portland bound

by Grace Bonney

Print by NDT photo

Today, I’m packing up early and hopping on a flight out to Portland, Oregon, for an extended getaway. When I started looking at my book tour schedule for the fall, I felt a mild panic mode start to set in, so I decided to give myself a little time away from the city to soak up some nature and quiet time. I’ll still be working like normal, but I’m finally going to take advantage of that whole “bloggers can work from anywhere they want!” thing and get myself outside of Brooklyn for a few weeks.

I’m excited to finally have more than 2 to 3 days to check out some of my favorite shops and designers, so if you have any recommendations or events I should check out, please feel free to drop me a line or leave a note below. I’ll be in town (right around the corner from Ink & Peat — I’m so excited) through the end of July, so I hope to catch some of you around town. xo, grace

Suggested For You


  • come by my place and pick some rhubarbs we’ll make strawberry rhubarb galettes! I live close to ink and peat.

  • Hi Grace! I’m so glad you’re going to be enjoying my lovely little town. If you want any ideas, I have them! Make sure you check out Produce Row, the food is absolutely amazing and its totally affordable. Also Mothers Bistro and Bar for a good breakfast/cocktail! The saturday market along the waterfront is always a winner, and Hawthorne for your vintage stores/modern furniture finds. I live on Hawthorne, its a total blast. Wish you were coming tonight, there is a city wide scavenger hunt going on! You’ll probably be too tired though. Have a fantastic time, hopefully I’ll see you around!

  • so happy you are coming! I’m still a newbie but I’m loving walking around ne alberta! and enjoying the food carts! ditto to alison, I’ve heard amazing things about the mississippi street fair. :)

  • MMmmmmM! My home!! PDX is the best. I’m obviously biased :))

    If you have a moment, swing by Voodoo Donuts. The best!! And the food carts.

  • In North Portland is the cutest boutique “Salty Teacup”. Karen, the owner, is making my wedding dress (upcycled from bits of fabric, scrap curtains, a vintage slip), she makes a lot of the jewelry in the store and has a lot of other items from local designers. It’s a small store but packed with SO many cute things! https://www.facebook.com/saltyteacup

  • For some geeky fun there’s Star Trek in the Park on Sat. & Sun.- http://www.atomic-arts.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/poster2.jpg

    And next Sat. is the always fun Tour de Coops- http://www.growing-gardens.org/portland-gardening-resources/chickens.php

    If you’re close to Ink & Peat you’re close to all the awesome and tasty goodness on North Williams- including Pix Patisserie & Tasty & Sons. I’ve lived in PDX for 4 yrs. & am still finding new & delightful things here.

  • The Firehouse Restaurant… rustic and cozy and the food can’t be beat. Try the fried cauliflower with lemon creme fraiche (trust me… just try it!) and if you eat meat, try the wood-grilled hanger steak.


  • Hi Grace,
    I know you will just be getting into Portland but.. One of the most outrageous events in craft in the country is going on in Eugene this weekend (disclaimer, I am not living in Eugene tho I am from there) It is the Country Fair. It was the first country fair (I have been told) and it is part craft fair part carnival. I took a friend who teaches at the international schools and who has been to every part of the world and she said she had never seen anything like it ever! It is going on Fri-Sunday, Friday is by far the best day the others get a bit claustrophobic. It is on private property outside of Eugene in forest and pastures. Permanent wooden booths.. it is amazing. Food, Music, and craft..If you go, park at the Valley River Mall and take the shuttle bus.

  • I lived in the Louisa in the Pearl right by Whole Foods. Say hello to Portland for me, tell them I miss the food ! :)
    And go to the Pearl Bakery ! and have drinks at bluehour ..

  • Grace,
    Come and visit Makelike, we just moved into the old Olympic Mills building right upstairs from Olympic Provisions (A delicious restaurant with a lovely wine selection)

    enjoy your trip, the weather is perfection !

