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Portland's unique neighborhoods each offer a distinctive shopping experience



Portland, Oregon is broken into districts and neighborhoods, each with their own flair.

Places such as the Alberta district, Historic Mississippi Avenue, Multnomah Village, and Hawthorne each have their own distinct business districts and vibe.  Even in Portland's central city neighborhoods such as Downtown and the Pearl District have uniquely different styles though it is an easy stroll from one to the other.

As one of the most walkable cities in America, most Portland neighborhoods are extremely pedestrian-friendly. Wide varieties of shopping and dining are available within a few blocks. Dedicated bike lanes make cycling through the different communities smooth and fun. A plethora of independent cafes throughout Portland's many districts make it easy to grab a bite while browsing from store to store. While all the big, national chain department stores are here, Portland shopping is best experienced by visiting its many unique, independent shops and boutiques.  

Whether you are browsing through vintage vinyl at Mississippi Records, stocking up on summer reading at Powell's City of Books or splurging on bath bombs at Lush on NW 23rd Ave, each Portland neighborhood has a wealth of treasures to explore. For those that enjoy a more traditional shopping experience, we have included the three best shopping malls in the area. Bridgeport Village an outdoor mall, Washington Square Mall and Pioneer Place. 


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Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland was designed with pedestrians in mind. A compact area with wide sidewalks, the city blocks are only 200 feet per side. Strolling from Waterfront Park, to Pioneer Square and into the Cultural District takes less than an hour including plenty of time for window shopping. Much of Portland's finest dining, lodging and cultural life is contained within the Downtown area. A transit mall runs through 5th and 6th avenues, offering easy access to Portland's outer communities via bus or light rail. The Portland Streetcar makes getting around the city's central area fast and easy. Many works of public art adorn the city, including the famous Portlandia, the second largest copper statue in the nation, only the Statue of Liberty being larger.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Downtown has it all from local shops to a huge mall, Pioneer Place.

Jason's expert tip: H&B Pawn on 3rd Avenue, Portland's oldest pawn shop has a great selection of used merchandise.

Read more about Downtown Portland →




Including four department stores, with one being the state's largest Nordstrom, Washington Square Mall draws patrons with its wealth of shopping opportunities and diverse merchandise. Over 170 specialty stores also call this landmark mall home. They have one of the only Brighton Jewelry Stores in Portland and the only Cheesecake Factory. Kids will love the Lego store and moms will love the rest. Names like Pottery Barn, Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew keeps shoppers happily filling up their bags (and emptying their wallets) until the doors close. A large food court and an expansive parking structure with a sky bridge to Nordstrom and Sears are convenient.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Washington Square is a beautiful mall with stores suited for any need.

Meagan's expert tip: Plan to work in a lunch or dinner visit to the Cheesecake Factory while here.

Read more about Washington Square Mall →


Bridgeport Village


Bridgeport Village is a lovely, sprawling outdoor mall that features a mix of local shops and nationwide retailers. Be sure to wear your walking shoes, because there is a lot of places to visit here. At Bridgeport Village, you can find popular stores like Anthropologie, BCBG, lulumon athletica, J. Crew, The Apple Store, Urban Outfitters, Crate and Barrel, the Container Store, White House Black Market, and many more. Bridgeport village is also home to popular restaurants like the California Pizza Kitchen and PF Changs. One of Portland's most popular food carts has a permanent location here, Koi Fusion. This mall has a large theater as well.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Bridgeport Village is an awesome outdoor mall with lots of great stores.

Meagan's expert tip: Plan to eat at one of the popular restaurants here in between your shopping. We recommend KOi Fusion, PF Changs, or McCormick & Schmick's.

Read more about Bridgeport Village →


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Southwest Portland
Multnomah Village


Standing out from the surrounding suburbia, Multnomah Village feels like a small town unto itself. Secluded in the hills of Southwest Portland, the quaint, artsy business district is easy to overlook. But there are plenty of reasons to visit. Independent shops offer unique products for every taste. Kids of all ages will love Thinker's Toys, and Annie Bloom's books is one of Portland's best small bookstores. The Geezer Gallery, showcasing art by seniors, is singular among Portland art establishments in its commitment to developing artistic talent among those in late life. A variety of cafes and pubs offer ample choices for dining after a day of exploring the village.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Multnomah Village is a neat place to shop with unique shops.

Jason's expert tip: Those with a sweet tooth have to visit Sweets Etc, Portland's last old-fashioned candy store.

Read more about Multnomah Village →


Alberta Arts District


Northeast Alberta Street has become one of Portland's most funky and creative neighborhoods. Shops of handcrafted items and artsy boutiques mix with older stores and import goods. Food choices range from trendy pubs and hip cafes to traditional taquerias. Though there are only a few dedicated galleries, the area is perfused with art, much of it being of the outsider variety. Most of the shops and restaurants adorn their walls with rotating shows of local artists. Rebelling against the pretense of the tony Pearl District's First Thursday Art Walk, Alberta Street celebrates on Last Thursday, with an art walk that is also a raucous street fair.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Alberta Street continues to add new shops every month, so the shopping just keeps getting better and better.

