The bustling, inner-Southeast hub of the Hawthorne District both benefits and suffers from its own weighty grandeur. Long representing the eclectically trendy Portland persona (vintage! Food carts!), the neighborhood also quickly became a crowded tourist destination (Starbucks! American Apparel!). Today the gentrification machine has trundled on to other Portland neighborhoods, and Hawthorne seems to have found a symbiosis between the beloved dive bars and the fancy doughnuts, with plenty of quirk and local character still to be found.
Chicken and Guns, Cartopia: 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Quarterworld, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Farma, 916 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
House of Vintage, 3315 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-233-1286, apizzascholls.com. Dinner Monday-Friday, lunch and dinner Saturday-Sunday.
Portland's best pizzas are Brian Spangler's perfectly chewy, char-spotted, sweet-sauced pies. Wait times at the Tabor pie house used to top an hour, but then came the to-go orders and reservations. Now you can get Apizza Scholls midday and personal pies with brunchy toppings like a fried egg. $-$$.
1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7373, castagnarestaurant.com. Dinner Wednesday-Saturday.
Castagna is world-class in both ambition and execution. The 20 or so one-, two- and three-bite courses composing chef Justin Woodward's tasting menu showcase Castagna's mastery of modernist culinary technique—each course is as gorgeous to behold as it is delicious to eat. $$$$.
Chicken and Guns
Cartopia, 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-7236, chickenandguns.com. Lunch-late daily.
Chef Dustin Knox of our 2016 co-Food Cart of the Year grills his birds so they get a little smoky, then tops them generously with a deliriously good Peruvian-inspired sauce made of cilantro, jalapeños and sour cream. He pairs them with potatoes that are baked then double-fried, and seasoned with lemon and salt. C&G is so good we've ordered it twice in one day. $.
Coava Coffee Roasters
1300 SE Grand Ave, 503-894-8134, coavacoffee.com. Breakfast-early dinner daily.
Started by former motorcycle mechanic Matt Higgins, Coava made its way into Portland's elite cadre of cafes through its top-quality baristas—devotees who execute every cup with mechanical precision—and its top-quality, ethically sourced beans. It has a lot of cool rock- and metal-themed gear, too. $.
Devil's Dill Sandwich Shop
1711 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-236-8067, devilsdill.com. Dinner-late nightly.
You want a giant, delicious sandwich at 2:30 am on a Sunday? Well, this is your spot—arguably, it's the best meal available in this city at that hour, delivering and offering to-go until 3 am. $.
El Cubo de Cuba
3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-544-7801. Lunch and dinner daily.
El Cubo de Cuba whips up traditional fare like slow-roasted mojo pork, guava chicken and plantains cooked crunchy and salty or soft and sweet. The Cuban sandwich is the best you'll find in town, and you might as well add a few mojitos, because you'll feel like you're on vacation. $.
1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-279-5939, farinabakery.com. Breakfast and lunch Tuesday-Sunday.
Expertly made in a charming wood-paneled bakery, Laura Farina's macarons have a slight firmness to the tooth that gives way to a moist interior and the lightest, creamiest fillings we've ever tasted, best exemplified by the raspberry—which comes daintily adorned with a string of hearts. $.
Fried Egg I'm In Love
3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-610-3447, friedegglove.com. Breakfast and lunch daily.
Say "breakfast sandwich" to Portlanders and this sunny yellow cart is the first thought in their head. The best choice here is also the biggest: The Yolko Zeppelin—housemade pesto, Parmesan and sausage—has everything in the Yolko Ono, but doubled. $.
Southeast 33rd Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard, 503-347-4270. Lunch Tuesday-Wednesday, lunch and early dinner Thursday-Saturday.
At our 2015 Food Cart of the Year, chef Juan Fernando Otero prepares his 30-plus-ingredient mole poblano—a sauce as rich, dark and complex as your favorite novel—from a 400-year-old recipe with a reverence traditionally reserved for holy rites. $.
Jam on Hawthorne
2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-4790, jamonhawthorne.com. Breakfast-lunch daily.
Hawthorne brunch, thy name is Jam. Perpetually packed and for good reason, Jam serves everything your hangover could desire, including lemon ricotta pancakes and the hair-of-the-dog Comatosa: bourbon, Cointreau, OJ and Champagne. $$.
3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 971-255-0138, harlowpdx.com. Breakfast-dinner Monday-Saturday, breakfast and lunch Sunday.
Perfect for the dietarily restricted or simply smug, Harlow assembles gluten-free, vegan dishes that could tempt even the most carnivorous. But don't overlook the cocktail menu, because you gotta have some vices. $.
1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-7786, lardosandwiches.com. Lunch-late daily.
