See and Do

  • Friendly Bike Guest House

    4039 N Williams Avenue
    Portland OR 97227

    Attention travelers who want to see Portland by bike and avoid hoteliers who frown upon wet tire tracks—meet the new Friendly Bike Guest House. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Guests can bring their bikes and stay in a bunk bed, a twin bed, a full room or an entire floor of the house. Accommodations include a community kitchen, three baths, linens, private lockers and access to a washer and dryer. The house is within fair biking distance of Portland’s downtown, Riverside Loop and Forest Park. 

Eat and Drink

  • Brass Tacks Sandwiches

    3535 N Vancouver Avenue
    Portland OR 97227

    Portland’s food scene is one of the best regarded in the country, and for good reason. Nevertheless, there are still some culinary areas in which PDX could use some improvement. Sandwiches are near the top of that list, and fortunately for us, Brass Tacks is here to help fill the void. The Boise shop focuses on two things near and dear to Portland foodies’ hearts: quality ingredients and a range of options for all diets. Grab a vegan meatball sub or munch on cruelty-free turkey on Fleur De Lis bread. “We make all of our vegan meats from scratch,” says Ami Taylor, who co-owns the restaurant with Sara Pavao. Taylor says that Brass Tacks also includes house-made cole slaw, potato salad, and condiments. “People are really enjoying what we’re serving,” she says. “It feels great.” 

  • Ecliptic Brewing

    825 N Cook St.
    Portland OR 97227

    Oregon craft brewing pioneer John Harris’ 14,000-square-foot, 15-barrel brewpub aims to one-up what other brewpubs already do well, namely by producing great beer and high-quality eats delivered with exceptional service. Harris’ food menu is seasonal, so the sides and some of the entrees come and go, but you can always find staples like sweet and spicy drumsticks, barbecue brisket sandwiches, and the kitchen’s increasingly famous Ecliptic burger (pancetta, red onion, gruyere and Russian dressing). And you can always expect to choose from around a dozen oft-rotating, risk-taking, Harris-brewed beers on tap, as well a list of signature cocktails. Harris is also slowly rolling out events for the community, including food-themed Lunation dinners, telescope parties and Ecliptic’s Beer Mile. There’s also a menu for the kids and it’s happy hour all day on Mondays.

  • ¿Por Qué No? Mississippi

    3524 N Mississippi Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    There is no specific region of Mexico that guides the flavors utilized in the dishes at Bryan Steelman's taqueria. "It's totally all over the map," he says. What you will find on his menu are a variety of bean and rice bowls, tamales and tacos, as well as fresh guacamole and housemade salsas, hot sauces, aguas frescas, horchata, and hand-formed tortillas and chips, the latter of which are deep fried not in canola oil but in the far tastier rice bran oil. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, and there's even a kids menu for the finicky who've yet to embrace their inner spice. Steelman also remains committed to sustainability by locally sourcing all the chickens, cows, shrimp, fish and pork that make up the majority of the dishes you've come to love.

  • Radar Restaurant

    3951 N Mississippi Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    For years, Lily Tollefson and her husband, Jonathan Berube, have been splitting their time between the nation's coasts. They were most recently in Long Island where they helped run the Lobster Inn, a restaurant owned and operated for 43 years by Tollefson's father, Skip Radar Tollefson, before he sold it and retired in 2011. The couple has since returned to Portland and opened the small plates bar, Radar, as a tribute to Tollefson's dad. (Radar really is his middle name, she says, adding that all of her father’s sisters and brothers have long been named for nautical terms.) The 36-seat space will feature a food menu that rotates every two weeks with an emphasis on seafood, like a bluefish pâte that spotlights bluefish caught by a fisherman in Long Island and shipped overnight to the City of Roses. The bar also features signature cocktails made with imported spirits that British sailors and merchant marines would've quaffed while in port a century ago. And because her family and husband are soccer fans, European and local matches will be constantly screened on the bar's two televisions and, when it's warm outside, projected onto a big screen on the 20-seat back patio. 

