Things to do in Portland
Here’s your key to the city. A definitive guide of the best local spots, as told by local Airbnb hosts
Best of the best
391 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Powell's Books is an independent bookseller serving Portland, Oregon, since 1971. We've grown to employ over 530 people across five Portland-area stores and Powells.com, and our book inventory exce... read more
Powell's bookstore is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block and housing approximately one million books. Located in downtown Portland’s Pearl District, the... read more
291 local Airbnb hosts recommend
World famous Thai street food joint. There are often long lines, but they recently changed their hours to be open from lunch to late. So come off hours. At 4 pm there is usually no wait, even on... read more
Amazing Thai food but not like your local Thai restaurant. The flavors are sharp, smells authentic, and the chicken wings are better than many found in SE Asia. If line is too long or you just wa... read more
266 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Since its 1915 opening, this historic elementary school has been a beloved fixture of its Northeast Portland neighborhood. McMenamins renovated the once-abandoned scholastic gem and turned it into ... read more
The McMenamin Brothers are known for renovating historical buildings and turning them into restaurants, bars, hotels and spas. The Kennedy School was once an elementary school but is now a multi-pu... read more
217 local Airbnb hosts recommend
High end ice cream...expect a longer wait and a bit pricier bill than other ice cream shops but worth the experience. If they have it, don't miss the Olive Oil ice cream. Try a flavor you'll never ... read more
Arguably the best ice cream in Portland! Be prepared to sample all the flavors you are interested in. With monthly rotating flavors, you're sure to find something perfect for you! Skip the line if ... read more
This famous ice cream parlor specializes in flavors you never would have thought of, like pear and blue cheese or balsamic vinegar ice cream. The line's out the door all summer long for a reason.
236 local Airbnb hosts recommend
This is the closest you'll get to an authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Includes five garden areas - Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden, and the Sand and Stone ... read more
Portland Japanese Garden ranks 2nd in the nation for the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. It is 5.5 acres and has five distinct garden styles which include: strolling pond, the flat... read more
220 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Such good brunch! A blurb from Eater 38 Portland: "John Gorham's insanely popular second spot reinvents Portland's favorite meal — brunch — taking it to new heights worth the inevitable wait. The s... read more
Best brunch spot in Portland, but lunch and dinner menus are great too. Small plates for sharing. Come early to avoid a line. Get coffee next door at Ristretto Roasters while waiting for your table.
202 local Airbnb hosts recommend
A renovated church houses this intimate live music spot. Great shows come through here regularly. The attached bar, Barr Bar, has lots to offer, too. Sit inside or out int their large covered outd... read more
One of our favorite live music venues in Portland, and also a fantastic beer garden. The burgers and fries are solid, and they show silent/cheesy black and white horror films in the evening in the... read more
Best music venue in town for sound. Great shows come through regularly. The attached bar, Barr Bar, is tons of fun too. Sit inside or out int their large covered outdoor space with a fire pit.
345 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Native American settlement of the area now known as Forest Park is believed to date back 10,000 years. The first European American explorers arrived in the Willamette Valley with the Lewis & Clark ... read more
Stretching for 8 miles it is the country's largest urban forest reserve. Head out to the 10+ mile(one way) Leif Erickson Trail for a wide, easily walkable trail w/ trail markers for distance. The ... read more
183 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Has a classic McMenamins pub and a gorgeous movie theater. You can drink beer and eat while watching the movie. They have tables in the theater. Only 4 blocks from us.
McMenamin's is a local chain of interesting pubs/theaters/breweries owned by two brothers. This particular location is in the home of an old movie theater and they stillshow movies but with a twis... read more
172 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Tapas style / Street Food Indian restaurant. Very different fare from your average American Indian restaurant. The Pork Vindaloo is amazing, the fried cauliflower is like candy. The paneer kafti r... read more
A fun and casual spot serving Indian street food inspired dishes. Order at the counter, bus your own table, soak up the Bollywood-esque atmosphere, and pretend that you somehow have lost your way a... read more
164 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Another super popular, touristy, must not miss spot. If you wait in the really long line, you get the advantage of taste testing all of the unusual ice cream flavors (think strawberry balsamic). If... read more
There's a line down the block for a reason. There's ice cream, and then there's salt and straw. They've got all the usual flavors, and then some creative ones, like pear+bleu cheese, lavender, and ... read more
Portland’s renowned small batch “farm to cone” ice cream shop with flavors such as “honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper”. Long lines and well worth it. Joe Biden had a cone here.