  • Aww I’m so excited you’re making it back! There’s so much food & fun to be had!

    Nature: International Rose Test Garden, Classical Chinese Gardens, Japanese Gardens, Multnomah Falls, a trip to the river (Dougan Falls, Sandy, Washougal) for a picnic & dip.

    Food Carts: Potato Champion, Whiffles Fried Pies (their mounds hand pie is ooey gooey chocolate with coconut custard & coconut bits), Nong’s (Hainanese chicken served in a “sack” with garlic sauce), Lillikoi (Hawaiian)

    Brunch: Veritable Quandary (benedicts), Cameo Cafe (kimchi bulgogi omelet), Pine State Biscuit (biscuit sandwiches), Tasty & Sons (breakfast tapas), Waffle Window (toppings like brie, basil, and panna cotta on a liege waffle), Flavour Spot (waffle taco), Meriwether’s (sit in the beautiful garden)

    Restaurants: Gruner (burger, doughnuts), Toro Bravo (tapas), Iorio (fresh pasta & Italian), Bewon (Asian/Korean inspired restaurant), Miho (izakaya), Dove Vivi (cornmeal crust pizza), I know you’ve already been to Pok Pok & Olympic Provisions!

    Shopping: Mississippi (rebuilding center, vintage), NW 23rd (boutiques), Alberta (art shops, galleries, small shops), Hawthorne (vintage shops, “portland-y” stores), Powell’s City of Books, Sellwood (antiques), Scrap (nonprofit with donated art supplies/things to be reused), E. Burnside (Golden Rule, vintage shops)

    Activites: Living Room Theaters, Wunderland (nickel arcade & cheap theaters), Museum of Contemporary Craft, 3D Photography Museum, Saturday Market, Farmer’s Market, Summer concerts at the zoo

    Festivals: Lavendar Festival (7/9-10), Oregon Country Fair (7/8-10),

    I think I gave you a handful! Let me know if you’re interested in anything else! I hope you enjoy your stay & hopefully I’ll run into you!

  • You should definitely check out Seek the Unique it’s a great shop full of interesting items that I think you would love. 931 SE 6th Ave Portland, OR 97214. While you’re in the neighborhood check out Coava Coffee Roasters 1300 SE Main they share their space with a Bamboo Furniture store so the cafe is a beautiful bamboo showroom in which to try the best coffee in town.

  • yay! stop by Alder pastries on Burnside and try the kouign aman. YUM. and if you like gyros, the Aybla food cart on 5th & SW oak downtown. Clyde Common for food and cocktails (connected to the Ace) for a fun night downtown. AND if you need a desk for a day, stop by our office and join us! we might even be able to hook you up with a pair of Sseko Sandals :)

  • Hi Grace,
    So excited you’ll be in our beautiful city for more than a few days. I know we’ve tried before, but if you get a chance, I’d love if you stopped by my shop – Tilde – in Sellwood. I spoke with you & Amy Ruppel at the meet up at Design Within Reach years ago and still am running my little shop full of modern craft goodness. We house all those you love: Chewing the Cud, Sycamore Street Press, Michele Maule, Jessica Swift, Polli and hundreds more. And also have rad monthly art shows on our walls: currently Cathy McMurray, but in coming months Jill Bliss, Amy Ruppel and others. Maybe Amy could stop by with you one day this month. Fingers crossed. Until then – LOVE our city – it’s the best in the world!

  • Just got back from Portland. I would live there if I could.
    Just to let you know, the new Starbucks across from Powell’s serves wine and beer.
    I know too cool! The line of for Vodoo Donuts is at least an 1.5 hours long. I don’t really get the appeal to be honest. Do try the crepes made just for you across from the line. I especially enjoyed the rhubarb fennel. DeLish!

