The Best Getaways for Food and Wine Lovers

Seattle has no shortage of great dining options, but sometimes eating out is about the journey
foodie getaways
Casual dining at Division Street’s Tidbit Food Farm in Portland

Eating your fill takes on a whole new meaning when you travel to these destinations. It’s all about the food you experience, from highbrow to low and everything in between.

Portland
You say you’re going to Portland for the forested hikes, the riverside views and the tax-free shopping. But let’s face it—you’re really just going to eat. The city is crammed with just about anything you’d want to sink your teeth into, plus a veritable sea of libations with which to wash it all down. Your best plan of action is to take a culinary tour of the city, one walkable neighborhood at a time.

1. Old Town: True Grit
(North to south, from NW Flanders to SW Pine; west to east from NW Sixth to Naito Parkway.)
Rich in old Portland history, though still rough around the edges, Old Town is emerging as one of the city’s most exciting food destinations, especially with the recent opening of Portland’s first food hall, Pine Street Market. There you’ll find outposts from many of the city’s most successful restaurateurs. Think over-the-top hot dogs from Olympia Provisions’ OP Wurst, spicy roasted chicken from John Gorham of Toro Bravo fame and mind-boggling ice cream creations at Salt & Straw’s Wiz Bang Bar (pork soft serve with marionberry magic shell?!). 


A soft serve sundae from Old Town’s Wiz Bang Bar; Carly Diaz

When you’re done noshing, walk or bike along the river at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Kerr Bikes even rents four-person surreys) or meander through the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden. On weekends, the Saturday Market lures shoppers with its huge array of handmade goods. Got gaming on the brain? Head to the Ground Kontrol ’80s-themed arcade, and be sure to check out the Pac-Man-tiled bathroom while you’re there.

2. NW 23rd Avenue: Still Trendy After All These Years
(Along NW 23rd between Northwest Lovejoy and Burnside Street.)
Although it’s been more than a decade since it earned the moniker “Trendy-Third,” this stretch of the Alphabet District is still a top shopping and dining destination. Here you’ll find all the big players: the bizarro world of Salt & Straw ice cream (care for a scoop of fish sauce caramel?), the wait-worthy Bamboo Sushi, exquisitely inventive Spanish tapas at Ataula and upscale bistro plates at St. Jack. The area is also fast becoming the locale for second and third outposts of city favorites such as fresh-pasta-focused Grassa, Lovejoy Bakers and Boxer Ramen. If spirits are your thing, you’ve got three distilleries to choose from: Clear Creek, Bull Run and Aria Portland Dry Gin.


Dining al fresco outside St. Jack on NW 23rd Avenue; Jessica Hill

Walk off your calories by shopping your way through the street’s many luxe boutiques, or hike through adjacent Forest Park—the Macleay trailhead is a short walk from the north end of the street.

3. Central Eastside Industrial: Maker Central
(North to south from Burnside to SE Hawthorne, west to east from Water Avenue to SE Seventh Street.)
Loudly and proudly wearing its old industrial vibe, this area, just across the river from downtown, is ground zero for the Portland craft movement. From exquisite Alma hand-made chocolates to Oregon-harvested Jacobsen salt, makers reign within this mile-long stretch of vintage warehouse chic. Sip the Belgian ales at The Commons Brewery, or taste aged brews at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. Enjoy a cuppa at Stumptown Coffee’s headquarters, or taste a tea flight at Smith Teamaker’s serene new space. Distillery Row’s eight producers are ready and waiting if you want to take a deep dive into their more than 20 locally made spirits. Just check out the map and tasting room guide (distilleryrowpdx.com). Or head straight to House Spirits’ brand-new $6 million distillery and tasting room. To sustain yourself during all that imbibing, don’t miss acclaimed Russian hot spot Kachka. And ramen junkies have no fewer than four spots to choose from: bold favors at Boke Bowl, white-hot Japanese import Marukin Ramen, beloved izakaya Biwa and its noodle spinoff, Noraneko.


Over-the-top dogs from OP Wurst in Old Town; David Reamer

4. Division Street: An Overnight Sensation
(Along Division Street from SE 20th through SE 29th, and from Division south to Clinton Street.)
This southeast Portland neighborhood was once home to gritty auto body shops, thrift stores and humble bungalows, but in a few short years, it’s been transformed into one of the city’s hottest dining destinations. Pok Pok and its neighboring Whisky Soda Lounge anchor the strip, but don’t miss the chef-driven Indian street food at Bollywood Theater, refined Mexican cuisine at Xico, and fantastic sandwiches and salads at Roman Candle. Or for variety, head to Tidbit Food Farm and Garden, featuring a pod of some of the best food carts in the city, and fully outfitted with amenities such as bathrooms, sheltered tables, a fire pit and—most important—pints of craft beer. Division’s dessert options abound, including the flaky pies at Lauretta Jean’s and stellar gelato at Pinolo Gelateria.

