Doughnuts and Movie Brewpubs

Every city you go to has a restaurant or some type of store that totally embodies its nature. If I were to choose a place that truly embodies the weird, corky, and forward thinking of Portland, that would Voodoo Doughnuts.

20120367842_e8ef48be95_bOne of the best Doughnut shops in the whole world, I’m not kidding. This doughnut shop was built by none other than Portland’s own Tres Shannon and Cat Daddy, in 2003. Their original location is Old Town, Portland or what some like to call it, “the crotch”. They soon became a huge hit and opened up another location right across the Willamette River. One of my friends, Mike who owns a We Buy Houses company, actually showed me Voodoo Doughnut back in 2005.

When Voodoo first started out they quickly became known for the strange doughnuts they served. One of their doughnuts that actually ended up getting band by the health department was glazed in Nyquil and sprayed with Pepto Bismol. If this is your first time hearing about Voodoo, don’t worry they actually serve delicious doughnuts. Voodoo doughnut’s logo is in the shape of a voodoo doll with blood red jelly oozing out of it. Also, if you are ever looking to get married, Voodoo Doughnut is more than willing to provide that service for you. They now have six locations around the world, three in Portland, one in Eugene, Oregon, Austin, Texas Denver, Colorado, and believe or not I found this out today they have one location in Taipei, Taiwan. So if you are ever in any of those cities make sure you stop on by and try their maple and bacon doughnut.


Portland Food Cart Galore

SW10th Ave. and Alder St. food cartsIf you have never indulged yourself in the famous food cart culture of Portland, add that to your list of things to do when you are in town. Food carts originally started sprouting up around town to provide a cheap on the go meal for starving workers, but this being Portland, they are now embraced as one of its wonders, and a vehicle to showcase creative and delicious local food. Explore the city and you will find numerous pods of food carts, all showcasing different varieties of food. If you are low on cash and starving the food carts is where you want to be to get the best bang for your buck. Here are locations to some of the more popular food cart pods around town:

The largest pod of food carts is located SW10th Ave. and Alder St. The square is filled with many delicious carts, but Nong’s Khao Man Gai is one cart you don’t want to miss, if you like Thai food that is. They capitalize on the make one thing, but make it great approach. It’s owner Nong, is from Bangkok, and makes the best khao man gai, which is a delicious Thai chicken dish, consisting of poached chicken and rice, cooked in chicken stock and fat, with a side of spicy dipping sauce. They wrap all of this delicious food in butcher’s paper for you to take it to go.

The next pod is located on SW 5th Ave. and Oak St. where one of my personal favorite carts, Tabor, is located. Ran by two Czech cooks, Tabor serves the best spaetzles, goulashes, and a popular dish known as Schnitzelwich.


Powell’s Bookstore and fun gardens

Powell's Books

Today I would like to take you to Powell’s Bookstore. If you love reading book as much as I do then this is the place you want to be. Powell’s is the largest independent chain of bookstores in the world. There are multiple Powell’s book stores in Portland and they are all big, but if you had to choose one to go to then go to the biggest one of them all in downtown Portland, off of 1005 W Burnside St. If you thought Borders had big bookstores, this place has rooms that are the size of Borders stores, like no joke this place is a multi level bookstore. Don’t be embarrassed if you get lost your first time there, good thing Powell’s provides maps. At first the enormous size of Powell’s was seen as a testament to how much Portlander’s loved their books. But even when bookstores like Boarders were shutting down across the country Powell’s was here to stay. You could say that the fact Powell’s survived is a nod towards Portland’s geeky and support of independent business. Powell’s also has an online store for those who don’t have a chance to make it down to the store, they hold many book events and continue to amaze the book community around the world today I advise any book lover to take some time to browse each floor, aisle, and shelf of Powell’s.

International Rose Test Garden

Here is another nickname for Portland you probably didn’t know, the City of Roses. Almost a century ago, during World War I, a Portlander convinced the local government to build a rose garden to preserve a rare species of European roses that might become extinct from the bombings in Europe. As a result, in 1917 the International Rose Test Garden was made here in Portland, and is still here today, known for being the oldest, and continuously operated public rose test garden in the U.S.


The city of bridges and Beervana

City of Bridges

For those of you who may not know it, we have a lot of bridges in Portland, Oregon. Hence the nicknames city of bridges or bridgetown. When you have a large river that runs through the middle of the city like the Willamette does, its bound to have a lot of bridges. Some may think that this makes for an eyesore or weird looking city, but being the wonderful city of Portland, they have managed to make the bridges look very nice to where its an addition to the overall aesthetic appeal of the city. There are eight bridges downtown total connecting both side of the river. Many friendly Portlandians (local natives of Portland) like to think of the bridges as a sign of the city holding hands. Many of these bridges are unique in their design and age. Among them is the Steel Bridge, a telescoping double-decker vertical lift bridge, which is the only one of its kind the whole world, and then theres the Hawthorne Bridge, the oldest operating lift bridge in the city. Portlandians love their bridges and it can be very exciting the first time your car is lifted into the air for a boat to pass through. And then before you know its your tenth time and you are in a hurry, wish the boat would pick up the pace.

If you are ever in Portland I highly recommend to stop and take look at our lovely bridges. The best way to fit in and experience the bridges are by bicycle, just like a true Portlandian would. 6% of Portland’s population commute by bike. According to a 2013 Census Bureau survey, the city is listed as one of the top bike town’s in the country. There many bike tour companies downtown such as Portland Bicycle Tours, that are more than willing to show you around, but honestly, if you wanted to rent a bike and explore the city on your own thats totally fine.



Due to Portland’s large number of high quality microbreweries it has also been dubbed the name Beervana. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild there is a total of 31 microbreweries operating in Portland alone, thats more than any other city in the world. The beer scene in Portland is crazy, to get a good sense of it you can visit a variety of brew pubs, bars, and clubs around town.


Portland and my favorite park


Oregonians or more like Portlanders are probably the most satisfied and coolest city inhabitants in the whole U.S. Here’s a tip if you want to fit in, (like me): love local coffee shops, being different (weird), go against popular name brands, and learn to love shopping at second hand stores, which is actually my favorite because you can find unique clothing for an awesome price.

Also, be prepared to love the beautiful weather we have 300 days of the year, I’m being sarcastic when I say that. Most of the time it’s overcast, drizzling, or raining. If you are lucky the weather will be really bipolar and do all three through out the day. Then a few days in the summer temperatures will reach 100 degrees and you will be begging for the rain. But all in all its actually quite lovely here, you learn to enjoy the rain and appreciate the sunny days. What ever you do never bring an umbrella out with you because that will be like holding a big sign saying I’m from out of town. Besides an umbrella here is pointless because most of the time we have bipolar weather so it will only rain for an hour then stop then go again. So a light rain jacket, hoodie, or hat will suffice.Forest Park

Portland is really popular for being a city full of open-minded tree huggers. Wherever you go you will see lushes green trees waiting for your love, I just can’t get enough of it. One of the best and most convenient places to enjoy nature is Forest Park, which is ironic. Many Portland natives love to use this Garden of Eden for their morning jogs, dog walks, or bike rides.