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Portlanders respond eagerly to the summons of the city's unofficial motto: ‘Keep Portland Weird.’ Although the real deal is miles away from the grotesque version famously portrayed in "Portlandia,” some tropes of the TV show do ring true. The city's thriving food, beer, and coffee scenes are mixed with whimsy, as self-expression and creativity abound. Portland is not only the hometown of James Beard but also a place where unique experiences are born, like wedding ceremonies held at a doughnut shop, "brew 'n' view" movie theaters, and even a vegan strip club.

The City

Portland has won accolades for everything from its dining scene (CNN has named it one of "the world's best city for street food") to its coffee culture, to the liberated, whimsical spirit of its residents that has been the drive behind many of Portland's creative endeavors. The latter has resulted in phenomena virtually unknown elsewhere in the country: take the "brew ‘n’ view" movie theatres, for example, that serve drinks during film screenings, or the food cart pods – clusters of food trucks with a fixed location, many of which have become so successful they quickly moved on to opening permanent brick-and-mortar locations. The best way to get a feel for the city is to visit the famous Saturday Market, an open-air affair with live music, international foods and works by local creators on sale. Another great way to spend an afternoon is to bike through the city, perhaps stopping at one of the many craft breweries or popular restaurants along the way.


Portland's local chefs are renowned for making use of the exceptional abundance of produce that surrounds the city. Several restaurants base their weekly menus on the fresh and seasonal ingredients obtained from farms in the area. Portland is also home to multiple James Beard award-winning chefs, some of whom hail from the city itself, while others come from different parts of the country. A prime example of this is celebrity Top Chef contestant, Doug Adams, who brought his delectable smoked meats to Bullard.

Do & See

Portland is green, fun, and, at times, weird: the city's collection of museums contains not only the esteemed Portland Art Museum but also quirkier exhibits, such as The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, with its "alien autopsy table", or the Movie Madness museum with the shower scene set-up from "Psycho". While this two and more help "Keep Portland Weird" — as the city's unofficial motto goes — a thriving food, coffee, and bar scene make for a seemingly endless exploration of world cuisines, craft brews, and coffee roasters.


Portland is widely recognized as one of the premier coffee cities in the world, with its name being nearly synonymous with "coffee culture" both within the USA and beyond. Visitors can enjoy an exceptional cup of coffee at virtually any corner of the city, ranging from a traditional, robust espresso to a decadent Peanut Butter Fudge Mocha, which can be savoured at Jim & Patty’s Coffee.

Bars & Nightlife

The city of Portland has a wide array of lounge bars and pubs, many of them catering to a specific niche: if you're a whiskey connoisseur, you can head to Scotch Lodge, while places like Stem Wine Bar will have you select from well over a hundred kinds of red, white, and rosé wine. If you enjoy adding some background music to your evenings, the Doug Fir Lounge and the Crystal Ballroom are the destinations for you.


There are multiple shopping districts in Portland, and given the absence of a sales tax, the city is a prime shopping destination. Northeast Alberta Street offers a variety of locally made and vintage items, while Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard is home to one of the largest independent bookstores, Powell's City of Books. For upscale and high-end shopping, head to the Pearl District. Additionally, malls and shopping centers like Pioneer Place cater to a range of budgets.

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