Are you planning a visit to Portland, OR?
Now I am obviously somewhat biased, because Portland is where I choose to call home, but I think Portland is tremendous and definitely worth spending a vacation or two here. The city is broken up into quirky neighborhoods, each with their own individual flair. To get to know Portland best try to hit up several different areas of town.
Portland, Oregon Travel Guide
This Portland, Oregon Travel Guide is a handy tool for planning out your entire trip, especially when it comes to choosing restaurants to visit and finding fun activities to do. I constantly update this and most recent update was 7/14/18.
Where to Eat In Portland
There are so many amazing restaurants in Portland, Oregon to choose from. With hundreds of locally owned, award winning restaurants, it can be difficult to know which restaurants you should pick over another. Not to mention the 600 plus food carts found around the city. Hopefully these restaurant and food cart reviews will help you decide!
Acadia – Best Cajun food – Top 10 Portland restaurant! The BBq shrimp is killer, the red beans and rice are spot on and the bread pudding is delightful. Their cocktails are a bit on the stronger side!
Accanto – really delicious Italian
Altabira City Tavern – Their patio is awesome. On a sunny day I highly recommend hanging out here. I tried a bunch of their food and it was all good. Their strawberry almond upside down cake is one of the best desserts I have had in Portland. The cherry cocktail is good too.
Andina – Best Peruvian cuisine – I enjoyed Andina immediately. It’s just a cool restaurant. They had live music: 2 guitars and some drums. The wait was reasonable only 15 minutes, which is amazing for Portland. I loved the bread they start you off with. The bread comes with three dipping sauces. All were good, one of them was a passion fruit sauce. We were not sure what to order. The menu is a little confusing. We went with one of the tapas a size small salad, plenty for two people to split. I had the flank steak with chimichurri sauce. It was GOOD. The flan is very thick, but good.
Ava Genes – Top 10 Portland Restaurant!
Beast – I had one of the best meals ever here this week. They have made some changes to the menu and they were all good changes. Course after course it continued to please. The salmon was outstanding. The strawberry soup for dessert was completely random yet so, so good.
Beez Neez Gourmet Sausages Food Cart
Big Eddy Tap House – This place is fantastic. They have lots of beers and wines on tap. They also have lots of kambucha on tap. It’s kid friendly and the food is great.
Blue Star Donuts – Holy Moly their donuts are freaking amazing. I had the coconut cheesecake coffee donut and it was delicious. I do think paying over $2.50 for a donut is stupid, but dang it was really good.
Bridgeport Brewery – Their chili verde and pizzas are amazing. And of course they have great beer and the atmosphere is good. You must eat the chili verde when you eat here. I promise you will love it. So far it is the best chili verde I have had in Portland. Kid meals are around $5-6. My son had a pizza dog aka a hot dog wrapped in pizza dough.
Casa Del Matador – Absolute Best Tex-Mex
The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar – Top 10 Portland Restaurant
Departure – Best Asian fusion – I always love going to Departure. The food is always good and I’ve never had the same thing twice! The views are amazing since it’s up on the 15th floor of the Nines hotel. They also have a great patio that’s fun to hang out on and get a drink.
Don Ladis Taco Shop (Gresham) – I’m from Texas and until this place opened I had no where, I truly considered GREAT Mexican food until this place opened.
Try the carnitas burrito or the machaca. Everything they make is incredible. The chili verde is killer and their chili rellenos are outstanding.
Eastburn Public House – This place is kind of a hidden gem. I didn’t try any of the food, but I can vouch for their prickly pear margaritas. They are fantastic. And it is super fun to swing while having a drink.
Grassa – one of the best Italian places in Portland! Grassa is outstanding. I went here for the first time and was blown away how good my food was. I was initially put off by the price, $12 for lunch seemed a little steep, but it was so good it didn’t matter.
Grill Cheese Grilled Food Cart
Headwaters – We came here for brunch this past Sunday and everything was excellent. The cinnamon chocolate french toast with bananas and pecans will knock your socks off. For kids the menu can be a little difficult, but they have a simple eggs, potatoes, and toast plate that my kids liked.
HunnyMilk – My favorite breakfast in Portland
Jackrabbit – This place is awesome. Drinks were excellent. I had some sort of cocktail with passion fruit that was outstanding. The food was just as good. Bacon wrapped dates and a s’mores bar.
Khao San – One of a kind Thai food
Kiva Tea Bar and Cafe – healthiest lunch in town
La Petite Provence – Best Breakfast! This place is consistently good. They have the best crossiants in Portland, Oregon. I have only been for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, they took Juevos Rancheros off the menu. I know many that went there just to have them. The risotto cakes are just as good and I highly recommend them. Although there is usually a wait, typically it is brief.
Lardo – Their sandwiches are amazing.
Laurelwood Brewery – great beer and happy hour, kid friendly
Migration Brewery – This is a busy place, at least it was when I visited. You had to wait for a table to clear. Granted if the weather had been nice then everyone could have just sat on their large patio out front. The burgers are good, but skip the chicken sandwich.
