Instagrammers Guide to Portland Oregon
I’ve received countless emails asking for a list of things to do in Portland Oregon and while I feel like I still have so much more to explore (we’ve only been here a year), I decided to put together an Instagrammers guide to PDX with the places I’ve been thus far. When I first moved here, I searched high and low for places to eat, see, and do and to be honest, I didn’t love what was out there. These lists of things to do in Portland were either old and outdated, or coming from a different perspective I couldn’t relate to. With Instagram and Snapchat, places we want to see and do are completely different from before. Maybe it’s less about finding the best cup of jo in the city and more about finding the most photographable coffee shop. Hopefully, you’ll see a little bit of both, the good and the pretty!
Also keep in mind, the Portland Oregon area is divided into 4 sections, North West, South West, North East, and South East. Each place listed below will show which side of town it’s on, so when you’re planning your trip, keep this in mind. I’ve also listed a couple spots that are located in suburbs outside of Portland. Again, keep travel time in mind when planning your trip as it will take some time getting from place to place.
Things to do in Portland Oregon
Salt & Straw – I’m sure you’re well aware of this place by now. The scent of homemade waffle cones alone will suck you in. The line tends to be out the door on weekends, so if you can, try to go during the week. Cool, fun flavors, and such a friendly staff.
838 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR
Tea Bar – Another Instagramers dream. Think white clean walls, wishbone chairs, and beautiful tea. They have several locations now and they’re all gorgeous. A must-stop for me!
Tea Bar SE 4330 SE Division St Portland, OR
Blue Star Donuts – My absolute favorite donut spot! Their motto, quality over quantity, which when it comes to food, is always the best way to go (or with anything for that matter). Clean, high quality ingredients, a couple vegan options, and just so darn good. The location on NW 23rd Ave is my favorite, but we’ve also been to the one on SW Washington st, SE Hawthorne Blvd, and still waiting to try the one in the Airport.
921 NW 23rd Ave. Portland, OR 97205
Barista in the Pearl – really cute in the summer when you can sit outside. It’s in the heart of the Pearl District and the brick buildings that surround it are beautiful. Out of all the coffee shops we’ve tried in Portland, Barista has the best coffee in our opinion. Ask for their vegan mocha.
539 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Barista on 3rd – My favorite Barista coffee to take photos. Beautiful tile, marble, and brass hardware. It’s a quaint spot downtown, not that easy to get to, but it’s adorable.
529 SW 3rd Ave #110, Portland, OR 97204
Good Coffee – Not my favorite coffee, but this place is an Instagramers dream. White, marble, and greenery everywhere. Go on an off day because the place is small and can get crowded.
1150 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Saint Cupcake – These are my favorite cupcakes I’ve tried in Oregon so far. They don’t have a ton of vegan options, but they have the basics – vanilla with choc frosting, choc with vanilla frosting – and those are on point. Vegan cupcakes can be hit or miss and these are amazing! They have a ton of fun regular (non-vegan) flavors as well.
1138 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97205
Upper Left Roasters – A large cafe-like setting where people tend to work and drink coffee. Cool interior, but most importantly, they’re avocado toast is amazing!
1204 SE Clay St, Portland, OR 97214
Voodoo Doughnuts – I’ve only been to the one on NE Davis st, but I pass by the one on SW 3rd avenue all the time. I would say, Voodoo is more like your typical donut shop, but just with crazy toppings and flavors. They have a lot more vegan options than Blue Star, but I must say, I like Blue Star because I know and can taste that I’m eating high quality ingredients. This place is a staple here, so a must-stop when you’re visting.
1501 NE Davis St, Portland, OR 97232
Heart Coffee Roasters – A really cute spot as well (if you’re looking to take photos), the name alone is adorable. But, not my favorite coffee. Cute spot to hang out and get some work done, though.
537 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Cupcake Jones – I’ve only been once, but this place is pretty well known here. Not my favorite vegan cupcakes, but they do non-vegan options well.
307 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
10 Barrel Brewing – This is a great spot to come to when the weather is warm. They have an open roof deck with a bar. It gets pretty crowded even during the week at lunch, so pick off times and you should be good to go. Good beer and good food (think pub food).
