The Hawthorne District in Portland is best described as ecclectic. This is the Portland of the TV show "Portlandia". Hipster? Yes. Hippy? Not as much as in years gone by. It is an area where as a tourist walking down the street you will find people are saying "Hello" as you meet and pass.
The side streets are lined with mature trees providing shade for the restored bungalows and "Old Portland" style homes. Businesses line Hawthorne Blvd. which begins at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge and ends at the edge of Mt. Tabor Park. The most concentrated business area is between 34th and 38th Streets.
This is the best area of Portland to go for resale and vintage clothing and homewares. You will also find coffee shops, bakeries, pubs, vegetarian eateries, and some really excellent restaurants. The area is more bike friendly than car friendly mainly because of parking. The city has built a bike parking facility at Hawthorne and 38th Street. You can easily get here on a TriMet bus.
Hawthorne Blvd. is the home to Portland's beautiful historic Bagdad Theater. It was recently purchased and renovated by McMenamins brewpub chain. The lobby is now the pub where you can enjoy a pint of craft beer or cider along with the usual pub type fare and once again the theater is showing first-run movies.
You have the usual neighborhood Safeway for good shopping but you also have The Daily Grind for natural foods and a wonderful bakery. Pastaworks is a gourmet food store with fresh vegetables, cheese, and wine.
Naked City Clothing is the place to go for retro-style women's dresses, shoes, swimsuits, and accessories. If you are looking for 1950's style home furnishings, you need to go to the Lounge Lizard at 1310 SE Hawthorne for some hard to find vintage items.
Mag-Big focuses on designs made by local artists. You will find women's clothing, jewelry, items for your home, and personal care products all designed by over 700 artisans from the Portland area.
Stop in at The Fresh Pot for a cup of coffee to take along as you visit nearby Powell's Books for Home and Garden an annex of the famous Powell's Books in downtown Portland. Or visit Albina Press with WiFi if you want to use your laptop or tablet with that coffee.
Along with the Bagdad Theater mentioned above you can enjoy a craft brew at the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub with 12 rotating taps. Your dog is welcome in the covered back patio. You will find Lucky Labrador on Hawthorne between 9th and 10th Avenue.
The Sapphire Hotel which years ago was a brothel visited by drunken sailors and traveling salesmen has an extensive cocktail menu. They open at 4 pm and though their dinner menu is rather basic it is definitely worth a visit. Happy hour is from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Hawthorne Hideaway is a friendly place to go for a cheap but good drink, tasty bar food, and free pool. It's a good place to meet people if you are new in town or even if you are not. Pool is free. Tip: Order the onion rings or the quesadilla.
Hawthorne Hophouse on Hawthorne Blvd. has over 20 rotating taps plus wine. This is a good place to go for both lunch and dinner and you can get a voucher which will save you 50% which makes it even better.
Get your Mexican food fix at Cha Cha Cha Taqueria on Hawthorne. Delicous burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. They have a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Sit outside on the patio on a warm summer evening, enjoy your meal with a beer or Margarita, and people watch.
It doesn't matter what time of the day it is when you visit Hawthorne and even if you have already eaten, you must stop and have a waffle at the Waffle Window. These waffles are the European Liege style waffles done Portland style. You can have sweet or savory. Try the Blueberry Cheesecake Waffle or the Nutella and Fresh Banana for dessert. The Waffle Window is on the street at the side of the Bread and Ink Cafe at 3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd. You can get an excellent breakfast at the Bread and Ink Cafe but I'd go for the breakfast waffles. You can take your waffle inside the restaurant and sit at a table if you like.
Apizza Scholls is the place to go for a true New York style pizza. The pizza's are large so take your appetite and friends with you. It's best to get there close to opening time which is at 5 pm. They do take a limited number of reservations which you can make here or call (503) 233-1286.
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