Top 10 Portland hot spots

12 December 2011

Upon arriving in Portland, we were ecstatic to get into the city and explore. Immediately after stepping off the MAX platform, I was confident Portland would be a city I'd love. There is just a vibe about Portland that can't be missed. We checked out Saturday Market and stocked up on gifts to send back home for friends and family. The market is packed with booths displaying local artists' most-proud creations.

If it hadn't been for the second item on the agenda, we would've emptied our wallets right then and there. But Voodoo Donut awaited us. After nearly an hour in line, we left the bakery with smiles stretching the width of our faces.

Being the bookworm that I am, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a few hardcovers at Powell's Books. We walked from Voodoo and enjoyed window shopping in the Pearl District along the way. Powell's is one of the most incredible bookstores I've ever come across. It's littered with books of every variety, and I could spend weeks in that shop. 

Following yet another purchase downtown, we wandered over to the Ringler's Annex for a McMenamin's beer sampler and some low-key, live music. It was just what we needed before ending our evening at the hotel.

Later in the week, we took a trip to the Japanese and rose gardens across town. Neither of us were very impressed, but it was a relaxing day outside!

The Grilled Cheese Grill couldn't have a better home than a psychedelic school bus; it's so much fun! We ordered up our Baby Cheesus sandwiches and enjoyed The Black Keys upon your typical faux-leather upholstered bus seats. 

Yum! As a cheesehead, this place really hit the spot. I recommended it to my sister when she visited the city, and she loved it just as much as we did.

Although The Grilled Cheese Grill ranked highly on our list of favorite restaurants, nothing topped Chiang Mai on Hawthorne. It's literally the best Thai I've had on the road...and we've had a lot of Thai. The Hawthorne neighborhood was a big hit for us. One-of-a-kind boutiques file the road with window displays depicting unique gift ideas and fun window-shopping opportunities.

The area and its residents have a lot of personality, which is rather apparent when you hit the street. If I could live in any area of Portland, I'd probably live near Hawthorne. It has such great character!

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