5. North Mississippi Avenue: Hipster Heaven
(Along Mississippi Avenue between Skidmore Avenue and Fremont Avenue.)
If you’re looking for the highest concentration of Portland clichés in one place, look no farther than Mississippi Avenue. It’s all here: food carts, craft breweries, live music venues, free-range chickens and super-specialized boutiques peddling everything from taxidermy to comic books to worldly salts and cocktail bitters. If Disneyland had a Portland Adventure attraction, it would probably look a lot like this. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, because it’s pretty delicious, especially the beers at family-friendly Ecliptic, the phenomenal Israeli sandwiches at Wolf & Bear’s cart, the scoops at Ruby Jewel and the gorgeous, seasonal, wood-fired pizzas at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty.


A variety of dishes from Marukin Ramen in the Central Eastside Industrial hood including deep fried tiger shrimp, Japenese-style fried chicken, gyoza and ramen; Jannie Huang

Once your belly’s full, take a 15-minute walk to the bluff at Overlook Park to watch the sun set over the river. Then, head back and catch a band playing at the intimate bar/live-music venue Mississippi Studios, featuring a steady stream of touring indie musicians. DANIELLE CENTONI

FIND IT
OLD TOWN
Pine Street Market: 126 SW Second Ave.; pinestreetpdx.com
Lan Su Chinese Garden: 239 NW Everett St.; 503.228.8131; lansugarden.org
Ground Kontrol: 511 NW Couch St.; 503.796.9364; groundkontrol.com
Kerr Bikes: 1020 SW Naito Pkwy.; 503.808.9955; albertinakerr.org/KerrBikes/Overview.aspx

NW 23RD AVENUE
Salt and Straw: 838 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.271.8168; saltandstraw.com
Bamboo Sushi: 836 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.229.1925; bamboosushi.com
Ataula: 1818 NW 23rd Place; 503.894.8904; ataulapdx.com
St. Jack: 1610 NW 23rd Ave.; 503.360.1281; stjackpdx.com
Grassa: 1506 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.386.2196; grassapdx.com
Lovejoy Bakers: 33 NW 23rd Place; 503.467.4067; lovejoybakers.com
Boxer Ramen: 2309 NW Kearney St.; boxerramen.com
Aria Portland Dry Gin: 2304 NW Savier St.; ariagin.com
Clear Creek Distillery: 2389 NW Wilson St.; clearcreekdistillery.com
Bull Run Distilling Company: 2259 NW Quimby St.; 503.224.3483; bullrundistillery.com
Forest Park: forestparkconservancy.org

CENTRAL EASTSIDE INDUSTRIAL
The Commons Brewery: 630 SE Belmont St.; commonsbrewery.com
Hair of the Dog: 61 SE Yamhill St.; hairofthedog.com
Stumptown: 100 SE Salmon St.; 503.808.9080; stumptowncoffee.com
Smith Teamaker: 110 SE Washington St.; smithtea.com
Jacobsen Salt Co.: 602 SE Salmon St.; 503.473.3952; jacobsensalt.com
Alma: 1323 SE Seventh Ave.; 971.279.4133; almachocolate.com
Boke Bowl: 1028 SE Water Ave.; 503.719.5698; bokebowl.com
Biwa: 215 SE Ninth Ave.; 503.239.8830; biwarestaurant.com
Marukin Ramen: 609 SE Ankeny St., Suite A; 503.894.9021
Noraneko: 1430 SE Water Ave.; 503.238.6356; noranekoramen.com
Kachka: 720 SE Grand Ave.; 503.235.0059; kachkapdx.com
Distillery Row: distilleryrowpdx.com
House Spirits Distillery: 65 SE Washington St.; housespirits.com

DIVISION STREET
Pok Pok: 3226 SE Division St.; 503.232.1387; pokpokpdx.com
Whiskey Soda Lounge: 3131 SE Division St.; 503.232.0102
Bollywood Theater: 3010 SE Division St.; 503.477.6699; bollywoodtheaterpdx.com
Xico: 3715 SE Division St.; 503.548.6343; xicopdx.com
Tidbit Food Farm and Garden: 2880 SE Division St.; Facebook, “Tidbit Food Farm”
Roman Candle: 3377 SE Division St.; 971.302.6605; romancandlebaking.com
Lauretta Jean’s: 3402 SE Division St.; 503.235.3119; laurettajeans.com
Pinolo Gelateria: 3707 SE Division St.; 503.719.8686; pinologelato.com

NORTH MISSISSIPPI AVENUE
Ecliptic Brewing: 825 N Cook St.; 503.265.8002; eclipticbrewing.com
Wolf & Bear’s: 3925 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.453.5044; eatwolfandbears.com
Ruby Jewel: 3713 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.954.1345; rubyjewel.com
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty: 4039 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.281.4060; lovelysfiftyfifty.wordpress.com
Overlook Park: portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder
Mississippi Studios: 3939 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.288.3895; mississippistudios.com

WHERE TO STAY
The Hotel Lucia
Downtown, 400 SW Broadway; 503.225.1717; hotellucia.com; $179–$279
Makes a perfect home base for food lovers, sitting as it does above Imperial, one of the city’s top restaurants and bars. Even better, it offers guests free Oregon craft beers in the lobby from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every day.

