Portland. The home of Portlandia, amazing donuts, beautiful hikes, tame weather and delicious food. My boyfriend and I decided we wanted to get away over the holidays and spend New Years elsewhere. With tighter budgets, saving on flights was a big upside to us visiting Portland! We drove down from Vancouver and ate our way through 5 days of delicious food!
Below are Day 1 and 2 of our trip. I’ve saved 3, 4 and 5 for a separate post. There was too much good food to squeeze into one read!
We left around 9:30am in the hopes we’d be at our Airbnb by 4pm…we were mistaken. The border took 45 minutes, and it was POURING the entire time down. Wipers on full blast the entire 9 hours. As the only driver down, I had to take a few extra mini breaks just to relax my forearms and not get too anxious!
If you’re looking for ways to save waste while travelling, two easy methods are a reusable water bottle and reusable travel mug. Not only did my coffee stay warmer while driving, you get 10c off at any Starbucks!
P.s. want $45 off your first Airbnb stay? Click here
Lunch was a super romantic date at Wendy’s, ha! We made a wrong turn and were starving, so it worked out well.
6:30pm we finally arrived to THE cutest Airbnb. A little shed in someone’s backyard with a European, tiny home feel. It was the perfect space for us, parking out front, kitchen for a couple meals and we even came home with CLEAN laundry as they had a washer (what a bonus!). Oh and La Crouix in the fridge, the best refresher after 9 hours of driving.
Grocery Store stop was first on our list, to get it done and out of the way. Fred Meyer’s is a vegan’s dream. All the variety of peanut butters, almond milks, vegan cheeses, etc. so nice! Being the Type A individual I am (bless my boy for being on the same page), I had almost every meal planned. I don’t like to plan every minute, but it’s nice to know when you plan on eating out vs. in. We had planned 1 dinner and 2 breakfasts in.
We then headed out on the town for a little evening of entertainment! Dante’s was recommended by a few people to us. We had a quick pint but needed to have a real dinner first. The bouncer’s recommendation was Pine Street Market a few doors down! It’s basically the cutest, hipster, local food court there is! Vancouver could TOTALLY benefit from one of these.
We opted for the German stand (100% not vegan). Bratwurst for me, schnitzel sandwich for him, and prost! A beer too! Delicious!
Back to Dante’s we landed, this time a crowd had arrived and the coolest, unexpectedly talented band was playing Dear Drummer, local to Portland. You should give them a listen and support their awesome music @deardrummerpdx. I wish local talent like this was featured more. A bit jazzy, pop, soulful, original tunes are the best way to spend any evening.
We Uber’ed home. Looking to get your first ride free with Uber? Click here
Any establishment that serves liquor in Portland must have some type of food for sale. Aka my dream. Who doesn’t love having a pizza stand right there!
We got up at the crack of dawn…well 9am ish, ha! We wanted to explore our neighbourhood for a bit before heading back downtown. As mentioned above I’m a bit (okay A LOT) of a planner. I find I can be more present in the moment when I have a rough outline of what the day holds.
First stop —> BREAKFAST. I’m such a snacker when eating but my boy is complete opposite. He needs meals (and big ones). Up the street was Fried Egg I’m In Love’s little food stand. They have a variety of options for egg breakfast sandwiches including one with a veggie sausage. He got the Yolko Zeppelin and I opted for the Smells Like Protein Spirit adding on avo + switching out for a vegan sausage.
Quick and easy, and gosh darn that bread just melts in your mouth. It’s buttery, soft, easy to bite into with just the right amount of toppings. On our last day we went BACK. Yep they were that good!
Powell Book store was another huge recommendation. Neither of us read though (except when forced), so this store, aside from the pure size and organization of materials, wasn’t a huge thrill for us. Plus all books were in USD. I opted for borrowing from my local library, it’s free and saves us paper!
Choose a neutral colour palette when travelling to make choosing clothes and packing a lot easier. I opt for a lot of black, saves me time to try and figure out what matches.
We decided to walk around the city a bit more just to roam and discover. No place in mind. We found the streets to be very quiet, with unique architecture and changing vibes every couple blocks. We (I mean he) snuck in for a quick espresso from Barista. A very on the go for the office inside the building work space.
We made our way to what I had been mainly going to Portland for DONUTS!!!
First stop —> Blue Star Donuts
There weren’t mean options left in the afternoon, we grabbed the cinnamon sugar flavour. Their donuts are a bit more dense, light dressing and perfect in shape.
We slowly made our way over to round 2.
Second stop —> Voodoo Donuts
This the most well known of Portland. Open 24 hours, cash only + unique in decor, it definitely has maintained it’s originality.
I grabbed the Portland Cream – Raised yeast shell filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate and two eyeballs, representing the vision of the great city of Portland and Old Dirty Bastard – Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo cookies, and peanut butter!
Again 100% NOT vegan, but they do have options!
We ate the Portland Cream first, which was drool worthy. Yeasty, creamy, classic chocolate sauce and airy.
MY FAVOURITE IS… *drum roll*
Voodoo > Blue Star
This link will give you a hint about what we were up to next:
This is all I could think about for our evening. On my boy’s list was to go see a live basketball game. Although tickets were pricey it was a bucket list item for me. We decided to walk across the bridge to save a bit in Ubers. We had read ahead of time no outside food in the venue. As we walked I ate an orange, banana, bag of popcorn and the SECOND Voodoo donut all by myself.
…only to find out you’re not allowed bags (except small purses) at all in the venue. They have free bag check which is awesome. But this meant I didn’t need to eat ANY OF THE FOOD. I could have saved myself from a food sugar coma while watching the game.
*sigh*….live and learn.
Portland destroyed the Philadelphia 76ers by 40 points, an exciting game to see. After the event, we walked about 10 blocks to catch an uber. Cheaper, and easier to see your car arriving when you book it.
Dinner that night was at home. A late meal, but we were hungry, myself included even after all my snacks. He cooked a quick zucchini, tomato and shrimp pasta. So simple but nice to eat something at home.
With only two full days left, we tried to make the most of it, while enjoying the slowing down the pace of life.
Any questions about my first two days in Chicago! Send me a message or connect through Facebook or Instagram.
I hope you enjoy Portland and their donuts as much as I did! You can read about our adventure on Day 3, 4 + 5 here!