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Visiting Alberta Neighborhood A Newcomer’s Guide

Visiting Alberta Neighborhood: A Newcomer’s Guide

The Alberta Neighborhood in Portland is brimming with activities. If you’re looking for delicious food, art, a creative vibe, cool boutique shops, and awesome murals, this very neighborhood is ideal for you.

To give you an idea, this Portland neighborhood has a distinct independent feel, complete with vibrant murals and historic storefronts. 

If you can’t decide where to go, use this guide to plan a perfect day in  Alberta Arts District!

Brief History

Alberta Street in NE Portland is one of those Portland streets that has undergone a recent transformation. It was once a sort of grungy artist’s enclave, transformed into a vibrant street full of well-liked cafes, bars, clothing stores, hair salons, and galleries. 

The Alberta Arts District radiates earth tones that are distinctly different from those found in other parts of the city. The setting reflects the sensibilities of Asian, African-American, and Latino people. 

Given the district’s history as one of Portland’s oldest areas, this fact is no longer shocking considering that immigrants and disenfranchised citizens once lived there.

Today, this neighborhood is undoubtedly on the verge of becoming one of the coolest spots in town, a flourishing home for entrepreneurs and artistic craftspeople. Its vibrant and distinctive atmosphere draws tourists from all over the city.

Food Scene

It’s not a fun day if you don’t try the cuisines offered by many of the restaurants in the Alberta Arts District. After all, their food scene is usually on par with that of other major cities. 

The restaurant scene is welcoming and laid back, and the discreet bars serve beers, cocktails, and comfort food in a gourmet style.

We’ve compiled a list of all the necessary places in the neighborhood where you can eat, drink, and experience the neighborhood’s diverse food scene.

1. Restaurants and Cafes

Restaurants and Cafes

The dining scene in Alberta is a multifaceted arena with people from all over the world represented. There could be a lot of options from all of the nearby restaurants, cafes, and food carts, giving you a variety of places to eat for lunch or dinner. 

The Best Restaurants and Cafes in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Tin Shed (1438 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – Tin Shed Garden Cafe serves healthy, fresh food made from free-range, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. They serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch, and even have kid and dog menus. Those brave enough to brave the morning line should order one of the restaurant’s stacks: egg scrambles over grits or potato cakes smothered in mushroom gravy.
  • Bollywood Theater (2039 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – Don’t be misled by the name; there is no admission fee and the Bollywood Theater has nothing to do with the Indian film industry. You can instead sample some of India’s renowned street food. Authentic Indian dishes like lamb samosas, pork vindaloo, and fried sweet and sour cauliflower can be enjoyed at the Bollywood Theater while a Bollywood film is projected on the wall.
  • Urdaneta (3033 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – The cuisine at Urdaneta combines traditional Spanish flavors with a variety of contemporary interpretations. The visually stunning plates are filled with bold flavors and are served in a relaxed setting along with house-made craft cocktails, Spanish wines, and sherries. 
  •  Expatriate (5424 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211) – This restaurant serves a variety of culturally diverse and Burmese-inspired dishes. Vintage films and vinyl beats will set the mood for you as you enjoy cocktails and snacks like Chinese-sausage corn dogs.
  • Mole Mole Mexican Cuisine (2231-2237 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – When craving enchiladas blanketed in mole poblano or lengua tacos on hand-made tortillas, this food cart pod is stacked with a number of strong carts that serves that. Mole is the order of the day here, whether it’s a pistachio-green chicken quarter or a pistachio-green chicken quarter.

2. Clubs and Bars

Clubs and Bars

While this place is a perfect representation of Portland’s best restaurants, it’s also thriving with eccentric bars where you can unwind and sample the city’s avant-garde drinking culture. The top bars on Alberta Street are listed below.

The Best Clubs and Bars in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Alberta Street Pub (1036 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon) – With over 20 varieties of beer on tap and a tempting selection of craft cocktails, Alberta Street Pub is an effortlessly cool high-end pub that attracts beer lovers of all stripes. There’s something on the menu for both health-conscious people and burger fans. There’s also a large terrace where you can linger with afternoon drinks in the sun.
  • Branch Whiskey Bar (2926 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon) – Branch Whiskey has a sizable selection of spirits, including numerous Canadian, American, Scotch, Irish, and locally brewed whiskies. It also has a long list of cocktails and a number of unusual beers brewed in Portland. With treats like duck fat fries, bacon-wrapped dates with rosemary, gourmet macaroni and cheese, and decadent burgers, their menu redefines pub fare.
  • The Know (2026 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon) – The Know, a popular venue known for its inexpensive beer and nightly live punk and metal performances, exudes a genuine grunge vibe from 1994 as if Nirvana could appear on stage at any time.
  • The Knock Back (2315 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon) – The Knock Back is not your typical pub grub joint; instead, it’s a hip and relaxed hangout where the bartender is happy to make you personalized drinks. The margaritas and food are both excellent. They serve gourmet burgers as well as numerous gluten-free and vegan options.

Shopping Paradise

It’s no secret that the Alberta Arts District is now a hub for ambitious young business people and artists. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the neighborhood is thriving with commerce, like shops, making the shopping experience here only improve. 

Whether you are looking for locally produced goods or high-end items, the Alberta neighborhood has it all.

1. Local Shopping Markets

Local Shopping Markets

Visitors who opt to stroll along the streets of the Alberta Arts District would totally score some great finds, especially local goods. Let’s look at some of the best places to do some local shopping in Alberta.

