Cigars to Light Bulbs, We Love These Portland Retail Classics

Some of the shops we’ve come to rely on, whether they’ve been around a decade or a century

By Fiona McCann, Margaret Seiler, and Julia Silverman December 20, 2021 Published in the Winter 2021/2022 issue of Portland Monthly

Over the past two years, a lot of our shopping standbys closed their doors, but many of our favorite Portland stores are still there, holding down their spaces for years—often decades—while all around them the city changes. 

Here are eight of our favorite places to shop local and get a little something for ourselves or someone on our gift list, from St. Johns to Sellwood.   


1. Salty Teacup

Adorn your ears at Salty Teacup 


Best for: That dress you can wear to work, then the library, then the spontaneous swing dance date you end up on, in cat or mushroom or outer-space print, plus houseplants, baby gifts, local jewelry, vulgar socks, and St. Johns Bridge art. 8416 N Lombard St,

2. Sunlan Lighting

Sunlan Lighting’s toy-cluttered display windows are total kid magnets.


Image: Fiona McCann

Best for: Ever-changing window displays—from Star Wars to St. Patrick, themed with every troll or curio in between—and the gobsmackingly extensive collection of light bulbs, lighting up Portland lives, as owner Kay Newell would put it, since 1989. 3901 N Mississippi Ave,

3. Oddball Shoes

Best for: Really big shoes! The brainchild of brothers Seth and Zac Longaker, this Northwest Portland delight stocks casual, athletic, and dress shoes (and sock) for a big-footed clientele. 1801 NW Thurman St,

4. Rich’s

Best for: Cigars, pipes, humidors, and periodicals, though the magazine selection has dwindled in the pandemic, One of two remaining locations of a store around since 1894. 820 SW Alder St,

5. Broadway Books

Best for: Books. Though this neighborhood stalwart also stocks puzzles, greeting cards, and the like, it is and always has been about the books, as well as serving Portland’s writers and readers with regular events and signings over the years. 1714 NE Broadway,

6. Union Rose

Glad rags and more at Union Rose

Best for: Modern, versatile women’s clothing, jewelry, and accessories from designer (and shopkeeper) Rita Hudson, Portlander Katrina Dimick’s KD Designs, and others near and far in a bright Montavilla storefront. 8029 SE Stark St,

7. Presents of Mind

Best for: Birthday presents for tweens, toddlers, or even your grandmother. This Hawthorne staple sells super-soft, locally made T-shirts, handmade jewelry, ribald Schitt’s Creek–themed mugs, greeting cards for every possible occasion, and drool-worthy baby gear. 3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd,

8. Cloud Cap Games

Best for: Board games old and new, plus puzzles and trading cards. This cozy Sellwood institution also offers a genius board game rental system where you can check out a new game and try it at home; if you like it, your rental fee goes towards your purchase. 1226 SE Lexington St,