I first started going to Alberta Street after I graduated college and moved back to Portland. On the last Thursday of every month they host Last Thursday, a giant street fair full of performers, artists, food carts and a great spirited vibe. From May to September Alberta Street actually closes to traffic between 15th and 30th, and it is not uncommon to see floats, dancers, singers and bands lining the street. The event draws huge crowds and attracts lots of patrons to the art galleries, restaurants and bars lining Alberta. The people watching is great too!
If huge crowds aren't your thing, check out Alberta on a typical night. The street will most likely still be busy due to the popularity of this neighborhood. Make a day of it and check out a few of the restaurants, bars and shops listed below, as well as the great galleries lining the street.
Whenever I'm craving Indian, my favorite place to go is Bollywood Theater. They have two locations- one on Division and the other on Alberta Street. I prefer the atmosphere on Alberta, does the one on Division does have a cool little exotic store attached, which is worth checking out. Obviously though, the best part of Bollywood Theater is the food! They specialize in Indian street food, so while some of the items may be unfamiliar, they have amazing flavor and a great level of spice.
Cruz Room is not only one of my favorite restaurants on Alberta, but one of my favorite spots in Portland! Each item on their menu is a "taco", but not your traditional Mexican variety. They are essentially small tapas of different styles with a protein, garnish and sauce. All of them are delicious, so you can't go wrong no matter what you get. They have a great beer selection, as well as hand-crafted mixed drinks.
I've unfortunately never been to Chicago, and as such have never gotten to experience true deep dish pizza. Having said that, I think the pizza at Via Chicago is out of this world. Their deep dish pizza comes with the perfect buttery crust, and the topping, cheese and sauce are amazing. Get a slice for yourself, or share a pie with friends, and enjoy the fun atmosphere and hilarious employees.
Sometimes it feels like people don't understand that vegetarians want comfort food too! It seems that all too often my only options are a salad (which I love, but without a protein isn't always filling), or a veggie burger. Enter Vita Cafe, the mecca of vegetarian and vegan comfort food. Their meals are hearty, filling and delicious enough to satisfy any vegetarian or meat eater.
The Waffle Window
I've never been the biggest waffle fan in the world, but that changed when I had my first Liege style waffle. If you've never had one, they are the best thing in the world. They work great with all different toppings, which Waffle Window definitely delivers. They have sweet waffles with toppings such as fruit, chocolate or nutella, and savory treats featuring bacon, cheese and veggies. I suggest sharing with friends so you can try the maximum amount of waffles, or just get plenty for yourself!
Branch Whiskey Bar
If you are a whiskey fan, you need to go check out Branch Whiskey Bar. They have a huge selection of great whiskeys, as well as tons of other cocktails. They also have great snacks to share, or full dinner entrees.
Bye & Bye
It's not often that you find a vegan bar, but it only makes sense that we have one here in Portland. The Bye & Bye used to be my go to spot for vegan hot dogs, but sadly they are off the menu now (bring them back!!). However, I do love all of the bar food on their menu, and their drinks are fantastic as well. The bar has a cool Portland hipster vibe, as do the items on their menu.
One of the greatest thing about the Radio Room is the space itself- they have a great rooftop deck, as well as a lower level patio complete with a fire pit. On nice days the Radio Room is quite the destination, but even when it's raining it is a great spot to hang out inside with a beer or cocktail.
The Station was originally home to the Northwest Electric Company way back in 1931. It has since been converted into a bar, but you still get some interesting power station vibes. They have great happy hour deals, delicious food, and a large selection of drinks.
Although I don't know how to sew (yet!), I still love visiting Bolt Fabric. They have a small but well curated selection of luxurious, interesting fabrics in different textures and styles. Their selection is always changing, and I try to stop in every time I'm on Alberta to check out what cool new fabrics they have in store.
Collage is the type of store that you walk into and instantly want everything. I want to do every kind of craft project imaginable when I'm in Collage, and I have to restrain myself to going above and beyond my abilities! The shop is super cool, fun, quirky and well-curated, and it will be hard to walk out without buying anything!
Being your typical girly-girl, I have an obsession with shoes. PedX fills my shoe needs with awesome brands, fun styles and helpful employees to help you find the perfect pair to go with your new outfit. Try to not go overboard, I dare you!