  • My husband and I spent a few days in Portland on our honeymoon, and loved Fire On The Mountain so much that we went twice! If you’re a sucker for wings and craft beer, do not pass this place up. http://www.portlandwings.com/

  • If you love beer and you’re here till the end of the month, you must go to Oregon’s Brewers Festival. It’s a must every year and draws in over 60,000 people over the course of 4 days. It’s right on the downtown waterfront, so you it’s easy to get to and because of the great public transportation, its easy to get home! They also have great food and music. It’s a must!

  • Coava Coffee Roasters and Sterling Coffee Roasters are the two best here in town. Coava is at SE Main and Grand. Sterling is next to Trader Joes, a block away from Kens Artisan Bakery in Nob Hill. Evoe is one of my favorite baguette sandwich spots in the SE. Meat, Cheese, Bread is great. If you want a real treat, Le Pigeon is something to write home about! Have fun!

  • Definitely check out Tasty & Sons, right down the street from Ink + Peat. There are so many great bars, shops and restaurants here! Tiga, Liberty Glass Room, Pigeon Toe Ceramics, Mississippi Studios, The Woods, the Toasted Cheese truck on Alberta…. the list goes on and on! Have fun Grace!

  • Since Chef Matt Lightner of Castagna is leaving at the end of July, I would definitely recommend getting reservations there. Though he is opening a 14-seat resto in NYC, so you could just wait until that happens!
    Don’t miss the Portland Farmers Market this Saturday in the Park Blocks. I’ll be there bright and early at 8:30 to get the good stuff!

  • The oregon coast is beautiful. A must see!

    I love the Tao of Tea on Belmont for tea and Indian snacks. And then walking to Noun (vintage housewares and local jewelry) and St. Cupcake on Belmont afterwards. I also second Pix. And I love Sauvie Island. And the Grilled Cheese Grill. And the best Thai food in the world at Lemongrass (cash only) in a house on an off the main street. And my favorite pizza in the world is at Lovely 50 50 on Mississippi. They also make homemade ice cream. And Paxton Gate and this odd little flower shop next to it (both across the street on Mississippi.

    Have fun!

    PS. I sat next to you at Chelsea’s flower class :)

  • I SECOND TASTY AND SONS on N Williams! The potatoes bravas, bacon-wrapped dates, chocolate potato donuts are a must. If you cannot make it to T&S’s, the owner/chef John Gorham has another restaurant on NE Russell call Toro Bravo. TO DIE FOR. Oh, and for dessert, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream on N. Mississippi has homemade ice creams that are the best around-salted caramel pecan? Come on! Welcome to Portland. Hope your hungry;)

  • oooh! I was at Ink+Peat yesterday! A friend and I walked in and she said, “This is just like your house!”. I nearly wept. Right. Like I could have that AWESOME lightbulb chandelier! WANTY.

    In any case, you MUST go to Tasty n Sons, the food is ridiculous. Try the Fried Green Tomato BLT, drool. It lives up to the hype, that’s for sure! Ground Control for nighttime video games, pinball and beer. Japanese garden for peace and quiet. OH and you must find a Hot Lips Pizza.

    Sigh, the weather is perfect this week, too! Have a relaxing time and enjoy the food + shopping!

  • If/when you visit the Pearl District, go visit Oblation Papers & Press on NW 12th Ave by Glisan. You won’t regret it — chock full of lovely cards, papers, and other doodads. I live in the neighborhood and always get my cards there!

    Also check out Cloud 7 Cafe on Jamison Park (NW 10th Ave). It’s a lovely modern type coffee shop with delicious pastries and food, and sitting outside in the park, it almost feels European.

    Enjoy Portland!

  • First of all, I am stoked you will be in my neighborhood. Secondly, if you’re in the Mississippi area, Paxton Gate is a store I just discovered thats like a real life cabinet of natural curiosities. pretty neat. And if you’re into ice cream, peep Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, Ruby Jewel (both on Mississippi), or Salt & Straw on Alberta. Thirdly, I am really excited about all these comments because I’ve just been here a year and am constantly on the lookout for new fun/delicious things.

