Best of the City 2016: Portland’s Top Workouts and Most Nourishing Eats

Small-batch fitness—check! Body-positive waxing salons—check! Vegan happy hours—check!

By Tuck Woodstock June 13, 2016 Published in the July 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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The Refinery

Best Small-Batch Fitness Getting Bigger

By the Refinery’s third year in business, classes had spawned six-week waiting lists, and trainers were referring clients to nearby gyms. In response, the gym expanded from 2,400 to 5,200 square feet in early 2016, adding an indoor cycling space and yoga/barre studio to complement its signature circuit strength training classes. 

These days, the Refinery continues to draw crowds eager to jump, squat, lunge, plank, stretch, and tire-flip their way to fitness. Why is the Northeast Portland studio so popular? “It’s as close to a personal training experience as possible, at the affordability of a group class,” owner Ashleigh Kayser explains. “I don’t think people know how much better it is when the instructor isn’t working out on a platform, and is actually watching them.”

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Best Multitasking (That’s Actually Good for You)

Carving out time for stretching, strengthening, and cardio can feel close to impossible. Luckily, there’s a solution: Pil-oga-robic’s creative workouts combine Pilates, yoga, and aerobics for an hour-long session tailored to your body’s needs. (Don’t skip the aromatherapy savasana.)

Best Spins, Sociopolitical and Musical

Known for its innovative freewheel bikes, which promise improved form and greater muscle engagement, the pioneering spin studio Revocycle also deserves praise for its explicitly feminist approach to fitness, as well as its terrific tunes—Alabama Shakes on vinyl, anyone?

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Founder Mads Ambrose at Babe Wax

Best Waxing Salon For the 21st Century

The fledgling Babe Wax celebrates body positivity and smashes the gender binary with an inclusive waxing menu specifically targeted to trans, queer, and marginalized bodies.

Best New Way to Post-Party Like a Rock Star 

Whether you just ran a marathon, fought off the flu, or drank your way through a wine cellar, Good IV’s mobile rehydration services deliver much-needed fluids, antinausea aids, and electrolytes straight into your bloodstream.

Best Bastion of Scandinavian Chic

Löyly’s airy Northeast location transforms spa-going from a luxury to a way of life. Spend a sweaty 10 minutes in one of two saunas—are you feeling silent or social?—before retreating to the lounge for cleansing tea, rejuvenating face masks, and spruce foot soaks.

Best Liquid Meal

At Kure, smoothie pros blend three forms of coconut—water, manna, and yogurt—with nutty almond butter, nutrient-packed kale, and a touch of Bee Local honey to create the Extra Mile: a tropical pick-me-up that won’t weigh you down.

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The Sudra

Best Blog Sensation Turned Cookbook 

Portland-based Minimalist Baker crafts tantalizing recipes that require either 10 or fewer ingredients or under 30 minutes of effort. Browse the blog’s debut cookbook, Everyday Cooking, for the secrets to plant-based pizza burgers and healthful PB&J ice cream sandwiches.

Best Healthy Happy Hour

Sounds oxymoronic, but the Sudra’s generous $6 plates of kale dosa, tandoori soy curls, and cruciferous pakora delight gluten-free vegans and cocktail-swigging carnists alike.

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