Portland’s Bean Scene
If you visit Portland without hitting the coffee shops, you didn’t really come at all. Portland is coffee shop Mecca. Coffee drinking in the NW is a religious experience – Portlanders seek peace and solitude by hanging out in these dimly-lit rooms and sipping warm mochas.
But choosing a good coffee shop in Portland can be overwhelming. The city hosts around 150 of them. So to help out, here are a few of my favorites:
Location: 605 NW 23rd
Phone: +1 (503) 223 1747
Hours: Monday thru Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 5:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Okay, I know coffee purists think that Starbucks is the devil incarnate, and yes, I do believe that Starbucks will soon take over the world. But this Starbucks can’t be snubbed – it’s one of Portland’s hottest spots. If you’re after a quiet evening of sipping and contemplation, you will not get it at this location. It’s always packed and noisy. But if you want to check out the scene and get a caffeine buzz while you’re at it, this is the place to be!
Location: 712 NW 21st Ave
Phone: +1 (503) 497 1090
Hours: Open 24 hrs
At Coffee Time, the conversation is as important as the coffee. This young hangout is unavoidably interactive. The venue is small and trendy. Rooms are sectioned off with hanging beads, and there’s a secret poker gameroom in the back. People play games, discuss issues or just chat and, if they have time, drink coffee.
Location: 421 S.W. 10Th Ave.
Phone: +1 (503) 243-6152
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Internet: $3 per half hour (half hour minimum)
This new place may be just what Portland needed. Although Portland is loaded with coffee shops, I found a real shortage of Internet cafes. “Heaven” fits the niche, providing 24-hour Internet access, great coffee and snacks – all in a swinging environment. The venue is a sleek, loft-style pad that pumps live music to the wee hours. The whole place seems to bop (even the employees move to the music as they make your mocha) and they have a diverse menu: specialized pastries, espressos, smoothies, and cold and hot drinks. Talk about a good time.
Portland Roasting Company
Location: 237 NE 10th Ave., Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (800) 949-3898
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Saturday and Sunday
This is the place for Coffee Purists. Not the coolest place just to hang out (they mostly ship coffee), but if you’re really picky about you beans, you’ll find their fresh, home-ground coffee irresistible. Check them out online as well.
Pups and Cups
Location: 4516 N.E. 42nd Avenue
Phone: +1 (503) 493-4000
Hours: Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Wednesdays and Holidays
Dog wash: $15 self-service; $30 full-service
Okay, this “coffee shop” was so original, I couldn’t resist including it. Get this – while you’re sipping coffee, they clean your dog! I thought this was a great idea. I know a lot of people who like to travel with their pooch, but are a little squeamish when it comes to jumping in the shower together. If you’re a real dog lover, you’ll want to check out their two-dog deal! Check them out online as well.
Location: 1214 NW 21st Ave
Phone: +1 (503) 274-2559
Hours: Monday thru Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Weird name, very nice place. This coffee shop is housed in a huge, Victorian-style home that has become a city landmark. Besides the great atmosphere, it has a diverse menu – much more than just coffees. I.e., the muffins are legendary. Check them out online as well.
Starbucks – Pioneer Courthouse Square
Location: 720 SW Broadway
Phone: +1 (503) 223-2488
Hours: Monday thru Thursday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Despite its un-cool reputation for being too mainstream for a coffee house, Starbucks does serve a good cup of Joe. The location at Pioneer Courthouse Square makes this java branch a popular fill station for Portlanders. Grab a mocha or a chai tea and relax in the red-bricked square among the fountains. When weather permits, you’ll find students studying, religious and political zealots preaching, couples chatting and more. And most of them will be knocking back some of Starbucks’ finest.
Location: 221 SW Alder Street
Phone: +1 (503) 224-6550
Hours: Open 24 hours
Kinko’s is purely functional. Go in, read and send e-mails, pay, leave.
Fireside Coffee Lodge
Location: 1223 SE Powell Blvd
Phone: +1 (503) 230-8987
Hours: Open 24 hours from 6 a.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Saturday
Free Internet service for customers
This café serves coffee in a rustic, lodge-style setting that will make you think you are miles from the city. They serve a variety of hot and iced coffees, smoothies, sandwiches, salads and pastries. And they offer free Internet service for customers. Saturday afternoon, customers are treated to live music by the fireplace.