The Society Hotel
Old Town, 203 NW Third Ave.; 503.445.0444; thesocietyhotel.com; $120–$180
A newly renovated Euro-style lodging house that holds a special appeal for millennials, offering rooms that range from private with a shared bath to hostel-style bunks ($56.25 per person).


Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia’s dining scene is vast and world-class, from farm-to-fork restaurants to worth-the-wait noodle shops. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. On your next weekend road trip north, narrow your focus to a few new and unique food experiences that celebrate Vancouver’s dedication to locavore eating.*


Salmon gravlax hash with poached eggs and a beet and Postmark IPA purée at Belgard Kitchen; The Settlement Building

At The Capilano Tea House & Botanical Soda Co., a plant-inspired café in historic Gastown, mother-and-daughter owners Michelle and Paisley Nahanee of the Squamish Nation craft their organic teas and floral-fruit sodas using local ingredients such as nettles and juniper berries. Enjoy the beverages—and light bites such as bison- and sweet-potato-stuffed filo or warm bannock with duck and turnips ($9 each)—in this bright space. Also in this neighborhood is Soft Peaks, which offers quite possibly the thickest, creamiest soft serve ice cream on the West Coast. Founders and brothers Dan and Ken Kim use Avalon organic milk to make this natural, slightly sweet ice cream, the ideal base for toppings such as Okanagan honeycomb and sweet and sour yuzu marmalade ($5.50/$6.50).

Two blocks east in Railtown, Vancouver’s emerging, industrial-chic neighborhood, head to The Settlement Building, a gastronomic collective that houses The Belgard Kitchen. Executive chef Reuben Major’s meaty, Italian-inspired cuisine is bold and rustic. The grilled Postmark sausage board (featuring sausages, cured meat, cheese and more) and fiery shrimp spaghetti nero ($17 each) are a perfect match for the dimly lit lounge, with its oak barrels and exposed beams. The 7,700-square-foot Settlement Building also houses Vancouver Urban Winery, the city’s first boutique winery, and Postmark Brewing, a craft brewery and growler bar. (The Belgard Kitchen offers tasting menus for both.) 


A burger and beer from Timber; Nelson Mouëllic


Creamy soft serve at Soft Peaks;

On Robson Street near Vancouver’s West End, the folks behind Forage (the 5-year-old locavore restaurant with a strict no-waste policy) have opened Timber, which serves Canadian comfort food for conscientious sports fans. Say hello to the stuffed beaver at Timber’s door, then pick your seat based on which hockey game you want to catch on TV. Flannel-clad servers can explain the classics—the poutine ($12) is made with deeply flavorful vegetarian mushroom gravy—but your best bet is to just dig in, smug in the knowledge that no food, materials or extra energy was wasted in the making of your meal. Dip the fried Québécois cheese curds ($7) in house-made ketchup that’s made by the “fermenter-in-residence,” take down the giant bison burger ($18; beef is limited for sustainability purposes), or try the spiced, flaky take on tourtière ($20), the classically French Canadian game or fish pie. Just don’t expect your condiments to come in plastic squeeze bottles.


A display in The Capilano Tea House & Botanical Soda Co.; EYOÄLHA BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY

Burn off calories with a walk or bike ride (rent a bike at a number of shops, including Spokes Bicycle Rentals [spokesbicyclerentals.com] or Bayshore Rentals [bayshorebikerentals.ca]) around the Stanley Park Seawall. The flat, 6-mile route is paved and provides excellent views of the North Shore and Lions Gate Bridge. Want a longer walk or ride? The seawall is part of the 17-mile Seaside Greenway, which stretches from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks Beach. Jessica Yadegaran and Jess Thompson

* all prices in Canadian dollars

 

FIND IT
Belgard Kitchen: Railtown, The Settlement Building, 55 Dunlevy Ave.; 604.699.1989; settlementbuilding.com   
The Capilano Tea House & Botanical Soda Co.: Gastown, 221 Abbott St.; 604.428.7632; thecapilano.com
Soft Peaks: Gastown, 25 Alexander St.; 604.559.2071; softpeaks.ca  
Timber: Downtown, 1300 Robson St.; 604.661.2166; timbervancouver.com 

