Portland city guide: what to see plus the best hotels, bars and restaurants

Its acclaimed, scoffed even, for hipster chocolate and plane beer, but theres much better to one of Americas coolest metropolis and there are new direct flights from London, too

All hail Portland! The Pacific Northwest trail-blazer is a vibrant hub that celebrates the four chill Cs of chocolate, cycling, plane breweries and( menu) carts. Whats more, brand-new direct flights four times a few weeks in summer with Delta from Heathrow start on 27 May, performing what was a torturous travel with connects in either Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco or Vancouver a more passable 11 -hour trip.

This is a contradictory, rapidly evolving and chaotic neighbourhood, which for countless is teetering on the brink of boom or bust. Participate, Portland is about much more than those tourist must-have buzzwords or hipster hit lists.

The city of grows is also a city of protest against police savagery, against Trump. Its countless aqueducts across the Willamette river sacrifice it an industrial examination, hitherto it is surrounded by luxuriant Oregon landscapes, with Mount Hood, the Columbia river gorge and Cascade elevations a short drive away.

Powells City of Books on West Burnside Street. Image: Robert Hull for the Guardian

It has been satirized in the Tv comedy Portlandia, especially for its cyclists, hitherto autoes still reign even if the many brand-new accommodation barriers dont offering parking. But then another irony is that public transport via bus, streetcar and the MAX light rail line is an efficient and affordable style to get around. What I truly adoration Portland for, though, is its otherness its celebration of the outsider. In his notebook Fugitives and Refugees: A Stroll in Portland, Oregon, Fight Club novelist Chuck Palahniuk expects regional writer Katherine Dunn about the city. We only amass more and more strange parties, she responded. All we are is the fugitives and refugees.

Against this backdrop, Portland has one of the worlds better bookshops, Powells City of Books, hosts a major tango carnival and, for all its plane breweries, the wine representation is just as dynamic. It likewise retains the problem of homelessness that distressed travel writer Jan Morris during her visit in the 90 s, and which she documented in A Writers World. I left with the feeling that maybe Portland could do with only switching off for a few minutes to regroup. But thats never going to happen because, amid all the tumult, theres too much substance going on.


Promise of a rose garden-variety and more

Photograph: Tom Schwabel/ Getty Images

A hike in Washington Park, with its positions to Mount Hood, is a short MAX light rail ride from “the centres activities”. Kids will enjoy Oregon Zoo and Childrens Museum, but the scene-stealers are the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. The former has just had a $33.5 m swelling overseen by Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium architect Kengo Kuma and offers the allure of bonsai, a moon bridge and serene plots and pavilions. The Rose Garden celebrating its 100 th anniversary is another tranquilize discern, with colors blooms and city positions.
Adult $14.95, infant 6-17 $10.95. 611 SW Kingston Avenue,

Jet boat down the Willamette river

Photograph: Getty Images

With a skyline labelled by positions and spiralling concrete streets, Portland is not a stereotypically picturesque neighbourhood. But this river-divided city does do a fine text in aqueducts. Discovering them from a spurt craft plies fresh air, the periodic tight turning and sprinkle, and an architecture task on, among others, the Burnside, Hawthorne and Steel aqueducts. The start/ end point outside the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry( OMSI) offers an opportunity for further fun hearing or to dry off!
Tours from $31 adult, $21 4-11s, +1 503 231 1532, willamettejet.com

Explore the districts

A shop in the arts-and-crafty Alberta district. Image: Alamy

Downtown Portland isnt overrun with chain stores, and theres an independent character on its streets and in the group( husks) of menu carts, but my affection of the city ripened through exploring its districts. Get north-east to the Alberta district for arts and craftsmanships, the wonderful community-owned Alberta Co-op Grocery, prohibits( Radio Room, Alberta Street Pub) and a theater. Venture south-east to Hawthorne for the unkempt appeal of the Bagdad Theater, an atmospheric neighbourhood to catch a( inexpensive) movie, or visit one of the outposts of Tender Loving Empire for regional art and souvenirs at a supermarket that runs its own preserve label. The Mount Tabor district has its own extinct volcano, and the admirable Tabor Bread bakery. But dont stop with this trio: Mississippi Avenue has craft breweries and the musician-owned Mississippi Studios and then continue exploring in Division, Belmont and Nob Hill.