The Best Local Shopping Markets in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Pie Footwear (2916 Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – Pie Footwear, a locally owned and operated shoe store, caters to women and men with a distinct Portland style. Its collection includes “zero drop” footwear. Pie is also well-known for its vegan footwear line. Many of its products are handcrafted right in the neighborhood.
  • Ecovibe (1906 Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – With its variety of kitchenware, décor, and art, you will find Ecovibe delightful. Additionally, it has a veritable forest of native house plants and air plants that are arranged according to need, size, and type, as well as an on-site potting service. Local treats like honey meltaways and chocolates will also make your shopping experience even more delectable.
  • Frock (1439 Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – For vintage and handcrafted clothing and accessories, Frock is a magical destination on Alberta Street. It has a seasonal bent and collaborates with local designers. It closes its doors four times a year before reopening with completely new offerings, sometimes even entire product lines.
  • Blendily (1532 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – Blendily sells handcrafted and all-natural skincare. From head to toe, they use fresh flowers and plants for self-care products. Serums, soaps, and aromatherapy products are among their homemade offerings. You definitely get freshly made skincare products because they make them right in front of you.

2. Boutiques and High-End Stores

Boutiques and High-End Stores

It goes without saying that tourists would adore shopping in upscale boutiques and stores for both personal items and souvenirs. Here are some of the top choices in the area.

The Best Boutiques and High-End Stores in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Amelia (2230 Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – Amelia is a store that emphasizes vintage style with feminine flair. The one-of-a-kind, limited-edition products are frequently unavailable elsewhere. In addition to clothing, you can find crystals, candles, art, jewelry, necklaces, earrings, and nail care items. 
  • Tumbleweed (1812 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – Tumbleweed is a relaxed, comfortable setting where you can find dresses, jeans, sweaters, tops, jumpsuits, and clogs that go together easily and beautifully. Their products are made by combining Portland-produced house lines, kara-lines, and labels made in Europe and the United States. It’s unquestionably a premier destination for carefully curated Portland fashion.
  • Modo Boutique (2025 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211) – Modo Boutique is a carefully curated women’s designer consignment shop on Alberta Street in Portland, as well as a fantastic online buying and selling destination. They are proud to stock brands such as Alexander Wang, Anthropologie, AG Jeans, Ace & Jig, Burberry, Chloe, Current/Elliott, Chanel, and others.
  • pedX Shoe Shangri-La (2005 NE Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211) – This is a women-owned PDX local shoe boutique with a carefully curated selection of women’s shoes. pedX carries a diverse selection of boots, clogs, flats, and other footwear from brands such as Swedish Hasbeens, Sorel, and Kelsi Dagger.

Leisure and Recreation

As much as you love indulging yourself with Alberta’s rich food scene as well as its shopping industry, a vacation in the district is not fulfilling without experiencing the leisure activities it  offers. We would love to provide you with a list of them.

1. Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor Adventure

Alberta is definitely known for its arts, hence the place is called the Alberta Arts District. But, the place surely has its share of fun. If you would love an adventure to do outside, don’t hesitate to try the activities we have listed below.

The Best Outdoor Activities to Do in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Mural sightseeing – The Alberta Arts District is known for its vibrant murals that add character to the street. That is why it is impossible not to notice them. It only makes sense because art is everywhere in Portland, and this neighborhood is a prime example of that. Well, the Alberta Arts District would not be called such without the beautiful murals in every corner. Go outside and find them as you take pictures of them.
  • Join the Art Walk in Alberta – Don’t miss Last Thursday, a lively street fair that takes place on Northeast Alberta Street between NE 15th and NE 30th and draws independent artists, performers, local bands, acrobats, buskers, makers, and more to celebrate their art. It takes place on the last Thursday of every month from June through August. You will undoubtedly have a great time because this art walk is one of Portland’s biggest and most diverse art events.

2. Indoor Fun

Indoor Fun

The Alberta Arts District also has its fair share of indoor recreation options for residents and visitors alike. We’ve included a quick reference guide for your convenience.

The Best Indoor Activities to Do in Alberta Neighborhood

  • Stay at McMenamins Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211) – This is a funky, fantastical hotel that was once an elementary school. Think Hogwarts meets Portland’s odd and quirky vibes; this hotel is full of surprises. The old boiler room has been converted into a restaurant; the gym into a movie theater; and the detention room into a bar. 
  • Visiting art galleries – A trip to the Alberta neighborhood would be incomplete without seeing their art and creative scene, particularly in the Alberta Arts District. Alberta Street Gallery, Embellishments Studio, Antler Gallery, Blind Insect Gallery, Guardino Gallery, and Redbird Studio are some of the area’s most popular and must-see art galleries. Art gallery hopping is indeed a fun thing to do in this area.
  • Attend live performance – Enjoy a live performance at the Alberta Rose Theater, a medium-sized, seated performing arts venue that plays a significant role in the arts in the city, which is situated in the center of Portland, Oregon’s eclectic Alberta Arts District. There is never a bad time to visit this 300-seat theater because it hosts live music performances, comedy shows, art house film screenings, and other events year-round.

Obviously, there will be plenty of things to do in the Alberta Arts District. That’s why we recommend staying in the area for a little longer in order to fully enjoy everything there is to offer. 

If you have been in the neighborhood, please share your thoughts with us. We’d love to know what you think about this place!

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