Where to Live Now

Neighborhood Guide: Ashcreek, Crestwood, and Maplewood

Scandinavian design, hidden natural areas and internationally-themed groceries

By Julia Silverman

The serene gallery/event space that is Nordia House

This quiet corner of Southwest Portland doesn’t give up its secrets easily. Sidewalks are few and far between, and its edges bleed into suburban jungle via Beaverton and Tigard. There are fewer foursquares and Tudors out this way, too. Many of the homes are suburban ranch style, with prices in the $400K and $500K range, on par with citywide averages. But if you know where to look, some of the city’s nicest green spaces await, along with peaceful cafés and a straight-outta-Copenhagen temple to all things Scandi. 

Locals start their days at Maplewood Coffee & Tea, which offers savory porridge and avo toast—watch for its occasional five-course, globally inspired dinner pop-ups—or at Driftwood Coffee, with a sweet play corner for smaller customers. 

In-the-know neighbors skip circling for parking at Tryon Creek and instead walk their dogs at never-too-busy Woods Memorial Natural Area, bisected by a peaceful creek and with more than a mile’s worth of hiking trails on offer. Nearby, find the Oregon Fencing Alliance, training ground for Oregon Olympian Mariel Zagunis, the first American to ever win gold in modern fencing. 

Ingvill Montgomery, the designer behind Hovden Formal Farm Wear who lives in the area with her family, recommends the Barbur Boulevard branch of World Foods for interesting, Euro-sourced foodie finds and Nordia House, the serene gallery/event space that now hosts a branch of Astoria’s Finn Ware, for all your Marimekko and Moomin needs. (Pro tip: In-house café Broder Söder is the only outpost of the Broder empire with a section of the menu dedicated to the foods of Iceland—kartöflusalat, anyone? That’s curried potato salad with dill skyr dressing for the uninitiated.) 

Over on the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, The Lodge at Cascade Brewing is the renamed home base for the sour beer pioneer that draws crowds on a Friday night for elevated pub fare.

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