Friday Five {My Guide to Portland}

Friday, May 2, 2014

Today's Friday Five is super-sized!  About a month ago, my  sister Sarah let me know her co-worker had just announced she and her family would be moving to Portland!  Instead of five quick shots, today's post is my guide to Portland, OR covering five different areas; Health, Sweet Treats, Where to Eat, Grocery Shopping, and A Night On The Town!  Hopefully this list can help guide her and her family as they begin this new chapter!

Welcome to the City of Roses, WC!!

Last month marked my one year anniversary in Portland, OR and I absolutely love it!  While I had visited several times before the big move, it took awhile to adjust and find some of my favorite spots.  When visiting I always hit the "hot spots" and well-known highlights.  Actually living here has been quite a change from being a tourist.  For the first 6 months it didn't feel like home.  I didn't know the city yet and would get very turned around.  It took me awhile to get into a routine, find my favorite spots and truly build a life!  Now that I have, I am happy as can be!

Health & Fitness

Me strolling around Forest Park!

Walking and hiking around Forest Park is one of my favorite activities.  There are so many different options, anyone can find a trail that fits their needs!  It is family, pet and deep-thinker friendly!  I also love walking along the waterfront and following the esplanade loop to take in just how beautiful Portland really is.  Last summer I actually floated the river through The Big Float!  Not quite ready to dip your toes in?? Rent a bike and let the adventure begin!

When the skies are spewing the notorious NW rain I try to get a good workout indoors.  Barre3 is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging fitness classes I have ever participated in.  But darn, it feels good!  Firebrand, Burncycle and StudioBlue are also Portland favorites!

Sweet Treats
Blue Star Donuts

Now that we've burned some calories let's get to the fun part... the food!  It is no secret that Portland has an AMAZING food scene.  In fact, it is very overwhelming.  While there are always new places and food carts opening up I have certainly found my go-to's!  Blue Star Donuts is the bees knees!!  The flavors are unique and the passion is evident.  By far the best donuts in the city!!  One of the more famous spots, Salt & Straw, certainly lives up to the hype.  There are several locations around the city and can be ordered for delivery across the country!  While I tend to gravitate towards the special flavors featured each month my go-to combination is Almond Brittle & Chocolate with Gooey Brownies!

It is no surprise that Maurice is high on my list of recommendations!!!  The pastries and desserts are out of this world.  If you are on the East Side stop by Pix Patisserie for wine and Le Courdon Bleu worthy desserts!

Where to Eat
My sister and her husband loving Pok Pok!

Now that you are loaded up on sugar let's counter that with brunch, lunch and dinner.  Another world-famous spot that lives up to the hype is Pok Pok!!  The wings alone are worth the wait in line!  If you are a fan of Vietnamese food, affordable prices and jaw-dropping happy hours stop by Luc Lac!  The lines can get a bit long, if you are in a hurry or under the weather call ahead and take your Pho to go!

For brunch Broder {and now Broder Nord} can't be topped!  The food is fantastic and the service is spectacular!  My favorite taco spot is Porque No?, I always get three tacos and share a side of chips and guac.  It is highly probable a seasonal margarita ends up in front of me as well.

Now, without a doubt, my FAVORITE place to eat in Portland is......

 Kargi GoGo a Georgian Food Truck that has actually shown up in several dreams! While I usually make my own plate to try a little bit of everything the cheesy bread is always included.

Grocery Shopping
Farmers Market Treasures

While I don't have many beefs with this city, my biggest complaint is probably grocery shopping.  I have found it nearly impossible to find everything I need within budget at the same store.  I go grocery shopping at no-less than three stores weekly.  Just for the basics!!  

From April-October I do a good amount of my shopping at the Farmers Market!  The PSU market is on Saturday and by far the most popular option.  There are other pop-ups throughout the city on different days of the week!  For quality and affordable meat, "health food" and the best customer service in town I head to New Seasons!!  When I get the hankering to make sushi, pad thai or fancy international food I always turn to Uwajimaya.  For everything else Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Safeway and Fred Meyer help fill my pantry.

A Night On the Town

Happy Hour at Departure

While there are always new places to try when heading out for a girl's night or going on a date there are a few spots I always recommend and know I can count on.  Departure is a favorite for many people, and, for good reason!  The view is fantastic.  On sunny days be sure to get there early, it fills up.  For a "3rd Date Spot" try Pope House Bourbon Lounge or Multnomah Whiskey Library.  Want a bite and bevvie with your movie??  Look no further than Living Room Theaters or Hollywood Theater! 

And in case this list wasn't enough, stop by Bakery Bingo, In The Pink And Green and Portland Monthly for their fantastic guides to Portland!!


  1. awesome list, can't wait to try if I make it out again!

  2. Great list!!! Some things I need to try. I've never been to Broder!

  3. OO donuts and departures... two stops for my future PDX visit! :)

  4. Just discovered your blog/Instagram via camp Patton and am a huge fan already! Looking forward to reading more. Rachel