Guest Blog: Indie City Guides: Portland by Charissa Faire Day#2


It’s Day #2 of the Indie City Guide for Portland by Charissa Faire.  You can read Day #1 here and be sure to check back tomorrow for the final installment. 

If you are interested in writing an Indie City Guide or sharing what is indie happening about your city, then shoot me an email.

by guest contributor Charissa Faire

Welcome to Day 2 of my guide to Indie Portland! Today I’m covering events and food, because this stuff’s important. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few, but hopefully these are at least a starting point to a wonderful world of indie fun and eating in the great Northwest!


One of the most central and well-known events in Portland is the Portland Saturday Market. It takes place downtown every Saturday and Sunday between March and Christmas Eve. The market includes an almost overwhelmingly large collection of temporary booths with every imaginable craft under the sun: From jewelry to musical instruments to toys to home furnishings to visual arts and more. I got a silver ring made from a spoon there, and there’s a booth dedicated entirely to utensil art, so don’t miss out!


SW Naito Blvd, under the Burnside Bridge and in Ankeny Park

Next up is the fabulous and so very appropriately named event known as Crafty Wonderland. Taking place on the second Saturday of every month at the ultra-cool Doug Fir Lounge, this is a glorious smorgasbord of all things crafty. It features about forty vendors PLUS a free DIY table every month: Recent vendors include Moontea Artwork, Mugwump, Happy Cake, and my much-adored Robot Candy.


photo from the Crafty Wonderland flickr pool

at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

The PDX Pop Now! music festival is an annual festival begun in 2004 to bring attention to Portland’s rich and varied music scene. PDX Pop Now! is a non-profit organization formed from sheer love of local music, and it showcases lesser-known bands right alongside more well-established artists. This year’s festival has already come and gone, but you can still check out all of the CD compilations from this year and previous years here.

at Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 234-5683

We’ve already established just what’s so indie about food, so I don’t think I need to explain why I’m including a few of my favorite local eateries and grocery stores. Every place listed here is a great source for a tasty treat, as well as supporting indie-friendly values. I’m sorry I couldn’t include more, but I’m just starting to discover the amazing local menu here myself!

Alotto Gelato started out with one family growing berries in their own yard, selling the gelato they made at the local farmer’s market. And it’s stayed true to its beginnings, using quality and often local ingredients to produce some of the tastiest flavors around. They offer their traditional flavors right alongside more innovative ones such as Sweet Corn, Rose Petal, and Chocolate Chipotle.


photo from S Crume’s Flickr photostream

931 N.W. 23rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97210

If I ask my boyfriend where he wants to eat, nine times out of ten he says Burgerville. And I can’t fault him for that. Their motto is “Fresh, Local, Sustainable,” and even their veggie burgers are locally sourced. Not only that, but they have the most incredible onion rings I’ve ever eaten, their burgers always taste fresh, and they have a seasonal selection of milkshakes that are always mouthwateringly good. I’ve only listed the location closest to me here, but you’ll find Burgerville throughout the Northwest.


8218 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97220
(503) 255-2815

Cupcake Jones is a locally-owned cupcake shop with some of the most delectable little cupcakes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. They have a revolving menu including the delicious standard flavors they offer daily as well as several different flavors of cupcake for every day of the week. My favorite is one of saturday’s flavors, the Peanut Butter and Jelly with “white velvet cake filled with homemade berry jam topped with peanut butter icing and a homemade jelly drizzle.” Honestly, just reading their menu will blow your mind, so treat yourself.


307 NW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 222-4404

Voodoo Doughnut is a Portland institution. Not the kind of institution for crazy people, though that could be argued as well. What I mean is, if you mention Voodoo Doughnut to anyone who lives here, they’re going to not only know exactly what you’re talking about, but suggest you both go there RIGHT NOW. The doughnuts are excellent, they have a ton of creative shapes and flavors, they’re open just about all the time, they perform weddings, and they have classes in Swahili on Monday nights. I am not even making this up. What more can you ask from a doughnut shop?


22 SW Third Ave
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 241-4704

Sahagun Chocolates has a great situation going on. Because who doesn’t love handmade chocolates? And when they’re handmade and hand painted by a local resident using all-natural and often local ingredients (including hormone-free Oregon cream and sour cherries from the Willamette Valley!), it just doesn’t get much better –or tastier– than that.


10 NW 16th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 274-7065

I go to Food Front Co-op several times a week. Partly because I live incredibly, wonderfully close to it, and partly because it’s just that amazing. Food co-ops have been gaining in popularity here recently as more and more people are concerned about where their food comes from, and Food Front is always great about having lots of fresh and local organic produce and meats available. Living next to this place in Oregon in berry season has been nothing short of sublime. Plus, they support other local business as well, offering such items as these cards from local artist Urban Bird Designs.


2375 NW Thurman St
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 222-5658‎

Other co-ops in the area are:

3029 SE 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 232-9051‎

1500 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

Some more delish eateries:

COOL MOON ICE CREAM (Delicious locally-owned ice cream store with handmade ice cream using many Oregon flavors and ingredients).
1105 NW Johnson Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
(503) 224-2021

HOT LIPS PIZZA (Portland-owned and operated pizza business with four locations, dedicated to sustainability. Just look at their food sources!)

  1. NE 33rd (at Killingsworth) (503) 445-1020
  2. SE Hawthorne (at 22nd) (503) 234-9999
  3. DOWNTOWN/PSU (at SW 6th Near Hall) (503) 224-0311
  4. PEARL DISTRICT (at NW 10th and Irving) (503) 595-2342

And that’s that for today! Tomorrow will be my final day, where I’ll be covering art and shopping. Mmmmm, art and shopping…