Long punch-lined as Felony Flats, Lents is now the new frontier for Portlanders seeking a reprieve from high house prices. Still, after seeming eons of bureaucratic redevelopment hand-wringing, Lents is very much an area that's been slow to catch up to the influx of younger home buyers and the invading hip. The new school of Lents is bringing with it the requisite Portland staples—highish-end diner fare and monolithic brewpubs—but the buck kind of stops there. This is still a place defined by its proximity to Portland's easternmost sprawl and rural borders, even if a collegiate baseball team with an adorable name just set up shop.
Oliver's Cafe, 8931 SE Foster Road.
Zoiglhaus, 5716 SE 92nd Ave.
Foster Feed & Garden, 10307 SE Foster Road.
Lents International Farmers Market, Southeast 91st Avenue and Foster Road.
Walker Stadium at Lents Park, Southeast 92nd Avenue and Holgate Boulevard, 503-775-3080, portlandpicklesbaseball.com.
Founded in 2015 and playing summer collegiate wood-bat baseball in the Great West League, the Portland Pickles are the city's newest sports team. The Pickles consist of college ballplayers aspiring to the Show during the summer months, bringing inexpensive baseball—most tickets top out at $8—to Lents, and semi-pro baseball within Portland's city limits (we see you, Hillsboro Hops) since the Beavers' departure in 2010. Portland has a new, appropriately whimsical way to enjoy a balmy summer evening that doesn't necessarily involve chugging down pints on a rooftop patio. I say "necessarily" because the Pickles are now serving beer from local spots like Laurelwood and Double Mountain.
8931 SE Foster Road, 503-954-2831, oliverscafepdx.com. Breakfast and lunch daily.
Named after neighborhood patron Oliver Lent, the newish, brightly lit Oliver's is an old-school diner with a new-school bent, with handmade everything pumping extra-deliciousness into classics like the avocado-loaded California omelet and the berry-packed French toast. Burgers and a loaded Reuben make up the lunch fare at this early-bird spot. $.
El Pato Feliz
5824 SE 92nd Ave., 503-772-1037. Lunch and dinner daily.
This hole in the wall remains a paragon of cheap, old-school Mexican street food, with tortas and burritos loaded with traditional meats like tender beef tongue, and one of the best plates of huevos rancheros in the city. The ace in the hole, though, is the breaded beef: a south-of-the-border take on chicken-fried steak. $.
K-Town Korean BBQ
5450 SE 82nd Ave., 503-444-7700. Lunch and dinner daily.
K-Town's all-you-can-eat KBBQ scene is just as raucous as any you'll find in Beaverton, with a focus on booze and gigantic plates of bulgogi and kalbi that you cook up at the table. You're in for a boozy night that leaves you fat, happy and reeking of gristle. $$$.
10324 SE Holgate Blvd., 503-760-8135, thetakahashi.com. Dinner Wednesday-Sunday.
Izakayas are becoming the go-to for cheap sushi and booze in Portland. The Takahashi, well, it's been doing that shit forever. If you're expecting something amazing for $3, well, you're in the wrong place. Get the fried stuff. And a lot of booze. You'll be just fine. $.
Eagle Eye Tavern
5836 SE 92nd Ave., 503-774-2141.
It might look like the neighborhood dive bar from the street, but Eagle Eye is about as bright as a kid-friendly dentist's office, if your dentist served craft beer and cheapish cocktails.
5716 SE 92nd Ave., 971-339-2374, zoiglhaus.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
In keeping with Lenten tradition established by the notorious New Copper Penny, this place is gigantic. Like, German beer-hall gigantic: 270 seats, 10,000-square-feet gigantic. And boy howdy, is it a game changer for a neighborhood that really, really needed a brewery…especially one that's family-friendly, rich in German food and serves good beer. Wilkommen to the neighborhood, Zoiglhaus, this place needed you.
Rose City Organics
5918 SE 89th Ave., 503-477-6727, rosecityoreganics.com.
Lents' converted bungalow/dispensary offers up a wide variety of Gron chocolates, plus a steal on solid grams at $5 a pop ($18 for an eighth). It's a bike-up shop, not dissimilar to the kind you'd find in the trendier 'hoods. And the weed's just as good.
Foster Feed & Garden
10307 SE Foster Road, 503-777-2967.
This isn't some boutique place to get artisan chicken wire. It's an old-school farm and feed shop that's been in this formerly agricultural area forever, and perfect for new homeowners looking to landscape their yards without trekking to Mall 205 or the Johnson Creek Home Depot. Yep, it has chicks. Pets or meat, your call.
Tidee Didee Diaper Service & Natural Baby Boutique
6011 SE 92nd Ave., 503-777-3856, tideedidee.com. Closed Saturday-Sunday.
Tidee Didee, Portland's premier cloth-diaper service, also houses the Natural Baby Boutique, full of sustainable baby stuff, from linens to baby clothes, blankets and, of course, herbal remedies. It was at the forefront of the sustainable-parenting movement before it was really moving, and remains the gold standard for landfill-averse moms and dads.
Lents International Farmers Market
Southeast 91st Avenue and Foster Road,
503-241-0032, portlandfarmersmarket.org/our-markets/lents-international. 9 am-2 pm Sunday, June-October.
Now a ward of the Portland Farmers Market after years of improvements by Zenger Farm, the "international" part of the name here refers to the Hmong, Russian and Latino farmers who join their Happy Valley brethren in offering one of the richest and widest selections of farm-fresh produce in the city. It's like the PSU market, except far less twee.
Southeast 92nd Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.
Yeah, there's still a bunch of crazies at night. But during the day, Lents Park is alive with baseball and softball—the kid kind, the hip kind and the Pickle kind—and soccer moms. It's a sprawling green space that's slowly being reclaimed as one of Portland's best public parks.
Wattles Boys & Girls Club
9330 SE Harold St., 503-775-1549, bgcportland.org/wattles.
North Portland has a Blazers-sponsored Boys & Girls Club, but for 60 years, Wattles has been the go-to place for East Portland kids to get their play on with a renovated gym and leadership programs. It's an invaluable resource for kids in need as well as ones looking to serve that need.