Southeast Portland might be considered the most “Portland” of Portland neighborhoods fulfilling every Portlandia cliché that you could hope for with hipster driven style and artisanal everything.
Three parallel corridors mark the liveliest sections of town including Belmont Avenue Hawthorne Avenue and Division Street. All of these are surrounded by residential blocks of bungalow-style homes where lush backyard gardens and quirky outdoor ornaments are the style du jour.
Belmont maintains the most rustic undeveloped feel of the popular streets. Many bars and restaurants like the nondescript Nest a dive bar with pool tables and a patio and Pied Cow Coffeehouse a hookah bar with a leafy outdoor patio are housed in actual houses that can easily be overlooked as residential structures rather than businesses.
Shopping, Dining & Eating
Hawthorne is where the hippie culture of Portland still thrives. You’ll find overflowing thrift stores head shops and even the now legal marijuana dispensaries up and down this street. The Bagdad Theater is one of the many historical sites rescued and repurposed by McMenamins brewery. You can now catch a flick with pizza and a beer or try the extended menu at the adjoining bar or restaurant. The theater first opened in 1927 and it remains a fixture of this vibrant community with a preserved essence from Hollywood’s Golden Era.
Division is the street for slightly higher end shopping mirrored by the upscale apartment buildings that are working their way up and down the street.
The gastronomist will be overwhelmed by options in this neck of town. The famously authentic Pok Pok serves traditional Thai dishes. You’ll need one of their cocktails to wash down the heat from their chicken wings. Salt & Straw another Portland favorite often has a line down the block full of families date-nighters and groups of friends all craving the unique flavor combinations from this local artisanal chain.
A dormant volcano lies at the edge of Southeast Portland providing residents with trails and a stunning view of the city especially at night when the sun is setting. Mt. Tabor is a favorite spot for many who jog walk and bike through its forests and around its reservoirs.
Dog owners will love Laurelhurst Park with its wide open off-leash area. But those without canine counterparts will find something to enjoy here too. The nearly 27 acres were named the West Coast’s most beautiful park back in 1919 and though many have taken the title since locals will agree that it still ranks for peaceful escapes amidst an otherwise busy neighborhood.
A melting pot of Russian Chinese Vietnamese and Hispanic populations make the Foster-Powell neighborhood one of the more diverse. This area is easily accessible by automobile due to its triangular position bordered by three main arteries of traffic
Sellwood is where Southeast families are flocking for its small-town feel with a strong sense of community pride. It feels a little less hipster than the rest of Southeast here — but still there’s a vibe that anything goes. Just keep it kid-friendly.
Sellwood is home to Oaks Amusement Park which first opened in 1905 as well as Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge where 185 bird species come to play.
Neighborhoods in Southeast Portland
- Ardenwald-Johnson Creek
- Brentwood – Darlington
- Creston – Kenilworth
- Ladd’s Addition
- Mt. Scott
- Sellwood – Moreland
- South Tabor
City of Portland: 503-823-4000 www.portlandoregon.gov
Portland Business Alliance: 503-224-8684 www. portlandalliance.com