Welcome to my new blog series: Neighborhoods. I want to highlight Portland neighborhoods to share some history and fun facts, as well as my favorite attractions in each neighborhood. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about some different neighborhoods in Portland!
The perfect way to kick off this series is my own neighborhood: Nob Hill. Also referred to as Northwest Portland, the Alphabet District, or simply "23rd" after the popular shopping/dining street, Nob Hill is located in Northwest Portland, covering the area from Burnside to Wilson, and between the West Hills (Forest Park) and the 405 freeway (roughly NW 16th). The reason that the neighborhood is referred to as the Alphabet District is that the street names go alphabetically from Burnside to Wilson, South to North.
Nob Hill is very densely populated with a mix of beautiful, old-Portland homes, older apartment buildings, and sleek new condos. The homes in Nob Hill are generally very expensive, not only for their size and style but also for their proximity to the many shops, restaurants and bars. Most of the action takes place on 23rd and 21st avenues, as well as NW Thurman Street. Another major draw to the area is that it backs up along Forest Park, the largest urban park in the nation! Forest Park has a multitude of hiking trails and is a great place to spend a day getting lost in. It is also extremely easy to get to all other neighborhoods and areas of Portland from Nob Hill.
Below are some of my favorite restaurants, bars and shops in Nob Hill. The list is in no way exhaustive because I adore my neighborhood and frequent many more places than are listed below. Let me know if you have any neighborhood favorites I should know about!
Ever since I can remember, my mom used to take me to Papa Haydn as a special treat to enjoy their delicious food and even more famous dessert. Now that I live in the neighborhood it is still my mom's favorite spot to meet for lunch, and we always get a dessert to share as a way to treat ourselves at the end of the meal.
St. Honore Boulangerie
My office is right next door to St. Honore, and smelling their fresh baked croissants, breads and other pastries makes passing up the treats nearly impossible. Their baked goods are to die for, but they also have fantastic food, coffee, and even wine! My ideal day in the spring or summer involves a leisurely brunch at St. Honore sitting at one of their outdoor tables with all my favorite foods and a delicious chai coffee.
I love the vibe of the Matador: very dim lighting, a cool atmosphere, and a warm fireplace right in the middle of the bar. The Matador is 21 and over, and they do a fantastic job of curating the perfect atmosphere to make you feel like ordering one too many margaritas. I recommend getting the happy hour nachos: the plate is big enough to easily provide a meal for 3 people, and tastes great to boot. Their White Peach Sangria is my favorite drink, but you can't go wrong with a classic margarita.
Wild Wasabe definitely isn't the fanciest sushi restaurant in Nob Hill- that honor would go to Bamboo Sushi, which I love as well. However, their sushi is delicious, the service is good, the location is right across the street from my work, and I'm in love with their spicy teriyaki tofu bento boxes. Enough said!
If you can avoid it, try to avoid Stepping Stone at breakfast time. Yes, their menu is mostly breakfast foods, and they are well known for their Mancakes (giant pancakes featured on Man vs. Food from the Food Network), but waiting over an hour for a table just isn't my jam. Instead, go for dinner or, even better, after a night at the bars. They are open until 3am, and there is rarely a wait at dinnertime or later. Get the Mancakes and one of their giant omelets and you will have leftovers for days.
Khao Soy Thai
One of my favorite types of cuisine is Thai, and Khao Soy is the most authentic Thai that I have tasted in Nob Hill. Their flavors are complex yet fresh, and all of their food stays true to traditional thai food. The servers are fast and very friendly, and you can tell that they care about their food and their restaurant.
Elephant's Deli is another restaurant that I have been eating at for as long as I can remember. The store sells pre-prepared food to go, as well as hot meals, sandwiches, soups and items from the grill that you can eat there. They are perfect for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner, and it is incredibly easy to buy way more food than you need because all of their items look delicious. Don't forget dessert!
