I’ve always wanted to go to Portland… it was listed in my top 3 for next travel destinations! Well, I MADE IT HAPPEN. I went during one of the best times to go, aka fall/autumn! It’s not too cold or hot. You’ll also get to see the beautifully colored trees & leaves. It was almost unreal to me. I’m so use to being in LA & seeing normal green or brown leaves. The trees here in Portland was just…wow. Green, fading to a golden yellow, red, fading to a yellow-orange, etc. Gorgeous!
I planned this trip 3 months ahead of time with a group of 9 girls – my high school friends. I’m so glad we made it happen because it was one of the most memorable travel trips I’ve even had :’) They all made it so amazing!
I decided to stay a total of 5 days and 4 nights. I flew in Thursday morning and flew out Monday morning. Technically, Monday was only a half day – we had 4 full todays! It was the perfect amount to experience a good amount of touristy things. We visited Silver Falls, went ziplining, explored downtown, ate a bunch of good food & bomb desserts! Overall, this trip is definitely rated a 10/10.
Here’s a breakdown of every day I spend in Portland – from the nature spots I visited to the restaurants I ate at!
Thursday October 26, 2017:
My flight was at 8:55AM. I flew out from LAX on Alaska Airlines! Only downside, there isn’t any TV screen to watch shows. It’s okay, I say next to my friends (we took an entire row of 6), so we got to talk and catch up the entire flight.
I arrived in Portland around 11! We called an Uber so we can pick up our rental van (it was a 12 seater). It was definitely a roomy van, which we needed since we had all of our luggage in there. After, we headed over to brunch!
We ate brunch at Tasty and Sons. This was a highly recommended spot by Yelpers and locals. We all knew we had to give this spot a try!
BRUNCH: Tasty and Sons
What I Ordered: Moroccan Chicken Hash – $15
The order has potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, shredded chicken & an over-easy egg on top. I decided to get mine poached! This was a VERY flavorful dish. The portion for this plate was just enough to satisfy you without giving you a food coma like many other potato dishes cause. They used a lot of spices to give it a kick of flavor which I LOVED. I’d totally get this again!
My friends ordered Auntie Paula’s French Toast which came with raspberry maple & whipped cream. It was very sweet. What I liked was how the bread wasn’t overly soggy! I also got to try the Shakshuka – can’t ever go wrong this this! It’s perfect with the buttered bread – it’s the perfect dipping tool!
After brunch, we checked into our hotel, dropped off our luggage and then went to buy snacks & sandwich ingredients for lunch the next day! We went to Trader Joes!
DINNER: Gyro House Mediterranean Grill
What I Ordered: Chicken Kabob Plate – $10.99
This is a pretty big portion. I shared with one person. It comes with basmati rice, salad w/ feta cheese & 2 chicken kabobs with bell peppers. The chicken was a bit dry. The rice was fluffy & salad was a great light addition! I really enjoyed the hummus that we ordered for the table! I LOVE HUMMUS AND PITA.
After dinner, we went back to our hotel and settled in!
Friday October 27, 2017:
We woke up at 6:30am to get ready and eat breakfast at our hotel before heading to Silver Falls. I highly recommend this place. It was recommended by locals when I was in Trader Joes! We were planning to go to Mutnomah Falls but a fire destroyed it several weeks before our trip. We found an amazing alternative though! We made turkey sandwiches before heading out so we can have lunch in our bags!
HIKE: Silver Falls
This place is seriously beyond beautiful. It’s just a glimpse of how beautiful Portland’s nature is! It’s freezing btw, bring a raincoat because there’s time you’ll walk under a waterfall which will splash on you! My friends and I took a route which took us to 7 different waterfalls instead of 10 – it took us about 4 hours. Also, we take a lot of peoples so that added a lot of time! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! Parking is easy too! There’s a large lot!
JUST LOOK AT THAT VIEW – looks like a painting. Cameras out!
What I Ordered: We ordered family style! I got to try the red curry, crab fried rice, pad kee mao and pad see ew. They were all delicious! I love how they gave so many veggies rather than just all noodles. I recommend this place if you’re in the area and craving Thai food!
After our hike, we were all starving. We actually split up into two groups – half of us got thai food and the other half got sushi. This Thai restaurant shocked me with it’s dishes – in a good way! It’s not exactly close to a lot of other touristy spots but we just happened to drive by on our way home. We were all hangry and found this place!
