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Oct 16, 2008 11:27 AM

Foodie activities in/near Portland?

My husband and I are going to Portland for a four day weekend from LA (we recently moved from San Francisco). We don't have plans for the weekend yet, but I am interested in any foodie activities near the area (wine tasting, farmers markets, cheese stores, etc). I appreciate any advice.

I'm going to search the board for must eats in Portland, but if you want to throw any out I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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  1. Really, the standout in the city will be the Saturday Farmer's Market in the South Park Blocks.

    Other than that, the best cheese shops are the Pastaworks on SE Hawthorne or NW 21st.

    The types of restaurants I would suggest depend on your budget, transportation and taste, as well as which neighborhood in LA you're coming from.

    1. Please spend a few minutes, scroll down over the past few months and peruse past posts where we have written plenty of generic hints for visitors. Then please let us know your particulars as listed below, plus any questions about what was posted. Sorry, but without more specific questions as a result of your efforts, we get these same questions over and over and tire of giving the same replies over and over. If you want more personal attention, give us more personal about you and do a tiny bit of research. And, of course, promise to post a report!

      And yes, Portland Farmers' Market on Saturday AM is an absolute must.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Leonardo

        I have one question about the markets on is on on Montgomery. Can you tell me how they differ? We are visiting November 15 so we are also curious about the event at the Rose Garden...some kind of NW Food and Wine event. Thanks for any help you can provide.

        1. re: Tripper

          The one by Portland State University is the farmer's market. A must for foodies. The one under the burnside bridge is Saturday market where you want to go if you want pottery, jewelry or a tie-dye t-shirt but not food.

          info on the festival

          1. re: duckduck

            Thank you very much...exactly what I needed to know.

            1. re: Tripper

              Exactly. Do not confuse the Portland Saturday Mkt, the hippie craft fair with marginal food with the Portland Farmers' Mkt. A common visitor mistake!
              Don't miss it, and go early: near Portland State, Montgomery St. in the south park blocks.

              The Food & Wine Fest: the winery list does not impress. With a few exceptions, it is largely devoid of A-listers.

          2. re: Tripper

            I am brain dead tonight. what is the trippy doughnut place that is over by Saturday Mkt? If you go to Sat. Mkt, it is worth a visit just to people watch. And the doughnuts are worth trying.

            I also enjoy going to the Western Culinary School for a lunch. It is wise however, to call and find out how far along the students are in their training. Get them close to graduation and you will get a really good meal.

            A fun happy hour with decent food choices is the Portland City Grill, atop one of our tallest downtown buildings. 2 hours of parking is free under the building so long as you get a stamp from PCG. To get a good table, you will want to be standing in the elevator line at the moment that the restaurant opens for happy hour. Get on the elevator so you will be one of the first to get off.

            1. re: RuthP.

              Voodoo Donuts is the place you are refering to. yes, its trippy and the donuts are pretty inventive/wacky and tasty.

              also, the scene from PCG cant be matched in town, but the food is a huge disappointment. have a cocktail or two and hit a non-corporate(to which there are plenty) restaurant for food. HH in Portland is very popular and some of the top notch places are doing some really cool specials and drinks right now!

        2. As a recent visitor, I definitely agree with posts about visiting the Farmers Market. I went to the Saturday one at South Park blocks - it was great to wander around, sometimes chatting to some of the friendly stall holders and sampling a few things (apples, vinegar, smoked fish etc) - I ended up taking lots of photos of things I never see back here in the UK .
          Another activity you might be interested in is the food tour offered by Portland Walking Tours, They do two each Friday and Saturday and I believe the morning and afternoon tours are different. I took the Friday morning tour which was very enjoyable. We had a guide who was very knowledgeable both about food and about Portland. The four hours passed very quickly and during that time we sampled chocolate, soup, beer, pizza, tea, bread, gelato and coffee visiting a brewery, bakery and other food spots mainly, but not exclusively, in the Pearl district.

          details here

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pete S

            I work for Portland Walking Tours ( and I can tell you that the two tours (morning and afternoon) are completely different. While they both taste & sip over 25 things in those 4 hours, the places they visit are not the same. While Pete did a good job of explaining the morning locations, the afternoon tour goes behind-the-scenes in at two chocolatiers, a distillery and a brewery, but also compares & contrasts coffee at Stumptown Coffee, raw foods that don't seem that way, REAL wasabi with some fresh sushi, and a cupcake - amongst other stops.

            Oh, put my vote in for the Farmers Market too!

            1. re: dschargel

              Thanks, I'll be sure to take the afternoon tour next time I visit. I also enjoyed another of your tours walking around downtown (not food related) on an earlier visit..