Shift Local Travel Edition: Portland

1 (12)Marc and I first visited Portland in Fall 2012 as part of my post-bar trip (we went to Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and Crater Lake).  We didn’t get to spend that much time in Portland the last time we went so we’ve been itching to go back.  We finally got to see more of this beautiful city earlier this month.

Some of the highlights of our trip are:

  • exploring Portland’s Distillery Row
  • late night trips to Cartopia and basically eating at various local restaurants
  • getting our caffeine fix at Stumptown Coffee Roasters
  • browsing Powell’s


Marc and I purchased a Distillery Row passport which allowed us to get complimentary tastings at six distilleries.  These distilleries are producing more than twenty unique liquors – rum, whiskeys, vodka, gin etc.  We had a blast learning about each distillery’s history, the ingredients they use and the distilling process.  Some of our favorites include the Hot Monkey Vodka from New Deal Distillery,  Bloody Mary courtesy of Vinn Distillery, Burnside Bourbon and Below Deck Coffee Rum from East Side Distilling. and the Rolling River Gin.


A trip to Portland is incomplete without trying their food trucks.  There are over 600 food trucks in Portland but our favorite has to be Cartopia, located on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at Southeast 12th Avenue.  We tried Potato Champion‘s  “crispy, twice-fried Belgian-style fries and gravy-doused poutine” and pizza from Pyro Pizza.  Another bonus is how Cartopia is open  until midnight Tuesday-Thursday and until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.


If you’ve been following our blog for some time now, you know that Marc and I love to get to know a city through it’s culinary scene.

Brunch at Tasty n Alder was amazing.  They have these awesome chocolate potato doughnuts with creme anglaise and the potatoes bravas with over easy eggs was superb.

tasty n alderAnd of course we went to Pok Pok, one of Portland’s most reviewed restaurants on Yelp.  We loved their fish sauce wings and drinking vinegars (which comes in all sorts of flavors).

tasteFor dessert, we recommend the Amelie from Pix Patisserie (which also serves tapas, wine, cocktails etc.) and ice cream from Ruby Jewel.

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Marc and I are obsessed about coffee and every time we travel, we just have to try indie cafes.  Our favorite from this trip has to be Stumptown Coffee Roasters (where we also had a delicious Kouign-amann) but we really wish we had time to do a downtown Portland coffee crawl (I suppose that’s another reason to go back!)

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There’s so much to do in Portland! I really wish we spent more than a weekend there but we spent a good amount of time exploring downtown (and obviously, eating and drinking our way through Portland).  We also had fun browsing at Powell’s, the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world! 

Writing this post made me hungry, thirsty and absolutely wanting to go back to Portland.  We hope you enjoyed this Shift Local Travel Edition post!

Love Mari

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