Saturday October 28, 2017:
We had breakfast in our hotel again and then headed off to our next adventure!
OUTDOOR ACTIVITY: Tree to Tree Adventure Park – $52
This was SUCH a fun outdoor activity! I recommend this to everyone that comes to Portland! I did the Ziplining & Obstacle course package for $52 (Ages 10+). It takes about 3 hours to get thorough it all! You don’t need to go through all of this though – it’s all up to you! There’s 6 obstacle courses available. They’re all set high up in the trees, giving you a exciting experience in nature! They’re all self-guided but there’s also staff watching. Before you start, staff always gives a breakdown on how to put on your harness & have to get from obstacle to obstacle. I’m AFRAID OF HEIGHTS – so this was stressful at times for me. Haha, but overall, it was a great experience with my friends and overcoming my fears!
There’s Tarzan swings, wobbly bridges, tight ropes, balance beams, ladders and ziplines!
DINNER: Luc Lac
What I Ordered: Chicken Vermicelli Bowl – $10
It was a large portion – definitely enough for 2 people! It came with vermicelli, bean sprouts, pickled daikon, pickled carrots, 2 egg rolls and 3 chicken breast skewers marinated in honey. It comes with a side of fish sauce to pour all over! It was so fresh and healthy tasting – I loved it!
Go earlier because there is a long wait which can go out the door. You order at the front and you get your table after. They have happy hour everyday 4-7pm. You need to order a drink as part of your happy hour order though! The food is just more of just bites and little tapa style. For example, the spring rolls is just $2 for 1 spring roll (cut in half) compared to a regular spring roll order for $5 (2 spring rolls). You can always order a bunch of small dishes and share with your table!
DESSERT: Wiz Bang Bar
What I Ordered: Roasted Strawberry Coconut (vegan) – $3.95
It’s coconut based so it’s vegan. I don’t really taste any roasted flavors, but the strawberry and coconut are vey apparent. It’s more of a sorbet ice cream – it’s not too heavy! You can get it in a cone, dip it in chocolate and add extras on top!
This ice cream shop is walkable from Luc Lac so we got it after dinner! It’s a soft serve dessert bar by Salt & Straw. They have a fresh spin on swirls, sundaes and other novelties. It’s in a super cute little indoor market called Pine Street Market. They have a lot of other food there like ramen, pastries, bibimbap, etc.
EXPLORING: TomMcall Water Front
After dinner & dessert, we were deciding on what to do and decided to go to this water front! It’s walkable 🙂 It’s a nice place to take a stroll & see the night view of Portland!
Sunday October 29, 2017
BRUNCH: Screen Door
What I Ordered: Organic Vegetarian Hash – $12.75
I was craving something on the lighter side so I got another hash! This one has Yukon and huckleberry gold potatoes, delicata squash, pickled green pepperocinis, charred leeks & kale over a sweet potato puree. It comes with 2 eggs & toast as well. It was a well-balanced breakfast! The potatoes were very flavorful! I also got to try the pumpkin chocolate pancakes. They’re very soft & fluffy! The pumpkin taste is subtle but you still get the flavor. It is a lot on a plate, I recommend to share it at your table so everyone try a bit without it being the full meal. The fried chicken and waffle is a must-try. It’s one of their most popular picks! It’s buttermilk battered chicken breasts over a sweet potato waffle. Try it!
This is a Southern, Cajun/creole twist brunch restaurant. They open at 8am Mon-Fri and 9am on weekends. I got there at 8:15am and there was a line already – about 20 people in front of us! Get here early!
What I Ordered – Coffee w/ homemade walnut almond milk – $3
When a coffee shop makes their own milk, I’m a fan! They make their own walnut almond milk here and it gives it such a delicious nutty flavor without being too powerful.
While waiting in line for Screen Door, I walked over to this coffee shop to get my morning coffee! This is a super cute coffee shop!
DESSERT: Bluestar Donuts
What I Ordered: Chocolate Almond Ganache Donut
I love chocolate and I love nuts so this was seriously my dream combo! It was soooo fluffy & soft when I bit into it. However, I wish it was more warm! Pair it with a cup of coffee & it’ll be a great mid-day pickup!
