Neighborhood Guide: Montavilla

Over the mountain and through Portland`s hoods, to Montavilla we go. Just over Mt. Tabor lies what was once a working-class rural suburbia and is now a working-class neighborhood with a hot strip of dives, cocktail lounges, restaurants and boutiques. Take a Sunday drive and explore all the up-and-coming action this historic enclave has to offer. (Photo: Flickr user Christmas w/a K)

Updated: July 18, 2011

Eat: Montavilla Restaurants

Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine

8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Start your evening with a serving of artichoke hearts braised, sauteed, then stuffed with beef, onion and pine nuts in a garlic cream sauce, piles of round, pillowy pita and a plate of lemony parsley-packed tabouli. Best attacked with a big hungry group, this menu packs unique home-cooked dishes in with Lebanese standards.

The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar

7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Sure there are things like Molasses Smoked Duck Leg or a Whole Hog dinner butchered in house. Forget all that and focus on chicken. Look no further than this cozy-chic eatery for sublime (read: light and dark meat) fried chicken sided with a sweet cream biscuit and bacon-braised collard greens.

Flying Pie Pizzeria

7804 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

The salad bar renaissance has finally arrived. Or wait? maybe it never left. This cozy joint sniffs of old-school pizzeria with wooden backed booths, arcade games, counter service and, yes, a sprawling salad bar. Gluten-, dairy-, and meat-free diners get happy here cause they can even make a mean pie sans all three.

Bipartisan Cafe

7901 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Pie for breakfast, pie for lunch, pie after dinner. Choose from one of the dozen or so flavors on hand. Fruit, berries, cream? Yes, they also serve a full and delicious lunch menu. But it's really all about the pie.

Drink: Montavilla Bars

Vintage Cocktail Lounge

7907 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Tired of the pub/dive scene? In the mood for a real cocktail? Say, an Americano? an Aviator? Maybe a French 75 or an Oaxacan Margarita? Or forget fancy mixes altogether and take in a flight of 12-year Scotch. The sleek masculine interior adds an air of serious to the drink and conversation.


8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

$.75 pool, a dozen+ taps, jukebox and Tuesday night 'short shorts night,? (huh?) draw folk from both sides of 82nd to this not-so-divey dive. The neighborhood vibe of Montavilla runs deep here and you're bound to strike up conversations with new, old, young, down, dirty, pretty and city.

Thatcher's Restaurant & Lounge

7906 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Typical pub grub gets bumped up a notch by the deep selection of beef and chicken sliders for $1.75 apiece. Pool tables and neighborhood gossip suffice as evening entertainment.

Watch, Shop in Montavilla

The Academy Theater

7818 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Where else can you drop off the kids, grab a slice and a pint and watch second-run films for $4? An evening at this `40s deco-style theater is totally worth the trip.

Immortal Pie & Larder

8029 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

One-stop shopping for all your chi chi drink and foodie needs. Stocking everything from rare beers and half-bottles of wine to baggies of black Indian sea salt and homemade sweet and savory pies for take-away, this specialty shop serves those seeking little gourmet pleasures.

International Food Supply

8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

With a heavy emphasis on Middle Eastern and Eastern European pantry staples, this tiny box of a market packs an incredible supply of imported foodstuffs. Pickles, pastes, relishes, soups; fresh cheeses and cured meats; Lebanese grains and bread doughs; desserts, fruits and nuts--all of exotic origin. Those with wanderlust are fed here.