Baby hits the road and heads to Portland this week for the third installment of our extensive pop-up at Halo Shoes in the historic Pearl District. We celebrate this great collaboration of two stores and appreciate being able to bring the Baby & Company cheer to our favorite sister city. As we get ready to merge onto I-5, we begin to recount what we love about Portland. There is a never ending favorites list that starts with cultural hotspots, hits a sweet spot of shopping, and ends at a good meal. Directly from the mouths of the Baby & Company staff, here are our favorite picks from PDX.
Rita Sheckler: Sales and Resident Sculling Expert
Mother’s Bistro for it’s cozy & quirky interior and super friendly staff! Their food is delicious, home style, slow cooking with only the best ingredients. I went there for brunch. It was a home run meal! And Powell's Bookstore, of course.. It smells so good and I always find too many fantastic adventures, inspirations & recipes that I end up with more than I can carry!!
Jill and Wayne: Owners and Dynamic Duo
Hmmm, Portland, well of course my favorite shoe store is Halo Shoes. They have an excellent selection of men’s shoes, which may be as vast as the women's section. In addition they have great bags, socks and accessories.
For food, we like the Park Cafe in the Pearl, as well as Nostrana, Beast, and my absolute favorite lunch spot : Little Big Burger. With 7 locations in the greater PDX area, I highly recommend this spot for a delicious burger! As a friend put it: Its just the perfect size for lunch; bigger than a slider, but not too big. Paired with their house-made ketchup and fry sauce, possibly the best American classic I've ever had. Oh, and the truffle salt fries are perfection as well. Add a cold tall-boy and you're set!
For coffee, quality pastries and lunch, I really like Nuvrei, also in the Pearl. Reliable coffee, and delicious quick lunches. World Foods on Everett St has ready made salads, gourmet pizzas, and a wide selection of upper-shelf groceries. Besaw's in NW Portland serves a great breakfast. Outdoor seats get the best sun in the morning!
Portland is a great city to wander through, and if you're into running, an even better one. We like any of the walkways bordering the river for runs, as well as the Waterfront Park Trail and the Eastbank Esplanade.
Manuela Insixiengmay: Photographer and Resident French Resource
My favorite place to stay is Hotel deLuxe - big cushy beds, huge windows, a pillow menu, and home of the Driftwood Room - almost the best cocktails in town. Speaking of best cocktails in Portland, I'd recommend popping by Mint 820 for Happy Hour, creative cocktails (try the Dragon Milk) and a spicy Caesar salad, mmm!! Mint 820 has all kinds of delicious things to mix up into a memorable cocktail. To kick your hangover the next day, you might want to make your way to the Tin Shed Garden Cafe for brunch (psstt there's a patio), and the biscuits and gravy is where it's at (it's called the cure, now you know why).
Anna Telcs: Creative Consultant and Sewing Enthusiast
Located in the heart of downtown Portland close to Burnside is the Museum of Contemporary Craft. A hidden gem! The gift store alone has the choicest assortment of ceramics, bags and artist-made card collections. Upcoming shows include The State of Oregon Crafts and CARPA: Craft Advanced Research Projects Agency, which happens to be a central state agency of the United States Department of Defense. Long live American craft!
Aptly named, the Central Library in southwest Portland provides a quiet respite from the teeming food trucks and downtown shopping. The vast reading room is resplendent with natural light and a Pepto-pink vaulted ceiling! The communal reading tables have sturdy chairs and plentiful outlets for your laptop and phone needs, very handy for a traveler such as myself. A book store in the foyer makes for good gifts. Library programming is highly recommended for youth and the curious of any age; the tots story theater looks delightful and an eco-roof tour happens regularly and is led by intrepid locals.
Megan Huffman: Sales and Music Maestro
I've only been to Portland a few times, but I have fallen in love with House of Vintage, a massive vintage warehouse located at 3315 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Each room tells a different story filled with records, knickknacks, furniture, and clothing from all different eras. It's a great store to explore if you have some free time- I've personally spent hours exploring HOV as a museum.
Joanne Sugura: Sales and Elevated Foodie
Well, we know Cathy Whim's restaurant Nostrana is top of my list. Fun cocktails at Tear Drop in the Pearl. The stores, Canoe and Alder and Co. on SW12th are fantastic. For fresh air between meals take the river walk from the Steel to Hawthorne Bridge. End up at the Lan Su Chinese garden in old town or head to the Elizabeth Leach and Butters galleries for a well rounded afternoon.
Christina Hicks: Media Director and Garden Aficionado
My trips to Portland always seem to be filled with shopping (tax-free!) and lots of dining out. For men's and women's clothing, my top three favorites are Table of Contents, Frances May, and Stand Up Comedy which never fail to impress with their curation of fashion, art journals, and beautiful art-objects that always leave me inspired. On an overcast day, I love a stroll around the Portland Japanese Gardens and feeling lost in the huge trees of Hoyt Arboretum. When June rolls around, the 7,000 bushes at the International Rose Test Garden at Washington City Park are in full bloom, with the most impressive array of rose cultivars that often stick around well into the fall.
My boyfriend and I usually make a pilgrimage to Hand Eye Supply, a boutique supply shop filled with beautiful and functional tools of the trade: from well-crafted drafting and drawing supplies, to woodworking tools, durable workwear, and reference books. On the east side, we'll head over to Pink Vintage on SE Hawthorne to peruse their selection of beautiful and well-priced mid-century modern furniture and housewares. For a caffeine pick-me-up, I love Coava for their pour overs but also their industrial and loft-like space, Stumptown at the Ace Hotel, and Heart Coffee with airy locations on both the east and west side of the city.
Terri Lyn Sloan and Greg Quist: Friends of Baby & Company and Neighbors to Pike Place
Lunch at Boxer Ramen for the experience and space - very fun! Ace Hotel is a classic of course, have a cocktail and admire the crowd. Head to dinner at Laurelhurst Market on Burnside, though a reservation is suggested. For inspiration head to Spruce Apothecary, the geniuses behind Canoe. Before hitting the road back to Seattle, a drive thru the winding neighborhood and park of NE Portland is a must.
We think it's time for a trip to Portland!!