Portland Editor's Picks: Nina Lary

Picking my Portland favorites is like choosing between children. Whittle down what I love about this city into an easy-to-digest list, you say? Whew! Well, since I do spend about 85% of my time and income eating and drinking (coffee, wine, beer, cocktails), why don't I introduce to a few places in Portland where I do just that?

Updated: August 23, 2010

First Things First:. Favorite Coffee in Portland!

Sterling Coffee Roasters

2120 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97210

Came for the coffee. Keep coming back for the coffee. And the handsome sharply dressed baristas. And the ?Newsies? chic atmosphere. And the coffee. And the boys. You get the picture.

World Cup Coffee & Tea House

1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

After surveying every building that housed a barista within a one-mile radius, this became my neighborhood coffee shop for the first few years I lived in Portland. They serve their fabulous drip coffee in dark and medium roasts, and the window seats make for some of the best people watching in Portland.

Crema Coffee + Bakery

2728 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214

Luscious = Crema's on-point lattes; mountains of sweet and savory baked goods; cute baristas (is this a theme?) with just enough attitude. On summer mornings, floor-to-ceiling garage doors roll up to let the light flood in. And? the day has begun!

Now Down to Serious Business


413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Tanuki transports me. Passerbies hardly notice me sitting in the steamy window of the sunken-in bar. I can eat things like griddled Chinese sausage with hot mustard or $5 plates of stewed goat; drink cheap Korean beer and shots of lovely sake; listen to Wu-Tang. Tanuki is my idea of a vacation.


2811 Ne Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

Brunch at this cramped colorful cafe is my favorite way to spend the morning. I will respectfully insist that we start with a $5 basket of 8 mini pastries (who would argue with key lime pound cake, pineapple cream-cheese empanadas?) and drinking cups of cafe con leche. Then we will share an order of Tortilla a la Romana and a dish of their choosing. I?m not a dictator after all.

Monsoon Thai Cuisine

4236 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Also known as Laundromat Thai, this Mississippi spot has hosted many a lunch date during my years in Portland. The dishes are pretty standard for American Thai menus, but they do a Pad Kee Mao right! Always busy. Friendly service. And if I look them intently in the eye when I order my dish ?hot,? they most always oblige.

Oh, Wait, Maybe This is the Serious Business

Mississippi Avenue Social Club

3967 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227

Fresh squeezed greyhounds! Fresh squeezed greyhounds! Bottom line? This bar makes me happy. Tropical fish tanks, soul DJs, a treehouse-y patio, and yes, fresh squeezed cocktails, keep me satisfied and coming back for more.

Clyde Common

1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

The cocktails are classy and unique (salt and pepper!?), the upscale-hipster sighting primo, and the bartenders both cute AND knowledgeable. This is where I go when I want to feel "big-city."

New Old Lompoc

1616 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

My first love in Portland. And we all know how those go. There is plenty of micro-brew in town, but my allegiance lies here. It combines homey dive and sunny patio drinking. Plus, pints are only $2.50 every Monday.