Some might call this a rarity around here but contrary to popular belief I was actually born and raised in Portland, Oregon. From growing up in Northeast Portland and spending my weekends in the community garden across the street or at the local co-op grocery store where I proudly wore my rainbow shawl as I ate handfuls of granola, to conquering my very awkward middle school phase in Southeast Portland where I repped pink hair as I biked or walked just about everywhere and went back to school shopping at House of Vintage and Buffalo Exchange, to returning home from college to (yet again) Northeast Portland where my parents decided to embrace the empty nester lifestyle and move to a floating home on the Columbia River where I now spend my mornings drinking coffee while I watch local wildlife (thrilling, I know). To say I grew up in quintessential Portland, the “old Portland” as some might say is accurate.
However, as time changes so has Portland. It’s gotten popular and VERY trendy. Apartment buildings now fill in our usually bare skyline and expensive “foodie” restaurants pop-up almost what seems like daily and make headlines worldwide. So, as another aesthetically pleasing coffee shop with $6 lattes opens its doors, I’ve decided from one Portland local to the next eager tourist I would do you a favor by starting a series of all my Portland Favorites.
This week? I’m doing your Instagram a favor with my Top 5 Trendy Favorites. This list will satisfy not only your sweet tooth and your desire to try the best matcha in town but will also give you a chance to pull out your camera and capture some very aesthetically pleasing pictures of very aesthetically pleasing places. Enjoy!
1. Tea Bar.
I love this place a matcha. Get it? I remember coming to their first shop on Killingsworth right when it opened and was taken back by the simplicity but was almost more impressed by their tea. It’s brilliant. Now, there are over three locations all over Portland so wherever you go, there will be a Tea Bar awaiting your arrival. Also, check out their Instagram… I mean what tea shop has over 25k followers on Instagram?
I recommend: (Hot) Soy Lavender Matcha Latte OR (Iced) Lavender Boba Tea
2. Pip’s Original.
Ok, so you know when you see those trendy places all over Instagram and then you go and realize they aren’t really as good as the hype? Well, Pip’s is most definitely not this! After seeing everyone and their mother (really, all my friend’s moms love this place) rave and post about this place I decided to make the trek to the shop with my dad and try it out. And oh boy is this place good! I’ve since taken every single one of my friends and they’ve left with a stomach full of warm tiny doughnut goodness and a new obsession. I really could talk about Pip’s all day long but you’ll have to go and understand my obsession first hand.
I recommend: If it’s your first time you need to try everything BUT if you need to double up on any flavor I’m a huge fan of the Dirty Wu.
If you are vegan, you will love this place. If you aren’t vegan, you will still love this place. You walk in and immediately feel as if you are in the midst of a farmers market. Some might say it even smells vegan… Plus, it’s so stinking cute! You’ll feel trendy just by eating here. It’s located in the middle of Hawthorne street so after hours of thrift store shopping (shout out to House of Vintage) you can refuel by getting a veganlicious meal. The breakfast here is also AMAZING.
I recommend: Pesto Mac and Cheese, you won’t regret it!
Need a plant? Or crystal? Or even fresh flowers for your friendliest of friends? If so, this is the place to go. It screams trendy. Also, it’s the most visually appealing plant/flower shop I’ve ever been to plus the people who work there are always such gems, they’ll even point you into the right direction of what plant is the easiest to keep alive.
5. Dog Mountain.
Ok, ok, ok you caught me. This isn’t actually in Portland. It’s actually not even in Oregon. BUT the Columbia Gorge is essentially an extension of Portland so I think it counts. This is my absolute favorite hike and it’s a picture-perfect background for some amazing photo sessions. Especially during May-June when the wildflowers take over the green grass and the clouds decide to not make an appearance so you have a clear view of Mount Hood peaking up behind Mount Defiance. It’ll physically take your breath away because it’s beautiful but also because it’s quite challenging (hello 2,800 ft of elevation gain!) However, it does get VERY crowded on weekends so check out my trail review for the secret route in order to avoid crowds.
That’s all for now! Check back for more Portland Favorites next week.