Portland culinary

At the latest in Portland every dry spell ends – that can be said with certainty. While a home-brewed "chilled blonde" or a glass of local wine are the favorites of the evening, a freshly brewed coffee or tea is welcome in the morning or afternoon.

There was a time when rain was the liquid most associated with Portland and Oregon. Taking advantage of this "liquid sunshine," residents now brew their own beer, brew fresh coffee and tea, and make inventive cocktails. In addition, the abundant rainfall helps tremendously with the cultivation of grapes, hops and barley.

Word has long spread that Portland is the new capital of microbreweries. And the local Pinot Noir has already achieved world fame. Especially in the cold and wet season, you can also enjoy the great variety of pubs, cafes and tea houses.

Because of Oregon's location and climate, the variety of fresh regional and sustainably grown ingredients is vast – and there's a lot of emphasis on that in local restaurants. The popular (and now world-renowned) food courts offer a wide range of international specialties.

On every corner you'll find wineries, distilleries and small, independent breweries. About 30 of the "mircobreweries" are in Portland – which, by the way, is why the city is called "Beervana".

Beer from Portland

Starting in Oregon, beer has once again become a way of life in the U.S. For more than two decades, Portland has been the epicenter of craft brewing in the U.S. There are more breweries and pubs here than in any other American city.

Innovative brewmasters, many of whom learned their craft in Germany, Great Britain or Belgium, created the local beer scene with microbreweries and brewpubs. Portland alone has nearly 40 breweries – there are 70 breweries and pubs in all of Oregon. These cozy pubs offer solid fare in a rustic atmosphere, as well as live music and a beer garden or two.

Hopworks Urban Brewery in east Portland serves only beers made with organic ingredients. The building that once served as a warehouse for tractors is now the organic beer bar that's so hip today. The kitchen uses organic produce for pizza and sandwiches, in addition to pesticide- and fertilizer-free ingredients for the home-brewed beer. Furthermore, the heat from the stove is recycled – to heat the water. Conclusion: By visiting this brewery, guests are also helping to preserve the environment!

Coffee from Portland

Interest in coffee culture has grown enormously since the 1980s. Seattle may be home to the largest coffee shop chain in the U.S. to date, but Portland still values single-varietal, lovingly handcrafted wake-up beverages – so residents are just as happy to support small, individual cafes as they are microbreweries, distilleries and local winemakers. Portland's cafe operators are almost exclusively committed to "fair trade" and place a high value on organically grown beans of the highest quality.

Duane Sorenson is known as Portland's pioneer of high-quality coffee and as the inventor of the term "Third Wave Coffee," which basically means to value coffee not just as a purely consumer product, but to value it in the highest culinary form. Sorenson founded Oregon's best-known coffee shop chain, Stumptown Coffee.

Other well-known cafes and coffee shops in Portland are World Cup in Nob Hill and "Powell's City of Books".

Portland's cafe operators are almost exclusively committed to "fair trade" and place a high value on organically grown beans of the best quality. Portland is also home to the headquarters of Sustainable Harvest, the world's largest independent importer of fair trade coffee, with branches in Mexico, Peru and Tanzania.


Here are two more insider tips if you feel like taking a coffee break outside of Portland:

  • In the small town of Joseph in eastern Oregon, the family-owned Red Horse Coffee welcomes guests with delicious snacks and the finest coffee from its in-house roastery.
  • A little further north, in Enterprise, is the Red Rooster Cafe. In a friendly and cozy atmosphere, you can sit back, relax and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee from the cafetière.

Portland tea

If you prefer a cup of tea, Portland is also the place to be: Steven Smith is the best-known tea maker in the U.S. and founded the two large companies Stash Tea and Tazo Tea. The latter has gained worldwide fame mainly through its distribution at the Starbucks coffee shop chain.

The "master of tea" also develops a variety of flavored teas from a wide range of ingredients at his small store Smith Teamaker in Portland – just west of the Pearl District. Visitors can watch the teas being blended or enjoy a cup of the delicious drink. With a little luck, Steven Smith will even personally put together your own favorite tea.

Tea lovers should definitely pay a visit to the Tower of Cosmic Reflection. The cafe and teahouse at Lan Su Chinese Garden was created as a collaborative project between the city of Portland and its Chinese sister city, Suzhou. The view from the second floor is considered one of the most beautiful in the city. The building, designed by more than 80 artists, takes its name from the "reflection of the cosmos" in Zither Lake in front of the teahouse.

A slice of Japanese tea culture is offered to visitors at the Portland Japanese Garden. Modeled after the Japanese original in design and structure, the tea garden there is a place where things are in harmony with nature. The garden's tea house offers various events related to the theme of tea.

In addition, there are other tea houses in Portland that offer a variety of varieties and blends from around the world, for example Foxfire Tea, Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants and Tao of Tea.

Liquors from Portland

Portland's tasty beer, delicious wines and distinct coffee culture are famous far beyond the city's borders. Somewhat less well-known are the region's spirits, which are at least as noteworthy! In Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District, several distilleries have joined forces to form Distillery Row.

Under this name they offer joint opening hours and tastings as well as a walking tour to the individual distilleries. The new Distillery Row Passport includes tasting fees as well as detailed information about each distillery's products.

Eat and enjoy in Portland

Portland is the city of food trucks. Snack trucks are everywhere at lunchtime, offering freshly prepared dishes from around the world. Vegan" and "vegetarian" are not foreign words here in Oregon either – on the contrary: Portlanders are conscientious and diet-conscious. That's why there are so many restaurants with tea on the menu, like Hungry Tiger or Portobello.

Of course, there are also plenty of restaurant options for meat lovers. Pork belly is a popular dish here, and sometimes you'll find it on sweet pastries at one bakery or another – after all, they're not just imaginative here, they know what tastes good too.

The Salt and Straw ice cream parlor is also a good example of creative success in Portland. At now three locations in the city, you can try ice cream flavors such as raspberry-lemon-basil, pear-gorgonzola or honey-balsamic-strawberry – and yes, they are currently offering a variety here, too, that includes bacon as well as nougat and pecans!

Come to Portland – with so many cozy, individual cafes, tea houses and restaurants, you'll find a place to kick back and taste your way around. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the culinary delights.