156 local Airbnb hosts recommend
The best breakfast on Alberta St. Started as a small shed decades ago..expect long waits on weekends, but enjoy a cup-o-joe in the garden area while you wait. Great people watching spot.
Funky very Portland cafe best for breakfast but also open lunch and dinner. Great spot for dog owners. Covered patio allows dogs and they even have a mini menu for dogs! Gets packed for brunch.
Go to The Tin Shed for breakfast or brunch, but be prepared to wait a while unless you get there early! This place is super popular, but worth getting up early for.
147 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Screen Door presents a celebration of Southern cuisine from the quintessential hearty fare to the everyday foods gathered fresh from the garden. Central to our concept is weaving the rich bounty o... read more
Southern food, great drinks, and easy atmosphere. This place is extremely popular, so be prepared for a long wait if you don't get there as soon as the doors open. Another strategy is to go for a l... read more
146 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Best Mexican food in Portland and great outdoor seating. I bring all my visitors here. Five kinds of great homemade salsa, house-made chips, and margaritas with chile salt. There's always a lin... read more
Excellent tacos, ceviche, margaritas, and a the feel of a small-town Mexico taqueria. There's usually a line out side, but it goes fast and the wait is worth it!
145 local Airbnb hosts recommend
A stone's throw from the house and possibly one of the best eateries on Mississippi. There is usually a line out the door, but it often moves fast. Definitely get chips, salsa, and guac. The margar... read more
Yes, it's totally gringo Mexican food, but it is soooo darn good. This is the only place in Portland that I am willing to stand in line for. They have happy hour but otherwise, if you get a bunch o... read more
121 local Airbnb hosts recommend
It's hard to not get a little nostalgic around soft serve. For many, a fluted cone brings back memories of summertime bike rides or warm nights at Dairy Queen with friends. And Wiz Bang Bar is hopi... read more
Salt & Straw is famous for its quirky and delicious ice cream, and its around the block wait. But there is a locals-only secret to beat the line. Just go to the front of the line and buy a quart ... read more
123 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Chez Panisse alum Troy MacLarty has a blockbuster on his hands with Bollywood Theater, his take on Indian street food. Both the original NE Alberta location and the new outpost on Division Street's... read more
Fabulous Food ! Definitely in my top 5 FAVORITE places to eat in Portland. Also check out the amazing Food Carts on 28th & SE Division (2 blocks down) Very nice walk from us through the neighborho... read more
120 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Biscuits to die for. Order the Reggie (biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, bacon, sausage or mushroom gravy and melted cheese) if you dare. Long line but worth the wait.
The Reggie Deluxe: Fried Chicken, Bacon, Gravy, Cheese, Biscuit. Amazing! Not health food, but is that why you are here? Tip: Get a small side of extra gravy, you're gonna need it.
Southern breakfast food like the reggie deluxe: fried chicken biscuit with gravy, bacon, fried egg, cheddar!
117 local Airbnb hosts recommend
No opening in recent memory has created a fervor quite like Ava Gene's, the polished Italian restaurant by Stumptown's Duane Sorenson and NYC transplant Joshua McFadden (just ask Bon Appetit's Andr... read more
If you're looking to splurge, celebrate, and trust the experts - go to Ava Gene's and order the family style dinner, and then pace yourself. Seriously: meat/cheese board, salads, pasta, main, desse... read more
158 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Cheap movies, great pizza & pitchers of beer ! Tables in the theater. About a mile from us.
