Until a few years ago, North Killingsworth Street was most notable for its confluence of excellent ethnic markets, from Mexican to Ethiopian to Vietnamese—a diversity of food cultures complemented by an equal diversity among students of a Portland Community College campus that instated a colonialism-focused "white history month" this year. But lately, the streets have also turned into a low-rent North Portland party hub, with pop-up wine bars, queer-friendly dance clubs, and rocker dives filling in the blanks between cigarette-greenhouse Florida Room, beer-haven Saraveza and Adidas-friendly whiskey bar the Old Gold. Developers have been kept mostly at bay by the distortion caused by I-5—creating strange pockets of concrete-walled dead ends—while one of the city's only true neighborhood campuses finally gets the bar district it deserves.
Milk Glass Mrkt, 2150 N Killingsworth St.
Saraveza, 1004 N Killingsworth St.
Solabee Flowers and Botanicals, 801 N Killingsworth St.
In Other Words Feminist Community Center, 14 NE Killingsworth St.
300 N Killingsworth St., 503-285-4867. Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday.
Enat sits inconspicuously just down the street from the Florida Room, quietly going about its business as the best all-round Ethiopian restaurant in the city. Upon entering, you'll be transported to a warm, welcoming atmosphere, flush with touristy destination posters, cultural relics, and the aroma of flavorful spices. For $27, a couple can share a platter of five veggie dishes and two meats. The derek tibs, which has dry, spicy jerkylike beef, is a favorite of carnivores. On the meatless side, hefty dollops of lentils are spiced with lots of fresh garlic while collard greens have the fresh flavors of garlic and ginger. $.
Eddie's Flat Iron Pizza
1233 N Killingsworth St., 503-289-4700, eddiesflatironpizza.com. Lunch and dinner Wednesday-Sunday.
There's thin crust, and then there's Eddie's, which inverts Chicago's deep-dish tradition with pies thinner than this guide you're holding, topped with classic ingredients straight from the old country—the Midwest, in this case. $.
910 N Killingsworth St., 503-286-1401, enjonicafe.com. Dinner Monday-Friday, lunch and dinner Saturday-Sunday.
This bright orange East African spot gives you heat options on a Thai-style number scale. Beware, when they say a 4 is hot, they mean it. Heck, even the 2 is pretty hot on the siga tibs, beef cubes in a thick sauce of jalapeños and berbere. $.
Milk Glass Mrkt
2150 N Killingsworth St., 503-395-4742, milkglassmrkt.com. Breakfast and lunch Tuesday-Sunday.
This small, high-ceilinged space is almost always packed, with diners young and old waiting patiently for fig-and-anise panini with tangy sheep's milk cheese, almost-too-pretty-to-eat bread puddings and heaping breakfast sandwiches, bookended by an assortment of housemade biscuits and breads. $.
Tehuana Oaxacan Cuisine
1331 N Killingsworth St., 360-721-3457. Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday.
Tehuana offers a strong introduction to Oaxaca's famous street foods. Tacos al pastor are rich and moist, and you can also find huge tlayudas and their smaller relatives, memelitas—flat, crisped tortillas covered with frijoles revueltos (pureed black beans) and topped with your choice of meat, finished off with Oaxacan cheese. $.
The Florida Room
435 N Killingsworth St., 503-287-5658.
Every neighborhood has something like the Florida Room—the kind of place that makes bad decisions feel inevitable, even if your original intention really was just to drop in for a can of Hamm's and a Camel Light on the noisy enclosed patio.
1225 N Killingsworth St., 503-954-3959, janmarcwinecellars.com.
Barbara and Jan-Marc Baker have crafted a lovely, intimate bistro space where wine is the focus, offering a restrained, minimalist take on urban winemaking. The menu of hyper-fresh local ingredients—Oregon steelhead trout with wine-sauteed onions and fennel—quietly makes Garagiste one of the best restaurants to open in North Portland this year.
832 N Killingsworth St., 503-234-5683, killingsworthdynasty.com.
Killingsworth Dynasty is an all-vegan, queer-friendly, North Portland take on Rotture, with PVC-pipe light fixtures, a warm wood bar, a capacious dance floor and cool-kid bangers spinning on the decks, from throwback hip-hop to post-punk to queer nights devoted to "house, disco, magic and sharing bathroom stalls."
