Visiting Oregon: Portland’s Coffee Shops & Espresso Cafes
Guide to Portland, Oregon’s unique artsy coffee houses for casual business meetings, chatting with friends, a relaxing mid-day getaway, or a good morning hot cup of java.
Rain or shine, a good cup of coffee almost anywhere in the beautiful, funky city of Portland, Oregon is a special treat. However, if one knows where to look, the Rose City is a treasure trove of especially hip, artsy, and unique hide-a-ways serving delicious coffee drinks, pastries, and food.
Why have an average experience when there are places to visit and meet where one can be inspired and renewed in spirit?
Here are some of the coolest places to visit for a good funky cup o’ Joe in Portland, Oregon.
Books and Coffee – A Great Combination in Portland
A branch of World Cup Coffee inside Powell’s City of Books (Walk-in, casual, book-filled coffeehouse)
1005 W. Burnside St., Portland, OR; (503) 228-4651 or www.powells.com
According to Fodor: Powell’s City of Books is “The largest independent bookstore in the world, with more than 1.5 million new and used books, Powell’s is a Portland landmark that can easily consume you for several hours… It’s so big it has its own map, and rooms are helpfully color-coded …, so you can find your way out again.”
The fun of this mid-sized coffee shop inside Powell’s is the casual atmosphere, terrific ground-floor people-watching windows, and it’s being a good place to rest with a drink and treat while in the middle of browsing this huge book store. Reasonably family-friendly cafe (with polite children), and Powell’s also has a wonderful children’s book section with new and used books. Walk-up counter service and an add-your-own cream and sugar area.
Parking can be a pain. Once (paid) parking is found, be sure to check out some of the other cool surrounding stores and eateries as well.
Also, if you have good quality used books to sell, bring them along. The funds earned may just pay for coffee and some new books.
Cost: Reasonable to inexpensive.
Funky Coffeehouses in Portland, Oregon
Pied Cow Coffeehouse
3244 SE Belmont St. Portland, OR 97214-4243; (503) 230-4866
Customer reviews (citisearch) run the gamut, especially on quality and slow speed of service, but most agree this quirky coffeehouse has good food (though some say portions are skimpy) and a fun atmosphere and outdoor garden area with a smoking hookah (21 and over). Unique food choices to go with or instead of java are: cheese platter, mezze platter with hummus, tzatziki, and olives, lavender-honey steamer, bread and olive oil/balsamic vinegar, chocolate cake, and beer.
Cost: Generally inexpensive
4258 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215; (503) 233-3369
Serving Stumptown Coffee, bubble tea, and bagel sandwiches, Fat Straw also serves flavored teas and smoothies (like strawberry milk tea, taro milk tea, pomegranate black tea, passion fruit smoothies) and fresh-made sandwiches
Added plusses include free Wi-Fi and computer usage, as well as a meeting room for up to 20 people.
From a customer review on Citisearch: “It has a great front room that lets light in and feels cozy all at the same time, and it’s great to socialize, eat delicious bagels and drink… They play music, as do most cafe’s, but theirs is fun, transcendental, smooth, chill, jazzy and bouncy…
1214 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209; (503) 274-2559
Located in a former house, Anna Bannanas is a true coffee house with four different relaxing rooms, along with a front porch and a deck on which to partake drinks. The coffee and espresso are excellent. This funky-furniture spot has yummy milkshakes, gourmet sandwiches, and large homemade muffins. 21st Avenue (where Anna Bananna’s is located) supports the goal to “Keep Portland Weird.” Free Wi-Fi, limited seating, and funky.
A quote from a customer rating on Citisearch: “It’s not just the feel of the place that is nice, they have amazing coffee, real employees (not polished corporate espresso machines and cashiers), and the music is always different and interesting.”
Reportedly Rachel Ray said good things about this establishment on her show (Citisearch).
Cost: Inexpensive; Cash & check only.
115 NW 22nd, Portland, Oregon 97210; (503) 299-6304
This main location in NW Portland features delicious coffees, house-baked pastries, sandwiches, fresh salads and incredible desserts. There is self-service limited seating inside and outside.
Outside there is even a thoughtful water dish for dogs.
Price: Varies from extremely cheap to costly, depending on hunger and choices. They accept credit cards, cash, checks, traveler’s checks, & their own gift cards.
Visiting Portland is great fun and “doing coffee” (or tea) in Portland can be a real treat.