Welcome to Part 2 of my Portland Guide! When I last left you, I had just finished my first day in Portland with some tasty sushi. I had heard lots about the donut scene in Portland and the debate between Blue Star and Voodoo. So when in Portland on vacation, why not start your day with a donut. After careful consideration, I decided to try out Blue Star Donut. I examined all the flavor options, sought counsel from the server and decided on an Orange Zest Olive Oil Donut. Let me tell you, it was a delicious cake donut with subtle hints of citrus and after I finished I almost went back to try another flavor. One of the worst things about traveling alone is not being able to sample more things off the menu.
I enjoyed my donut on my stroll over to the Pearl District and ended up at Tea Bar for a Matcha Latte. The interior of Tea Bar was a gorgeous minimalist space and I wished I had brought my book or my laptop so I could have spent some more time hanging out there. Their Matcha Latte left a bit to be desired, but regardless it had a heart on it and provided me with a bit of energy to continue exploring.
Next, I walked to Powell’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. A whole city block full of books – this book lover was in heaven! I spent a while pursuing their massive selection and settled on Gilead and an Oregon Hiking Guide to plan other road trip activities. Then I wandered down to the riverfront park where lots of people were on lunchtime runs and walks. I realized it was 1:30pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch and was starving so I hightailed it over to Shalom Y’all (side note: cutest name ever!). I ordered the market plate which included super creamy hummus, falafel, labneh, a chop salad and fresh out of the oven pita. Everything was delicious and I’d highly recommend trying Shalom Y’all next time you’re in Portland.
After lunch, I hopped on a Biketown (Portland’s local bikeshare program) bike and rode along the river and back to Slabtown where I was staying. Having had a long day and a late lunch, I wasn’t that hungry but knew that I had to hit up Salt & Straw while in Portland. I did as any good ice cream shop patron should do and sampled around 10 different flavors and let me tell you none of them disappointed. I settled on one scoop of carrot cake with cream cheese icing and one scoop of sea salt with caramel ribbons in a homemade waffle cone (wolfed down before I could snap a photo). They’ve got one store that recently opened in San Francisco and another coming soon and I’ve subsequently taken all of my out-of-town guests there. Highly recommend.
The next morning I woke up bright and early to head to the airport and pick up my rental car to start the actual road trip portion of my trip.
I’ll certainly be back to Portland soon to explore more of all the city has to offer.
- Blue Star Donut for a morning treat
- Explore Pearl District and grab a drink at Tea Bar
- Spend a few hours in Powell’s Books
- Walk or bike along the river downtown
- Hit up Salt & Straw
Check out the other parts of my road trip:
1. Portland Guide (Part 1)
2. Portland -> Columbia River Gorge -> Hood River
3. Hood River -> Mt Hood -> Smith Rock -> Bend
4. Bend -> Crater Lake -> Klamath Falls
5. Klamath Falls -> Mt. Shasta -> Lassen National Park