1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209
Bamboo Sushi – This is our go-to for sushi. Modern and cute interior, but most importantly, they use high quality ingredients and are a sustainable restaurant. I don’t eat fish, but Mike says it’s always fresh. Their yakisoba noodles are amazing!
404 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Jefe – Think Mexican food with a Spanish flare. Being from California, we’ve become very picky about our Mexican food. We still haven’t found anything in Oregon that stands out. But, we like this place for their chips, salsa, guac and happy hour. Good drinks and good vibes, for sure. If you’re in Lake Oswego, this is a great spot.
16360 Boones Ferry Rd., Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Departure – Probably my favorite restaurant in Oregon (I’m sure many people would say this). A sexy rooftop restaurant and lounge ran by chef Gregory who happened to compete on Top Chef season 12. With their cool cocktails, view of the city, and top notch food (with a separate vegan menu), this is a must-stop while visiting Portland. The restaurant doesn’t open until 4 everyday, so keep that in mind, and I would highly recommend making reservations.
525 SW Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon 97204
Kure Juice Bar – We love this place! They have the most amazing Acai bowls. I get the Sunnyside and it’s the best I’ve ever tasted! They also have smoothies, juices, and some hot drinks. Love the downtown location.
408 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
La Sen Vietnamese Grill – Hands down, our most frequented restaurant. I’m obsessed with pho and this place does their vegan version so well. I love that it’s clean and healthy. Not a hole in the wall (although most would say those are the best spots). I also get their green beans and tofu dish, which is AMAZING! They have several locations, but none of them are downtown. This is more of a suburb spot. So, if you’re ever in West Linn, Tualatin, or Sherwood, I would stop in for lunch.
7628 SW Nyberg St, Tualatin, OR 97062
Life of Pie Pizza – A cute little laid back spot. Their wood fired pizza is a little thicker than most, but really good. A great lunch spot to stop into. I’m not 100% sure they have gluten free dough, but they do offer gluten free spaghetti.
3632 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Lardo – You wouldn’t expect a person who eats vegan to say anything good about this place. I have not actually eaten anything at Lardo, but I’ve been with my family. This place is all about the meat – I would say artery clogging sandwiches that are worth having 2 times a year. If you’re a meaty sandwich kinda guy, I would definitely check this place out.
1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205
Nostrana – this is a really cool spot. Extensive wine list, yummy cocktails, and fantastic Italian food. Obviously, I love their wood fired pizza, but Mike has raved about some of their other dishes.
1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214
Grassa – I’ve been here once. It’s a small spot and can get crowded. Think handmade pastas, little salads, and a variety of sides (garlic bread and veggies). Not really vegan friendly, but it’s a cool spot to stop into when you’re running around downtown and need to refuel.
1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205
Pine Street Market – Another one of our go-to spots. This recently opened in 2016, so it’s still fairly new. It’s Portland’s first food hall featuring 9 of the city’s best chefs and purveyors all under one roof. My favorite spot is Marukin Ramen (best vegan ramen!!!), but we also love Shalom Y’all, Wizbangbar (best vegan strawberry ice cream, ever!), and Kim Jong Smokehouse. Everything here is really good, though. It’s a great spot when you’re visting with a group of people. Everyone can order whatever they want.
126 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Boke Bowl – This is a really cute spot with plenty of vegan options. Sadly the vegan ramen I had wasn’t very good, but Mike had the fried chicken rice bowl and enjoyed it. Think handmade noodles, steamed buns, and fun pairings.
1028 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Roman Candle Baking Co. – A really cute cafe spot, with pizza and breads among other things. Think fresh bread and pizza by the slice. It’s on a street with other cute restaurants and coffee shops. Salt & Straw happens to be a couple doors down.
3377 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Oven and Shaker – this is our go-to for wood-fired pizza. It’s in the heart of the Pearl District, walking distance to many things. The La Fettunta, which is a bruschetta of sorts, is the best garlic bread I’ve ever had. It’s doused in olive oil and large sea salt chucks and it’s just AMAZING.
1134 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209
Thai Peacock – This is a new-to-us spot that we recently tried over Christmas. The food was good, but I think the cute location made it even better. It’s a small place, but the interior is cool and it’s nice a clean (which I’m big on).
