Original Hotcake House (Michael Raines)

This Must Be the Place

Six Portland neighborhoods that put the vibes in vibrant.

Someone mentioned the other day that after living in Portland for a couple of years, they found it to be a lonely place. I’ve heard the sentiment plenty of times before, even felt it myself. There’s something about Pacific Northwest cities, like this one sprawling under thick gray clouds, that can occasionally make a person feel a little isolated.

Maybe the loneliness feels slightly extra after the past few years, topped by the recent confirmation from the U.S. Census Bureau that Portland has lost population for the third consecutive year as the ‘burbs continue to beef up.

Don’t close your door on the city just yet. Instead, step into Portland’s neighborhoods, these versatile, hyperlocal pockets offering far more than you might notice.

We’ve picked six neighborhoods throughout the city that we find to be less-traveled standouts, filled with distinctions that anchor the areas and make them solely their own. The list could take you to a Star Trek-themed formal tea service in Kenton, a former FedEx truck wielding Neapolitan-style pizzas in Roseway, a camper trailer where you can get custom clothing alterations and designs in Brooklyn, or a roadhouse dive to sip an ice-cold Hawgarita in Hazelwood.

These spots feel woven into each neighborhood’s tapestry, and make you feel like part of the fabric.

Whether you’re a longtime resident of these neighborhoods, browsing for a home, or just visiting from another part of the city, these vibrant stops await you. It’s not time to leave—go fall in love with this city. —Robin Bacior, Arts & Culture Editor

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