06 Jul A Photographer’s Tour of Portland (and Beyond)
If you were a photographer, visiting Portland for just five days, where would you go?
Today we have the opportunity to share some amazing photographs by Joel of Kapono Photoworks on his recent trip to Portland, Oregon. Joel lives in Honolulu, Hawaii where he does photography (and other art) when he’s not at his day job. He has made a few trips out to the Pacific Northwest to visit family, enjoy a change of scenery, and explore the world of craft beer and micro-breweries. And he happens to be Jedd’s brother!
Joel (pictured left, holding the camera) with his Portland-based brothers and sisters-in-law
With just a few days in the Rose City this time around, Joel made sure to hit up some of his favorite places and explore some new spots recommended by his two older brothers. Here’s where he went:
Jenny and Tammy at Swiss Hibiscus restaurant (just off of Alberta on NE 14th) not only serve up amazing Swiss-European food, they’ve also become friends of our family. Jedd and I actually helped them rebrand their restaurant last year and we continue to assist them with their online presence. We enjoyed a delicious family-style dinner there with Joel, and he got some great behind-the-scenes shots.
Paprika schnitzel and goulash, both served with spätzli, followed a tasty soup, salad, and bread. Swiss cuisine is similar to German, which a hint of French and Italian, too. As far as we know, Swiss Hibiscus is the only Swiss restaurant in the area; and it’s been #1 on Trip Advisor lately as well!
While sushi is not rare in Joel’s neck of the woods, it’s hard to beat the value you get with Saburo’s super-sized nigiri and jumbo sushi rolls in the Sellwood neighborhood. The place is only open for dinner, and there is often a long line wrapped around the outside of the building of people waiting for a table. We typically put our name on the wait list as soon as we arrive, and then take a walk around Sellwood – our favorite neighborhood in Portland – while we wait.
Artigiano Italian food cart
Artigiano is another Portland eatery with ties to our family. Jedd and Joel’s oldest brother has been a loyal customer at this food cart for years and now helps out the chef, Rachael, on busy summer evenings. It features handmade, seasonal Italian dishes, served in a delightful outdoor patio-style setting on SE Division Street. This time around, we tried several different pasta and antipasti dishes by eating family style.
All-Way is a relatively new burger joint and bar on SW Broadway. They’re in the running for Best Burger in Portland, and have a spot with a great, classic diner atmosphere, too.
Other Portland Specialties
SE Wine Collective
The SE Wine Collective is an urban winery where several artisanal wine makers produce their wines. The space also has a beautiful bar and tasting room with small plate-style dining. If you see our brother, Josh, working there, he can tell you all about the various wine-makers in the Collective and the particulars of each vintage they’ve produced.
Salt and Straw ice-cream
Salt and Straw has made such a big name for itself in Portland, the long line outside the shop is almost as iconic as their quirky flavors. From Honey Lavendar, or Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, to Olive Oil – there’s a wide range of unconventional flavors, including a rotation of seasonal options.
Portland Cider Company
The Portland Cider Company Cider House on SE Hawthorne serves up a couple dozen ciders on tap, all produced in the Northwest. For fresh, local ciders, there’s no better place.
Portland Farmer’s Market
With roughly 40 farmer’s markets in the Portland area, the one at Portland State University is the largest, most well-known, and it operates year-round on Saturday mornings.
Olympic Provisions, now apparently called Olympia Provisions, has a booth at the market in addition to their two restaurant locations in Portland. Their specialty is handmade, traditionally cured meats.
In addition to fresh produce and locally-made products, the Portland Farmer’s Market is also a great place to grab a meal, like this farm-to-fork breakfast dish by Verde Cocina.
Hair of the Dog Brewery
Visiting micro-breweries was high on Joel’s list, and there is no shortage of them in this city. True to the Portland spirit, Hair of the Dog Brewery prides itself on originality. Their tasting room on SE Yamhill features uniquely-named beers on tap, served alongside pub food with a local twist.
Horse Brass Pub
The traditional English-style Horse Brass Pub, an establishment that pre-dates Portland’s micro-brew explosion, is located on SE Belmont. They keep 59 beers on tap and serve them up in proper Imperial pints.
Bailey’s Tap Room
Bailey’s Tap Room, on SW Broadway in downtown Portland, provides a wide selection of draft and bottled beers, mostly from Oregon. The open, airy bar is a unique, urban space for sampling a variety of the region’s brews.
In a region home to several big names in coffee (like Starbucks and Stumptown), Coava Coffee has made a name for itself with conscientious, single-origin coffees. The spacious Brew Bar on SE Grand serves as the company’s tasting room and storefront for their roastery.
Crown Point, Columbia River Gorge
When visiting Portland, the Columbia River Gorge is not to be missed. This scenic view at Crown Point is about half an hour’s drive from the city. It can be reached via the historic highway (Highway 30), a scenic drive that also leads past countless waterfalls in the Gorge, including the famous Multnomah Falls.
pFriem Family Brewery
Heading further into the Columbia Gorge, the small-yet-hip town of Hood River (windsurfing capital of the world!) has always been a favorite. There, Pfriem Family Brewery crafts artisanal, Belgian-inspired beers and hosts their tasting room across from the scenic Waterfront Park.
Double Mountain Brewery
Also in Hood River, the Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom downtown is a popular place to enjoy local, craft beer and delicious pizzas.
Tomahawk Island Marina
One of Portland’s best natural features is the fact that it sits at the crux of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. This is just one of many marinas accessible via Jantzen Beach. Technically, it’s still in Portland, but it feels far from the city – and just as close to Vancouver, Washington as anything else.
As part of the quest to hit up breweries in the region, we happened to be in the Salem area, near the home of Rogue Brewery‘s farm. We took the beautiful country drive outside of town to Rogue’s vast acreage of hop varieties, barley, rye, pumpkins, nuts, and more. They have a large outdoor picnic area with a food cart, a Bed and Breakfast, outdoor event space, and a tasting room. It’s also the site of their processing facility, once part of the largest hopyard in the world, which you can tour on weekend afternoons.
Boones Ferry Berry Farm
Just off I-5, south of Portland, is Boone’s Ferry Berry Farm – one of many options for U-Pick and wholesale berries in the summer. Fortunately for us, the Willamette Valley’s delectable marionberries were in season!
So that concludes our tour, through the eyes of a visiting photographer! All photos by Joel Chang of Kapono Photoworks.
Get our best tips and resources for transformational travel
Subscribe now to get our free Checklist for International Travel, plus other exclusive content about how to travel more, save money, and enjoy transformational experiences around the world.