Little Black Book

11 Things You Have to Do in Portland

by Beth Riesgraf
Photo courtesy of Navarre.

Actor Beth Riesgraf gives us her top picks for Portland, Oregon, her home away from home when shooting TNT's Leverage.

1. Eat several awesome meals. The food options are endless.

Breakfast: The Screen Door has great fried chicken and waffles. Broder is known for its Swedish cuisine. Mother's does an Irish twist on traditional breakfast. The Original Pancake House is good for old-fashioned pancakes and bacon. And Lovejoy has freshly baked bread and to-die-for scones.

Lunch: Olympia Provisions makes their own charcuterie. Pok Pok has amazing Thai food. Their fancy James Beard Award is hanging in the bathroom.

Coffee Break: Stumptown at the Ace Hotel, where there's a black-and-white photo booth in the lobby and bikes to rent if you're in the mood.

Dinner: El Gaucho is a classic steakhouse. Le Pigeon has delicious French food. Navarre is cozy and well priced. Naomi Pomeroy, a Top Chef Masters alum, runs Beast, which changes its menu every week.

2. Visit Charles A. Hartman Fine Art. My favorite gallery in town. Charles collects prints that are timeless and modern. He's knowledgeable, kind, and willing to pull pieces from his inventory to show you whatever you're interested in.

3. Roam the stacks at Powell's Books. You could easily get lost in here for days. If you do, there's a cafe for nibbles and a caffeine boost.

4. Peruse Jackpot Records. Friendly staff and great selection of limited-edition albums.

5. Take day trips. Cannon Beach is a quaint beach town on the edge of the Pacific. You can tour the vineyards in wine country and feast on locally sourced foods. Columbia Gorge has tons of outdoor sports (hiking, windsurfing, fishing) and is famous for its craft beers.

6. Shop the Portland Farmers Market. The South Park Blocks location on Saturdays is brimming with fresh herbs and vegetables grown by local farmers.

7. Go on runs and bike rides. Break a sweat at the Waterfront Park Loop and Forest Park trails.

8. Take waterfall hikes!

9. Visit Dantes. A live music venue where my castmate and good friend Christian Kane puts on a great show during the summer.

10. Head to Mt. Tabor Concerts. Set up a picnic in the park, let the kids play, and listen to live bands perform.

11. Remember First Thursdays. One big block party that happens on the first Thursday of every month. Shops and restaurants open their doors and welcome visitors for a glass of wine. There's live music and streets lined with stands selling goods from local artists and farmers.

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