Lardo won Portland's hearts and stomachs with its pork-stuffed menu and now sports three brick-and-mortar locations. Order the pork meatball banh mi. It won't be your last. $-$$.
The Maple Parlor
3538 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-4757, themapleparlor.com. Noon-dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
"An inclusive sundae bar," Maple Parlor upgrades the old Swirl space with a selection of eight frozen desserts ranging from old-fashioned full-fat ice cream to vegan and diabetic options. The maple flavor here is soft and light, almost woody, and works very well with the available toppings. $.
3354 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-279-5395. Dinner Tuesday-Friday, lunch-late Saturday-Sunday.
Nakhon is devoted to the pungent, famously searing food of Thailand's deep south. Favor the appetizers and southern specialties, including the all-meat kua kling, essentially a curry that uses pork rather than coconut milk as its base. $.
¿Por Qué No?
4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-954-3138, porquenotacos.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
Like a volcano erupting with succulent pork (or carnitas, as it were), ¿Por Que No? slings some of the best tacos west of I-205. Tack on some fresh guacamole with housemade tortilla chips and a margarita because ¿why not? $.
1740 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 503-384-2160, oui-presse.com. Breakfast-early dinner daily.
Who needs frills when you have cake? Oui Presse—part bakery and cafe, part magazine stand—has your lazy mid-Saturday espresso and chill all planned out, complete with dignified reading material like Italian Vogue and Lucky Peach. $.
Cartopia, Southeast 12th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard, 503-929-1404, pyropizzacart.com. Lunch-late daily.
Pyro offers some of Portland's most beautiful pizza—charred just to the bubble burst, imbued with character that goes down to the center of the wheat. Top it with sausage, onion and the tangy mozzarella that cart owner John Eads makes himself. $.
TarBoush Lebanese Bistro
3257 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-235-3277, tarboushlebanesebistro.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
Part of the charm of TarBoush is how personal it feels. The usual suspects are all wonderful, from the city's best lamb shawarma to grilled skewers of beef or chicken that should absolutely be ordered as part of a mezza plate. $$.
1615 SE 12th Ave., 503-888-5281, teotepdx.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
If a taco and a sandwich had a delicious, gluten-free baby it would be the arepa. Teote serves up the Latin American-style street food with love (and a healthy side of mezcal). $.
Upper Left Roasters
1204 SE Clay St., 503-477-8469, upperleftroasters.com. Breakfast-late lunch daily.
If you're not sure which single-origin roast will best complement your pour-over, the folks of Upper Left are happy to make a suggestion. Might you also enjoy a fancy piece of toast amid the feel of a Kinfolk magazine? Yes. Yes you would. $.
The Waffle Window
3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-255-0501, wafflewindow.com. Breakfast-dinner daily.
Remember a few years ago when waffles were the food of the moment? Well, they're still delicious, and the Waffle Window serves 'em both sweet and
Claudia's Sports Pub
3006 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-1744, claudiaspub.com.
Operating since 1958, Claudia's is your new neighborhood sports bar with sports on the (many) TVs, plentiful pub food, daily cash poker games, and bartenders who know a thing or two about hospitality.
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-239-1143, golddustmeridian.com.
With a laid-back yet undeniably sexy atmosphere—like Jeff Goldblum in a velvet smoking jacket—Gold Dust Meridian is the spot to meet your next Tinder date. Order one of the 60-ounce cocktail bowls and let destiny run its course.
2221 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-445-4600.
Decent dive bars are a dying breed these days, so enjoy this one while you can. Booze o' the Day specials, free pool, two tacos for a buck fifty, a rainbow of Jell-O shots, and plenty of dank ambiance to go around.
4111 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-477-9619, oregonhophouse.com.
When you've had all the McMenamins beer you can drink, the Hawthorne Hophouse has 26 taps pouring an eclectic lineup from local breweries and beyond. Plus, poutine.
3564 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-4884, likewise.website. Closed Sunday-Monday.
Likewise is one of the few bars that truly isn't like any other in Portland. A minimalist space with street-facing bleachers in the window bay, Likewise rotates through "bartenders in residence," local artists who curate your boozing via an art experience. Play along—you'll have a good time and learn something.
No Fun Bar
1711 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-236-8067.
No Fun is a new bar-themed bar, one of our five favorites of 2016. It's a no-frills spot where you'll find the cool kids drinking Pacifico, and it's attached to the best late-night sandwich spot in town: Devil's Dill.
4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-548-2923, quarterworldarcade.com. Closed Monday.
Quarterworld is an eastside palace of pinball, skee and arcade that doubles as the new home of St. Johns' the Baowry, serving pork belly bao and togarashi fried chicken banh mi. Kids can hang on one side till 8 pm, but otherwise it's a full-time beercade devoted, especially, to rare pinball, with a huge stock of games constantly rotating in and out.