The artworks

Portland Art Museum

For rainy days and Portland has its fair share as well as artistic brainchild, Portland Art Museum is a must. Founded in 1892, its in two buildings joined by an underground walkway and has only one regalium of Native American , north-western, modern and contemporary artistry, plus incredible photography. For smaller-scale demonstrates visit Old Town/ Chinatown, where the Blue Sky gallery majors on photography; only feet away are the evenly affecting Charles A Hartman and Froelick galleries.
Adult $19.99, 17 and under, free. 1219 SW Park Avenue, portlandartmuseum.org

Soccerball with a cutting edge

Mascot Timber Joey cuts a slice of the Portland Timbers log after the team compositions. Image: Alamy

With no major baseball or NFL franchises in town, the boasting spotlight falls on basketball place the Trail Blazers and the 2015 MLS Cup-winning Portland Timbers football( soccer) crew. The Timbers 21,000 -capacity Providence Park is a short stroll, bus/ tram or motorcycle go from Downtown and a fun venue to watch the kick-and-rush of US football. A highlighting is watching mascot and lumberjack Timber Joey chainsaw a slice off a tree trunk when the home place compositions. Tickets sell fast and the 4,000 -seat expansion isnt due till 2019 so book.
Tickets from $18, Providence Park, +1 503 553 5400, timbers.com


Breakfast and brunch

Vegan scramble at the Tin Shed Garden Cafe

In the Alberta district, the Tin Shed Garden Cafe serves brunch until 3pm and is a rambunctious, fun, dog-friendly recognized that bustles on weekends. Try its big hit burrito ($ 12) or one of the doggy-themed scurries: the Fetch( bacon and egg) or the Stay( with sprouts, seasonal parks and roasted sweetened potato( both $9.50 ). The nearby Cup& Saucer Cafe is a very good backup alternative, the Tommy-go-Hammy omelette ($ 10.50) is recommended. In Downtown, Kenny and Zukes is a deli-diner to fall in love with enormous french toast ($ 10.50) and bagels( from $2.50 ). At Tasty n Alder and award-winning sister eatery Tasty n Sons , the trendy positioned either arrives early or is prepared to wait in line for the frittata with Italian cheeses and salsa verde ($ 10) and/ or the lemon ricotta pancake with blueberry syrup ($ 7 ). If fortitude deserts you, try Cheryls on 12 th , where breakfast is acted till 4pm the croque monsieur ($ 12) truly delivers.

Lunch and dinner

Afuri Ramen

In an airy, industrial-chic seat in the Belmont district, Afuri Ramen is the Tokyo-based orders first branch outside Japan. Apparently, the owners picked Portland for the softness of its water crucial to performing the broth integral to a good bowl of ramen. The yuzu shio ramen ($ 15) makes a fine sunlight lunch, though dumplings, sushi and salads are also good. Pok Pok PDX on Division Street is chef Andy Rickers take over Thai street food, and has spawned diverges across the city. Portlands ever-changing menu go-cart representation is simply too big to do justice to now, but a good way to be informed about the carts biography is on a tour with Brett Burmeister( foodcartsportland.com ).

Viking Soul Food trailer at the Good Food Here menu carts pod on Belmont Street, south-east Portland. Image: Greg Vaughn/ Alamy

Noble Rot on East Burnside prevents it seasonal by germinating many of its parts on its rooftop garden-variety, while the views across the river arent extremely dirty either. Try the sweetened potato falafel, quinoa, roast vegetables, harissa and sumac yogurt ($ 23 ). In Hawthorne, Caf Castagna is a more affordable alternative to the adjacent, Michelin-starred Castanga restaurant its baked penne with gruyre, caramelised leek and onion ($ 15) has a definite wow factor. And server, rail staff and taxi driver recommendations( all indicated several times) include: Coquine ( modern American ), Ox ( steaks ), and Kachka ( Russian ).

Sweet treats

Salt& Straw. Image: The Washington Post/ Getty Images

More than a few people were of the view that Blue Star Donuts ( around$ 3, five locations) had embezzled the halo of heavenly sugar provider from Voodoo Doughnut. My chocolate and almond ganache surely powered me through the afternoon! If ice-cream is your dollop, then Salt& Straw ( four locations) will tickle the tastebuds. The one-scoop sea salt with caramel ribbons plus hot fudge ($ 5.10) I had procreated for a super Sunday sundae.


Loyal Legion


Venture to this Eastside bar to try a cavalcade of regional plane liquor. It claims to offer 99 Oregon beers on tap and, though I cant personally vouch for all, the Ancestry Golden was glowing, the Yachats was smooth, the Block 15 was malty and the Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout was a creamy, energising shot of success. The staff seem to know the intricacies of each drink. Joyous hour is 3pm-6pm, daily, and the menu roll includes amazing sausages.
Tasters from$ 2, 16 oz from $5. 710 SE 6th Avenue ,

Portland City Grill


The pink granite facade of the US Bancorp Tower has earned it the nickname Big Pink, and the skyscraper is one of Downtowns most peculiar landmarks. However, its the views of the Cascade mountains from Portland City Grill on the 30 th flooring that really grab “members attention”. Theres an extended menu menu, but come for the concoctions( try the Portland city streetcar, $12, or the Huckleberry, $10) plus lengthened happy hours( Mon-Sat from 4pm-7pm and from 9pm to closing, Sunday noon to 11 pm, sips from $4.75 ).
111 SW 5th Avenue,

Ecliptic Brewing