After almost 8 weeks here, I should definitely know Portland better than I actually do. Although I haven’t been able to get out as much as I would have thought or liked (no wonder adults are boring; work is tiring!), there are a few hidden (and not so hidden) places that I’ve fallen in love with in this quirky city.
Named after a famous composer, this coffee shop in the SE quadrant would be like any other house in this residential neighborhood, except it’s fuchsia with a neon Open sign in the window. Open from 7pm-12am every day (1am on Friday and Saturday), this cash-only spot is the definition of Portland weird. It’s got a few trick tables that do different things like retract into the wall or rotate ever so slowly so that you think your friends are stealing your stuff (it also has normal ones, but those are no fun) and a very…imaginatively… decorated bathroom. I’ll let you check it out for yourself.
Address: 707 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Perhaps Portland’s worst hidden secret, this tiny park at the end of a residential neighborhood offers a fantastic view of the sunset over the Willamette River. It’s not super touristy because it is somewhat out of the way, but it does fill up quickly with locals so get there early. If you’re not driving, Google Maps might try to get you home by taking the 35 bus, but unless you want to roll down a cliff onto a highway, the MAX yellow line is your best bet to and from this cute spot.
Address: 2206 N Skidmore Ct, Portland, OR 97217 (Mocks Crest)
Tartberry (PSU location)
This fro-yo place is the best late-night snack around PSU. It’s got a decent selection of flavors, a fantastic assortment of toppings and even better, a rewards program that gives you 5 ounces for free after 10 punches. Normally each purchase is one punch, but on Tuesday, you get two! Double-punch Tuesday is how my roommate and I managed to get 31 punches in a mere 6 weeks so beware, it’s addictive.
Address: 536 SW College St, Portland, OR 97201
Keller Fountain Park
The Keller Fountain Park was designed to evoke the Pacific Northwest’s many waterfalls. It’s a cool and shady area where you can often see children playing in the shallow pools on hot days. It’s pretty close to PSU and a nice spot to relax, dip your feet in the water, and ignore the city for a while.
Address: SW 3rd Ave & Clay St, Portland, OR 97201
Cup & Bar
It’s fitting that a post about where to go in Portland starts and ends with coffee. If Rimsky Korsakoffee is the definition of Portland weird, then Cup & Bar is quintessential Portland hipster. The space isn’t massive, but the high ceilings and minimal décor gives it an airy and spacious feel. There are racks on the walls for bikes, and in the back are the coffee and chocolate factories where the coffee shop gets its goods from. Although it’s not the most comfortable place to work for an extended period given the propensity towards bar stools and backless chairs, Cup & Bar is a great place to grab a midafternoon wake-me-up and escape the office for a while.
Address: 118 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, Portland, OR 97232