The Best in Portland

A patina of cool sets the tone of this eco-friendly city whose low-fi denizens — think outdoorsy and stylish with waterproofed souls — share a fine appreciation of single roasters, craft cocktails and farm-to-fork cuisine.


At Pine Street Market food hall, the vendors are some of the city’s best: you can caffeinate on global roast at The Brass Bar by Billy Wilson (of the Barista coffee empire fame), load up on acai bowls and tonic shots at Kure Juice Bar, slurp authentic Japanese ramen at Makurin, savor Korean barbecue at Kim Jong Smokehouse, and sugar-sate on soft-serve ice cream hand-dipped in lavender white chocolate at the WizBangBar. At newcomer Wayfinder Beer in the Central Eastside industrial district, on the sprawling deck you’ll find craft beer connoisseurs imbibing German-style lagers and ales, brewed in-house, paired with wood-fired smoky steaks, chops, ribs and freshly baked pretzels. At pork-centric Hamlet in the Pearl District, locals belly up to the copper bar for hand-carved Iberico jamón, house-made burrata, seasonal pickle plates and compatible pork-friendly sherries. (Ask for the secret drink menu by cocktail guru Ryan Magarian.) Around the corner, sister eatery and urban saloon Oven and Shaker serves up hand-tossed, wood-fired pies like Brussels sprouts and pancetta, along with handcrafted libations like Pineapple Trainwreck, potent with rum, freshly pressed juice and spicy ginger syrup. Another Portland gem, in the Central Eastside, is the Steven Smith Tasting Room, home to smallbatch teas and nitro-infused elixirs on tap like Sparkling Strawberry Honeybush — a glorious blend of rooibos and honeybush infused with whole strawberries and Madagascar vanilla bean. End the evening with a nightcap at speakeasy Pepe Le Moko at the Ace Hotel.


Don’t miss a trip to Powell’s City of Books, the flagship three-story mecca with 1 million works, where folks actually wait in line to purchase hardback novels at full price. Ahh Portland, how we love thee.


Art meets hotel at The Nines, downtown’s social hub whose eighth-floor atrium contains midcentury Crayola-colored furniture clusters, eye-catching neon art, bejeweled mannequins and a soaring ceiling. Dine at the on-site Urban Farmer, a rustic steakhouse with locally sourced fare, or enjoy Pan-Asian cuisine on the rooftop at Departure and drink in the views of the Willamette River and Mount Hood. Play billiards in the hotel’s cozy library, lined with 3,000 books, then cocoon in your comfy guest room, glammed up with Tiffany blue hues and dreamy creams.

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “Portlandia“.

Anne Wycoff

Ann Wycoff is a travel and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in San Diego Magazine, Coastal Living, Modern Luxury, and many more. She lives in Encinitas, CA with her husband and daughter, and believes in traveling with a purpose.