219 SW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Por Que No? – Very famous among locals. I’ve been here once, and or me, it was nothing special. I typically judge Mexican restaurants on how well they do their beans, rice, and salsa, and there’s so much better out in Portland than this. But, Mike says the meat is amazing. So, if you’re a street taco kinda person, I would give this a try. The line tends to be out the door, so try going at an off time.
4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215
Andina – Peruvian food with plenty of gluten free and vegan options. This is a really fun spot. They play live music and the bar is always slammed. Definitely a great spot to go with a group of people. Our family introduced us to their famous cocktail, Sacsayhuman, which happens to be super spicy and yummy.
1314 NW Glisan StPortland, OR 97209
Black Butte Ranch – This is a fun little getaway spot that’s about 2.5 hours SW of Portland. It’s a nice spot to spend your down time in the summer. Think pools, tennis, golf, and outdoorsy activities. See my full post here.
Cherry Blossom Trees – The Cherry Blossoms are unreal here in the spring. You’ll find them just about anywhere, but if you’re looking for the perfect photo op head to waterfront downtown.
Ace Hotel – Another one of those hotels we’ve never actually stayed at, but the lobby serves as a great spot to grab coffee, meet up with a friend, or just relax. Stumptown Coffee is attached and Blue Star Donuts is down the street, so it’s a nice spot to have a casual breakfast before you head out to explore.
1022 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205
Multnomah Falls – This is obviously a must-see while visiting Portland. It’s about an hour west of the city, but it’s a beautiful drive. It’s in the Gorge, so it gets really windy depending on the time of year you’re visiting.
Stoller Vineyards – One of our favorites spots out in Willamette Valley wine country. The grounds alone are beautiful. They let you bring your own food and picnic, which is always a plus. A must-stop if you’re wine tasting.
16161 NE McDougall Rd, Dayton, OR 97114
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm – If you’re visiting Portland in the Spring, this is definitely worth seeing. It runs from March 24th – April 30th and is about 45 minutes south of Portland. Stroll through 40 acres of vineyards and tulips. It really is stunning! They also have other attractions on site – food, wine tasting, games for kids, and you can even bring your dogs. It gets crowded, so try to go during the weekdays.
33814 S Meridian Rd, Woodburn, OR 97071
St. Johns Bridge – About a 15-20 minute drive North from downtown Portland. Coming from the Bay Area, the second we drove on the bridge, I immediately thought Golden Gate. It just so happens (I was told by a friend), the same designer built both. You can definitely see the resemblance. If you make your way under the bridge, you’ll find a cute little park perfect for photos.
8600 NW Bridge Ave, Portland, OR 97203
Oneonta Gorge Hike – It’s about an hour and 15 minutes west from downtown Portland. A cool experience, but it’s not for everyone. I’ve been once and I probably don’t ever have to go again, but if you’re into getting submerged under water (almost neck deep for me) to get to the waterfall, than I would say go for it. It is a hike without trails (you’re literally walking in the river), so bring appropriate shoes (no flip flops) and make sure your phone or camera are in a waterproof bag. It’s awesome on a hot day, but just bring a change of clothes, because you’ll be soaked.
Oswego Hills Vineyard and Winery – This is one of our favorite spots that happens to be in my aunt’s backyard, aka the suburbs of West Linn. They’re only open on Sundays, but on a nice summer day, it can’t be beat. Bring your own picnic and enjoy the beautiful grounds. See my full post here.
450 Rosemont Rd, West Linn, OR 97068
Maak Lab – This is such a cool spot – nothing I’ve really ever seen before. I want to say it’s a place where they make soap, but I’m not 100% sure (it’s kind of mysterious like that). The design is stunning and makes for a great Instagram shot.
916 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
The Society Hotel – Another one of our favorite spots. We’ve never actually stayed at the hotel, but we love the cafe downstairs and the rooftop deck with spectacular views of the city. An awesome spot when the weather is warm (sip rose on the rooftop), but also a great spot to grab coffee and warm up on those colder days. Plenty of Instagrammable shots here!
203 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209