This travel guide is more of a restaurant guide. I have a few attractions that I liked, but Portland was really all about the food for me. I’ve been to Portland three times and I will definitely be going back again in the future sometime. I wish I had pictures from each of the places, but most of them are on my old phone that I lost, so you will just have to trust me! Below are the places you must go:
- Multnomah Falls – hike with a beautiful waterfall
- International Rose Test Garden – beautiful rose garden
- Toro Bravo – Spanish tapas
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai – Thai food with the best chicken
- Grassa – fast food pasta place
- Voo-doo Doughnuts – fresh donuts
- Han Oak – high end Korean food
- Tin Shed Garden Cafe – brunch spot
Multnomah falls is an hour outside of the city and absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, when we had gone, there had recently been fires to the areas around the falls so we weren’t able to hike the full thing. We hiked 0.2 miles, viewed the waterfall then went back to Portland, exactly my type of hike. 😉
INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN
The International Rose Test Garden was so much more interesting than I expected. This huge garden is used as a testing space to breed new types of roses. Is breed the right word? You know what I mean. The garden is free entrance and beautiful during the summertime.
Toro Bravo is my favorite restaurant in Portland. I’ve gone every time I’ve visited Portland. I even bought their cookbook to try to make some of their dishes at home, but they ended up being too difficult to make. Go figure. Everything they serve is fantastic, but the one thing you MUST order is the Spanish kiss. They encapsulate the essence of an olive into this burst of flavor, pictured below.
NONG’S KHAO MAN GAI
Nong’s is not your average Thai restaurant. They are known for their chicken and rice, which is just slow poached chicken and rice. Slow poaching it makes it super tender, but what makes this dish for me is the sauce they give with the chicken. It’s tangy, it’s salty, it’s sweet, it’s delicious.
Grassa changes up their menu, so most of the items (other than the Rigatoni) are not even on the menu anymore today. However, I know whatever you order will be good. We were super satisfied with everything and loved that it was quick and easy to grab our lunch here as we had things to see. I wish they had this franchise in Los Angeles.
Voodoo Doughnuts was a pleasant surprise. Some may say it’s a tourist trap, but I think it’s the real thing. They actually opened up a location in Los Angeles and I didn’t think it was as good though. The donuts are super soft and taste very fresh. The lines get pretty long late at night because this is what you crave while drunk in Portland. I totally get it.
Han Oak was a pleasant surprise. It’s an elevated and inventive Korean restaurant. You absolutely must get the fried chicken. In talking to the chef, he was trying to mirror the essence of the soup packet from a ramen package and somehow nailed it on the head. The fried chicken is so crispy and packs that flavor othat you didn’t even know you needed. The restaurant has a super cute ambience as well, perfect for a date.
TIN SHED GARDEN CAFE
Tin Shed is a fun brunch place. They do not take reservations so you will have to try to get there early. I’m not sure if they have it still, but when I was there, they sold their homemade habanero hot sauce. It was so good that I was willing to pay the extra money to check my bag so that I could take it home with me. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. I used that hot sauce for months on my eggs, veggies, meat whatever.