  • Hi Grace! Be sure to check out Blackbird. A mens clothing store that began in Seattle and recently opened in Portland. Stop in and meet Seneca and Eamon and hang out! They are wonderful. The store is located at 1306 West Burnside Street and is surrounded by a few other fantastic shops.

  • Cruise on down to Bend for some fresh air and blue skies … not to mention the most stars you’ve ever seen in the sky at night.

  • went to portland for the first time a few months ago and really loved it. especially enjoyed the restaurant, Urban Farmer and the store, ecru. enjoy!

  • I second the recommendation to eat at Mother’s Bistro and Bar for breakfast! The Greek Frittata was my go-to (Sadly, I no longer live in Portland…), but the entire menu is delicious. The place is always crowded, but they’re one of the few spots in town that takes breakfast reservations so call ahead, go, and enjoy!

  • OH, also since you’ll be at mississippi, go to BAR BAR for some local shows and the most amazing burger. You won’t know why it so amazing, I can’t figure it out, but it just is!

  • Hi Grace, we are about to open – Union / Pine – an offsite meeting space, pop-up shop, photo studio, event space. You can stop by and get a sneek peak before the debut if you want ! 525 SE Pine St. – cheers !

  • I’ve grown up in Portland and it is filled with great food, art and culture but you must get some hiking in (Forest Park, the Gorge or the Costal Range) and maybe fit in a camping trip (Mt. Hood or a state park). Being so close to nature is inspiring. I finally visited Crater Lake for the first time. Spectacular!

  • Well, bummer! Apparently, my first comment did go through successfully, Miss Grace. Rats!

    You’re gonna be so close and yet so far. But, you’ll have a great time in PDX! No sense in rehashing my recommendations as Connie @ Daydream In Color seriously beat me to the punch at this point! GREAT list! And, you gots plenty to go on here. :)

    Have a fantastic time, Grace! Wishin’ you well, m’dear! :)

  • Hi Grace! Jealous of your trip! We were there the week before you went to Chelsea’s flower class. LOVE. THAT. CITY. After 10 yrs in Brooklyn I’m ready for some PDX livin. If you didn’t go already, Por Que No was really yummy and fun. Also, Love Joy Bakery in the Pearl was fantastic for lunch. Have a blast. Much love!

  • Hi Grace, I think you’re going to enjoy the pearl district in portland, you’ll like all the activity and the nice restaurants and shops .
    If you get a chance, check out this store : Sweet water farm , it has a lot of beautiful one of a kind furniture, all hand painted and all made in the U S.

  • Just did the Ramona Falls hike near Mt. Hood last weekend – a lovely 7 mile loop hike with gorgeous mountain views and a waterfall picnic spot – even better when followed by a pint of IPA from Mt. Hood Brewing (Government Camp) afterward!

  • I’m going to concur with the following recommendations:

    • If you arrive in time for the Mississippi Street Fair tomorrow, GO! It’s the highlight of the Portland DIY/craft/small business scene.

    • The weather’s been picture-perfect and should remain so until October 1. If you’ve access to a car, head out to the Old Columbia Highway and check out some waterfalls. (Multnomah was recommended, but if you go, get there early – it’s the most popular one and gets packed. The guide book “Curious Gorge” has tons of great walking/hiking tips.

    • Definitely the International Rose Test Garden. It was a haven for rare blooms as Europe was getting bombed during WWII.

    • Two words: FOOD CARTS!

  • Welcome (again) to PDX, Grace! Another Restaurant for your list: ROOST at 14th & Belmont. Women-owned and featuring fresh local ingredients prepared in the great, reliable, American tradition but always with creative/sophisticated twist. Beautiful presentation. Healthy portions. Reasonable prices. Good food here. Also:

    -Great cocktails: Brown Derby and Belmont Spritzer = two favs.
    – Eggs till 2 (brunch) on Sat and Sun 10-2 is also fabulous but the dinners T-Sun beginning at 5:30 are amazing.
    -Great new outdoor seating, too.
    -Ever changing OR/WA beer wine list. Bon Appetite!