Nak Won – This place is the best Korean restaurant in the Portland, Oregon! I cannot say enough good things about this place. My food was amazing. This is the best Korean restaurant I have ever eaten at!
Nicholas – So affordable!! I absolutely love this Lebanese restaurant. It comes with complimentary bottomless hot pita bread. We always get the hummus to go with it for $6. We also get the Stephens beef and chicken swarms platters. Both come with a side salad and both are so good you will just keep coming back for more. Just ordering these three items is enough to feed our family of four. Making this one of the cheapest places we go out to eat at.
The Fireside – I love this place. I’ve only been here once for Sunday brunch, but it was awesome.
I had the best biscuits and gravy that I’ve ever had in Portland, Oregon. (I’m from Texas and hard to please when it comes to biscuits and gravy. Now it wasn’t your typical gravy and I. Fact I’m not sure it should be called gravy. But whatever it was, it was rocking. Also notable here, the French fries. The ketchup is disgusting, but the fries were amazing. I’m not sure what that crap was they were trying to pass off as ketchup was.
The Observatory – great place to hang out at night. I love the atmosphere of the Observatory and I hear that the dinner is way better than lunch. I have only been for lunch and it was good, but not that good. For lunch it was one of the biggest salads I’ve seen, but it was bland. I got the Ruben, it was huge too.
Ox – Top 10 Portland restaurant!
Papa Haydn’s – Best Dessert
Pine State Biscuits – Cheapest Breakfast
Pips Donuts – I think these are the best donuts in town.
Pix Patisserie – a super fabulous dessert and wine bar!
Pok Pok – one of the best restaurants in town
Q Restaurant – I had brunch here last week and it was excellent. The Bloody Mary was the best one I’ve had in Portland so far. The mimosa was overpriced and small.
The chilaquiles were awesome. I had chorizo added. The grilled cheese was massive and came with a solid tomato soup.
Quaintrelle – I came in a few weeks ago for the first time not knowing what to expect and I left having one of the best meals I’ve had in Portland. I loved the way they prepared the ribeye. Their use of fruits and vegetables is creative and delicious. And their cocktails are awesome.
Radar – Radar is so good. Took my kids last night and everything we had was fantastic. I highly recommend trying their seasonal specials. The butternut squash is the best I’ve ever had.
Red Star Tavern – Best Pork Chop in town and the drinking chocolate is phenomenal.
Ringside – Hands down the best onion rings. The ribeye is out of this world good. And their twice baked potatoes are good too.
Screen Door – Top 10 Portland restaurant – After eating here I can confidently say that it is not over hyped. We waited 70 minutes for a table for two, but it was worth the wait. Everything we tried was amazing. The brandy milk punch was an odd drink yet so good at the same time. Their hot chocolate is even better. Next time I’ll just order a hot chocolate with a shot of Bailey’s.
SE Wine Collective – This was by far the best meal I’ve ever had on Portland. Their chef is a genius. Everything we tried here was incredible. The egg flight was unbelievably good. The cheese might have just been the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. The pork was perfect and dessert mind blowing. Oh and the wine. They have so much wine! I tried five wines and they were all excellent.
Slappy Cakes – Kids make a huge mess making their own pancakes, but they do have a lot of fun. Consider how things will really taste before combining them. My child made disgusting pancakes that we couldn’t eat. The wait times here are brutal, almost always one hour minimum.
Srisiamchai Thai Restaurant (Gresham) – My kids beg to eat here all the time. Apparently they are addicted to the Tom Yum Soup made here and now scoff at all other Tom Yum soups. Who knew their taste had become so sophisticated! Of course, I happen to agree the food here is outstanding. I always seem to order a curry and add tomatoes. I appreciate the fact that they are so accommodating.
Tapalaya – I have been here twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. Lunch was great! A great price for what you get. Dinner was kind of a good value, but not as good as lunch. I recommend eating here for lunch is possible. They do have super cheap drinks during happy hour, $3 hurricanes and $3 lemon drops.
Tasty and Sons – It’s worth the wait. If you visit on the weekend you will wait, but during the weekdays during the day NO wait. Their Patatas Bravas are the best in town and the portion is huge with a fried egg on top. Their hamburger is awesome and comes with fries even though it isn’t mentioned on the menu. I would suggest skipping the coffee cocktail next time. I had the one with cherry in it and it was awful.
Teote – This place is fantastic. You have to order at the counter and then they bring you your food. On a warm day sit in the backyard where it is not so crowded. We ordered a big family style with a little bit of everything. So, so good.
Toji Korean Grill House – We fed 3 adults and 3 kids for $70 here and it was super fun. We selected one of the BBQ options, so we got to grill our meat on the table. This was super entertaining for the kids. The meat came with lots of unlimited sides: cucumbers, onions, jalapenos, rice, kimchee, potatoes, egg, and 4 or 5 more.
Tusk – I have nothing but good things to say about Tusk. Our service was excellent and the food is outstanding. We visited for weekend brunch. The grain bowl is stupendous. Kids may not like eating here. Get them something more traditional like biscuits and gravy. The only thing I didn’t like was the waiter didn’t tell us it was $3 per extra bread for the hummus. I paid $23 for hummus and bread. That’s just stupid.
