While most of our time is spent in the wilds and woods, we do love a visit to the city every now and again. Portland tops our list of fun places to visit, explore, and wander and indulge. While the list below is brief and far from exhaustive, these are the places that stuck in my mind -- which may speak more to my poor memory than their singular excellence because Portland is truly spilling over with fabulous food to delight in, creative folks to celebrate, art to enjoy, and Nature to immerse yourself in. It is a city we hope to continue to cultivate a relationship with -- home to many of the friends and teachers we hold dear. My only wish is that we could have seen and connected with more of the special Souls who make their home here. we promise to be back, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we hope you'll be inspired to visit and enjoy some of the gems which brought us the most pleasure during our all to brief time in the City Of Roses.
D R I N K
3267 Southest Hawthorne Boulevard
Stop in for a cooling moment on a hot afternoon. It feels to me, like LA in the nineties in the best way possible. Although, I have only been to LA once, and that was in 2008. It is like something out of a Weetzie Bat book, all dark and cool vinyl with a dreamy soundscape punctuating the strangeness of an early afternoon cocktail, complete with all of the interesting characters you encounter while indulging in such things. Let's just say, they were playing Moby and Air and I loved it. Order the Blood Orange -- a ruby-hued delicate thing with a succulent hibiscus blossom afloat amidst its mildly sweet and tart few precious sips, you'll feel the psychedelic haze of adolescence wash over you, and be re-inspired to continue your exploration of Portland's many wonders. Go next door to Altar for a moment of magic, post-cocktail.
4001 North Mississippi Avenue
There are apparently multiple locations. The one I am pointing you toward is located on Mississippi and conveniently adjacent to the neighborhood of [relatively] quiet dead end streets where I spent many a night parked in my camper during my weeks in Portland. I love Coffee Shop. It feels like a place that has remained basically unchanged amidst the wave of hip that has subsumed most of the city in recent years. I ventured here for quiet moments of internet access, electricity, an actual bathroom, and of course their Nitro Cold Brew on tap. When I was in Portland seven years ago, I ran into an acquaintance of mine from the Mountains of Colorado. It's that kind of place. Old Austin Vibes and cute baristas whose style may or may not be ironic. Dig it.
E A T
2029 Southeast 21st Avenue
One of the sweetest co-ops I ever did see. Bulk everything, incredible local produce, kombucha on taps, and a commendable selection of dried herbs rivaled only by Mendocino's Corners Of The Mouth. This can be a full on epicurean shopping experience or a simple trip to pick up some kale and rice.
2240 North Interstate Avenue
The breakfast spot I have always longed for, but never though existed. Super cozy, honeylit, and wood scented, this is the place for a quiet weekday breakfast. Go here with your lover on a cloudy morning and snuggle up with hot coffee and delicious food. I ordered the corned beef hash with two eggs perfectly cooked over easy and some kind of crispy potatoes that I enjoyed so much, I can only assume they were cooked in Heaven.
5202 North Albina Avenue
Everyone will probably tell you to go here. It's simple and good, and oh so very Portland. I don't have much to say that has not already been said, but Sweedeedee is a sure thing. Great coffee in even better ceramic mugs, truly kind people behind the counter, and a haze of vinyl sounds filling a bright space where you can admire all of the Portland people. I made it in twice for breakfast, but hope to return for dinner very soon.
I have been fantasizing about the hazelnuts I bought here last Summer -- all year long. You may not know how to handle yourself here. It is really really amazing. Wild mushrooms, fresh salmon, peonies spilling from their buckets, the sweet scent of naan and thai chilis cooking. This is one of my favorite markets in the country. Make space in your fridge or cooler and clear your schedule to spend the rest of the day preparing dinner from the magnificent produce you won't be able to resist taking home.
S H O P
319 Northeast Wygant Street
Maria is one of the most incredible shop owners I've ever met. As generous as she is knowledgable and intuitive, her shop is an unassuming hub for community, safe space, and radical magical healing. Sea Grape tops our list of shops to visit in Portland. A visit to the store offers an incredible opportunity to follow your nose and follow your heart toward the medicines which will serve you best. Worth a stop for a moment of olfactory revelry alone. Keep an eye on her evolving schedule of classes and events offered by some of the most grounded and gifted PNW herbalist, witches, and knowledgable folk. Be sure to carve out enough time to stop in at the other shops on the block, appropriately named -- the Mystic District.
315 Northeast Wygant Street
Located right next door to Sea Grape, mentioned above, Sugar Mountain Vintage offers a singular vibe that that I couldn't resist. A desert daughter through and through, Hannah's collection of vintage turquoise, silver, and coral beckoned me inside. The laid back feeling of the shop will make you want to spend a lazy Sunday morning in your favorite vintage T or gauzy caftan, lounging in the dreamy interior and listening to dreamy vinyl. Oh, and let's talk about the music which fills the space. When I dropped by, Hannah was listening to something I'd never heard before, at once psychedelic and folkloric, hauntingly beautiful and familiar though I'd never heard it. A magical place to find your new favorite treasure in the form of the perfect pair of vintage jeans, or in my case, the antique red coral ring of my dreams...
