Alberta Arts District
North Portland’s Mississippi/Williams neighborhood will be jockeying for the position of Portland’s coolest once the dust from the endless construction settles, but the Alberta Arts District is the OG of Portland’s transitional hipness. The main drag is a 20+ block stretch that, sure, includes galleries, but also includes more than 30 bars and restaurants that reads like a greatest-hits collection of Portland food and drink culture. Bunk Bar, Aviary, Salt & Straw, Bollywood Theatre, and Bamboo Izakaya, and enough food carts to feed most cities for years are all new additions to the ever-evolving hood, which also features favorites like Binks, The Know, Radio Room, Halibut’s, Pine State Biscuits, and Tin Shed. All hell breaks out on Last Thursday, too, where an orgy of revelers, performance artists, and tourists throng the streets for Portland’s monthly equivalent of Mardi Gras.
Further north, a few blocks away on Killingsworth, things are also heating up, with a small stretch of businesses anchored by celebrity chef Naomi Pomeroy's Beast and Expatriate, hosting everything from resale shops to artisan eateries, cocktail boutiques, BBQ joints, expansive parks, and coffee shops. When you’re in a neighborhood where something as cool as the Kennedy School – an elementary school converted into a hotel with multiple restaurants, a movie theater, and a brewery inside – is considered too touristy, you know you’re at the epicenter of something truly cool. Even better, you can walk the entire ‘hood in about 30 minutes. Or rent a bike. A Fixie. Because you’re in Portland.