We wanted to go to Voodoo but happened to walk by this place and had to stop by! They have a really cute interior. Blue Star donuts all are made using is made from a classic brioche recipe – rich & super soft, yet still light w/ balanced flavors!
EXPLORING: Powell’s Bookstore
This is the world’s largest independent bookstore! It’s worth the visit since it’s in the middle of downtown and walkable to many stores/restaurants in the area. If you love books, you will love this place! It get packed because it’s a huge tourist attraction.
EXPLORING: Keep Portland Weird Wall
My friends and I were walking to this sign and stopped by several other cool walls, a souvenir shop and found a cute downtown area where there’s pretty stringed lights! This is worth the visit. Also, it’s right across from Voodoo donuts!
What I Ordered: I did family style so we can try a bit of each dish. We started off with hummus + pita which I think is a must when you get mediterranean. The hummus is SO creamy!! The pita bread is very thick and more like a thick pocket. I love dense bread so I really enjoyed this different texture! We also got a cauliflower dish w/ broccoli, parsley, and quinoa. I was shocked by this dish because the flavors were amazing! Crispy Chicken had zaatar, watermelon radish, parsley, quinoa, cauliflower, broccoli and flowers. It was a bit hard to eat because it was just piled with a bunch of stuff. Highly recommended!! The tomato saffron rice was a great side to get with the chicken skewer. Everyone at my table LOVED the chicken! I LOVE THIS PLACE. If I’m back in Portland, I’d make time to come here again.
Their menu changes very often. Everyday, their menu actually has the date printed on it so it can even vary day to day!
I love Mediterranean food so it’s not a surprise I came here! If you’ve ever been to Cafe Gratitude, this restaurant reminds me of it so much. From the interior, tables, tableware and vibes. The dishes here do tend to be on the smaller and lighter side!
DESSERT: Fifty Licks
What I Ordered: Choc-Coco-Mel (vegan) – $3.50 for a classic scoop
This is a coconut based ice cream. It doesn’t taste like sorbet either! You get the full-creamy taste with homemade coconut caramel. The chocolate and coconut go together SO well – with a hint of caramel. I sampled this first and once I did… I knew I had to go with this one!
This is one of the few shops in Oregon that makes custard base by band. The texture of this ice cream is rich & a perfectly smooth texture. It’s French-style and uses cage-free egg yolks – which is why the ice cream is so rich. I also really like it because it’s not overly sweet, you really get to taste the flavor.
This ice cream shop is walkable from Tusk so I recommend to get it after your meal for a sweet finish!
Monday October 30, 2017
BRUNCH: Cheryl’s On 12th
What I Ordered: Beignets + Indian Curry Bowl w/ Chicken
The beignets are complimentary & they are A MUST-TRY. You need to take a bite right when they put it down at your table! The indian curry bowl had rice, roasted veggies (broccoli + zucchini + yellow squash + bell pepper), toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, curry sauce w/ chicken & pita bread. I really liked how the dish emphasized on the protein and veggies rather than like a soupy curry bowl. The chicken was just a bit dry but when mixed into the curry, it was okay! Overall, great flavors!
Deciding on a brunch place was hard because there were so many options to choose from. After looking through the pictures on Yelp, this place won! I liked how there was so much variety. Eggs, pancakes, fried rice, fish entrees, chicken, curry bowls, mexican entrees, etc. They also have several vegetarian and vegan options!
COFFEE: Stumptown Coffee
What I Ordered: Americano w/ splash of almond milk
I knew I had to get stumptown since it was only about a 2-block walk from my brunch location! This is a great clean location in downtown. I finally got to try Stumptown from the Portland location- my life is good!
Sipping w/ my best friend Winnie!
GOODBYE PORTLAND! See you again soon! <3
I hope this breakdown of my trip helped you live through it with me. Writing all of this made me miss this trip so much. I really want to go back so I can visit more spots!
Tasty and Sons – Breakfast/Brunch
Gyro House Mediterranean Grill – Mediterranean
Thailander – Thai
Luc Lac – Vietnamese
Tusk – Mediterranean
Cheryl’s on 12th – Fusion breakfast/brunch
Wiz Bang Bar – soft serve
Fifty Licks – ice cream
Blue Star Donuts – donuts
Voodoo Donuts – donuts
Silver Falls – hiking
Tree to Tree Adventure Park – ziplining/obstacles
“Keep Portland Weird” Wall
Tom McCall WaterFront