Portland, OR, United States
Rachelle, 32
see her Portland, OR city guide

a bit about Rachelle

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a freelance photographer who loves to shoot for my clients in the food & beverage industry. Why food & bev? Because I get to eats and drink everything after I shoot it, of course! I'm a Portland native, cat lover, and loyal friend. I love meeting new people and giving recommendations to travelers. Growing up in Portland has given me a head start on knowing where the best spots are, but I'm always exploring and trying new things. I'd love to share my experiences with you!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Lana Del Ray alllll day!

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Friends and Sex & The City (I know that's basic of me, but I can't help it!) I am also obsessed with the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table. The storytelling and visuals are just stunning. That series will make a foodie out of anyone!

Name some spots in Portland that are good for a Tinder date.

There are so many great casual date spots in Portland. Most of Portland's dive bars make mean cocktails and finger lickin' good bar food so don't turn up your nose at a place that might not look like a gem from the outside. If you want a very Portland higher-end divey date experience go to Dots Cafe in the Clinton neighborhood. Your eyes will have to adjust to the darkness but I promise it's worth it! If you want less dive and more hipster, try Rontoms. The patio is killer and they make a great whiskey sour on happy hour.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Thrifting and vintage clothing shopping is great in Portland! Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique has a stunning array of vintage dresses and the Red White & Blue Thrift Store in Milwaukie is well worth the trek. I try to shop local when I buy new clothes. You might find me at Haunt (designer Holly Stalder also makes amazing wedding gowns), Wildfang, and Radish Underground. If you want to shop Anthropologie or Madewell, head to the Pearl District and you'll find some stores you're probably more familiar with.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

No where! There are amazing hole in the wall spots all over the city, though I am most familiar with Inner SE Portland, where I live. Don't be afraid to venture out of downtown. In fact, most of my favorites are east of the city center!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Take the Portland Aerial Tram up to OHSU. It's kind of silly, but it has such an amazing view of the city! You can buy a one hour ticket for $2.50 and pile on with the commuters and hospital visitors and enjoy the ride 500ft above the city.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Portland and where did you get it?

This is a tough question! I'm obsessed with the the chicken liver pâté at La Moule. Everything I've eaten there has been amazing and decadent. More on the extreme side is the Som Tum Pu Pla La (Laotian style green papaya salad) at Khao San - a Thai street food style eatery in NW. This funky and spicy salad is made with fermented fish and pickled crab. Yum!

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Portland that you particularly like?

The Rookery Bar is the gastropub upstairs in the restaurant Raven & Rose. It has live music, a pool table, and in my opinion, the best bar program in Portland. This place is still under the radar so it's easy enough to get a table, couch by the fireplace, or spot at the bar. One of the coolest features of this bar is that it's in the former hay loft of the historic Ladd's Carriage House! This building is one of the oldest standing buildings in Portland, so if you're a history geek this is definitely a place for you!

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Portland? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Honestly, I keep the costs down by hitting up happy hour (early and late night) at most of my favorite restaurants.

What restaurant in Portland looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Haha! There's a new food/beer cart by my house in the Brooklyn neighborhood that doesn't necessarily look like it would be amazing, but it serves my favorite burger in Portland. If you find yourself in Inner SE, head over to Upside Down. The happy hour burger is only $5 ($9 regularly) and is SO. FREAKING. GOOD. They also have a great selection of local beers on tap.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Portland? Which one do you like?

Some of my favorite cocktail bars are The Rookery Bar, Clyde Common, Church, Pepe Le Moko, Bit House Saloon, and The Pope House Bourbon Lounge. I'm also REALLY into Bloody Marys... There's a Bloody Mary bar at EaT: An Oyster Bar that's pretty fun (and way less of a wait for brunch than most places). Genie's Cafe infuses their own vodkas and serves a super spicy bloody called The Scorpion, which, you guessed it, is served with a pickled scorpion garnish. It may burn your face off but it's fun to order;) The Irish Bloody at Raven & Rose is served with a float of Irish stout, which is an interesting (and yummy) twist.

Where would you take your partner in Portland if you wanted to really pamper them?

I'd start out the day with a latte and breakfast sandwich at Sisters Coffee in the Pearl District, then rent a couple of Biketown bikes and go on a ride along the west side of the Willamette river towards the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. In the spring the path is lined with the most beautiful blossoming cherry trees! Next stop is Löyly for a massage or couple of hours enjoying the sauna and tubs. Dinner at Bamboo Sushi (which serves only sustainably caught seafood), and an after dinner drink on the rooftop deck at Departure. Or get out of town and drive up Mt. Hood to The Resort at The Mountain -which has golf, a spa, and two restaurants!

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

Flaming Hot Cheetos, maybe? Are corn dogs a thing worldwide? I do love corn dogs.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Portland?

Voodoo Doughnut. I mean, I used to wait in line for an hour to get a bucket of day old donuts back when I was in high school and couldn't get into bars, but nowadays it's mostly a tourist trap. Also the Saturday Market is extremely overwhelming so I wouldn't recommend it.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Portland?

Distillery tours are underrated! Everyone loves the beer brewed in Portland but we also have some amazing distilleries. Check out the NW Distiller’s District near NW 23rd ave., where you'll find beautiful whiskey at Bull Run Distilling, gin and cocktail tastings at Aria Gin, and an assortment of fruit brandy at Clear Creek Distillery. Pick up a Distillery Row Passport to get $5 off at each spot.

What are the Portland spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Do a bit of research about food festivals or pop up shops that are happening while you're in town. There are always beer festivals and local shopping events going on. Portlandfoodevents.com always has a list of upcoming events. I would check that out on your way into town!

Tomorrow’s your last day in Portland. How do you spend it?

I would spend the day walking around without an agenda. There's so much to see, smell, and hear in the city that you might miss by driving or having a strict plan. I love walking through the Pearl District, Mississippi Ave., and Brooklyn neighborhood. Check out all the adorable Portland bungalows with their overgrown vegetable gardens. Pet the cats that greet you on the street. You might run into an impromptu concert in a park or a farmer's market. Just wander and enjoy.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

I love New York City. I've been there for work a half dozen times and it never ceases to amaze me. The Chinese food is on point, it's easy to get everywhere, and there's always a party going on.

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