Unless you're en route to Lone Fir Cemetery or Laurelhurst Park, or maybe all the way up to Montavilla, to go hot tubbing (my fingers broke out in a weird rash just writing that), it's possible that you may not make your way along SE Stark Street all that often. Well, as Jet Li would say, "That…was a mistake." Because SE Stark Street has some delicious eats, drinks, and come fall, the best apple festival around. So here's a guide to help you get to know SE Stark a little better, with or without the hot tubbing. (See Montavilla guide seperately)
You'll see ota tofu on menus citywide, because as tofu goes, it's bean curd royalty. You can also buy their fresh, gorgeous products yourself at their simple little shop on SE Stark, open Mon-Sat from 9am to 5pm.
The Slammer is a magnet for friendly neighborhood folk who know and value the joys of a great dive bar--cheap stiff drinks, good company, Skeeball, and on Wednesday Taco Nights, 3-for-$1 tacos (no joke).
Even a certified black thumb like me needs a nursery now and then, and this is where I go whenever something needs to be planted or resuscitated. They also host the annual Portland Nursery Apple Tasting in October, which is about as much fun as you can have with 20 million tons of apples--there are dozens of varieties on sale at rock bottom prices, a boggling tasting loop that is SO worth the wait, cider pressing, and strudel a la mode. I look forward to it all year. The whole affair, not just the strudel.
Regardless of your level of infatuation with beer, it's impossible to enter this unassuming Stark Street beer shop (with adjoining café/bar) and not be impressed by the sheer volume of wares and friendly, knowledgeable staff.
They don't come any cuter than Caldera Public House--the wood-heavy interior is fantastically cozy, particularly during the long winter nights. A marionberry bourbon bbq burger, a beer, and a booth and you're set.
Cool, funky, and devoted to the ultimate trinity, these sandwich swamis stack some of the city's best (they make a mean breakfast burrito too). You can't go wrong regardless of what you order, but I love the grilled green bean sandwich with bacon relish--which can be converted into a salad for gluten free divinity. And no MCB meal is complete without a housemade creme fraiche brownie.
I don't think I can say anything that Oblique doesn't in their online elevator pitch--"A super bitchin' Victorian Coffee Mercantile with scrumtrulescent beans micro roasted in an über German cast iron roaster named Bart!" So, yes, what they said.
Fresh, thoughtfully-prepared pies in a cute space along SE Stark between the Goodfoot and Bonfire Lounge. Try the doughy, super satisfying herb-dusted garlic knots, a deal at a half dozen for just under $3.
Now that Canteen serves breakfast, you can start your day with delicious dietary virtue--supplement your green juice with the fresh fruit, goji berry & cocoa nib-topped oatmeal with coconut milk or a gorgeous cashew cream & granola parfait.
Sitting amidst SE Stark Street’s “vegan mini mall”, this spunky market stocks a boggling array of animal-free sundries, from chocolate hazelnut cashew spread to whole grain bacon bits. Also THE place to find a "I'm Vegan and I Poop 3 Times a Day" bumper sticker.
Urban wineries are all the rage these days, and this laid back purveyor of Malbec & Mourvedre hails from Southeast’s busy Buckman neighborhood. Bar eats are excellent albeit limited, but they share the block with Meat Cheese Bread sandwich shop and Beer bar, making for the ultimate progressive dinner party.
This cute space in SE Stark's famous vegan mini-mall is a good spot to relax with coffee and a peanut butter jelly doughnut, then hop next door and do all your vegan belt and tofu knee socks shopping at Herbivore.