3731 North Mississippi Avenue
Salt + Chocolate + Bitters + Fresh Flowers. This place speaks for itself. The people who work there are very knowledgable and samples are available.
3279 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard
When we walked in to Altar, we immediately understood why so many folks had pointed us toward it. These ladies get it. The aesthetic is dark + sparkly, smelling of moss and old wood and quartz. We love the in-house clothing and jewelry they offer as well as their enchanted collection of crystals and lingerie. Definitely a sweet place to indulge yourself and get lost in a moment of shadowy fantasy. Stop next door at Gold Dust Meridian before or after, to complete the experience.
1005 West Burnside Street
This Portland Institution seems to me, such an essential part of the city itself, I almost neglected to include it here. But duh y'all -- go to Powell's. Go to Powells and turn off your phone and don't tell anyone where you'll be for the next four hours. Go to Powell's and drink in the scent of wisdom + pages beloved. Go to Powell's and listen to where you are drawn, a sort of divination practice and bibliomancy. I don't think I could ever get tired of being ensconced in the shelves of this heavenly place.
801 North Killingsworth Street
You will straight up wish you lived here. Alea Joy and her incredible team of radical babes have conjured some photosynthetic magic that is a force of nature all its own. This place is House Plant Heaven, Floral Valhalla. All your Botanical dreams come true at once as you step food inside the spacious shop which seems to glow from within and without, and you'll know you have arrived somewhere wonderful, indeed. Verdant as can be, this lovely corner serves as both a retail shop and workspace for the floral magic these incredible folks are known for. It was a treat to offer our Medicine Of The Rose workshop at Solabee during our time in Portland and we look forward to more collaborations still to come. Be sure to venture the few blocks toward Peninsula Park after you visit the shop and go have a chat with the Roses.
707 Northeast Fremont Street
I haven't actually been here in many years, but not for lack of trying. On this trip I seemed to be forever arriving just as they closed, or driving by when I really had to be somewhere. I still remember the dress I bought here eight years ago though, and periodically grieve the fact that it vanished into thin air. Re-Run is a totally great and affordable place to find used clothes, books, and stuff. You know, if you like that sort of thing. Located conveniently across the street from Irving Park.
R E L A X
3525 Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard
Treat yo self. Löyly is one of those places where no detail goes unnoticed. You feel instantly soothed upon entering the space. It is not a spa where anyone is uptight or you feel like maybe you can't actually afford to be there. Rather, it is a welcoming place where I felt totally comfortable showing up as I was, a bit road weary most certainly overdue for some self care. I opted for their monthly special which included a foot soak, face mask, hour long massage, and up to two hours enjoying the sauna. It was really, really lovely. The space is simple and clean, warmly lit, refreshingly spare. If I lived in Portland, you'd find me here often. Hydotherapy y'all.
2917 Northeast Everett Street
The Everett House is a great place to take a steam + sauna and lay in someone's backyard naked while you pet a cat in the afternoon sun. Or something... We recommend going during the daytime to take full advantage of the bare skinned sunlight opportunities which await you. Sip a seriously subtle and spot on Soma Oak Cask Jun after you've sauned, soaked, sunned, and showered.
N A T U R E
North Rosa Parks Way + North Albina Avenue
I basically lived here while I was in Portland. Portland is a city rich in green spaces to sprawl out, move your body, and generally get weird. This is my favorite of them all. A Rose Lover's paradise, come during the Summer months and you will not be disappointed. There is also a certain kind of magic that resides in the places where the paths intersect and a tree grows on each corner. Go there. Drink it in.
Council Crest Park
Also called The Bluffs, this is the perfect place to watch the sunset and reflect on the goodness of the day. Bring a blanket and a friend and a bottle of cider for best results. Be respectful of the residents who live on the street leading up to the park and leave your vehicle further back in the neighborhood.
Y'all this place is amazing. I rode my bike to the top and sat in an ancient Maple, my heart afloat with love and levity. Then a woman wearing purple fairy wings situated herself at a big white piano nestled in the trees just down the hill and started flawlessly playing Yann Tiersen's compositions from the film Amelie. I almost cried of happiness, as the familiar sounds filled the forest and whispy fluffs of some faraway seed drifted through the shafts of light which poured in through the trees above. Also, literally everyone who was not me or the woman playing the piano was glued to their phone, I think looking for Pokemon. So, there was that...
7th Avenue + Fremont Street
Best place to stretch and move and generally work it out. Pretty sure I saw the dad from Actual Conversations With My Two Year Old on the playground here the first time I stumbled upon it. On my final visit to the park, otherworldly Jasmine Blossoms in hand, and a sense of freedom on my tongue, I was at once delighted and perplexed to find acasual kind of festival happening amidst the maples, complete with incredible DJs spinning vinyl and beautiful folks dancing on the lawn. The music was really really good. It sounded as though it was emanating from the trees themselves, pulsing up through the grassy knoll beneath me as the day faded to dusk and I stood triumphant and calm in Natarajasana, settling into a recently remembered sense of strength and balance.