The dream of the ’90s may be alive in Portland, but in one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, present day takes precedence. The Pearl District–located just north of downtown between West Burnside Street and the Willamette River–has said goodbye to old industrial structures and railroad yards that dominated this district back in the day to make room for shiny shops, upscale galleries, and hip cocktail lounges.
Already blown through your spending cash on Voodoo Doughnuts and microbrews? Not to worry—there are plenty of ways to blend old with new in the Pearl District, with minimal damage to your wallet. Here are the top places to check out during your time galivanting around the Pearl District:
If you like your cocktails with a side of art, plan your visit to the Pearl for the first Thursday of the month. The streets come alive as the galleries open their doors to showcase new exhibits. Wine and cheese are in abundance, and you can always dip into one of the many swanky bars when the free fare runs low.
Whoever said fine Italian cuisine can’t be found in the Pacific Northwest is a no-nothing-at-all and obviously hasn’t been to Bellino Trattoria Siciliana. You’ll feel like Michael Corleone from “The Godfather” while you’re gorging on a plate of linguine di mondello. Don’t forget to finish the meal with a cannoli or a piece of tiramisu.
You want sushi. You need sushi. Treat yourself to some of the finest raw fish in the city at Sinju Restaurant. Sure, you can order traditional dishes like California rolls and rainbow rolls, but it’s about time you expand your palate. Order up some fatty tuna belly, Spanish mackerel, and monk fish liver. Yes, we said monk fish liver.
The Pearl District is extremely walkable, so all you have to do is park your Portland rental car at the first open spot you see. Enjoy the neighborhood, grab some grub, and continue to road trip your way through this dynamic city.