endless and so much fun to spot.

Everything Sucks (Netflix)

Everything Sucks is set in 1990’s Boring, Oregon.  It’s full of after school special flair mixed with American Pie awkwardness.  In one scene the characters discuss how everyone stops to take a picture by the Welcome the Boring sign but nobody actually drives into town.  As I drove up to the mountain to do some skiing recently I felt the urge to actually drive into Boring.  The music consumed via diskman and 90’s fashion are an amazing throwback.  Oregon references are there from the state flag to the sadly painted Mt. Hood behind the high school news desk and the $4.75 Oregon minimum wage sign.

Upcoming- The Perfectionists (Freeform)

The Perfectionists is a spinoff of Pretty Little Liars. The show is set in Seattle but was being shot in Portland recently.  How do I know this?  The Craft Service people were in line in front of me at Coco’s buying up all the donuts.  The pilot is set to air in 2019 and I will probably feel the need to watch it with a Coco’s lavender glazed in hand.


*I’d change her name if she were innocent