Portland is a town rampant with good ideas, novel concepts and plenty of movers and shakers. Take a peek at Sentinel’s guide for the people and places that spark inspiration in our hometown.
While we’ve listed just some of our favorite spots here, this certainly isn’t all – check out our neighborhood guide. As you plan future trips, please double check with the featured business’s websites as, given safety measures in place and state regulations, hours and operations may be affected.
With only 24 seats tucked behind a bookcase inside of Thai restaurant Paadee, reservations at the intimate Langbaan are notoriously hard to come by — that’s because just about everyone wants a taste of Chef Earl Ninsom’s bold flavors. Ninsom’s inventive tasting menu focuses on regional Issan Thai cuisine, and is a testament to Portland’s rise as a global food destination.
Named the Oregonian’s Best Restaurant of 2016, Le Pigeon is Portland fine dining at its best, with one of the city’s most talented chefs, James Beard Award-winner Gabriel Rucker, at the helm. Serving a rotating menu of elevated French fare in a cheerful space lined with exposed brick and foliage, Le Pigeon is the revered gem of the local food scene that momentarily transports us to Paris.
OX, oh OX. Brought to us by James Beard Award-winning duo, Chefs Greg and Gabrielle Denton, OX spoils Portlanders with the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina. Although there is an emphasis on prime local meats, OX overdelivers on the greens portion of its menu, as well, making this memorable restaurant a favorite among meat–eaters and vegetarians alike.
Minutes from Sentinel’s front doors on Alder Street sits Multnomah Whiskey Library, a legendary whiskey bar reminiscent of The Quaich in the small Scottish town of Craigellachie, where the Scottish whisky trail truly begins. Offering far more than Scotch, and with an exhaustive collection of major and little-known spirits from around the world, the Multnomah Whiskey Library pushes the limits of what a Portland craft cocktail bar can be.
A few blocks away, acclaimed barman Jeffery Morgenthaler turns out one of the city’s best blended grasshoppers at his subterranean speakeasy, Pepe Le Moko. Attesting to the notion that bigger isn’t always better, Pepe Le Moko’s tunnel-like design harbors room for only 42 seats, putting this bar among some of the smallest in Portland, and ensuring an enigmatically intimate atmosphere.
Joining Pepe Le Moko among Portland’s small bars with big names, Angel Face wows bar patrons with a delightfully feminine, floral interior, featuring a large oval-shaped bar as centerpiece. Instead, of offering a drinks menu, bartenders at this boozy French drinkery craft cocktails matched to the mood, flavor preferences and eccentricities of the one doing the ordering. The success of this charming little bar hinges partly on its clientele knowing their own tastes and having faith in the experts behind the bar.
From Wildfang, an androgynous lifestyle and streetwear line for womxn launched by former Nike brand marketer, Emma Mcilroy, to indie record label and handicraft retail cross-concept, Tender Loving Empire, Portland is brimming with independent brands worth supporting while you’re in town (plus the shopping is tax free).
At the top of the ranks of our favorite Portland-based brands? Seek out Portland Gear and Bridge & Burn for their laidback PNW apparel. Jacobsen Salt Co. is an admired local treasure, and their eastside tasting room doubles as the company’s production warehouse once their Oregon sea salt has been harvested and processed at their Netarts Bay saltworks. And Steven Smith Teamaker, whose small–batch, whole–leaf teas are proudly available across all Provenance Hotels, is a must-visit. Here you can tour their dual–production facility and tasting room, cozying up to the bar with a customized tea flight.
Head to Washington Park to snap photos of the infamous flora and fauna at the Hoyt Arboretum, covering 190 ridge-top acres and 12 miles of hiking trails, just minutes from downtown. The conservation area was founded in 1928 to protect endangered species, which today fosters 2,300 species of trees and shrubs from six continents. Or find a moment of zen at the famed Japanese Garden; meander through eight separate meticulously landscaped designs and finish with a traditional service at the Tea House on site.
Further afield, Cathedral Park is both a park and a neighborhood in North Portland bordering the eastern bank of the Willamette River, with the park itself located just underneath the iconic green St. John’s Bridge. Earning its name because of the appearance of its Gothic arches, it’s a popular location for weddings, walks and Instagram selfies.