The rumors are all true! About the creative scene. The artists. And, yes, the coffee as well. Portland has its own TV show, Portlandia, that is lovingly poking fun at Hipsters on their fixed-gear bikes, at coffee nerds that put all their time and effort into the perfect cold drip brew, and at jewelry designers-turned organic farmers (or the other way around) who stroll through the neighborhoods.
While all that is true, there is also a different quality about the city. Portland feels like a small town, with big city possibilities. There’s great design to be discovered, lots of fashion to be admired, and music to be heard. And don’t even get us started on the amazing restaurant scene… Let’s spend 12hrs in Portland!
10am // The Jupiter Hotel
This design hotel has a lot of things going for it: Its location is right in the middle of Burnside, a great neighborhood full of small stores and good restaurants. And right next door, across the patio is the Doug Fir Lounge, one of Portland’s best concert venues. There are shows by great bands almost every night, just have a look at their schedule. Also, the lounge and restaurant inside serves great, elevated diner food. And no worries, we’ll pay a visit to the Ace later today!
The Jupiter Hotel // 800 E Burnside St // website
Pictures: The Jupiter Hotel
10.30am // Heart Coffee
Portland is a city that loves its coffee. So for breakfast, we are heading down Burnside Street to visit Heart Coffee Roasters. It’s a beautiful café that also offers snacks for breakfast, but – just like the name suggest – it’s also a coffee roaster. The big machine right in the middle of the room gives off a heavenly smell. Have a seat, and slowly start your day. Afterwards, walk back to the Jupiter and keep your eyes open for some nice shops along the way.
Heart Coffee Roasters // 2211 E Burnside St // Mon-Sun 7am-7pm // website
11.30am // 811 Burnside Street
On the opposite side of your hotel, nestled together in one big building block, are several great shops. There’s ‘Bombshell Vintage’ for the thrift lover, Sword+Fern, a design studio and lovingly curated (fashion) shop, Nationale, an art gallery and exhibition space, Haunt, a shop specializing in Women’s wear and jewelry and Stand Up Comedy (pictured above), that sells “clothing, print matter and objects”, offering some hard to find treasures. Get a first taste of the Portland vibe here, and then let’s head over to the city.
Bombshell Vintage, 811 E Burnside St // Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm // website
Sword+Fern, 811 E Burnside St // Mon-Tue & Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 12am-5pm and by appointment // website
Nationale, 811 E Burnside St // Wed-Sun 12am-6pm // website
Haunt, 811 E Burnside St // Wed-Sun 12am-6pm and by appointment // website
Stand Up Comedy, 811 E Burnside St // Wed-Sat 12am-7pm, Sun 12am-5pm // website
12pm // Walk over Burnside Bridge
Time to cross the Williamette river. Just stay on Burnside street and walk straight ahead, that will take you straight to Downtown. Walking over the Burnside bridge, you’ll also pass the famous White Stag Sign. Over the years (it was installed in the 1940s), the inscriptions have varied quite a bit, advertising sugar and sportswear, for example. Since 2010, it is owned by the City of Portland and sports the famous ‘Portland, Oregon’ lettering.
12.30 // Table of Contents
Walk through the Chinatown gate on your right, and you’ll find Table Of Contents. The two owners of this gem of a shop see it as more than just a fashion boutique. They curate their selection almost like a magazine would edit its pages, comparing their selection with a publication that comes out twice annually.
Apart from an amazing mix of clothes for women and men, which features designers such as Issey Miyake and Reality Studio, they also sell beautiful furniture, magazines and books. Table of Contents has been nominated by Farfetch as one of their Superstores 2013!
Table Of Contents // 33 NW 4th Avenue, Wed-Sat 12am-7pm, Sun 12am-5pm // website
Pictures: Table of Contents
12.50pm // VooDoo Doughnut
If you’re lucky and got a deal online, you might have gotten a voucher for a ‘Dirty Dozen’ from this Portland staple from the Jupiter Hotel. And even if you haven’t, you just can’t miss this bakery. As the name implies, they only sell donuts (or, as they write them, doughnuts). But boy, they are good. Go crazy with bacon and maple frosting, or stay traditional with sprinkles and chocolate. The shop is on the other side of the bridge, but you’ll have no worries spotting it. There is almost always a giant cue outside. If it’s too long of a wait: Their other big store is on Burnside, close to The Jupiter Hotel.
Voodoo Doughnut // 22 SW 3th Avenue // open 24/7 // website
1pm // Food cart pod
One of the things Portland is famous for are its food trucks. When you spot a plot full of trucks offering delicious meals, go over and have a look. There is one fairly close to Voodoo Doughnuts, and you need to pass it to get to our lunch destination, anyway. So go ahead, get inspired, and build up some appetite for lunch, which is next.
Food Carts // SW 5th, between Stark & Oak St // website