WHERE TO STAY
Skwachàys Lodge
Downtown Eastside, 29/31 West Pender St.; 604.687.3589; skwachays.com; $209–$229
The 18 rooms in this boutique hotel were designed by local aboriginal artists. Just a few minutes’ walk from Gastown, the property also has 24 shelter-rate apartments for community members at risk of homelessness, a street-level fair trade gallery and a rooftop sweat lodge.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Downtown, 801 W Georgia St.; 604.682.5566; rosewoodhotels.com; $419–$492
A historic Roaring ’20s throwback and former retreat for Hollywood royalty, including John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Elvis Presley.

Astoria
A highway winds through bucolic pastures and over gentle hills as it takes drivers west from Interstate 5 toward the historic port town of Astoria, Oregon. Grand and elegant buildings stand proudly, the heaving Columbia River ever present in the cool, salty air. Astoria is a town where artists thrive and characters abound.

Anglers and chic LA transplants alike sip coffee at Street 14, Micha and Jennifer Cameron-Lattek’s corner coffee shop, where everyone seems to know everyone else’s name.


Stop at Street 14 for coffee; Michael Cameron-Lattek (Street 14)

The couple—who bought the coffee shop attached to the Commodore Hotel in 2012 on a lark while they were still living in Berlin—started serving dinner (Thursdays–Saturdays) in the fall, and you’ll want to make a point of eating there. Chef Andrew Catalano comes to Astoria by way of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern and Maialino, and Portland’s Ned Ludd, and the ever-changing dinner menu (items include superb fish stew, freshly picked lettuces and garden produce in salads, house-made spaghetti cacio e pepe; entrée prices average about $20) is executed with precision and soul.

In fact, Astoria is increasingly a worthwhile destination for locally sourced foods. Consider having lunch on the pier at Clemente’s, a bright and airy spot with open-beamed ceilings, a peek-a-boo view of the river and the most remarkable crab cakes ($14) around. (One waiter said he’d seen folks return to have them again for dinner the same night.) A few steps down the pier at Frite & Scoop, Lisa and Kevin Malcolm serve small-batch ice cream ($2–$5.50) with house-made ingredients (for example, fresh lime curd swirled into sweet cream custard, and a life-changing rocky road with house-made marshmallows and Callebaut chocolate), alongside twice-fried Belgian frites ($4–$8) with a choice of dipping sauce (we like the malt vinegar aioli).


Enjoy classic fish and chips with beer also at Buoy Beer

Meander down a block to Imogen Gallery, which sells works by local potters, painters and woodworkers; then stop into Maiden Astoria, a “makers’ gallery,” to pick up a cozy, screen-printed fleece sweatshirt and browse locally made jewelry and art in a chic, bright storefront.

Brew hounds know to stop into Fort George Brewery for a Quick Wit, made with coriander and orange peel, enjoyed under the shade of an umbrella on the expansive outdoor patio. But locals may point you to the newer Buoy Beer Company, which is equally worth a pilgrimage, especially as its waterfront location offers an awesome view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. When a craving for fish and chips (starting at $9) strikes—and it will—get in the queue (and bring cash) for a delicious version of this classic from The Bowpicker. It’s a bit of a cliquéd tourist trap, but the restaurant, in a converted gillnet boat, has been flash-frying fresh fish for decades, and it’s pretty hard to resist. ALLISON SCHEFF

FIND IT
Street 14: 1410 Commercial St.; 503.325.5511; street14cafe.com
Clemente’s: 175 14th St., No. 180; 503.325.1067, Facebook, “Clemente’s Café”
Frite & Scoop: 175 14th St.; 503.468.0416; friteandscoop.com
Imogen Gallery: 240 11th St.; 503.468.0620; imogengallery.com
Maiden Astoria: 255 14th St.; maidenastoria.com
Fort George Brewery: 1483 Duane St.; 503.325.7468; fortgeorgebrewery.com
Buoy Beer Company: 1 Eighth St.; 503.325.4540; buoybeer.com
The Bowpicker: 1634 Duane St.; 503.791.2942; bowpicker.com

WHERE TO STAY
The Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa
10 Basin St.; 503.325.4996; cannerypierhotel.com;, $309–$399
Built on a pier where a fish cannery once stood above the Columbia River, this hotel offers 46 rooms, each with updated, contemporary décor, a gas fireplace and a small balcony overlooking the river. An afternoon wine-and-cheese happy hour in the lobby, with its soaring two-story windows (or on the riverside patio, weather permitting), sets a festive tone. Best of all? The hotel offers complimentary chauffeured rides to downtown in a classic car. Just ask!