  • The Box Social

    3971 N Williams Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    After putting in long nights for the last five years at the Sapphire Hotel, co-owner Shannon McQuilkin could never seem to find a proper place to unwind near her home in the Boise-Eliot neighborhood. So, she took matters into her own hands. Not unlike The Sapphire Hotel, The Box Social, which she co-owns with her husband Eric, is an intimate spot to grab a snack and a cocktail. Sensuous in color and sexy in lighting, this modern "drinking parlour" has a simple menu of 10 signature cocktails, sandwiches, hearty sides like mac & cheese, and a variety of snacks, which include small plates of Goldfish (yep, the crackers!) and popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper. She says they also feature the best hot buttered rum you'll ever taste, made from an ancient recipe passed on to bar manager Michael Rowe from his grandmother. 

Shop

  • Black Wagon

    3964 N Mississippi Avenue
    Portland OR 97227

    Sarah Shaoul's children's boutique specializes in selling items she and her staff consider both "timeless and classic." In other words, Black Wagon sells the kind of books, clothes and kid-friendly furniture that you'll want to pass on to your grandchildren. But the shop's magic ingredient, Shaoul says, is its customer service. Not only will she and her staff help you find the perfect gifts and educational toys for the kids in your life, chances are they'll remember your name, your child's name, and what you purchased your last time in, whether you live around the block or visit Black Wagon but once a year. 

  • Mr. Green Beans

    3932 N Mississippi Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    Is there anything Portlanders can’t do? Not according to the folks at this shop, which is already well on its way to becoming Boise's—and the city’s—DIY headquarters. Whether you want to be crafty, save money, or just do it your own way, you’ll find everything you need to make soap, cheese, soda, and of course, coffee. They currently stock over 15 varieties of green, unroasted coffee beans (most fair trade, sustainable, organic, etc. and home roasting machines (though co-owners Ginny and Trevin Miller can also coach you on using kitchen appliances you probably already own).

  • Queen Bee Studio & Store

    3961 N Williams Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    Rebecca Pearcy caught the "sewing bug" at the age of 13 and spent her subsequent high school and college years reclaiming vintage materials from thrift stores and sewing them together into a personal wardrobe of her own design. Throughout the years, she scoured the market for specific things she wanted, like custom-built bags, only to realize that the only way she was going to get what she really wanted was to make it herself. With that in mind, Pearcy founded Queen Bee Creations in 1996, and, before long, she had created her own market for unique, one-of-a-kind, functional products (wallets, cases, accessories, diaper bags, coasters, towels, throw pillows, and items for bicyclists including panniers) made from materials like faux-leathers, organic cottons, hemp and, increasingly, waxed canvas. Drop by her studio, or visit her "mothership" store online, to peruse her catalog of Queen Bee products or to see what she's got cooking in her two subsidiary studios, Chickpea Baby (products made for parents) and Rebecca Pearcy Textiles (accessories and home decor). 

  • ReBuilding Center

    3625 N Mississippi Avenue
    Portland OR 97227

    Find just about any item—from doors and windows to appliances to toilets, sinks and tubs to roofing and siding—you need to complete your home improvement projects at this community nonprofit. And don’t fret about the cost: Prices are kept low because the salvaged and reclaimed materials are donated to promote affordability and sustainability.

  • SpielWerk Toys

    3808 N Williams Avenue
    #121
    Portland OR 97227

    There’s no question that kids are the guests of honor here. You find yourself in a playroom as soon as you enter. The fort, by the way, was built by the same guy who makes kids’ archery sets for the store. Other locally made products are featured, too, including exquisite fairy houses made of twigs and moss, rustic sailboats and mobiles with fabric birds. The shelves are bulging with lots of handmade wooden toys and a wonderful selection of books. There’s free gift wrapping and customer rewards, such as $1 credit for every $10 spent. 

  • Sunlan Lighting

    3901 N Mississippi Ave.
    Portland OR 97227

    In 1989, Kay Newell, aka “The Light Bulb Lady," opened Sunlan Lighting, making it the oldest single owner-owned businesses on what's now become a bustling commercial strip. What's inside is a collection of light bulbs for every occasion, including lone decorative bulbs and strings of holiday, party and patio bulbs, as well as therapeutic light bulbs powerful enough to mimic natural sunlight, which is something Portland doesn't get much of, Newell jokes. But, it's what you see from the outside that brings potential customers inside: Newell's known for her elaborate and illuminating window displays that, for years, have provided a compelling subject for anyone with a camera.

