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PDX: Five Days Early Oct.

Hi there -

Heading to PDX from SF the second week of October. We'll be staying 4 nights at the Kennedy School and would love Chowhounds' recommendations for great breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner spots in Portland and the surrounding areas. We do plan to head to Hood River for a day as well, so if you have recs for Hood River, send 'em along! Also, any good festivals or events that we should check out?


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  1. Don't miss Portland Farmers' Market on Sat AM, not to be confused with Portland Saturday Mkt. You'll find:
    Bakeries: Ken's Artisan, Pearl, and Blue Gardenia.
    Tastebud Farm's mobile brick oven serving up cobbler.
    Hot Lips pizza featuring local ingreds.
    Alma Chocolates.

    Elsewhere: Also don't miss Sahagun Chocolates, best hot chocolate ever! Also lovely highly original handmade single origin goodies.

    Staying at Kennedy you have to check out Alberta St nearby.

    1. Aladdin Cafe is about 2 blocks north of the Kennedy School, and serves great Middle Eastern/Syrian fare with wonderful home made pita.

      1. Autentica (Mexican) and Cannon's Ribs are within walking distance of Kennedy School. Cannon's (in the New Seasons grocery parking lot) is decent barbecue and very casual--it has a covered area with tables but no indoor seating.

        Autentica is a very nice sort of upscale Mexican place.

        Alberta Street is also very close. The places I like there are Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill, Ciao Vito (Italian), Lagniappe (southern), and La Bonita (Mexican--not upscale).

        1. Lots of good close-by suggestions. I'd also add that Siam Society and Thai Noon are both good for Thai food. Siam Society is a little upscale and fusiony. Thai Noon is more typical, but still solid.

          Also, Fremont isn't that far and has some good restaurants, such as Fife.

          Also, Autentica has a very good breakfast/brunch with Mexican classics and they're waaaaaay less busy than they should be for brunch and lunch.

          Check out the tipsheet for some of my other standard recs:


          1. I agree you must try hot lips pizza. They make there own blackberry soda too..pretty tasty...

            JaCiva's chocolates on Hawthorne...very well worth the trip!

            Indian house on Burnside, great food.

            Have fun!

            1. Sorry shanda, nothing personal, but I must differ from you, no disrespect intended.

              JacIva (owned by Jack & Iva) chocolates are pretty generic and forgettable. Plus they are staffed by surly teenage girls who have never uttered "thank you" in their sad little lives. If you're on your way to Apizza Scholls next door, go in, otherwise, definately not worth the trip.

              For unique artistic lovingly created chocolates that will change your life, go to Alma or Sahagun.

              India House on Burnside? Agonizingly slow service even when half full, surrounded by dirty tables that never got cleaned during my stay, average food at best. Plus, they refused to honor the published terms of my Entertainment coupon, with no warnings placed anywhere stating such.

              But I love Hot Lips' own blackberry soda!

              Try Di Prima Dolci, an Italian bakery that serves lunch, on N Killingsworth. Best cannoli in town (not saying much I know, but still really good).

                1. Thanks for the food recs.

                  Can anybody recommend favorite drink happy hours for whiskey & scotch lovers in PDX? I'm not talking top-shelf, necessarily, so bring on the dive bars too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nora.daniel

                    You don't have to go far: the Kennedy School's Detention Bar has just that:


                  2. In the area of Kennedy School is the Alberta District, If you are in the mood for window shopping and a cold beer in the afternoon check out Binks. It's a cute little bar with an indoor outdoor thing and they have snacks. Their little pizzas are tasty and cheap, they will tide you over to dinner.

                    1. Near Kennedy School, get yr coffee at Extracto on NE Killingsworth! Best drinking deal on Alberta St was "$2 pints" on Tuesdays (I think) @ "Mash Tun" (around 28th?). Food was servicable @ Kennedy School, as well.