Let’s start up top: The northern border of this friendly slice of town belongs to NE Fremont, famously stroller-heavy and increasingly hip. Stop by the plant-filled Cupboard Goods for a sweet selection of ceramics—postpandemic, try to snag a spot in one of its calligraphy workshops. Farther south, Sandy Boulevard slashes diagonally northward, home to local rites-of-passage Ambassador Lounge, Pho An, and Clyde’s Prime Rib. (Yes, there’s the eponymous prime rib, but the back bar’s dancing for the over-30 crowd is the real draw.)
Nearby, peruse one of Portland’s best curated selections of graphic novels at Cosmic Monkey Comics, then hit neighboring Buddha Chocolate for almond butter cups and 70 percent cacao drinking chocolate, a perfect midafternoon pick-me-up—pickup and delivery only for now.
Dog lovers from around the city travel for the fully fenced areas at Normandale Park, an under-the-radar greenspace that thoughtfully offers separate areas for big and little dogs to roam. Rose City Futsal is where you take your inner child (or your real kids, depending on your life stage) for indoor soccer.
Don’t sleep on the Barley Pod, NE Halsey’s largely unsung food cart pod whose lineup ranks among the city’s best: it’s home to the second location of beloved SE brewery Baerlic, ramen outpost Hapa PDX, and Venezuelan cart La Arepa, among other standouts.