A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to travel to Portland for a national conference. Myself and another 4-H Agent were accepted to be presenters, which was great, because that meant we got financial support to attend from our state office. I was super anxious for months about this trip (which is a story for another day), but I’m glad I went–it was a great experience, and I enjoyed seeing the city (and partaking from its food trucks). I’d love to visit again so I can do more exploring of the city and all the fun outdoorsy stuff in the area.
Whenever I think of Portland, I automatically think of the Loretta Lynn/Jack White song, “Portland, Oregon.” Obviously, there were no slow gin fizzes for me on this trip, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the city. I didn’t have much time to explore, but I took every opportunity I had to sample the local cuisine. Here are a few of my favorite places:
– Voodoo Doughnuts
Honestly, I’ve had better doughnuts. Once you’ve had a Duck Donut, you really can’t go back. However, it was still quite delicious (this girl won’t turn down a doughnut), and it was a fun experience–staring at all those delightful looking concoctions was worth it. Tip: try to go when the line won’t be that long (like a weeknight), and bring cash because that ‘s all they accept.
Chelsea recommended bluestar donuts, but I didn’t have time to check them out. I read on their website that it is basically a donut made from brioche bread. Um, yes please!
I really wanted to try out a local coffee shop one morning, and I’d heard Chelsea mention Barista, plus it showed up as within walking distance on my Yelp app, so I decided to give it a try. They had a great cold brew, and I sampled what was literally labelled as a “giant croissant.” Can’t go wrong there!
– Old Town Pizza
Let’s be honest–grilled cheese and pizza are my two main food groups, so when a group of us decided to go to a pizza place that claimed to be haunted, I was obviously psyched out of my mind. I actually ended up getting an Italian sub, which was delicious. and the cheese bread was gooey and carby–just the way I like it! No ghosts were sighted during our visit, and I couldn’t decide if that made me relieved or disappointed.
This was another place that showed up on my Yelp app, and it was barely a block away from our hotel. They have the most amazing, unique chocolates–expensive, but worth it! One of my co-workers got a tiny mug of their hot chocolate and it was incredible. Be warned, it’s super rich, so it’s probably a drink you’ll want to share.
– Food Trucks
I dined at the food trucks twice during my four day stay, and I can’t even begin to describe how mouthwatering everything looked. If you know me at all, you know my feelings about grilled cheese, and when I saw the grilled cheese truck I almost lost my mind. It did not let me down.
I also had a really delicious Philly cheesesteak. I basically inhaled it and probably grossed out all of my colleagues from the way I wolfed it down. Definitely explore these options if you are in Portland!
– The White Rabbit
I didn’t actually get to go to this store, but they came to our Craft and Draft event at the hotel and had a table set up with quite a bit of merchandise. They had a really great selection of locally made and unique items, so I would recommend doing your touristy shopping here.
Those were all of my favorite spots I got to try out in Portland! During our conference, we also got to play a fun game of “find Sasquatch.” For some reason, Sasquatch could not get enough of the NAE4-HA Conference. I guess he is just a big supporter of positive youth development! Don’t worry, there was always a park ranger in hot pursuit, so it was totally safe.
Do you have any Portland suggestions? Like I said, I would love to go back, so let me know in the comments!