As you might have already noticed from my instagram, I have quite a few passions in life. Though baking, traveling and eating out stand out among all of them the most 🙂
I like to discover new interesting places and share them with friends, but sometimes it’s hard to find this information in neverending instagram feed. So per numerous requests (and even butt kicks from some of you ;)) I’m adding a new category to the blog! It will cover our travel adventures, spots recommendations and other — hopefully — useful information.
And the honor to kick things off is going to PORTLAND! The city we fell in love with on New Year’s Eve and which charm made us visit it again only a couple months later. Ready to read about Portland gems we found during two short but sweet trips there? Let’s go!
What to do
Roadtripping — you might think we’re crazy (could be truth here!) but we looove getting from San Francisco to Portland by car. Yes, it’s still 10+ hours drive, but it’s so worth it! You’ll experience the greatness of Mountain Shasta, pass several beautiful lakes and see with your own eyes how different nature in California and Oregon is.
Our recent lifehack for long car trips is to listen to podcasts instead of music. This way the time passes faster, we learn new things and it also ignites interesting discussions afterwards. Win-win-win! 🙂 Our current favorite podcast is — How I Built This where entrepreneurs share the stories behind the movements they built.
Shopping — this activity could also sound strange, but let me tell you: Oregon doesn’t have sales taxes! It’s like you’re getting 10% discount each time you want to buy something. Isn’t it cool? And on top of that there are lots of great shops and boutiques in there.
So if you were dreaming about those new ceramic mugs or rose gold iPhone 7 (haha!), Portland is the place to go.
Multnomah Falls — if I need to choose only one place to recommend, it would be this one! If you ever in Oregon, please do yourself a favor and go to Multnomah Falls. I believe this is how Narnia looks in real life: magical trees, vivid colors and unthinkable power of waterfalls!
The drive to falls is scenic as well and you have several options how to get there.
Where to stay
The Society Hotel — a small boutique hotel located right next to Chinese gardens in Old Town. Its building is unique in many ways: it’s one of a few cast-iron front buildings in Portland and it has a long history of serving as a safe haven for sailors as well as being a city hospital.
But one thing that speaks to our Ukrainian hearts the most is hotel’s European feel. Its rooms are smaller and the atmosphere is more intimate — almost like you’re staying in the friend’s house. And good friends know how to cook delicious breakfast, chill near a fireplace or throw a rooftop party with a view.
I’d say it is an ideal place to stay in when emphasis of your trip is a city exploration and not a staycation with breakfast in bed.
Where to eat
Oh man, where should I even start?! It seems Portland can beat San Francisco by number of great spots to eat out. So leave your strict diet at home and allow yourself to go to town here 😉
Olympia Provisions SE — I don’t know maybe it was my NY hangover but I ate the most delicious Benedicts in my life here! I still remember the taste of their english muffins topped with smoky ham and perfectly cooked eggs and just right amount of sauce to blend all tastes together.
Pro tip: grab seats at the counter to enjoy a company of rad chefs preparing your meal. This place was named America’s Best Charcuterie so you cannot go wrong with any meat choices.
Figlia Americana — a great spot for quick breakfast or lunch. We ordered their famous chili and tomato soups and shared a sandwich with roasted beef. Honestly, I was impressed by the quality of food here!
Pro tip: the cafe is located in the same building as Rejuvenation store in case you have troubles with finding it.
Mee Gin Soul Kitchen — for some reason I was craving Thai food during our trip (maybe because of cold weather and rain). So after doing some Yelp research we ended up in this small spot.
I like that the interior of the place is authentic yet quite modern and the owner/chef/waiter (I believe it’s the same person) makes you feel welcome there. I had yellow curry with chicken and it was full of flavors and had a nice velvety texture. The spiciness was on point as well!
RUE — a french-inspired restaurant with a great selection of cocktails. We booked a table for dinner and shared several small dishes and drinks here.
Highlight of the night for him: steak tartare (horseradish sauce and fries!), highlight of the night for her: asparagus in green garlic yogurt (oh my, that amazing balance between softness and crunchiness of the veggies!)
Blue Star Donuts — yes, you need to try them! And no, I don’t think there could be any comparison to Voodoo.
Our picks: Orange Olive Oil (feels so light as it’s been baked) and Cointreau Creme Brûlée (it has a cool capsule filled with vanilla syrup on top!)
Where to get caffeinated/juiced
Portland has tons of cute coffeeshops but we didn’t get chance to try many of them. I think we’re saving coffee spots for a next trip(s).
Stumptown Coffee in Ace Hotel — grab your donuts and go there to enjoy them with a cup of delicious coffee. Think comfortable sofas, a retro photo booth and tons of succulents which made any instagram photo
x 100 times likable 😉
Rachel’s Ginger Beer — this is our latest discovery and we love it a lot! Because not only drinks here are very tasty and refreshing, but the place itself looks super cool. We tried guava ginger beer, though I have my eye on their ice cream floats or even Moscow mule.
KURE Juice Bar — LUSH smoothie is life! I had it three times in three days and couldn’t get enough.
And now you have it — a mini guide with our favorite places to go, eat and stay in Portland! Hope it’ll help to make your next trip there cooler and tastier 😉
Katey Violet Fog says
This was such a great Portland guide!! Next on my list is Rachel’s Ginger Beer! Also so excited you will be sharing your adventures with everyone now! You always have great recommendations. 🙂
Natalie | Bake No Fake says
Thanks dear Katey! I had fun writing this guide too 🙂
And ginger beer is so good, try it!
Love it!! The Society Hotel looks so cute + I definitely need to check out Stumptown next time I’m in Portland!
Natalie | Bake No Fake says
Portland is a gem! (like SF but cheaper, haha)
I can’t wait to read about your Europe adventures on the blog!
Jill Clardy says
Lots of awesome photography (and hunts) here !
Natalie | Bake No Fake says
Thank you Jill! Have you been to Portland?