A tasty trip to Portland


I feel a little odd not writing a recipe post this week, but the truth is, I haven’t been cooking much. That’s not to say I haven’t been eating some pretty amazing food, though. My husband and I have been away in Portland, Oregon celebrating our 9th anniversary. My husband is completely into craft beer these days and I’m a total food geek, so Portland is an ideal destination for both of us.

The entire trip was awesome, but there were definitely a couple experiences that stood out above the rest. The first, being my absolute favourite, was the food tour we went on with Portland Walking Tours. If you’ve never taken a food tour, it’s really an ideal way to learn a little about the city you’re in, learn a lot about the food you eat, and get completely stuffed along the way. Also, depending on which tour you’re on, you often get served a few tasty beverages. After all, it’s important to stay hydrated when you’re out walking for a few hours.

Our hilarious guide, Adam, started the tour by taking us to Cacao, a store that serves up “drinking chocolate”. This was my first experience with drinking chocolate and I wasn’t really sure what I was in for. I had imagined it was just going to be really good hot chocolate, but I was wrong. It was more like drinking a melted bar of chocolate, but the best chocolate you can imagine. Very rich, but so delicious.

Our next stop was Benessare, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar and store. Here we learned a lot about how olive oil is (not very) regulated and how to tell the difference between real olive oil and what is often passed off as olive oil. We also learned a little about the production and aging of balsamic vinegar. We then took a few minutes to make ourselves at home and taste a few of the products available.

For our third stop, we walked to All Way, a burger joint serving up amazing burgers, fries and homemade soda using all locally sourced products. Half a burger, some fries and a soda later, we were on our way to the 9th and Alder food pod. In Portland, the food trucks are highly regulated just like any restaurant in town and are often organized in pods where several trucks are permanently stationed. 9th and Alder is considered to be one of the best pods in the city. If you’re eating from one of the trucks stationed here, it’s unlikely you’ll walk away disappointed. With dozens of trucks to choose from, our guide chose to take us to Kargi Gogo, a truck serving traditional Georgian cuisine. Because we arrived early enough, we were able to get our hands on their Khinkali before they sold out for the day. These little (they weren’t so little) dumplings are filled with meat and imported Georgian spices and were incredibly yummy.

Khinkali from Kargi Gogo

Khinkali from Kargi Gogo


After 4 stops we were well fed (completely stuffed) and still had a few more stops to make, including Courier Coffee and the Pearl Bakery, where we went into the back, hairnets and all, and were treated to some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted. After the bakery, we hit up Ringlers for a beer tasting and finally, we finished the tour at Ruby Jewel Scoops for a custom made ice cream sandwich. The tour was great and I would definitely take another one next time I’m in town.

Bread and pastries at the Pearl Bakery

Bread and pastries at the Pearl Bakery


Another highlight of our trip was the day we decided to go on a self-guided happy hour crawl. It wasn’t the drinks that made this experience the best though, it was the easy conversation with anyone we met and the really laid back vibe of the city. We made a few stops at South Park, Clyde Common and Oven and Shaker, and were then pointed in the direction of, what turned out to be my favourite stop, Hamlet. Hamlet, which opened in May of this year, is a cocktail bar with a small pork-focused menu. From telling us how the pork was raised or suggesting a drink to pair it with, the bartender and the chef were both easily on hand to help us fully enjoy the experience.

Chef meticulously carving the ham legs at Hamlet

Chef meticulously carving the ham legs at Hamlet

We rounded out our trip with a stop at the Pittock Mansion and Powells Books, which I think must be the largest book store in the world. They sell new and used books and it’s a good idea to grab a store map before you venture too far in.

One more thing that deserves mention was the friendliness of the people in Portland. No matter where we went, we were treated well. Any bar or restaurant led to easy conversation with other customers and staff. If we needed directions, anyone we asked would go out of their way to point us, or in some cases, take us to our destination.

Portland was definitely worth the trip and I’m sure we’ll be back again (and again).



  1. What a wonderful experience! I haven’t thought to take a food tour. I was in Portland last year and loved it but must confess that we took in a bit more wine than food. We are headed to Seattle and Victoria BC pretty soon and hope that we have nearly as good a time. If we go back to Portland, I’m taking this tour!

  2. kdoherty89 says:

    Oh my gosh, I live in Portland and I haven’t done a food tour. (I have done a Walking Tour before, though, they’re awesome!) This post makes me want to do one. Would it be weird to do one alone?

  3. Oh my gosh! So much good food! Lol a big part of holidays for me is the food. That khinkali sounds amazing. Thanks so much for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party. xx

    • Thank you, Jhuls. We had a great time, I only wish we’d had an extra day so we could have driven out to the wineries. We’ll definitely make our way to Portland again. Happy Fiesta Friday!

  4. Kaila says:

    I loved my trip to Portland and all the food I found there. It was great to read about your positive experience in the city as well. Happy FF, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

  5. Pingback: A delicious look back at the top 10 posts from 2015 | Kitchen, uncorked

  6. Pingback: A delicious look back at the top 10 posts from 2015 - Kitchen, Uncorked

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