We spent some time last weekend exploring the Alberta neighborhood in search of colorful murals to brighten up these chilly autumn days.
Whenever I have a spare weekend for exploring, I don’t fight the gravitational pull that leads directly to the Alberta Arts District.
And what’s not to love? This colorful artsy neighborhood has everything – delicious food, one of my favorite brunch spots, cute local shops galore and some of the best murals the city has to offer!
If you find yourself wandering down Alberta make sure to check out the following places:
Best Restaurants Alberta Arts District
Proud Mary Coffee ($$)
One of my top 5 favorite brunch spots in Portland! Proud Mary hails from Australia and chose to make Portland its first US destination – how lucky can one city be?
My favorite item on the menu are the pancakes but Will loves the avocado toast. You can’t go wrong with either, just make sure to order coffee as well. The barista’s knowledge of coffee is unparalleled.
Pine State Biscuits ($)
This is a Portland staple and graces most “top places to eat in Portland” lists. The Reggie is an easy crowd favorite and their plain biscuits are so good I get them as snacks!
The line wraps the store most weekend mornings, so try to go during the weekday at odd hours (like 11am).
Bollywood Theater ($$)
A super hip Indian restaurant with a fun millennial/Portland twist. If that’s a thing? We visited with a group of friends for a birthday celebration and tried about 15 small plates– all were big hits!
The food is reason alone to visit, but if that’s not enough to convince you, their décor is so fun.
Petite Provence ($$)
Dare I say my mother’s favorite brunch spot in Portland? I can see why; it feels like stepping into a corner of Paris. My mom and favorite aunt love this place and usually host out of town guests here.
Their croissants are so good (especially when warm) and brunch portions are generous. But the real star of the show is the pastry case near the front door – do NOT pass!
Salt & Straw ($$)
Goodness, I’d fear for my safety if I didn’t mention Salt & Straw here! It seems that the more popular and “mainstream” a place gets, the harder it is to like. But Salt & Straw is the exception!
I don’t care if the queen tweets about it, it will always be dear to my heart because their ice cream is so good. Make sure to try their seasonal flavors – usually released the first of the month.
Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery ($$)
Did you know the salted caramel apple pie was named one of America’s best by Travel & Leisure in 2013? Reason alone to visit, if you ask me.
Drink & be (very) merry
Great Notion Brewery ($ – $$)
We discovered this place through a close friend of ours and are glad we did! The smoothness and complexity of the brews here is hard to describe.
I could easily spend an entire day tasting every single brew here and leave wanting more. Great selection of beer with nice selection of standard pub fare.
Teote Mezcaleria ($$)
We stumbled upon this place en route to the airport and were pleasantly surprised. We ordered their bowls and enjoyed them by a massive covered firepit in the upstairs patio.
Happy hour runs daily from 3-6pm – enjoy $1 off cocktails & drafts.
Zilla Sake House
There are more than 70 varieties of sake are available at this little shop. Let your hair down and try a flight! And if you’re hungry, order some sushi as well.
Shopping in the Alberta Arts District
The quintessential Portland bookstore stuffed to the rim with books.
Vintage clothes and locally designed pieces.
This shop is a hoot! It’s an outdoor person’s dream full of local knives, axes and camping gear.
A charming and cozy boutique full of vintage styled clothes.
Things to do in the Alberta Neighborhood
Visit McMenamins Kennedy School
This is one of my favorite places to take out of town visitors! It’s a school that has been converted into all sorts of fun.
For instance, the boiler room is now a restaurant, the gym is a movie theater and the detention room is a bar. I enjoy wandering the halls aimlessly and normally spend 2-3 hours exploring.
Tip: You can actually stay at McMenamins Kennedy School because the classrooms were converted into hotel rooms. What’s more, guests get access to the soaking pool.
Search for murals
- This isn’t called the Alberta Art’s District for nothing! Many of Portland’s best murals can be found in this specific neighborhood. Find them!
Experience “Last Thursday” (Summers only)
- Catch local vendors, artists, performers and musicians along Northeast Alberta Street. Very fun way to spend the evening.
I hope you enjoyed this little mini guide to the Alberta Arts District! Per usual, if you have any questions or comments, let me know below!
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Until next time,