Portland: Some of my favorite things

Hello all - Gab here. 

As a few of you will be coming to Portland, OR this week for the NWSL championship, I wanted to list out a few choice things to do while out here. 

First off - THE NIGHT BEFORE THE MATCH. Come to a party that the Rose City Riveters are hosting. Please RSVP here because they are trying to let the bar know how many people will be there. 2 Drunk Fans will do a live recording of our next episode, as well as be selling merch (scarves, shirts, stickers). 

Now, I don't want to be redundant, so if you're in town for JUST the match, kudos and check out the Rose City Riveters blog post that already gives you some logistics for the day, with a list of transportation, bars for before the match, logistics and whatnot. You can read that blog here: http://rosecityriveters.org/a-travel-guide-of-sorts/..

But!! There's more. So much more that my fair city can provide that some may not consider "family friendly" and I figure that since you may listen to our swearing and debauchery on a fairly regular basis, I'll provide a different kind of travel guide. 

For my favorite places, I've tried to classify them. But feel free to mix and match as you see fit. As always, shoot me any questions on tweeter (your best bet for a speedy response). Please note - these are all downtown, so if you're staying in the city, you won't need to worry about transportation. If you're on the east side, just hop on a bus into downtown and make a day of it.


  • Mother's - legendary for long lines and delicious breakfast dishes. I am partial to the fritata, but it is best shared, unless your hotel / airbnb has a fridge. 
  • Bunk Bar Downtown - O.M.G. if you can only have one breakfast sandwich while in town, get the one they have. I recommend the bacon, egg, and cheese. Takes about 10 minutes to make, so if you are in a hurry, just call ahead. 
  • La Jarochita - if you follow me on tweeter, you've probably seen me post about the breakfast burrito. It is huge and delicious and that's what she said. You get a little form to fill out when you're placing your order, so get creative. Pick as many meats as you'd like. It's a flat price. *wink* They also do excellent dishes for anytime of day. Oh, did I mention that you can get the burrito anytime? Yep. 


  • Killer Burger - About a year ago I had one and then I had to take a sick day the next day and I was mad at them for a while, then I had one a few months ago and fell back in love. Huge burgers, don't be afraid to get a "girlie" sized, its a much more normal size and the perfect price. Also, don't get mad at me for calling it "girlie" as that's what they've labeled it. Oh, you can also get your day drink on. 
  • Luc Lac - This is a double dipper for both lunch and dinner. Excellent food, but, much like Mother's, always a line. ProTip - call in your order for pick-up and head to a park to enjoy it. I love the pho, but have had most of the items on the menu and it is all really good. Another good place to carry the day drinking into the evening, but, aware, lines.
  • 9th and Alder Cart Pod - in a group and no one knows what they want for lunch? GO HERE. There are about a billion carts and you can get it all. Literally. Grilled Cheese (order the Gabby), Hawaiian, Greek, fish & chips,Mexican (hi La Jarochita!),  mac & cheese (I just had this this week, YUM!),  the infamous chicken and rice at Nong's Khao Man Gai, and so much more. Last I checked there was even a popcorn cart, a donut/bagel cart, and so many noodle places. 
  • Kale - the ultimate Japanese comfort food. So fucking good. If it's rainy and you just want to warm up a little, go to here. 
  • Pizzacato - just want a slice? Maybe a salad as well? Hit up one of their locations for a killer lunch special. They have beers on tap too!

Happy Hour (yes, this is a huge thing here)

  • Departure - It's a little fancy, but not in a "bust out your pearls" sort of way. Just, buyer beware, this place isn't a dive. 
  • Portland City Grill - oh la la. Again, fancier than your average bar but you can't beat the views. A must-see for tourists.
  • Nel Centro - If it's a nice day, get there early and grab a seat on the paio!
  • Red Star Tavern - this one is easily in my top 5. My office is in the same building so you have to say accessibility is feeding into that. They have a great happy hour (both food and drinks) as well as some nice signature cocktails. 
  • Trader Vics - Not quite downtown (it's in The Pearl) but flaming bowls of alcohol. If you order them. And ask for the flame. They don't do that automatically. 
  • Life of Riley - good sports bar with games and such in the basement. Don't pay attention to the smell. It is the smell of clean.
  • Bailey's Taproom - Well, now we've ventured into beer bars, so this may take a while. Love this place, they don't have food, though. If you want food, talk to the bar keep about which places deliver (like the Mexican joint right across the street). 


