Insider’s Guide 2019: Expert Picks

Juicy Tips From Insiders on How to Make the Most out of Portland

From concierges to baristas, local experts give us their picks for how to enjoy the city like a pro.

By Portland Monthly Staff March 26, 2019 Published in the April 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Colorful cocktail at Eem

Image: Courtesy Eem

The Blogger

“Wine bar Enoteca Nostrana has one of the most underrated happy hours in the city [and] gorgeous interior decoration. Eem (above) on North Williams has a really good concept—it’s a very nice Asian-inspired barbecue spot ... a little bit higher class than standing in line for wings at Pok Pok. And the cocktails are really well executed. For city hikes, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. It’s fascinating to be in the heart of the city and yet surrounded by nature. If you want a challenge, Warrior Rock Light, at the tip of Sauvie Island. It’s seven miles round trip and takes you to one of the only non-ocean lighthouses.” —Yume Delegato, music blogger, and artistic director of PDX Pop Now!

A skull at Paxton Gate

The Food Cart Owner

“What’s not to miss in Portland? I’d say nobody should miss all that North Mississippi Avenue has to offer, from the unique finds at Paxton Gate [taxidermy and curiosity store, above] to the beer selection at Prost! pub. Come for the refreshing Bitburger pilsner and leave with new friends from the neighborhood!” —Victor Darchini, Caspian Kabob

Peninsula Park Rose Garden

The Hairstylist

“I love the Peninsula Park Rose Garden, and the way the arms of varieties extend from the fountain in the center. I’m also impressed by the sheer number of volunteers pruning and shaping throughout the warmer months. I also appreciate the camps for kids that run all summer long. I sometimes run around and through the park and love seeing the tiny tennis players, skateboarders, kickballers, and the general playground seekers.” —Patti Green,

The Powell’s Employee

“[I recommend] the author signature pillar in the Gold Room. There are currently almost 300 signatures on the pillar, primarily [Sci Fi/Fantasy] authors. We held a contest to name the pillar, and the winner was ‘The Pillar of Signatude.’ Although he has been in the store a few times over the years, we have yet to get Stephen King’s signature—although his son, Joe Hill, has added his name to our collection.” —Devin Simpson, sales floor manager



Pittock Mansion

The Lyft Driver

“I’ve been living in Portland for two years now. I moved here from Atlanta. [While] I’ve been driving for Lyft and finding my way around, I bring my lunch to the Pittock Mansion and go sit up there. It’s got the best views in the city. It doesn’t even matter what the weather is, it’s always beautiful up there. If you want to feel like you got out of town it’s not very far, and it’s gorgeous.” —Angel Sadowitz

The Hotel Concierge

“One bar that I love is Scoreboard at SE 48th and Division. It’s a longtime carpeted neighborhood dive bar with 12 pinball machines, three pool tables, a jukebox, and a fully badass femme staff (aside from the 70-something brother duo who own the place). Pro tip: take a squad selfie in the pink bathroom. It’s iconic. And the $1 Jell-O shots are hella strong.” —Elli Blakeman, guest services manager at the Hoxton

The Barista

“One of the things I can’t believe nor do I understand is that from 11 to 6 every day of the week NW 23rd’s Life of Pie does a $5 margarita pizza. And it’s really good. It baffles me that they do that, and now that they’re so close by me I’m there at least once a week. The quality of ingredients, the consistency—I can’t get a frozen pizza for that price! It’s one of those things of rare beauty.” —Aric Miller, Sterling Coffee

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