Meagan's expert tip: During the summer months, Alberta Street's Last Thursday is Portland's biggest monthly party.

Read more about Alberta Arts District →


A diverse and inclusive neighborhood, Hawthorn is the kind of place a lot of people envision when they think of Portland. There is definitely a hippy, alternative, gay-friendly ethos in the area. This is reflected in the vintage clothing shops, boutique and independent cafes. Powell's Books has a branch here which is now the largest bookstore on Portland's East Side. The Bagdad Theater is a popular McMenimin's location, and several pubs offer nightly live music. One of the most laid-back neighborhoods, Hawthorn is a great place to spend a day browsing through the stores. Stop for lunch at one of the local favorites like The Cup and Saucer Cafe and then grab dessert at Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Shops along Hawthorne are fun, funky, and one of a kind

Meagan's expert tip: The Bagdad Theater is a great place to see a cheap movie.

Read more about Hawthorne District –Southeast →


Pioneer Place


Located in the heart of downtown Portland near Pioneer Courthouse Square. This is downtown's primary shopping destination, spanning four city blocks and housing designer name brands and top quality dining and entertainment options. This is where you will find the most high-end stores in Portland. Stores include Tiffany & Co., Ann Taylor, Coach, Eddie Bauer, J. Crew, Francesca's Forever 21, Loccitane, Kate Spade, and Nine West. This mall features an Apple Store and a new Microsoft store. Unfortunately, you will have to park in a parking garage to go to this mall. There is no free parking available. Mall services include strollers, wheelchairs, a visitor's information center and an on-site ATM.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Pioneer Place is a large shopping mall in the heart of downtown Portland.

Meagan's expert tip: Park in their underground parking garages, because the street park is limited in this section of downtown.

Read more about Pioneer Place →


North Mississippi

North Mississippi Avenue has become one of Portland's coolest shopping destinations. The historic buildings that line the street now house an eclectic array of independent shops with an alternative style. Everything from handmade furniture to Portland's largest light bulb store (really, all light bulbs!) are found here. Mississippi Records is one of Portland's iconic music stores is found here. For those that enjoy DIY home projects, the ReBuilding Center is a must-see shop. Pizza, music venues, pubs and small unique international restaurants all make for a great night out. This edgy and artistic area embodies the quintessence of Portland's historic urban neighborhoods.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: North Mississippi Avenue is home to many cool shops and great food.

Meagan's expert tip: In early summer enjoy the Mississippi Ave Street Fair with live music, performance art and street vendors.

Read more about North Mississippi →


The Pearl District is so-called because of the high-end lofts, art galleries and fancy boutiques found within the re-purposed warehouses. Once one of the centers of industry, the factories and warehouses have moved to Portland's outer reaches. For years the buildings of the Pear were under-utilized and the area was deteriorating. In the 1990s the neighborhood becomes reborn as industrial space was rezoned as residential and creative, mixed-use lofts and condominiums drew new residents to form a community. Now a trendy, urban neighborhood, the Pear is full of thriving shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries. It's especially popular the 1st Thursday of each month when thousands of Portlanders come out for the Art Walk. Galleries stay open late as people wander through the many wine and cheese artist receptions while live music fills the streets.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Pearl District is adorable, easily walkable and has just about anything you could ever want to buy.

Meagan's expert tip: Plan to dine in between shopping at one of their fab restaurants. We recommend Can Font, 10 Barrel, or Andina.

Read more about Pearl District –Northwest →




A string of trendy shops line NW 23rd and 21st avenues. Boarding the West Hills, grand historic homes occupy the higher elevations on the streets rising up the slopes. Shopping in the area is comprised of both a few fashionable chains like Francesca's and a wealth of small independent. Shops are dedicated to all kinds of goods, from knick-knacks to shoes they have a little bit of everything. These busy streets have some of the highest foot traffic in town. Coffee shops, pubs, and small eateries offer a wide variety of dining choices. Edwardian architecture and mature landscaping create a pleasing aesthetic for the area.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: NW 23rd Street is lined with one boutique after another on both sides of the street.

Meagan's expert tip: Plan to eat at least one meal here in between shopping. We recommend Thai Bloom or The Waiting Room, but save room for dessert at Papa Haydn.

Read more about Northwest 23rd District –Nob Hill →


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Meet Meagan Wristen

Meagan Wristen is an Oregon resident by choice and thinks Portland is a tremendous city that everyone should visit. Originally a Texas girl, she has lived all around the United States,...  More About Meagan

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