Portland: Part II

Alright, so I was lucky enough to explore and stay near different parts of Portland during my 11 days there. In Portland: Part I, I talked about my time mainly in the east side. This post will be able the west side. After a week on the east side, I moved over to the NW. Grant and I stayed at the Ace Hotel for one night, just cause I wanted to check it out. 


The Ace Hotel was in a nice central area in downtown Portland, with lots of fun shops to explore. Their lobby is nice to hang out in especially when it's hot and humid out. I love their black and white photo booth. I want to own my own black and white photo booth one day.

The hallways and rooms felt like army-like. It had all the amenities we needed including Have'a Corn Chips and MALIN+GOETZ bath products. 

In the morning we went to have their all you can eat breakfast. It's not what I imagined the room to look like. It's quite small and dark, but there were tasty cured meats and various pickled veggies, oatmeal, and more. After we had breakfast, we checked out and headed to our AirBnB. 

We got an AirBnB in the Pearl District. We booked it a while back and didn't know what to expect. It's definitely still developing over there. There's a ton of construction. I don't think there is the charm that the rest of the city has though, just big, modern, apartment buildings. If we were to go back to Portland, I would not stay over there. 

I spent the next day exploring downtown. 

My favorite places in the NE were:

Canoe and Woonwinkel - unique gifts and home goods. They're also just pretty stores to browse in general.

Grassa - delicious handmade pastas. My favorite was dish was the Carbonara. 

Powell's City of Books - large book store.

Nong's Khao Man Gai - Khao Man Gai is one of my favorite Thai dishes, and this place makes it really well. They even wrap the food in paper like they do it Thailand!

Ground Kontrol - classic arcade games, pinball machines, and a bar. 

Stumptown - I like their cold brew on nitro. 

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. - I love their online store and now their brick and mortar as well! I wanted everything.

Blue Star Donuts - tasty donuts. Out of the ones I tried, my favorite was the lemon poppy. I recommend a cup of milk with your donut. They're quite rich.

Animal Traffic - men's and women's clothing and accessories with friendly staff. 

Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts

Khao Man Gai from Nong's Khao Man Gai

Khao Man Gai from Nong's Khao Man Gai

Carbonara at Grassa

Carbonara at Grassa

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

I didn't really have much time to explore the SW, but I did get to go to the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden. The Rose Garden is free to explore, but you have to pay to get into the Japanese Garden. I thought that it was totally worth it. The Japanese Garden is beautiful, and if you go during a tour I would recommend taking it. 

Anyways, besides the conference and just exploring Portland, I went for a friend's wedding. It was a lovely wedding, and I was happy that I could be there. Congrats Adam & Alyssa!


Portland was a lot of fun to explore. I don't know if I see myself living there, but I will definitely visit again. Until next time Portland!

Portland: Part I

I've never been to Portland, OR, but was always told by friends that I would love it there. I had the opportunity to go to a wedding and a conference in Oregon, so I decided to stay there for about 10 days. When I first landed, I was greeted by the Pendleton store. I wanted to take home a wool blanket, but my trip was just starting so I just fought the urge and walked away.


My friends and I took the bus to our AirBnB, which happened to be attached to a delicious Cuban restaurant called Pambiche. We got there in time for happy hour and enjoyed all the fried nom noms. 



One of the reasons I came to Portland was for a conference called XOXO. It is described as "an experiment festival celebrating independently-produced art and technology." The 3-day festival gathered people from all around the world to come together for talks, music, games, food, drinks, and meet cool peeps. It was an inspirational festival, and I would go again if I have the chance to. 


As part of the festival, I got to see the Wieden+Kennedy office in Downtown PDX, well at least the top floor, and it was beautiful. Besides how the office looked, I loved that they had a Mandarin tutorial playing in the restrooms.


Also, as part of the festival we got to go to Ground Kontrol and play all the classic arcade games and pinball machines for free! I didn't get a good picture of the place, but to the right is a picture from the second floor. Sorry it's so dark! I recommend going there if you get a chance. 


For the music portion of the festival, they got YACHT to play which was awesome. It was a intimate setting, where YACHT would even jump off the stage to come dance with the audience!

brown goat

Next to the conference venue in the SE, there were some urban goats! Goats are actually pretty cute. I also got to see some people playing urban golf. Apparently that is a thing! 

new deal distillery

Other places I liked in the SE were:

Tidbit Food Carts - delicious ramen at Hapa Ramen, delicious waffle sausage sandwich at Smaaken , and a great outdoor space with live music! 

Pok Pok - has tasty northern Thai style dishes. I liked the Khao soi, chicken wings, vinegar drinks, and the nam manao.

Fifty Licks - Loved the staff, decor, and the blood orange creamsicle ice cream

Nostrana - late night happy hour with delicious pizza options. You cut your own pizza with scissors!

Toete Areparia - delicious arepes and nice outdoor space in the back.

Wildfang - women's tomboy clothing and accessories

Guardian Games - huge selection of board games

Coava Coffee - loved their space.

Potato Champion - get Poutine! 

airbnb living room
art on alberta street
zvLavender ice cream at Salt & Straw

zvLavender ice cream at Salt & Straw

Khao Soi from Pok Pok Noi

Khao Soi from Pok Pok Noi

white goat
urban golf

While in the SE, I happened upon the New Deal Distillery. It was a great space with great gin. I loved that they had little $4 drinks to sample their liqueur. I loved their gin and tonic with their No.1 gin. It was so yummy. I wanted to take the gin home, but didn't have any room in my suitcase. I can't find it anywhere on the internet. I'll just have to get it next time I'm in Portland. 


I got to explore the NE area of Portland as well. I stayed in a sweet mid-century modern AirBnB a few blocks from Alberta Street. It was fun walking around and seeing all the cool street art.

My favorite places in the NE were:

Salt & Straw - my favorite ice cream spot in Portland. Their lavender ice cream was my favorite.

Bollywood Theater - fun decor and good indian street food. I liked the goan style shrimp small plate.

Barista - coffee shop with great decor.

Cord - fun store full of home and camping goodies.

Pok Pok Noi - the smaller Pok Pok that had the same food, but no line!

Beam & Anchor - a big store full of beautiful home goodies and other knick knacks. 

Tasty n Sons - loved their fried egg n cheddar biscuit with fried chicken. 

Screen Door - I think my favorite meal in Portland. I loved their fried chicken and sweet potato waffles as well as their cheesy grits and the apple cider!

Heart - good coffee, and if you're lucky you can see someone roasting some beans. 

Pie Spot - delicious mini pies.

Goan style shrimp at Bollywood Theater

Goan style shrimp at Bollywood Theater

pie spot
Chicken and waffles at Screen Door

Chicken and waffles at Screen Door

Alright, that was a long post! I'll cover the west side of PDX in the my next post.