Alberta Arts District has a relaxed, alternative vibe, with some of Portland's tastiest restaurants.
The Alberta Arts District is 15 minutes from downtown Portland in the quirky Northeast area. The main restaurant and shopping area stretches thirteen blocks along NE Alberta Street, from 11th through 24th Avenue.
As you stroll along NE Alberta's tree-lined streets, you'll notice vibrant murals, historic, wood-framed shopfronts, and a distinctively independent vibe.
Signs of gentrification have crept in with modern, low-rise apartment buildings. However, this once working class neighborhood has retained it's unique character, and has a food scene that rivals any major city (minus the pretentiousness).
The restaurant scene is friendly and relaxed, with understated bars serving gourmet style comfort food, with beers and cocktails. Most have resisted the urge to go sleek and trendy. There's lots of outdoor patios, firepits, and welcoming interiors with board games or pinball machines. It's all about delicious food in comfortable surroundings.
10 best things to do at Alberta Arts District
1. Go out for lunch or dinner: Enjoy tapas and small spanish plates at Urdanita restaurant, or comfort food and cocktails in a relaxed atmosphere at Knockback. Bella Pizza (pictured) is a favorite neighborhood hangout, and sells East Coast style pizza.
2. Enjoy a delicious brunch: Weekend brunch is a big deal in Portland, with some great options in the Alberta Arts District. Eat at Petite Provence Boulangerie and Patisserie for a tasty brunch in chic, parisian surroundings. The Tin Shed Garden Cafe also attracts a big crowd on the weekends and has a lovely outdoor area. Pine State Biscuits is another Portland success story, serving up yummy southern style baked biscuit sandwiches.
3. Relax at a brewpub: The most popular brewpub along Alberta Street is Great Notion Brewing, housed in an industrial style building with a leafy outdoor patio, offering culinary inspired sours and stouts.
4. Enjoy a cocktail on a rooftop bar: The Radio Room is housed inside a remodeled vintage gas station in the Alberta Arts District, with a fun rooftop bar.
5. Check out an art gallery: The sleek Ampersand art gallery has regular exhibitions of contemporary artworks and a gorgeous selection of art books.
6. Take a photo infront of a beautiful mural: The Alberta Arts District is known for its bold, bright murals that infuse the street with personality.
7. Sample Portland's famous coffee culture: Barista is a Portland staple with a cafe in the Alberta Arts District, and the coffee is consistently good.
8. Line up for Portland's most popular ice-cream: Salt and Straw's handmade ice-cream is such a hit the store has now expanded to LA, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego. Even in the middle of a Portland winter, there's a long line outside this ice-cream shop, testament to just how delicious their product is.
9. Pick up some clothing items: There isn't a large number of clothing shops in the Alberta Arts District, but what's there has a vintage, quirky flavor. Stop by Zig Zag Wanderer for mens and women's vintage clothing, and Stumptown Kilts to purchase kilts made in the Pacific Northwest. Psychic Sister sells zodiac inspired clothing, vintage clothes, candles, crystals and tarot decks, and Amelia Boutique has some cute, fashionable pieces.
10. Find unique gifts: Find cool gifts at Darling Distraction, like candles, perfume oil, mugs, i-phone cases and hair accessories.
Know before you go
- Alberta Arts District location: NE Alberta Street (between 11th and 24th).