Categories > Guides and Tips

Explore Portland’s Pearl District like a local!

Explore Portland’s Pearl District like a local! 

The Pearl District is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Portland. Not only does it have a thriving arts and culture scene, but it’s also a home to great bars, cafes, and restaurants that a lot of us at Rip City Review frequent. 

With so many exciting possibilities to dip your toes in, it can be difficult to know where to begin. So… we’ll show you!

In this article, we’ll provide you with insider tips on how to explore the Pearl District like a local, so you can experience everything this neighborhood has to offer. Let’s check out all you can do here! 

Go on a food trip

Go on a food trip

A visit to the Pearl District neighborhood would be incomplete without grabbing a bite from the hottest spots to eat. We made a list of restaurants we’ve tried in the area and voted on which one we like best. 

Here are the results:

1. HOTLIPS Pizza

ADDRESS721 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-595-2342
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Sunday 11 AM – 9 PM

We don’t think we could complete writing the information on HOTLIPS Pizza without craving a slice, but we’ll try! 

Anyway, this family-owned business has been around since 1984. You can already probably gauge their expertise based on this information alone. 

They have numerous options, all of which we really enjoyed! However, not everyone from our staff is a fan of pineapples on pizza (unsurprisingly!). 

They even have 4 vegan pizza options for you to try like vegan cheese, vegan pepperoni, vegan nirvana (red pepper, onion, spinach, mushroom, etc), and vegan supreme (cilantro pesto base). 

Pro tips:

  • Don’t know which ones to try first? Under the meat pizza option, we recommend ordering their pepperoni and Brooklyn (garlic parmesan sauce, Italian sausage, black olives, roasted red pepper, and ricotta). 
  • As for their vegan pizzas, we suggest their vegan supreme that has a cilantro pesto base as we mentioned. What can we say? We’re die-hard fans of pesto! 

2. Andina 

ADDRESS1314 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-228-9535
OPERATING HOURSSunday and Monday ClosedTuesday – Saturday 5 PM – 9 PM

Another one of our faves is Adina. It’s a Peruvian restaurant that has been in business for 19 years! 

We love them for how they present their food. They’re also quite generous with their portions, so you can be assured that what you’ll order will be filling. 

Please embed:

The ambiance is warm and inviting. That’s why we think it’s a perfect spot if you’re in Pearl District with someone special and want a more intimate setting. 

Pro tip:
The number one thing we think you should try is seco a la norteña. It’s braised beef with cilantro, navy beans, parsnips, and garlic rice.

3. Yama Sushi & Sake Bar

ADDRESS926 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-841-5463
OPERATING HOURSSunday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM – 9 PMFriday & Saturday 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Portland is rich in restaurants that serve Japanese cuisine and Yama Sushi & Sake Bar is probably one of our favorites. 

While they have the usual sushi flavors like California, tuna roll, and such, they also have more unique ones like Mardi Gras. It’s a Cali roll with spicy baked crawfish, mushroom, fried shallots, spicy mayo, unagi sauce, and tobiko. 

Despite their name, sushi & sake aren’t the only things they serve. They also have gyoza, tempura, salad, noodles, desserts, and more. Their menu changes depending on the season, which we find exciting. 

Pro tip:
Our top recommendation is the sunrise roll (spicy tuna, mango, avocado topped with salmon and mango). However, if you’re not a fan of fruit in your sushi, we recommend crazy monkey (spicy tuna, spicy salmon, pickled jalapeno and cucumber topped with green onion, spicy mayo and masago).

Get your daily coffee fix

Get your daily coffee fix

As if we couldn’t love this neighborhood even more, the Pearl District is also rich in café options. Coffee aficionados would enjoy their time here. 

1. Sisters Coffee Company in The Pearl District

ADDRESS1235 NW Marshall St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 971-279-2957
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Sunday 7 AM – 5 PM

Our visit to Pearl District is never complete without ordering a cup of coffee from the Sisters Coffee Company. 

They have several drink options, most of which are the usual ones you’ll see in cafes like drip coffee, chai latte, cold brew, etc. However, they also have more unique options like their overcast latte. 

It was created by their bar manager, so you can’t get this anywhere else! It’s a housemade Smith Teamaker Lord Bergamot tea syrup with espresso and milk. Kind of like a London Fog with a twist. 

They also serve beer, cider, and wine. Aside from drinks, you can also order sandwiches, bagels, and more. 