Insider's Tips

  • Happy Hour at Interurban

    Interurban’s happy hour menu has a diverse bench that runs deep. Your only task whilst sipping on a draft beer or a glass of the slyly named Sword Fight (a Kentucky Mule made with Fighting Cock bourbon and Cock’n  Bull ginger beer) is to figure out what exactly to order. Do you try the bone marrow (with grilled bread, salsa verde and Maldon sea salt), the rather addicting polenta croquettes (also with salsa verde, shaved Manchego and a tart, bitey Calabrian chili coulis), or the weekly “fresh baked”—an expertly executed sandwich made with a baked-to-order roll that seems like it will never keep the whole thing together but somehow, miraculously, does. They’re all worth sampling, but then again, so are the crunchy, spicy, sweet and meaty hot wings (rolled in honey, ginger, soy and slivered garlic) and the Stouffer’s-sized personal pot pie (pork loin, carrots, celery, onions and cannelloni beans), which you can upgrade, rather affordably, to include an imperial pint of rotating cask beer. Your best bet? Bring a couple of friends, start with what we’ve listed here, then explore your way through the rest of the menu. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 p.m. till the doors are locked on Sunday nights.

  • Happy Hour at Life of Pie Pizza

    The happy hour menu at Jason Kallingal’s pizzeria is simple—spartan simple, in fact. Here’s how it reads: $3 glasses of wine (red and white), $3 draft pints (brewed at one of four local breweries), and one $5 pizza (margherita). Doesn’t sound like much, but here’s the thing: That pizza’s a winner, and after months of tweaking it since the doors opened, Kallingal’s dialed in his recipe. First, he’s now sourcing his tomatoes from a provider in Modesto, Calif., who pays its growers not by how many tomatoes they can grow, but by how each batch tastes. The crust, a thin one circled by a puffy, pillowy ring of blistery crust, is cooked in a wood-fired oven at a temperature about 100 degrees less than what’s standard, resulting in a pie with a soft, chewy center and a delicately crisp shell. And the cheese? The mozzarella’s regularly made in the kitchen, from scratch. To Neapolitan purists, that pillowy ring of crust may cause alarm—or at least a frown—but Kallingal provides coriander-infused crust-dipping chili oil for once the center of the pie’s been eaten. But, the best thing of all is that this happy hour Pizza Pizza-like deal runs for seven hours. In other words, you could show up for lunch with a friend and split a pie for $2.50 apiece. Can you really beat that? Happy hour last from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

  • Happy Hour at Lincoln

    If your blood beats red and your tongue’s in working order, you probably already order onion rings whenever you spy them on a menu. They rarely disappoint, at least in this town. But, Jenn Louis' incomparable corn-breaded, Möbius strip-like onion rings, with their housemade Thousand Island dipping sauce, eclipse the very idea of what onion rings should taste like. It sounds hyperbolic, but it's true. And, the same can be said of her poutine too—a towering bowl full of house-cut fries, melted fontina, and a tender lamb gravy that eats a lot more like a starchy, inside-out hunter's stew than it does the late-night Canadian snack. If you're feeling plucky, you can always ask for a plate of finely chopped elk heart tartare dusted with smoked egg yolk, or a deep-fried pig's ear adorned with diced cornichons, capers and mint leaves. Either way, when you belly up, you've got the option to choose from daring dishes you seldom—if ever—see around town, or unrivaled renderings of classic standards. Be brave and choose both because Lincoln's Commuter Corridor Happy Hour—served, at the bar, Tuesdays through Fridays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.—is wildly affordable too.

Important Links

Boise Neighborhood Association
Coalition Office: Northeast Coalition of Neighbors
Neighborhood Map
Capital Improvement Projects
Crime Stats
Parks
Schools
Zoning Designations
Northeast Portland Tool Library