The Old Gold
2105 N Killingsworth St., 503-894-8937, theoldgoldpdx.com.
The focus at Ezra Caraeff's neighborhood haunt rests squarely on the immense library of international whiskeys behind the bar. There are whiskey flights, whiskey-and-beer pairings and even whiskey-education classes for those overwhelmed by the differences between, say, Yamazaki 12-year and Macallan 15-year.
825 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-8483.
Amid '80s knickknackery, Grace Jones glamour shots, records glued to the ceiling, posters for old Wire shows, and a spartan rear patio, Pop Tavern has the bones of a great hangout bar, with a tap list way more decent than you'd expect.
1004 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4252, saraveza.com.
"What should I have next?" we asked on a fall evening. Tyler Vickers, the bearded, no-nonsense bartender at Wisconsin-themed beer bar Saraveza, didn't hesitate: "Another Pliny." And that's what we love about this place. Between bartenders like Vickers and Kate Vincent and owner Sarah Pederson, the bar is run by excellent palates. When ordering, it's always best to take their advice.
5512 N Interstate Ave., 503-206-6738, baseballism.com. Open Friday-Saturday.
Originally an online retailer started by four local brothers still winning compliments on the shirts designed when they were running summer camps during college, Baseballism's brand encompasses a range of apparel now regularly seen on a murderer's row of after-work major leaguers. The company even sponsors its own scholarships.
The Naked Sheep Knit Shop
2142 N Killingsworth St., 503-283-2004, thenakedsheepknitshop.com. Closed Monday.
Since opening more than a decade ago, the Naked Sheep Knit Shop has served its neighborhood as a beloved "local yarn store"—supplying area knitters with needles, fabric and patterns while stitching together a community through classes, parties and children's summer camps.
The Portland Game Store
922 N Killingsworth St., 503-289-6373, theportlandgamestore.com.
A one-stop shop for Magic: The Gathering nerds, Dungeons & Dragons dorks, Game of Thrones geeks and whoever the hell still plays Risk—get with the times, Grandpa—with half the store reserved for free-play tables.
Solabee Flowers & Botanicals
801 N Killingsworth St., 503-307-2758, solabeeflowers.com.
Fresh off a move from the West End, Solabee is so good that it bears Martha Stewart's seal of approval. Solabee carries a selection of affordable, ready-to-go plants and planters with a beautifully modern bent—think your favorite spread in Kinfolk—that are appropriate for big and small spaces. Instagram not included.
Vieng Lao Oriental Grocery
1032 N Killingsworth St., 503-285-7833. Closed Saturday.
If you're in need of a live crab, bagged octopus or mung beans but lack the transportation or motivation to head to the Asian supermarkets on Southeast 82nd, chances are this well-stocked, Vietnamese- and Filipino-focused neighborhood grocery has what you're looking for.
700 N Rosa Parks Way.
A true wonderland of a park, with a century-old fountain, a last-of-its-kind gazebo and a rose garden that would give the Queen of Hearts hot flashes, Peninsula Park is one of the prettiest in the city, on top of having the most interesting history. Visit the community center to get the story about the time zoo penguins temporarily took up residence in the swimming pool.
The TARDIS Room at the Fish & Chip Shop
1218 N Killingsworth St., 503-0232-3344, thefishandchipshop.com.
Smaller (and, perhaps, a bit shabbier) than one might think from the outside, this artifact-packed tribute to all things Doctor-related has lured Whovians from across the globe to the Fish & Chip Shop's adjoining pub for live music, trivia nights and, of course, episodes of the BBC series.
In Other Words Feminist Community Center
14 NE Killingsworth St., 503-232-6003, inotherwords.org. Closed Monday.
In Other Words has long been a stronghold of Portland feminism, providing women with a gathering spot and safe space. It holds regular events like yoga, elder-led discussion groups and Al-Anon. It may or may not be the inspiration behind a certain bookstore on a certain Portland-based television show.
In multiple locations:
Lucky Labrador Tap Room, 1700 N Killingsworth St.