Pro tips:

  • We recommend both of their house specials because of the unique and flavorful tastes. 
  • We also urge you to try out their classic brekky sandwich if you’re looking for a simple, yet delicious meal. 

2. Snow Bunny Coffee

ADDRESS1415 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-270-1711
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Sunday 7 AM – 5 PM

Snow Bunny Coffee is another coffee shop we frequent whenever we’re in Pearl District. 

From coffee and non coffee to tea lattes, honey teas, and classic teas, there are tons of things to try. Their coffee and tea is also all sourced locally, so if you want to try Portland’s very own, head on over! 

Aside from their refreshing iced beverages, they also serve sandwiches and bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert) so make sure to try those as well. 

Pro tip:

Our ultimate favorite from their menu is their ube latte. Ube is a purple sweet potato flavor that you won’t be able to get enough of. 

The downside of ordering this is you probably won’t be able to help but order another cup. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! 

3. Ovation Coffee & Tea

ADDRESS941 NW Overton St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-719-7716
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Friday 6 AM – 6 PMSaturday & Sunday 7 AM – 5 PM 

If you want to try something that a lot of cafés don’t have, swing by Ovation Coffee & Tea. Curious to know what their secret ingredient is?

Well, their coffee and teas are straight from Morocco! This means there are hints of spices to their flavors, which makes it such a unique coffee shop in Portland. 

If you want to stick to the tastes you’re familiar with, don’t worry – they have those as well. They also serve affogato, nitro float, kombucha float, milkshakes, and vanilla soft serve. 

Pro tip:
Our favorite would probably be the Moroccan spiced coffee. At first, we were surprised by the bursts of flavor, but after a few sips, we started digging it. Needless to say, we can’t wait to go back and order another cup (or two).

4. Caffe Umbria

ADDRESS303 NW 12th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-241-5300
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Sunday 7 AM – 6 PM

Another place to get a unique cup of coffee is Caffe Umbria. They blend various kinds of coffee from around the globe to create a unique blend – an Italian tradition – which they roast by themselves.

Their menu, although not extensive, has several classic options we all know and love. This includes café latte, espresso, macchiato, and more. 

Their interior is simple – nothing really to boast about, but it’s refreshing and welcoming so patrons would spend an hour or two enjoying their drinks. 

Pro tip:

If you have your own coffee maker at home, they also sell their signature blends. We highly suggest purchasing one.

Experience Portland’s famous beers

Experience Portland’s famous beers

Portland is quite well known for its local brews. With Pearl District being one of the best places to grab a drink, you can’t miss this opportunity to try what locals and visitors have been raving about. 

1. Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House

ADDRESS210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-296-4906
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PMFriday 11:30 AM – 10 PM Saturday 11 AM – 10 PM Sunday 11 AM – 9 PM

One of the most popular places to get a drink in the Pearl District is the Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House. 

They have a permanent menu of 26 taps. They also have numerous options of experimental and seasonal beers. 

Since they have a lot of drink options, it’s hard to tell which ones to try partly because we’ll be running out of space if we recommend our top faves! That’s why we think it’s best to just order something that first catches your eye and be surprised. 

Anyway, aside from beer, they also serve salads and soups, burgers and sandwiches, cocktails, wine, and more. 

Pro tip:

If you love trivia, we recommend going here on a Monday. Together with Rip City Trivia, Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House hosts trivia nights from 7 PM – 9 PM.  No need to sign up!

2. 10 Barrel Brewing Portland

ADDRESS1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-224-1700
OPERATING HOURSSunday – Thursday 11 AM – 10 PMFriday & Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM

10 Barrel Brewing Portland is both a pub and a brewery. As expected, they serve a lot of drinks they brew themselves which attracts a lot of locals and visitors. 

This includes nature calls (on the fruity and citrus-y side) and sinistor black (a drink with a tinge of chocolate and coffee taste). 

If you need a beginner-friendly pub for locally brewed beer, we think that 10 Barrel Brewing Portland is one of the best spots to go to. Aside from beers, they also serve food like pizzas, burgers, and fries – all of which are nice to pair with beer. 

Pro tip:

Unfortunately, they don’t accept reservations so expect to wait a little during rush hour. So, if you’re looking for a place where you can be seated immediately, it’s best to just bookmark this list, so you can save it for next time. If you want to see what the fuss is about though, we can assure it’s worth the wait.

