Insider’s Guide 2019: Quadrant Breakdown

Where to Eat, Shop, and Play in All 5 Portland Quadrants

Plus hot insider tips from local experts.

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

Kids outside Sunlan Lighting

Image: Fiona McCann


DO A two-foot-high stage at the Fixin’ To welcomes all comers for eclectic karaoke—expect everything from System of a Down to Britney Spears—served up with a side of Frito pie.

EAT North Mississippi boasts the still-under-the-radar Radar (shhh!), with a brunch menu that runs from house-made gravlax to a croque madame and a black-puddinged full English.

SHOP Bulbs in every shape and form are found at the old-timey realm of Sunlan Lighting, but most flock for the ever-changing window displays—glowing Santas to Star Wars Lego sets to a family of stuffed geese.

INSIDER TIP Affogato is our spot to get coffee. It’s one of those little stores that people don’t know too much about—it’s not flashy. The uncle of the owner is a coffee roaster and it’s super-good coffee, organic, and it’s affordable. They also make artisan ice cream.” —Julian Rose, Moonstruck’s head chocolatier

Hat Yai


DO Catch a first-run flick at neighborhood movie gem Roseway Theater, a one-screen wonder with an outsize sound system.

EAT The spice-popping fried chicken, curry, and roti at Hat Yai are a Thai equivalent of American fried chicken and biscuits, but, y’know, better.

SHOP Lose yourself among the scintillating succulents and preening perennials at NE Fremont’s stylish Garden Fever.

INSIDER TIP “Fremont’s Blackbird Wine is a gathering place that bustles in the evening. In late afternoon I like it as an alternative to a coffee shop for meetings. And settling in with your laptop and glass of wine remedies writer’s block!” —Erika Polmar, Plate & Pitchfork Farm Dinners founder and “chief dishwasher”

Runners on the Mt Tabor Summit Stairway


DO Climb the Mt Tabor Summit Stairway’s 18 flights of steps for a new appreciation of the literal and figurative meaning of breathtaking.

EAT The Observatory’s rock-solid smoked fish platter and oregano fry bread are the unsung tabletop heroes of Montavilla.

SHOP Find your signature scent at SE Division’s Fumerie Parfumerie, where scent experts Tracy Tsefalas and André Gooren waft you through a beautifully curated world of niche fragrance.

INSIDER TIP “I always send people to Revelry on MLK. I can’t get enough of their peanut brittle fried chicken. The cocktails are so delicious, and all the other food offerings are so good!” —Joe Nazir, “Supreme Coffeetator” at SE Hawthorne’s Tov Coffee

Cinema 21 on NW 21st Avenue


DO Take the Lower Macleay Trail past hemlocks and licorice ferns to the tumble-down decommissioned restroom known as the  Stone House. The trail can also take you by the tallest fir tree in the city.

EAT Ataula’s legendary bombas are crackling balls of beef and potato comfort ready for a dunk in tangy brava sauce and creamy aioli.

SHOP Expect small-batch fashion—soft, feminine dresses to sexy slips—at Sarah Bibb’s pattern-filled, decade-old boutique cum workshop, Folly.

INSIDER TIP Cinema 21 is a vibrant, independent movie house. It’s gone from a little independent cinema to multiple theaters after a remodel. I can’t remember when it wasn’t there. It’s a real asset to the neighborhood.” —Victoria Frey, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art executive director

West Burnside's Spartacus


DO Grab a staff recommendation (they won’t steer you wrong!)at Multnomah Village’s independent, 41-year-old Annie Bloom’s Books, and then settle in with your cozy new read.

EAT Choose your home base: down chile-oil-slicked pork wontons at Portland State go-to Duck House or slurp Stumptown’s best wild mushroom soup at underrated, pre-theater haunt Picnic House.

SHOP A three-decade-old W Burnside staple, Spartacus is a paradise of leather harnesses, erotic machinery, and one of the city’s greatest collection of stockings—fishnets to rainbow.

INSIDER TIP “It used to be impossible to get to the river in my neighborhood. Now there’s the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge across the freeway [named for a US rep who helped snag its federal funding]. It’s so wonderful to have a way to get to the waterfront without any need to get in the car.” —Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General

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