1006 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-254-9518, toffeeclubpdx.com
There is no toffee at Toffee Club. There is a convivial English soccer pub that serves fish and chips, and an ungodly array of Samuel Smith beer bottles alongside Firestone Walker and Breakside taps. The bar's name, as it turns out, comes from the Toffees—fans of Liverpudlian club Everton.
3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-236-6120, altarpdx.com.
Amy Fox and Cassie Ridgway's temple to dark bohemian womenswear blew up last year when their personalized bathing suits became an unexpected hit across town. Check out their new line of sheer bodysuits and prepare for a dark summer.
Black Star Bags
2033 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-284-4752, blackstarbags.com.
Need a set of waterproof panniers that also espouse your passion for water polo or your pride in your native Saskatchewan? Black Star's embroidery wizards can make it happen on any of their fully customizable bags.
3556 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-208-3008, communionpdx.com.
With a well-curated selection of men's and women's clothing and accessories from both national labels and local makers like Bridge and Burn, Communion strikes the perfect balance between trendy and aloof.
3130 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-1767, xro.com.
Vinyl junkies and die-hard diggers can happily spend many obsessive-compulsive hours at Crossroads flipping through bin after bin of new, classic and eclectic records from 35 independent dealers.
Excalibur Books and Comics
2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7351, excaliburcomics.net.
Operating for more than four decades under the helm of one family, Excalibur is the comic-book purist's comic store, eschewing toys and other tchotchkes to devote its space to one of the largest comic-book stocks in the Pacific Northwest.
916 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 503-206-4357, farmapdx.com.
Farma is not cheap, but if you've got a little scratch and an interest in seeing what the future of boutique cannabis looks like, this is the city's top spot. We'd offer strain recommendations, but it's better to take some time learning the shop's unique strain-classification system while talking about your personalized objectives with these best-in-class budtenders.
4722 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-230-2620.
A sprawling showroom dedicated to all things midcentury modern, Hawthorne Vintage is one of the few places where you can pick up lovingly restored Danish teak side tables, inexpensive original works from Pacific Northwestern artists, and full sets of smoked-glass barware.
Imelda's Shoes and Louie's Shoes for Men
3426 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-233-7476, imeldas.com.
For more than 20 years, Imeda's and Louie's have carried snazzy shoes from gently upscale brands like Swedish Hasbeens, Red Wing, Blundstone, Vans and Birkenstock, helping ensure that usually cooler-than-average Hawthorne maintains its reputation.
1310 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-7575, pdxloungelizard.com.
Still on the hunt for that midcentury velvet sofa in the perfect shade of tangerine? If Hawthorne Vintage didn't quite scratch the itch, look no further than Lounge Lizard's eclectic and impressively stocked secondhand showroom.
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-249-7474, bagdadmovies.com.
Originally opened in 1927, the Bagdad is one of Portland's many McMenamins revamps—to gorgeous effect. The single-screen movie house maintains its original architecture, from the barreled arches to the wrought-iron fixtures, but is updated with modern sound and digital projection for first-run films. Grab a drink from the bar and sit in the balcony where servers will deliver you food from a full menu.
2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7919, thecinemagictheater.com.
The mini marquee belies the interior size of the historic Cinemagic Theater, which has been operating on Hawthorne for more than a century. It shows an eclectic mix of new and classic movies, offers matinee prices all day Tuesday, and puts real butter on its popcorn.
1425 SE 20th Ave., 503-208-2080, commonwealthskateboarding.com.
Part all-concrete indoor skatepark, part art gallery, part board and sneaker shop, Commonwealth is 4,500 square feet of gnar in the heart of Hawthorne. It's more child- and newcomer-friendly than the historically, uh, "mature" Burnside Skatepark (see page 133), and you can skate all day for a measly $10.
1731 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-232-9350, freegeek.org. Closed Sunday.
Need a new computer or part? Have a closet full of old electronics and no idea what to do with them? Volunteer-run nonprofit Free Geek is the answer on both fronts. Donate old electronics, buy reused ones for a major bargain, or even volunteer and learn how to build your own computer.
1507 SE César E. Chávez Blvd., 503-233-7100, hawthornetheatre.com.
The crowds that regularly line up outside this all-ages concert venue will give you a good idea of the type of shows it specializes in, those being of the metal showcase and Warped Tour variety and, recently, Insane Clown Posse.
Helium Comedy Club
1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669, heliumcomedy.com.
With events nearly every night of the week, from local comedian showdowns to big name acts like Maria Bamford and Kevin Smith, Helium is sure to leave you with a case of the giggles.
In Multiple Locations:
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Ruby Jewel Ice Cream, 4703 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Tender Loving Empire, 3541 SE Hawthorne Blvd.