My favorite date bar in Nob Hill is The Fireside because of the atmosphere. It is warm, cozy and romantic with a touch of sexiness around the fireplace. It's the type of place that you can get lost in conversation for hours, only pausing to order a new cocktail, or roast your own smores over the fire.
I love the casually refined elegance of Bar Mingo. It has a modern Italian feeling in the bar, which is mirrored in the food and drink menus. Bar Mingo is connected to the restaurant Cafe Mingo, and both offer upscale Italian cuisine, a warm atmosphere, and a strong feeling of contentment.
All day Happy Hour Sunday and Monday and 3 pages of martinis. Get ready to try some crazy drinks at Bartini, such as my favorites the Passiontini, Lemon-Basil, or the Diablo. Their drinks are flavorful and fun, and are half off during happy hour! Their food is made next door at Urban Fondue, so make sure to try the happy hour fondue while you are there to complement your cocktails.
For the biggest and best outdoor patio in Nob Hill check out North 45. The actual bar is small, and you can't tell that they have a large backyard, but on a warm day walk through the main bar to the back and enjoy a large, lively patio with it's own bar, great drinks and tasty food. They set up a big projection screen for important sports games, so make sure to get there early!
Jo Bar is the sister bar to Papa Haydn, which probably explains why I love it so much. Their menu is often the same as Papa Haydn with a few more wood-fired options, such as pizzas and burgers, but their cocktails are the real draw.
If you are looking for a good beer, traditional bar food and a good pub atmosphere, Lompoc Tavern is your spot. The atmosphere is loud, lively and fun, they always have the game playing, and their patio is a great spot to people watch and enjoy the sun on a nice day.
I'm not 100% sure why, but Pope House is THE first date bar in Nob Hill. I know tons of people, myself included, who have gone on numerous first or second dates here. I don't blame the men for suggesting it though, they have a huge variety of whiskey drinks and all of their cocktails are fantastic. They also have great food, and it is slightly off of 21st avenue, giving it a bit of a tucked away feeling.
Tender Loving Empire
Tender Loving Empire is a fairly new store on 23rd and I am already so in love. They have the most interesting local goods and I literally want to buy almost everything. Their items range from stylish, upscale jewelry to quirky items for cat lovers and lots of cute home accessories. They also have their own record label (how very Portland of them), so their music selection is large as well.
Betsy & Iya
I walk by Betsy & Iya most days on my way to work, but sometimes have to avoid it so I don't get too distracted from their amazing window displays. They sell mostly jewelry with some clothes, bags accessories and small items for the home. Their shop is full of local goodies and artists, and their style is spot on. You couldn't go wrong with any item, either for you or for a friend.
Sloan Boutique is my favorite clothing store in Nob Hill. There buyer has very good taste, and everything that they have there is hip, functional and stylish. They stock a variety of brands, from national labels such as Lush and Kensie, as well as local Portland designers. The people who work there are fun and friendly and are always available to help put together a killer outfit.
Blush Beauty Bar
If you are looking for high quality beauty products, a variety of brands, and fun, unique items, Blush Beauty Bar is for you. They have a large selection of different items, from nail polish to lip stick and everything in between. They also have great gift items, and the staff is great at helping you make the right choices. It is my one stop beauty spot in Portland.
I am way too obsessed with Paper Source. I could drop hundreds of dollars without thinking about it, which is dangerous for me. I love stationary, and they have everything you could need for cards, crafts, and cute little gifts.
Oh World Market, where do I even begin? They have literally EVERYTHING for the home at this store. Their furniture is unique and comfortable, their accessories are worldly and interesting, and they have great rugs, pillows and everything else you might need. Did I mention the food? Food from all over the world. Food you didn't even know you needed! Their prices are super reasonable as well, so you don't feel guilty splurging on impulse purchases.
I love looking at furniture and home accessories. As a Realtor I see homes everyday and am constantly inspired by the decor that I see. Manor has a great selection of interesting, unique but upscale furniture, linens and home accessories that I love to peruse and gain inspiration from.