The Ultimate Day in Portland

"Honestly, everything that you could ever want to do is within 15 minutes of itself, and everything is so walkable."

About Dirt Road Travels

City guides for adventurers, based on famous locals recommendations. We believe that the best way to discover new places is by getting off the beaten path and taking suggestions from local musicians, chefs, and brewers. We've got 15+ city guides live here and you can get recommendations from 50+ other cities sent straight to your inbox by clicking here

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The Ultimate Day in Portland

Eat where the chefs eat, drinks where the brewers drink, and explore all of the hidden gems that Portland has to offer. These are the top 9 places local chefs and brewers claim as musts for locals and tourists alike. 

Doughnuts at Pip’s

Locals know that Pip’s Original Doughnuts and Chai is the only place in the world you’ll be able to find a flight of chai and made to order mini-doughnuts. Local Tip: if it's your birthday, or seven business days after, they will give you a dozen free doughnuts! Their originality and kindness is what makes Pip's a Dirt Road Travels must. (The delicious doughnuts don’t hurt either).

Read about how Nate Snell and his wife built Pip’s and check out their Portland “can’t-miss” destinations.

Nate Snell-co-owner of Pip's
Nate Snell, Co-owner of Pip's Original Doughnuts and Chai
flight of chai tea from Pip's
hands making mini-doughnuts to order at Pip's

Coffee at Kainos

Marten Boyden and Austin Roberts opened Kainos Coffee to make a difference in the lives of orphans in the Philippines. They give 21% of their profits to those children, helping to build homes and to give them better education and home care. The shop is known for their superior coffee, pastries and best of all, service.

Learn about Marten Boyden’s inspirational journey to starting Kainos and his favorite spots around Portland.

Austin- Kaino's owner
Marten Boyden, Co-owner of Kaino's
Beautiful and delicious coffee at Kainos is a Portland local must in the Dirt Road Travels Portland City Guide.
Blueberry scones at Kainos is a Portland local must in the Dirt Road Travels Portland City Guide.

Browse the Books at Powell's

The world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s, has been a local favorite in Portland since 1971. Powell’s employs only true bookworms that are happy to chat about any book under the sun. Go grab a good read to take with you on your trip and make sure to take a peek in the Rare Books room.

Here is what Emily Powell has to say about Powell’s history and what she recommends you see in Portland.

Emily Powell, owner of Powell's Books
Check out the work of local artist, Sam LarsonThe Oregon Coast is just a drive away!Visit Bend, OR like a local

Lunch at ¿Por Qué No?

Tyler Malek, Co-Founder of Salt & Straw, is a huge proponent of ¿Por Qué No? for lunch in Portland. It’s quick, fun, colorful and most importantly, delicious. The long line moves quickly and is indicative of how in-demand their tacos are. Grab a margarita while you wait and select a specialty salsa for your meal.

Feast your eyes on more from ¿Por Qué No?

tacos from Por Que No
inside of Por Que No

Score some Records at Music Millennium

Jay Cobb Anderson, who sings and plays guitar in the Portland based band, Fruition, raves about the legendary Music Millennium. The Mayor of Portland actually named a day after Terry, the owner of this local favorite. Go pick out a soundtrack to remember your Ultimate Day in Portland.

More on Music Millenium, Terry’s story, and Terry’s favorite things about Portland

Terry, Music Millennium
Snagging records at Music millenium is a local must for an Ultimate Day in Portland according to Dirt Road Travels.

Afternoon Coffee at Coava

Local entrepreneur, Tyler Malek, recommends Coava Coffee Roasters, a large warehouse space with a wooden bar and plenty of room for everyone. Relax with sunlight spilling in through the large windowed garage door as you get cozy to read your book from Powell’s or catch up with some friends.

You may also be interested in our post, Best Coffee Shops in Portland.

Coava Space
Barista pours coffee at Coava as part of Dirt Road Travels ultimate day in Portland, Oregon.

Dinner at Le Pigeon

Local chefs consider Le Pigeon as as obligatory when looking for the full food experience in Portland. This beautiful space will allow you to enjoy yourself while you watch the chefs work artfully on your meal.

Chef Gabriel from Le Pigeon's local musts.

cooks at work at Le Pigeon
hand drizziling sauce on top of finished dish

Ice Cream for Dessert at Salt & Straw

Tyler Malek started cooking as a way to bring his family together. Now, with Salt & Straw he gets to bring his customers together by providing them with the best ice cream in town. Chef Gabriel from Le Pigeon takes his family there for “anything with chocolate and sprinkles.”

See Tyler’s go-to Salt & Straw order and favorites around Portland

Tyler, Founder of Salt & Straw
people in line at Salt & Straw

Drinks at The Red Fox

Ben Wuamett, lead singer from local band Ezra Bell, tells us that for a true Portland experience you have to go to The Red Fox. This local dive is great for connecting with the community as people take a load off and enjoy the extensive outdoor seating with their best friends (we mean dogs of course).

Click here to learn about Portland band Ezra Bell’s story.

wooden booths outside REd Fox
The red fox is a Portland, Oregon must in the Dirt Road Travels city guide.
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