  • Broder for breakfast….Pearl Bakery….Bread and Ink has a waffle stand on the side street that is awesome (on Hawthorne). You just stand and get the waffle to go!
    Also, go into “The Real Mother Goose” for upscale things made locally with wood, etc. It’s not just furniture, and they have LOVELY jewelry boxes (if you like wood).
    Have fun!!!

  • You’ve got to go to Oui Presse on SE 17th & Hawthorne: http://oui-presse.com/. Magazines, coffee, pastries (including the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had), and a small, curated selection of house wares, and super cute bunny slippers hand-knit by the owner, Shawna McKeown. You’ve got to see them in person.

    You’ve also got to check out Palace of Industry. It’s so Portland. A great vintage store/bar/with djs and weekly euchre card games. It’s just so wonderful, it will make you instantly happy stepping in there. http://www.palaceofindustrypdx.com/

    If you happen to need a trim while you’re here, I recommend Holiday Hair Studio, a darling hair salon housed in a vintage trailer (everything comes in a trailer in Portland!) on SE 28th just across from Crema, a great bakery/cafe.
    Robin is awesome and it just feels magical getting your hair cut in there.

    Landmark Saloon is what you would hope to find in the West – a great little drinking hole with a super patio. http://thelandmarksaloon.com/

    You can always check out Willamette Week’s guide to Portland, Finder, published annually. The new issue is due out in August, but you can find last year’s copy at the WW office at 2220 NW Quimby, and the annual Best of Portland issue comes out on 7/27. Email me if you want me to send copies of Finder and the dining guides to your hotel.

    Have fun, and enjoy all the good food and drink. You can bike or hike it off here (or swim it off – plenty of public pools that are great, not gross – check outhttp://www.portlandonline.com/parks/ for locations). Also a ton of great free public concerts in the parks and movies in the parks run by the parks service.

    I love it here, it’s my hometown, and I love being a tour guide, so if you need any recommendations for anything, feel free to ask!

  • Here are my must-sees whenever I go back to Portland (my home away from home):

    Zell’s Cafe – 1300 SE Morrison St – awesome breakfast in a vintage setting and delicious mini-scones with your coffee!
    Coalition Brewing Co. – off SW 28th on Ankeny – Delicious micro brew!
    Vendetta – 4306 N Williams St – Friendly bar tenders, strong drinks, out door patio, and shuffle board – need I say more?
    Community Warehouse Estate Store – 3969 NE MLK Jr. Blvd – great finds!

    And so much more! Now, I can’t wait to go! I miss it so much. Have fun!

  • Welcome to Portland! The weather is, dare I say, perfect this time of year so you should have a great time!
    I highly suggest checking out Vintage Pink over on Hawthorne. I swear half of the items in my home and closet came from that store! You’re so close to Mississippi so def walk down there and check out the boutiques.
    For eats there is a new place in the Pearl called Brix tavern. Happy hour and brunch are fantastic! Mondays have all day Happy Hour as well.
    Can’t wait to hear about your PDX adventures!

  • I second the Estate Store, Heart and Coava Coffees, the Mississippi Street Fair (stop by Manifesto for sweet shoes,) a trip to the coast (Manzanita is the best town, Oswald West is a pretty awesome beach,) and Seek the Unique.

    I’ll also add, brunch (only on weekends) at Screen Door, and dinner at Bamboo Sushi, Ned Ludd, and Lincoln (right in your hood.)

    Mt. Hood is also not-to-be-missed, and if you want to go on a hike, two lovely friends of mine are leading a wildflower hike this Sunday in the Mt. Hood National Forest. It’s through a nonprofit group I volunteer for, it’s an easy route, and you won’t find more fun or knowledgeable people to hike with.
    I’d be happy to save a seat for you in my car if you don’t have transportation!


