Portland: the land of hippies, hipsters, great food, great coffee and great beer. Though it pilfered the city slogan of Austin, Texas, Portland’s eclectic culture really does a great job of “keeping Portland weird”. The city also boasts the title of ‘most strip clubs per capita’ in America. To quote TIME Magazine:

“…this town has an abundance of eccentric and very naked establishments”!

Oregon’s largest city, Portland is surrounded by the beauty of nature; flanked by the Pacific Ocean (a lazy one-hour drive westward) and the iconic Mt. Hood volcano to the east.

The city itself is divided into quadrants (though technically there are five): Southwest, Northwest, North, Northeast and Southeast. The East and West sides are separated by the Willamette River – handy advice: don’t swim in it. The North and South sides are separated by Burnside Street. On top of that, there’s a funky little area up north which the locals just call North Portland or simply “NoPo”.

Each quadrant is distinctly different but at the same time also very much Portland. Breweries (a whopping 84 of them in the Portland metro area!), music venues, coffee shops, award-winning restaurants and shopfronts can be found in each one (we’ve already covered strip clubs, right?).


Downtown Portland is situated in Southwest. You can find the Bancorp Tower here, the tallest building in Portland, nicknamed Big Pink after the fact it’s big and pink. You’ll also come across the famous Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers soccer team. There’s a nice little cluster of bars on Southwest 2nd and Ash – it’s also the original location of the oh-so-popular Voodoo Doughnuts! There’s an ever-increasing number of trendy shops to check out on Southwest Stark, and the heart of downtown plays host to a massive food cart pod, offering an eclectic mix of delicious fare.


Northwest is particularly easy to navigate, due to its alphabetically-named streets that run North-South and the numerical streets that run East-West. For you voracious readers, drop into to the world-famous Powell’s City of Books off Burnside, one of the largest independent bookstores in America. For a touch of class, pay a visit to the fast-growing, fancy Pearl District; funky new shops and bars line Northwest 21st and 23rd. Northwest is also home to the city’s Chinatown – a bit rough around the edges during the day, but flooded with trendy young revelers at night who patronize the area’s many bars and clubs.


The numerous residential areas in Southeast are divided by main thoroughfares such as Hawthorne, Belmont, Division and Powell to name a few. The original location of Pok Pok (the first Portland restaurant to ever receive a Michelin star) is on Division, along with other famous Portland eateries like Salt & Straw ice cream (although there’s multiple locations across the U.S. now for both). More quality breweries adorn this neighborhood – Gigantic, Lompoc and The Beermongers to name a few – bottoms up!


Once you’re north of Burnside on the east side of the river, you’ll find yourself in NE or North Portland – don’t go too far or you’ll end up in Vancouver, Washington! Alberta Street or Mississippi Avenue are great areas to wander and explore: both teeming with cute boutiques. Hungry and thirsty? North Williams Avenue is also a great area to indulge in some of the more well-known establishments like Tasty n’ Sons and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Northeast is also home to the Moda Center where the Portland Trailblazers NBA team do their thing (go ‘Zers!).

Portland is quickly putting its name on the map and gaining the attention of foodies, culture vultures and music lovers around the world. Do you love good beer? Great music? How about amazing coffee? World-renowned food? Oh, and an overabundance of incredible breweries, too? Make tracks for Portland!