The Best Shopping in Portland

No matter your passion, Portland has you covered. The tax-free shopping wonderland is loaded with stores to tickle the fancy of shoppers both casual and obsessed. From Powell’s City of Books—easily one of the best bookstores in the United States—to Wildfang, where the coolest patriarchy smashers hang, and, yes, all the chain stores, Portland’s got the goods. Some of the city’s shopping hubs include downtown Portland, Pioneer Place, 23rd Avenue, and the Pearl District. Fuel up with some java at the coffee shop of your choice because there is serious shopping to be done.

3448, 1230 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214, USA
On the corner of a rather scrofulous downtown block and across the street from the Ace Hotel’s event space, Wildfang is a self-described “home for badass women.” Whether it’s street style with a feminist message—even in Portland, it’s not every day that one finds a “Slay the Patriarchy” baseball cap—or high-fashion clothing that works on all sorts of body types, Wildfang packs it all in. For hangers-on who aren’t as interested in shopping or fashion, the bar inside the store provides liquid relief, including beers designed in collaboration with 10 Barrel that were created by women brewmasters.
801 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217, USA
Looking to take home a piece of Portland? Your new best fronds are here to help. Solabee Flowers & Botanicals is your source for succulents, staghorn ferns, stately palms, and just about anything else you can imagine from the world of houseplants, ceramics and pottery, crystals, and palo santo, the popular South American incense sticks. All those plants make for a sunny bi-level shop that’s an olfactory heaven. The helpful staff of plant experts are happy to consult with you and troubleshoot any issues you may have with your cacti. This very Portland store even boasts a corgi mascot that’s often featured on Solabee’s Instagram feed.
2181 NW Nicolai St, Portland, OR 97210, USA
Anyone taking diligent notes on Portland decor is sure to notice similarities in design from location to location beyond a love for taxidermy. Much of that Rose City decorating style emanates from Schoolhouse Electric. Located in a 115-year-old redbrick warehouse and factory building in an industrial part of the city’s West Side, Schoolhouse Electric sells everything from perfect reproductions of 1960s-era IBM clocks to more vintage sconces and analogue clocks than you can shake a stick at. The store’s Ristretto Roasters coffee bar provides a caffeine boost when your energy for curated doorknobs reaches its limit.
626 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
All those Willamette Valley pinot noirs you’ve heard about? This is the wine shop in Portland where you’ll find many of them. Fresh off a move in 2016 to a former brasserie, Park Avenue Wines now covers 8,500 square feet of space and includes a wine bar called Bardot, storage for your wine (wine lockers!), and plenty of room for evening tasting events. Northwest wine aficionados will want to join one of the wine clubs, one of which focuses solely on wines from the region. As a place to start an education about the wines from the Willamette Valley and environs, it’s hard to beat.
240 N Broadway #129, Portland, OR 97227, USA
When traveling, I love to spend Saturday morning at the farmers market. There’s no better way to meet the locals and get to know the town culture. What produce do they love? What coffee do they sip? What’s the overall mood? One of the best Saturday morning farmers markets I’ve been to was in a giant park in Portland, Maine. The stalls were packed with reasonably priced, locally grown produce (of course, Maine blueberries were abundant). Despite the chilly morning temperatures, children played in a splash park and adults sipped locally made apple cider while listening to the various jazz musicians who had set up around the farmers market. Despite the crowds, parking was abundant (such a rarity!) as was the “Maine nice” that we found around the entire state.
220 Southwest 1st Avenue
This is the best way to explore Portland’s budding dispensary scene. At Serra Modern Druggist’s flagship downtown location, you’ll get a one-on-one walkthrough of edibles, flower, and every other form of cannabis product imaginable. The space screams high-end retail: glass, white oak, marble, white walls, succulents and plenty of branded items. Entry is limited so that customers receive one-on-one service when they enter the store. Snag a set of “feel all the feelings” matches and prepare for a learning session with a knowledgeable docent. The overall effect is calming, as well as a fascinating window into what legalized cannabis stores will look like as they spread to other parts of the United States.
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
An iconic name in Portland retail—as well as among readers who have never been to the city—Powell’s has multiple locations on both sides of the Willamette. The downtown store remains the one best suited for visitors to explore, with miles of used reads, a tightly curated selection of books from the knowledgeable staff, and every Portland-themed book you could hope to find under one roof. A renovation in 2014 opened up the space and made it feel less like a warehouse of dusty stacks, an improvement that bodes well for the future of the business. Author appearances, even those at the satellite branches, are some of Portland’s best events for interesting discussions.
1323 NW Irving St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
This is a cool clothing store in the Pearl featuring gear and fashion from a variety of mainstream and boutique brands. The Lizard collections coalesce into a catalog of functional apparel with style and sustainability at the heart of their designs. While the Lounge has a great selection of brands, the real draw for me is the Nau gear. From natural and recycled materials in the fabrics, to the cut and fit of clothes designed for people who move, Nau is an essential part of my packing routine. Their designers once told me they want their clothes to be comfortable—whether the wearer is reaching for a hand hold in a 5-9 pitch or reaching for the top shelf tequila behind the bar. The Nau down shirt was the first of what’s become a ubiquitous piece of all-season gear. The Lounge is also known for its own style of events, supporting local, social and environmental causes with food, drink, music, and mingling. Nau also donates a small percentage of each sale to select nonprofits fighting the good fight at the local and global levels. The Lizard Lounge is not just about retail. It’s about wearing your way into a better world and so Portland in the process.
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