Three days in Portland, Oregon


Three days in Portland, Oregon


Powell's, Portland's world famous bookshop
Powell’s, Portland’s world famous bookshop

Portland is one of the USA’s most vibrant cities. It’s known for its food and drink scene, and for being a hub for artistic, creative and alternative types. And I’ve only ever spent a few hours there. So on this trip, I decided to take some time to look around, spending three days here, with some local guidance about where to go. Here are some of the things I experienced and loved.


The Woodsman Tavern, in the suburb of Richmond, is proper old school. We had a lovely seafood tower in all its retro splendour, paired with a bottle of Domaine de l’Ecu Gneiss Muscadet, which was gorgeous. The wine list here is exceptional, with a brilliantly chosen selection that’s particularly seafood friendly.


expatriate pix

Expatriate (pictured above) is a really nice bar. You come here for cocktails and small bites. There’s a wine list, but it’s pretty bad. The cocktails are fab, though. And the bar snacks are brilliant. Expatriate’s bar is run by Kyle Linden Webster, and the snacks are from his wife Naomi Pomeroy, a celebrity chef whose restaurant Beast is over the road from here.


One of the highlights was the informal street-like Indian food at Bollywood Theatre. This is a casual restaurant serving deliciously eclectic Indian dishes, and it’s counter service. You can eat well and inexpensively. There’s some decent craft beer on tap to wash it down, too.


Suckling pig, Chesa
Suckling pig, Chesa

Chesa is a new Spanish small plates/tapas restaurant that’s run by chef Jose Chesa. The food here is superb, the ambience great, and there’s a really good wine list to boot. We had a really lovely 2005 vintage from Juve y Camps, and the beautifully bright, elegant Bastión de la Luna, a red from Rias Baixas that includes some Caino and Loueiro, among other varieties.



Bar Vivant
Bar Vivant

Perhaps the highlight, though, was Bar Vivant. It’s the tapas restaurant that’s a sister establishment to Pix Patisserie, and it’s a proper tapas bar. You can stand up here, eat delicious pintxo, and throw your napkins on the floor. You can also sit down, like we did, and raid the USA’s best list of grower Champagne. The tapas is delicious and authentic, and there’s also an amazing sherry list. With a Champagne list like this, it’s hard to look elsewhere. If you don’t have a Champagne budget, the the sparkling wine list is impeccable, too.









What else to do in Portland? Well, if you are wine and beer shopping, there’s a really superb selection at World Foods, which is highly recommended. There’s also coffee: lots of it. Two of the best are Heart and Stumptown in the ACE hotel. And I was really impressed by Made Here PDX, which showcases local craft. Expensive but beautifully made local items.



3 Comments on Three days in Portland, OregonTagged
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

3 thoughts on “Three days in Portland, Oregon

  1. Great and timely article. I am heading down the Oregon Coast from Canada in April. The Bollywood Theatre will definitely be on my list to visit! Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top