Cully—the land of satellite dishes and art cars, what-is-he-building-in-there sheds and prefab gazebos, ethnic communities enduring undisturbed for generations, and aspirational cultists—hasn't entirely evaded the forces of change. The longtime auto-parts outlet hub now also serves as the city's de facto artisan butchery district, and given peculiarities of zoning, first-time buyers have descended on the flyspeck properties while sprawling expanses of untended lawns lure a bumper crop of agrarian-chic urban farmers. Still, lacking a single boutique and somehow irritatingly removed from just about everywhere, the neighborhood is uniquely positioned to resist the forces of gentrification. For now, at least, Cully is where the sidewalk begins.
Old Salt Marketplace, 5027 NE 42nd Ave.
NEPO 42, 5403 NE 42nd Ave.
Jump Jump Music, 7005 NE Prescott St.
The Side Yard Farm, 4800 NE Simpson St.
Spare Room Restaurant & Lounge
4830 NE 42nd Ave., 503-287 5800, spareroomrestaurantandlowunge.com. Breakfast-late night daily.
Open 365 days a year for every second the law allows, the Spare Room is not just Cully's largest drinking hole by a few degrees of magnitude, but the de facto center of a famously fractured community. Here, packs of game-day bros find themselves amid the flooding dance floor of Sugar Town's monthly queer soul party, local hip-hopheads hustling for last call will end up crashing a string-band hootenanny, and the wizened Jumptown survivor rocking a boysenberry-colored dinner jacket and matching porkpie hat will shuffle to the karaoke mic and channel Sam Cooke with such ferocity that the slumming millennials forget about their phones. Every so often, Cully comes together despite itself.
Angel Food & Fun
5135 NE 60th Ave., 503-287-7909. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only.
The asada burrito is why you come here. It's a perfectly structured meat-rice-cheese-guacamole masterpiece. You're going to have to wait a few minutes while the kitchen staff creates this wonder—toasting the outside and melting the cheese—but burritos this good are worth waiting for. $.
Miss Zumstein Bakery, Coffee Shop, Cakes and Desserts
5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-279-2746, misszumstein.com. Breakfast-dinner daily.
Moments after tastemaker-fave dessert chef Anja Spence opened her first storefront beside Old Salt Marketplace, the environs proved sufficiently cozy to become Cully's coffee-klatch destination of choice. Make no mistake, the cafe was always meant as a delivery mechanism for the weaponized pastries baked within. $.
Old Salt Marketplace
5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167, oldsaltpdx.com. Dinner Monday-Friday, brunch and dinner Saturday-Sunday.
A brawny facility primarily divided between deli and rustic-chic dining room, Old Salt was the first outpost of the culinary establishment to view Cully as something more than a source of freshly grown ingredients. While folks flock for specialty cuts from the whole-animal butchery or the rotating master classes, Old Salt's signal attractions remain the supra-hearty selections of sustainable comfort food at the restaurant. $-$$$.
5028 NE 42nd Ave., 503-284-9333, pizzajerkpdx.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
Pizza Jerk won rave reviews for its enlightened take on the sort of '80s pizza parlor that would have feted Little League teams decades past. Unfortunately, a fire earlier this summer closed the kitchen, which is scheduled to reopen Sept. 1. We eagerly await the Jerk's triumphant return. $$.
5427 NE 42nd Ave., 503-287-0669, pollonorte.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
Pollo Norte cooks up estilo-Distrito Federal pollo on a rotisserie imported from Mexico, slow-cooking birds spiced with lime juice and achiote powder on a rotating spit. The meaty pintos are rich as hell, while the coleslaw and tomatillo salsa are among Portland's best. $.
Rose's Ice Cream
5011 NE 42nd Ave., 503-256-3333, rosesicecream.com. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
A beloved Cully institution since 1950, Rose's still churns its ice cream by hand in 6-gallon batches using only the freshest local fruits and nuts.
5403 NE 42nd Ave., 503-288-8080, nepo42.com.
An irreplaceable oasis of pub life, NEPO 42 does its best to approximate all bars for all people. Parents bring their children, pets accompany their owners to the front patio, sports fans gather for games, and folks predisposed to hate all of the above may choose from 20 taps of craft beer and cider when filling their growlers.
4516 NE 42nd Ave., 503-493-2737. Closed Sunday.
In a part of the city famously lacking grocery markets, Caribbean Spice makes the most of its limited space and too-often-ignored culinary focus. Inside the Rasta tricolor-bedecked cinder-block structure, shelves quake from heaped West African staples and jerk seasonings, freezers teem with goat meat and oxtails, and the proprietress nearly bursts with enthusiastic suggestions.
Daddies Board Shop
5909 NE 80th Ave., 503-281-5123, daddiesboardshop.com.
Starting life as an upper-Sandy hole in the wall, Daddies emerged as a global leader in longboard sales—successful enough to fund a champion women's downhill team and build an 18,000-square-foot flagship headquarters dedicated to meeting every conceivable need of skaters young and old.
Gartner's Country Meat Market
7450 NE Killingsworth St., 503-252-7801, gartnersmeats.com. Closed Monday.
The faithful followers of Gartner's proclaim a whole-hog devotion most religions would envy. More than merely stocking choice cuts at bygone prices, the family-owned butchery has, since 1959, hawked sausages, luau pigs, processed game, smoked dog treats, signature rubs and marinades, and a surprisingly extensive line of apparel.
Jump Jump Music
7005 NE Prescott St., 503-284-4828. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
A favored first stop for touring DJs, MCs and musicians of all stripes since well before Lifesavas producer/spinner-about-town Rev. Shines served as clerk, Jump Jump Music has been accumulating a daunting breadth of albums for more than a quarter century, and while the vendor once focused on soul, jazz, blues and hip-hop, the shop's continually expanding parameters now include rock and country.
With Love, From PDX
5140 NE 42nd Ave., 503-267-1472, withlovefrompdx.com. Open Saturday-Sunday.
Not only does With Love, From PDX build and sell micro-targeted gift bags ("Staycation," "Campfire") assembled from the wares of local small businesses, it also runs affordable workshops for those who want to, for example, learn the crafts of candlemaking, gift-wrapping, wreath-weaving, calligraphy and terrarium construction.
4311 NE Prescott St., 503-715-5432, metalwoodsalvage.com.
Welding together art gallery, vintage store and home improvement center, Metalwood Salvage searches through scrap heaps and salvage yards for materials that can be repurposed from household items into objets d'art. The shop owners also continually fabricate distinct pieces, like coffee tables made from overhead projectors.
Premier RC Raceways & Hobbies
5210 NE Columbia Blvd., 503-282-0291. Race days Wednesday and Saturday.
The centerpiece of Portland's remote-controlled racing scene, Premier RC's 9,000-square-foot indoor facility boasts an expansive carpet track with inventive designs for off-road, on-road and oval heats, and a fully stocked hobby shop.
The Side Yard Farm
4800 NE Simpson St., 503-957-4588, thesideyardpdx.com.
Brainchild of Chopped vet and itinerant urban-agriculture prophet Stacey Givens, the Side Yard Farm's ambitious vision includes a series of themed children's summer camps (fiber, herb medicine), how-to workshops (cob oven construction, poultry slaughter), "bike-in movies" projected on the picturesque central barn, and brunches and dinners orchestrated by local luminaries like Renata's Matt Sigler to showcase the urban farm's bounty.