Come one, come all. Welcome to my very first Portland Neighborhood Guide! What better way to kick off the series than sharing a guide to my own backyard –the tree-lined streets of NW Portland!
I’ve lived in NW Portland for three years but have been exploring/enjoying the neighborhood even longer.
Today, I’m going to share everything I know about this charming neighborhood from the best shops, restaurants and things to do in Northwest Portland, I hope you enjoy!
Getting around NW Portland
Walk, walk, walk! The NW Portland neighborhood is not that big. Strolling through (or biking) is very enjoyable and comes highly recommended. Some folks choose to hop on the Portland Streetcar, feel free to join if you feel so inclined.
Depending on the time of day, parking can get challenging in NW Portland so try to avoid it if you can. If you are driving, parking is $1.60 per hour.
Start your day at Ken’s bakery.
Don’t fight me on this one. Order a cup of coffee and the Oregon croissant from Ken’s Bakery (or the ham & cheese croissant if you’re in the mood for something savory). The quality of Ken’s pastries makes my heart sing! But it’s no surprise, considering the owner is a recipient of the uber prestigious James Beard Award.
Next, stroll over to 23rd Ave. to check out the shops that line this popular tree-lined street, often called “trendy third.”
Here’s a quick list of things to do in NW Portland.
Shops in Northwest Portland
The Meadow: Salt, Chocolate, Bitters | 805 NW 23rd Ave
- Think tall wooden shelves full of chocolates from all over the world and tons of salt blocks you didn’t even know you needed. Talk to the sales associate and be surprised by their knowledge of salt, chocolate and wine.
Restoration Hardware | 474 NW 23rd Ave.
- Walking through the floors of this beautifully curated (read: expensive) store makes me day dream like crazy! I enjoy it so much I take out of town guest here. Little tip: head upstairs to the rooftop and linger on the outdoor patio – it’s allowed!
Will Leather Goods | 816 NW 23rd Ave.
- Will Leather Goods sells high quality and local leather goods like bags, belts, etc. The work is beautiful and would make a great souvenir.
Tender Loving Empire | 525 NW 23rd Ave.
- This is a fun and local “catch all” shop that sells interesting knick-knacks made in Portland. I especially love their selection of greeting cards – so clever and funny.
Manor Fine Wares and Curious Goods | 907 NW 23rd Ave.
- You know you’ve made it big when you can afford a duvet from this place. I enjoy running my fingers through the sturdy linen sheets and delicate lace table clothes while awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the accusing salesperson. It’s the little things in life.
Solabee Flowers & Botanicals | 1759 NW 24th Ave.
- My favorite plant shop in Portland! The NW Portland location is new and the shop is beautiful inside, just be mindful that camera photos are not allowed (phones can be used).
Crossroads Trading | 128 NW 23rd Ave.
- Crossroads Trading is a reasonably-priced consignment shop that sells trendy pieces both locals and visitors enjoy.
NW Portland Restaurants
St. Honore Boulangerie | 2335 NW Thurman St.
- A well-established French bakery and a staple in the NW community. Make sure to try their opera cake or pick up a loaf of bread – so good!
Papa Haydn | 701 NW 23rd Ave.
- The triple chocolate cake and carrot cake are sublime! I wouldn’t necessary recommend visiting Papa Haydn for food, but the deserts are worth a visit! I come here for celebratory occasions with girlfriends.
Escape from New York Pizza | 622 NW 22rd Ave.
- Great place for a quick slice of pizza. There’s a few small tables inside or you can grab it to go. We actually ordered pizza from here for our rehearsal dinner.
Commissary Cafe | 915 NW 19th Ave.
- Coffee served in industrial-chic and charming interior, don’t leave without trying the jam biscuit and order one for me.
Salt & Straw Ice Cream | 838 NW 23rd Ave
- This is Salt & Straw’s original location! And it is popular indeed, the line often wraps around the block. Try the season flavors, released the first of every month.
Dragonfly Café | 2387 NW Thurman St.
- Dragonfly Cafe is easily one of the coziest cafes in Portland. Try the matcha latte at this beloved cafe because it’s dang near perfect.
Blue Star Donuts | 921 NW 23rd Ave
- Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard of Blue Star Donuts before, I wrote an entire post about it. Don’t leave without trying the buttermilk donut.
Besaws | 1545 NW 21st Ave.
- Besaws is a GREAT spot for brunch. My personal favorite item on the menu is the French toast. Happy hour runs daily from 5pm to 7pm but you can visit the bar next door if you’re placed on the waitlist.
Life of Pie Pizza | 1765 NW 23rd Ave
- Oh yes! The wood-fired pizza is delicious – and the margarita pizza is only $5 during happy hour!! This is one of my favorite places for happy hour.
Rice & Fish | 2332 NW Westover Rd.
- Fish & Rice is a newcomer to the neighborhood and we embrace it with open arms. Considering the normal-people prices, the sushi is great!
Fancy(ish) Restaurant Options
Paley’s Place | 1204 NW 21st Ave.
- Paley’s Place is our favorite restaurant for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. I’m a sucker for their fois gras and seasonal salads.
Serratos | 2112 NW Kearney St.
- We love eating at Serratos and frequently take out of town visitors. The wild boar ragu is definitely worth writing home about.
St. Jack | 1610 NW 23rd Ave
- This French restaurant is a great addition to NW Portland! I usually go for happy hour with girlfriends for wine and quick bites.
Things to do in Northwest Portland
Explore Washington Park | 4033 SW Canyon Rd.
- The best part about NW Portland is the proximity to Washington Park. Washington Park consists of 6 cultural sites: The Oregon Zoo, Children’s Museum, Hoyt Arboretum, The Forestry Center, Rose Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. It’s especially lovely when the trees and roses are in bloom.
Walk through the neighborhood
- The homes in NW Portland are so charming. It gives me great pleasure to wander aimlessly from street to street and I’m sure you’ll like it too.
I hope you find this quick guide to NW Portland helpful! I’m always happy to answer questions, so shoot them my way if you have any.
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Until next time,
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