Voodoo Doughnuts – a must when visiting Portland, although I personally like Pips more.
Things to see or do in Portland
Portland has something for every possible interest, which reflects the diverse people living here. You can even get by without having to pay to do anything while here too! And if you are into hiking then you could take one epic hike after another the entire time you are in Portland.
For Rainy Days!!!! – 18 Indoor Activities in Portland for Kids
Bob’s Red Mill – free tours of the factory and it is educational
Bushue’s Pumpkin Patch (October)
Fields Park & Playground – My kids loved this park. The playground is unique compared with other nearby parks. There is a sandbox it is is typically nice and clean. Both the playground and the sandbox are inside a gated area, which is awesome. One of the outdoor public restroom stands is at this park. During the summer they have free movies here and live music.
Forest Park encompasses more than 5000 acres full of dense trees, rivers, waterfalls, and bridges. It has more than 40 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails for free.
G6 Airpark – This place is great. They have a basketball area, jumping area for kids 8 and under and a ninja course. There was also blown up pads people could bounce into and an arcade. They have an area where parents can sit.
iFly – Indoor Skydiving
International Rose Test Garden – Portland’s famous rose garden!
JJ Jump an indoor bounce house place
Kiva Spa – best facial in Portland
Keller Fountain – a fountain you can play and swim in.
Lan Su Chinese Garden – This place was great. It’s small but they’ve made good use of their space. It’s pretty and serene. I found it to be more educational than I had anticipated. My kids enjoyed learning about Chinese art and attempting to draw Chinese words. They also loved finding their fortune.
Liepold’s Pumpkin Patch (October) – Liepold’s is great. We visit every year and enjoy going through the corn maze. The kids area is better this year with the addition of a digging area. They now serve beer and wine too! Our kids love crawling through the hay maze here and launching pumpkins.
North Clackamas Aquatic Center
Oaks Park – an amusement park, putt putt, skating rink
Pips & Bounce Ping Pong Bar – family friendly hours and non kid-friendly hours
Playdate PDX – massive indoor play place with wifi and booze!
Portland Night Market – The Portland Night Market is usually only two nights a month and it is awesome!
Portland Walking Tours – They have a variety of tours. I went on one of their drinking tours and it was awesome. There is no admission charge to get in!
Punchbowl Falls – hiking, swimming, cliff jumping
Punch Bowl Social – They even have free bowling for kids off and on throughout the year.
Springwater Corridor is a free multi-use trail that runs from SE Ivan St. in Portland all the way out to Boring, Oregon. The trail is currently 14.2 miles one way. This is a great place to go biking, walking, or roller blading.
Tryon Creek Nature Center‘s FREE Story and Stroll program integrates nature exploration, art, literature, movement, and outdoor play. It is geared toward families with young children (preferably ages 2-6) but all are welcome.
Cool Portland Bars, and Hangouts in Portland
11 more places you should go for cocktails in Portland!
Henry’s Tavern – Henry’s is always a good place to go. They have an incredible happy hour, a wide selection and cheap prices. I paid $4 for a huge Southwest style salad. I believe on Sunday it is happy hour all day. The beer selection is good too with at least 50 beers to pick from.
McMenamins Passport – a must have if you are going to hit up a bunch of Mcmenamins.
River Pig Saloon – This place is so great on so many levels. The food is really good, even though everything is fried. They’ve got good beer and good cocktails. If you go on a Tuesday sometimes you can play chicken shit bingo, which everyone needs to play at least once in their life.
Where to Stay in Portland, Oregon
Heathman Hotel – We had such a nice stay here. The Heathman could quite possibly be the quietest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. If you are a light sleeper and do not want to hear all the people around you I highly recommend staying here. The location was great. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go. It’s close to Pioneer Square and the main mall downtown. We didn’t need public transportation, but if we had the Max stop was super close too. The room service food was so good we ended up ordering it twice. The breakfast portions are huge. If you have kids with you they could easily split a plate.
Hotel Lucia – Staying here was great. The room was small but cute. I loved that there were so many Oregon local items in the minibar! Even the complimentary tea and coffee if the room was local. The bathroom was a little too small.
Hotel Vintage– I enjoyed staying here a great deal. My room was spacious with two queen beds. The room was quiet. We heard no neighbors while staying here. Room service was outstanding. The food comes from the hotel restaurant. The lobby is cool and I enjoyed hanging out at the lobby bar. My kids loved the game room. They play pool and video games.
Oregon Garden Resort – I adored this place. It’s a drive from Portland, but was totally worth it. We were there for Christmas in the Garden. We ice skated and walked around the garden all lit up with 400,000 holiday lights. We also indulged in German food and stayed at the on site hotel.
Vintage Trailer Resort – This place was so freaking cute. Our trailer was just darling.
Hotel Lucia – Staying here was great. The room was small but cute. I loved that there were so many Oregon local items in the minibar! Even the complimentary tea and coffee if the room was local. The bathroom was a little too small. Be sure to watch the video and make sure you are okay with a room this small.
10 Most Romantic Hotels in Portland
Nearby Ski Resorts