$4 second-run movies in this great little cinema with a vintage neon marquee. Have your Pizzicato pizza and local beer while you watch good flicks. Then stroll foodie row stretching north and south... read more
125 local Airbnb hosts recommend
My favorite local brewer hands down. Their flagship IPA is probably the best IPA I've ever had......in a city full of exceptional IPA's. This is their first and original location. It's small but yo... read more
Again, excellent craft beers and a menu that prides itself on organic produce and ingredients. Definitely not your typical pub food. Nice place to sit on their patio with down-to-earth folks that l... read more
Industrial-style brewpub with a patio serves a vast list of craft beers & elevated American eats. Was awarded with the Gold Medal for American-style IPA at the Great American Beer Festival
124 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Everyone wants a Voodoo Doughnut as it is a Portland signature. Be prepared for a huge line all day rain or shine. In my opinion you should check out Blue Star Donuts. More delicious and without... read more
Anytime you see visitors at the airport stacked with boxes of doughnuts, you KNOW there's a reason to try it for yourself. Types of doughnuts you won't find anywhere else on this earth!
123 local Airbnb hosts recommend
This is a Portland vegan institution. Portland's first "vegan bar" - the menu is mildly Southern influenced, with collards, black-eyed peas, and BBQ tofu some of the staples. Great microbrew select... read more
The Bye and Bye is a bar with vegan southern food. Good for a drink with friends, or a casual dinner or lunch. Their brussels sprouts and BBQ brussel bowl are delicious.
Favorite drink; Bye and Bye $8 Peach vodka and peach bourbon, lemon, cranberry juice, and soda in a mason jar.
116 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Warning: You will crave this long after you have left Portland. The thai iced tea, drinking soms, Pok Pok Special and Fishsauce wings are an important first step in any Pok Pok meal visit. The more... read more
You could wait two hours for Pok Pok on Division Street, or don't wait at all at this smaller location with bar and seating. The menu is smaller but has all essentials like Ike's fish sauce wings.
118 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Sweedeedee pies are made with an all butter crust using Bob’s Red Mill flour. Each pie is baked in a pyrex glass dish for the best bake. The apples are from Susan Christopherson of Old World Apple ... read more
Amazing breakfast, brunch, or lunch. The line can be long to get a table but it's worth it. The nicoise salad is amazing! Fresh greens from nearby farmers. Truly delicious! A few outdoor tables if ... read more
Our favorite breakfast spot and worth the wait! This cozy cafe offers southern inspired breakfast & lunch fare. Order the pie and listen to their vintage record collection.
119 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Ranked as one of the best BBQ joints in the country and by far the best Texas-style BBQ that you can find outside of Texas
Such good BBQ! This place is great. They are lovely, family-style BBQ with great sides. They also do a surprisingly fantastic brunch!
GREAT smoked BBQ - Tuesdays gets you a rack of ribs for $20 and $1 off drafts.
106 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Hands down our favorite Pizza in Portland! Neapolitan pies with a New Haven twist. Brian Spangler is a pizza crust Ninja! Prepare to wait in line and when they run out of dough they shut the doors.
Let me say right off that I have not eaten here. It is a Portland pizza legend, however, and a lot of people ask for pizza suggestions. Some guests ate there and were impressed, so I include it her... read more
102 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Described as the German pub version of Cheers; great selection of German beers plus they allow you to bring in food from the carts just outside their doorstep!
Co-located with a great group of food carts. Great German beer on tap. Spacious outdoor seating. At north end of historic Mississippi Ave. Within walking distance from Urban Sanctuary
German beer hall with great atmosphere inside and outside. Beautiful patio with patio bar, and you can get food at the surrounding food carts and eat it on the patio with your beer.
110 local Airbnb hosts recommend
This is a mid-century motel refurbished in 2004 with updated and iconic NW architecture, outdoor areas, and a fantastic and intimate live music venue featuring concerts most nights of the week. Che... read more
Doug Fir was the first place I visited when checking out Portland 8 years ago....it is still a favorite. They have a constant music line up from local musicians to indie. It's space has always fel... read more
216 local Airbnb hosts recommend
Portland's Mt Tabor, a volcanic cinder cone, was named by Plympton Kelly, son of Oregon City pioneer resident Clinton Kelly, after Mt Tabor in Israel, six miles east of Nazareth. In 1894, the city ... read more
Less than 2 miles from The Urban Owl is your best view of downtown and is an actual extinct volcano in the middle of a city. Enjoy watching sunset with all the neighbors. Some nice easy and short... read more
Great inner city hiking trails. Gorgeous views of the city and of Mt. Hood. Lovely playground too. Very close to us, about a mile.