3. Brix Tavern – Pearl

ADDRESS1338 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-943-5995
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Thursday 11 AM – 10 PMFriday 11 AM – 11 PMSaturday 9:30 AM – 11 PMSunday 9:30 AM – 10 PM

If you’re particularly fond of pairing good American classics with your alcoholic drinks, Brix Tavern might be your newest go-to drinking spot. 

During happy hour they serve the usual American dishes like cheddar fries with crisp bacon, cheese burger, bacon mac & cheese, and many more. 

By the way, Happy hour is everyday (3 PM – 6PM), Tuesday to Saturday (9pm until closing), and Sunday and Monday (3PM until closing)

They have numerous drink options from cocktails, wine, bourbon, scotch to tapped beer, canned beer, tequila, and more – so feel free to go crazy! 

Pro tip:
If you go here with the goal of trying out beers brewed locally, we suggest trying Ex Novo Mexican Lager and Occidental Hefe. Both have 5% and above alcohol by volume (ABV).

4. Low Brow Lounge

ADDRESS1036 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-226-0200
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Saturday 3 PM – 2:30 AMSunday Closed

If you’re a fan of intimate late-night conversations under moody lighting, you’ll love Low Brow Lounge. 

Its fun and creative interior is a sight for sore eyes. The ambiance is one of the reasons why we enjoy going here. 

Another reason, of course, is the drinks they serve. Aside from being more affordable than most bars in the neighborhood, they also have great choices of beers and cocktails. 

Additionally, there’s less people here compared to the other bars in Pearl District. However, do note that it can also get pretty busy from time to time. 

Pro tip:

If you want to save on a lot of bucks, come here during happy hour. They sell drinks for $1 to $5 a pop!

5. Brewcycle Portland

ADDRESS1108 NW 14th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 971-400-5950
OPERATING HOURSMonday – Saturday 10:30 AM – 7 PMSunday 11 AM – 7 PM

This one’s different. Brewcycle Portland is a bike tour that takes you to the best spots to experience why the city is known for its breweries. 

You won’t pedal on your own bike though. You’ll get to board their big bikes that can hold 11 to 15 passengers! 

It’s a fun way to explore the neighborhood and enjoy the local beers. In this 2-hour-tour, you’ll be able to go to 3 brewpubs where you can catch a break from pedaling with a refreshing beer. 

Pro tip:

It’s best to bring cash with you when you’re hopping on this tour. The process of getting your drinks in bars will be a lot faster than when using a card.

Indulge in a comfortable stay

Indulge in a comfortable stay

To best enjoy the neighborhood, why not choose a room in the heart of it? We listed the best places to stay in the Pearl District below. 

1. Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District

ADDRESS425 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 971-351-0230

The rooms at Canopy have a simple, contemporary design that has a knack for making visitors feel at home. It’s not too spacious, but it has everything you need. 

For example, a room with 2 queen sized beds will also get you a mini refrigerator, an LCD TV, a blackout curtain, air conditioning, bathroom amenities, and many more. 

Aside from 2 queen sized beds, you can also get a room with 1 king bed, 1 king bed in a corner room, 1 king deluxe room with a city view, or a 2 queen deluxe room with a city view. 

Pro tip:

If you have a pet back home, you don’t have to leave them behind during your trip to Portland. This hotel has pet-friendly rooms!

2. Hampton Inn & Suites Portland – Pearl District

ADDRESS354 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-222-5200

We found the rooms at Hampton Inn & Suites quite relaxing to the point where we didn’t mind just staying in the room all day. They have several types of guest rooms available like 1 king room with mini fridge and 1 king studio room with a sofa bed. 

Additionally, they also have a king bed with sofa sleeper and 2-queen-beds room, which is suitable for groups of 4 and below. They also have suites, which is perfect if you’re willing to splurge. 

Pro tip:

The Hampton Inn & Suites also allow pets. However, there’s a $125 fee. 

3. Residence Inn by Marriott Portland

ADDRESS1150 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 
CONTACT DETAILS+1 503-220-1339

If you’re specifically a fan of minimalist style, the Residence Inn seems like a wise choice. 

The rooms are all painted with subdued colors – it’s quite relaxing. Very clean and chic, which makes it a perfect haven after a day of exploring the vibrant city. 

Pro tip:

Our top recommendation would be their 1-bedroom suite. It’s spacious, has a nice view, and has everything one might need. 

Related topics