Breweries (Beer / Cider + Food)

  • Deschutes - my favorite pour - Red Chair (seasonal).  My favorite regular - Mirror Pond. The pretzel is amazeballs, too. 
  • Bridgeport - the food here is better than most breweries. If you're into that sort of thing.
  • Rogue - go for the food. The bacon is fantastic.  
  • Lucky Lab - go for the beers. 
  • So many more, but these are the ones I go to most frequently. 

Dinner.. any of the above mentioned places are fantastic. Below is a short list of the rest I recommend. It's really hard to go wrong with food in Portland because bad places go out of style really fast. 

Other things to do while in town -- 

  • Greek Festival! - for that weekend only!!
  • Ground Kontrol - play arcade games & pinball for hours and hour and hours
  • Portland Pilots Women have a match on Saturday at 7pm. They play BYU. Always a fun crowd and they have a fun team this year. Do eeeet. 
  • There is also a Timbers match on Saturday. If you're interested in tickets, don't feed the scalpers. Come by the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) about 3 hours before the match to see if there are tickets available at face value. Never feed the scalpers. 
  • Powell Lanes - on the east side, but by far the best bowling ally in town. Hit them up, I'm doing it almost weekly at this point. 

MUST SEE BAR -- everyone in town needs to plan a visit to Bazi into the mix. Bazi is a very unique bar owned by Hilda who has really supported the Thorns, the Riveters, AO throughout the World Cup this year, and I couldn't find the right spot to list them out on the above lists because they are just so special. They have a to die for burger on the menu called the BAON Burger. It's really excellent. Hilda will also put on any footy match, as requested. They are a Belgian beer bar, so come with your tastebuds ready to have a workout. You'll find a lot of Riveters memorabilia throughout, but be sure to check out the rafters. That's the 2013 Championship banner that Steph and I got from Rochester to Boston (via van) to Portland (via an amazingly shotty packing job and plane). I'm particularly proud that Hilda is displaying it so proudly. So, please go visit them and tell Hilda all about your woso joys.  

As for those of you are into a late night scene full of nudie girls, techno music, metal music, no cover charge, sometimes a cover charge, and really strong drinks, I give you the following list:

  • Metalesque - this company puts on great shows. The themes are always spot on. Don't be afraid, it's a good show! This is the type of thing that you go to, sit back, sip on a cocktail and relax. There is limited crowd participation (unless you're at a VIP table at the front) and no need to tip each dancer. They will probably pass a hat near the end of the show, so feel free to bring cash to tip the whole production. You can check out the promo video here: https://t.co/xrk3iVP00f
  • Kelly's Olympian - biker bar right downtown that is always a fun place to start the night. Strong drinks, big tap list, usually someone is on the stage late enough.
  • Mississippi Studios - if you venture over to the east side, check this place out. Generally the live shows are $10-15 and its a nice spot. They have a bar attached (BarBar) that does good drinks, has an outdoor patio, and is lovely. Great place to be even if you don't go to a show. 

Below is a list of strip clubs. Please be aware of the rules of going to a strip club: DO PLAN TO SPEND MONEY: not just on a bar tab. If you sit at the rail (right next to the stage), you need to tip at least $1 ($2 if you go to a bar that only provides $2 bills) for every song. If you don't like the song, get up and walk away, don't stay and not tip. Also, a tip is just the tip, feel free to tip more if the moment grabs you. Do not touch anyone who works at a strip club/bar. Ever. Remember that they make the big bucks via private dances, so they are going to be very flirtatious. Give in or not, but don't be disrespectful. If you offer to buy a dancer a drink, be ready to pony up for top shelf, because they're not ordering well or a tall boy.

  • Mary's Club - a must visit if you're staying downtown. Classic dive strip club that has a single stage and boasts some good talent. 
  • Kit Kat - not really sure how to describe this one. If you're downtown, stop by. It is so worth it. 
  • Sassy's - this is a dive. holes in the seats, sticky floors, but the dancers are 1000% energy. rock and roll and punk and you'll get dizzy. they have 3 stages so pick your poison. 
  • Devil's Point - if you're looking for the best time ever, hit this place up. A bit of a drive or taxi or uuber, but totally worth it. Sit at the bar, each dancer gets 2 songs, keep your seat if you can. My personal favorite
  • Casa Diablo - not going to link to this one, but will mention it. Very forward, very extreme with regard to female customers too. Sort of the far end of the comfort spectrum. Also, some bad press/pr recently about mistreatment of their dancers, so, buyer beware. This is the $2 place. It's vegan, if that's your jam.

Whew! I know I left out things like donuts (Blue Star over Voodoo any day) and coffee (there's no way I can pick a favorite) and farmers markets and walks and music and everything. You can google for all that.

This is just a list of a few of my favorite things.

See you at the big dance.