I don't like Powell's / I love it (Hipster Holiday)
October 2, 2009 11:08 AM   Subscribe

What should I do in Portland towards the end of October?

The last time I was in Portland, I went to the Japanese Gardens, Powell's Books, and Voodoo Doughnuts. I went to a Peruvian restaurant whose name escapes me that was pretty decent. What other sights, sounds, tastes and restaurants would you recommend for someone visiting this city at the end of the month for two nights and three days? If the weather is halfway decent, what local bike rental shops and scenic trails would you recommend?
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (25 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Portland Saturday Market was worth a walk-around.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:13 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Go here and have a maple doughnut with bacon on it. I've never been - it's just one of my dreams. If you could send some over to Germany for me while you're at it, that would rock, too.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 11:16 AM on October 2, 2009

Oh crap. How did I miss that you've been there in your three sentence question? Sorry.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 11:17 AM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Have you ever been to the Crystal Ballroom? Some end of October-ish shows include Yo La Tengo, The Jesus Lizard, and Ani DiFranco. Um, all on different nights.

Was the Peruvian restaurant Andina? If not, go there.
posted by peep at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2009

Response by poster: Andina, that's the one I went to, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:24 AM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: I was just out there and the cart courts are incredible. There's one at 5th and Stark that has a Czech cart with unbelievably good food called Tabor. That court also has Thai, Indian, Greek, Vietnamese, etc. etc. etc. I was pleasantly surprised how good the food there was.

I asked a "What should I do in Portland" question in advance of my trip and there are some great recommendations in that thread too.
posted by Kimberly at 11:26 AM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In the southeast portion of town is an Indian restaurant called Vindalho. Very tasty, good prices, nice ambiance, and that section of the city is quaint and pretty. Go there after having skipped lunch, for sure. Go see a movie at the Bagdad Theater, close to the same area of town.
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:27 AM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: We kept trying to go to the Tugboat Brewing Co., but they kept not being open when we wanted them to be open. I have heard excellent things about them.
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Dude, go to Clever Cycles. They rent Dutch bikes and "longtails", like the Surly Big Dummy. If nothing else, test-drive a bakfiets. When I did so, one of the staff gamely got in the box. Pure awesome.
posted by everichon at 12:08 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's a blog about Portland's whole food-cart culture here -- there have been good carts for years, but it's really taken off in the past year.

If it's raining (not a given, but who knows), indoor fun can be had at the old-school arcade Ground Kontrol. And Glowing Greens is an indoor glow-in-the-dark pirate/reggae-themed minigolf course downtown by the Hilton ... my four-year-old's favorite thing. If the weather's pleasant, the Arboretum (just northwest of the zoo) has lots of relatively easy but pleasant walking/hiking trails with a wide variety of trees ... you can get maps at the central visitors' center.
posted by lisa g at 12:15 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A visit to The Velveteria is a must.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 12:24 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: The Oregon Manifest is doing all kinds of cool bike-y stuff through Nov. 8, including a 'tour de builders' with these folks where they bike all over Portland and visit all the workshops here that hand-make bikes. All kinds of neat stuff happening in Oct., most of it based downtown.
posted by bhance at 12:58 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: For all the Voodoo fans, sorry but Sesame Donuts are way better than all the hype surrounding Voodoo.

Food stuff I love in Portland include:
Potato Champion (Cart in the area @ 12th/Hawthorne)
Le Happy (a Crepery that touts itself as 'Portland Frenchy Style')
Broder (Scandinavian, Breakfast & Brunch in SE near Clinton Theatre)
Screen Door Restaurant (Best 'Portland Style' breakfast/brunch place served on the weekends. Zell's Cafe is also really good)
Farm Cafe (Local, Organic, Sustainable cuisine from the Pacific Northwest )
Wongs King (Huge Chinese Seafood restaurant, touted as being one of the top 10 best Chinese seafood in America)

Stuff to buy:
RECORDS!!!! Favorites include:
- Mississippi Records (Specializes in funk, soul, no CDs)
- Exiled Records (Psych, Rock, Kraut, Experimental, CDs)
- Brick Wall (Punk)

Goodwill Outlet Stores (Known locally as 'The Bins', everything by the pound. There's one in Hillsboro thats less picked over. If you don't want to scour bins of crap then check out any of the other Goodwills, my favorite is in SE. Good selection of stuff)

Ground Kontrol (Classic arcade/pinball that's 21+ after 7pm since they also serve beer)

I could list more but its Lunch time!
posted by wcfields at 1:53 PM on October 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Also: Ping is like 100 yards from Ground Kontrol. Mad tasty.
posted by bhance at 2:32 PM on October 2, 2009

Response by poster: We're traveling with a vegetarian friend. I'm certain there are lots of vegetarian-friendly places to eat in Portland, but if any of you have specific recommendations, I'd be grateful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:40 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: If you're going to be here over a weekend, check out Around the Sun the week before. It usually has a list of free stuff to do in Portland for each weekend.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has a featured exhibit on the science of fear. Their exhibits are usually worth checking out.

There's a recent AskMe about Portland restaurants.

You also might consider setting up a meetup. There are plenty of Portland Mefites, including, you know, mathowie and cortex.
posted by Caduceus at 2:42 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Pok Pok is some of the best Thai I've ever had. Completely blew my mind of what Thai / SE Asian cuisine is.

Of all the place's I've listed Le Happy, Farm Cafe, and Pok Pok are veggie friendly. I'd also recommend viewing Yelp - Portland
posted by wcfields at 3:16 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: And I can't forget Nicholas, some of the best Lebanese food I've ever had! Very veggie friendly.
posted by wcfields at 3:17 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: The Tao of Tea is a wonderful teahouse with a limited selection of great vegetarian entrees & snacks.
posted by lisa g at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2009

(and a practically unlimited selection of teas.)
posted by lisa g at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: If you go anywhere near St. Johns, you must try Proper Eats -- mostly vegan (they do serve regular cheese and cream for your coffee if you want them) and completely awesome.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:15 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Go taste 50 different kinds of apples.
posted by xil at 5:33 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Seconding Proper Eats.
Also, ride the elevator to the Portland City Grill (in the Bancorp tower, also known as "the big pink"). Great view and happy hour, but avoid having dinner at the restaurant (overpriced!)

Your veg friend might enjoy a trip to the "vegan mini mall" at SE Stark & 12th.

If you have always wanted to try Ethiopian food, stop by Queen of Sheba on NE MLK. The vegan sampler platter is fantastic.
posted by ainsley at 6:49 PM on October 2, 2009

Best answer: Do you have time to rent a car and check out the coast? It is amazing and not very far.
posted by LarryC at 11:45 PM on October 2, 2009

Response by poster: Ground Kontrol was an amazing trip back in time. I hadn't played Burger Time and Mappy since I was an 11-year-old scrounging quarters to go to a bowling alley's arcade outside Fort Worth, Texas.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 AM on November 1, 2009

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