  • Stand Up Comedy – wonderful shop and all the others in the same complex on Burnside are fantastic

    Beast – meaty and fantastic and delicious

    Bamboo Sushi – first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Also fantastic Rogue brews on tap

    Holocene – live music/bar

    Doug Fir Lounge – drinks

  • i have to agree that por que no?, either location (missippi or hawthorne) is the best cheap mex food in town! and if you have time…manzanita is one of my fav beach towns, check out unpurl for great souvenir t’s, heather brown from hawaii is showing her art there now and its amazing!

  • Yay Portland! I’ve lived here my whole life…love it, never leaving.

    If you’re staying near Ink & Peat, then you’re also within short walking distance of Ned Ludd on MLK Blvd., one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Also near you on Fremont and 13th is Acadia. Nawlins cookin’. :)

    Have a wonderful time – July is beautiful in the Pacific Northwest.

  • I highly recommend getting some macaroons and mint tea at Pix Patissere. This should be right near where you are staying. This would be an excellent way of working on your blog yet relaxing with some tea and sweets.

  • Meg Hunt is having an art opening at landpdx.com this friday the 15th on N. Mississippi. I’ll be working the counter so if you come say hi, it should be a great show!

  • My partners and I own and operate Modern Domestic, an open sewing studio, Bernina sewing machine dealership and classroom space. We are located fairly close to Ink and Peat on nearby NE Alberta Street. I have been a long time follower of Design*Sponge and I am certain you will love our modern and lofty aesthetic. We would love to have you come and check out our store during your visit. Gina also owns Bolt Fabric Boutique just down the street from MD and you will surely want to visit it as well.

  • I love Veritable Quandary, their food is really good. And Elephant’s Delicatessen on 22nd right off Burnside has to be my favorite place to eat. So many options, and lots of fresh and local food items. JaCiva’s on Hawthorne is good for dessert on the weekends (JaCiva’s after dark as they call it). Eating outside at the Boathouse in Lake Oswego is fun on a warm summer night, but call in advance for a reservation. The Lake Oswego farmer’s market on Saturday’s is really cute as well. I’m jealous because I’m from Portland but living in New York for the summer. Have a great time!

  • The green Vietnamese Wedding Cake at Jade Bistro Teahouse & Patisserie on SE 13th in Sellwood…directly across from Tilde and in the middle of the antique shops. This cake is baked by the petite Lucy; it has a thin almost pie crust-like pastry layer in between the layers and the frosting is just right. It gets its color from the pandanus leaf, and it is a delightful, vanilla-y, totally satisfying afternoon sweet.

  • Portland. I heart Portland! One of my fav things to do on trips to Portland (from my home in Vancouver, Canada) is eat. Some of my favs include: Mothers Cafe (breakfast), Mornstar (breakfast when Mothers is too busy or closed), Clyde Common (at Ace Hotel), Evoie (wine, cheese, snacks on SE Hawthorne), The Farm Cafe (dinner), and Tasty n Sons. Enjoy! SW Hawthorne and the North-West neighbourhoods are the best for exploring.

  • I’m surprised no one has recommended Screen Door on E Burnside and 24th- amazing southern food! Anyways, looks like you’ve got more than enough recommendations for things to do in town but if you are wanted to “get away” for a couple hours (or if you just love berries!) please visit Sauvie Island for berry picking! Kruger farm is a good for the first-time visitor but the island, which is surrounded by the Willamete and Columbia rivers, and only 10 minutes from Portland, is home to many great berry farms. Raspberries are in season in July and blueberries will be too! Enjoy!

  • Loved seeing your sweet face on the 4th! Soo glad you came down to little ol’historic Edenton, NC.family and friends, it’s everything! Thinking of you and the new adventure. love,

  • Hi Grace, We are having a Walter Kuhlman show through the summer and the opening party is on Thursday the 21st from 5-8 pm. We are at 1111 SW Alder. Please come on by if you have time. His work is amazing. Cheers!