Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cafe Catalog: Portland

I became obsessed with cafes while living in Japan, where they have entire magazines devoted to chic cafes in every city. Maybe I was just spoiled in Portland, but I never used to document cafes as meticulously as I do now. 

It's not a logical need. I never really need to go to a cafe. I have coffee at work. I have wifi at home. But I love the cafe atmosphere. I love being around people without having to actually engage with them. And I love coffee and coffee culture. So when I moved back to Portland after almost two years in Asia, I decided to document my favorite cafes in Portland. 

This is no small feat. There are hundreds cafes and coffee-serving establishments in the Portland metro area, and this little city may be the coffee capital of America. Certainly, when I travel around the US and find great cafes in Maine or LA, I can't help but think, "this reminds me of Portland." Portland sets the standard for cafes in the entire country. The bar is high, my friends. 

Here are my favorites so far. I compiled this list based on a few factors: 1) lattes, 2) seating, 3) atmosphere 4) service. I may have to call this post "Part 1" because surely more and more great places are bound to appear. 

Sterling Coffee Roasters
417 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

The first place I fell in love with in Portland still holds the top rank in my heart. When I first met Sterling it was a small stand wedged between a flower shop and Trader Joes. And that is where I had the best caramel latte in the world. Even now that it has outgrown its humble beginnings and now has a small storefront, the staff and the lattes are still the best ever. 

Good Coffee on Division
4747 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

Good Coffee on Division Street is my Monday- and sometime Friday-default. True to its name, the coffee is good, but so are the friendly staff, and the comfortable ambiance. 

Coava on SE Grand
1300 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Coava's coffee is so good that their latte needs no sugar at all. I would probably rank this as the best roaster in Portland, though I don't go there as often as I would like to the limited seating at this location. 

Heart on SW 12th
537 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Heart definitely won't disappoint even the biggest coffee snob. The images here are taken from the location on SW 12th in downtown, though I most often go to their Eastside shop. The atmosphere is always very condusive to working. 

Barista on NW 23rd
823 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
A great option with splendid ambiance

Water Ave 
1028 SE Water Ave #145, Portland, OR 97214
The best iced latte

Red E
1006 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217
Me NE favorite

Ristretto on NE Couch
555 NE Couch St, Portland, OR 97232
Always a reliable optoin

Case Study on NE Alberta
1422 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
fantastic caramel sea salt and Bourbon flavored lattes

Dapper & Wise on SE Division
3158 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
A comfortable spot on Division

Saint Simon
2005 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232
The best mocha in town

923 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205
a downtown classic

Cathedral Coffee
7530 N Willamette Blvd, Portland, OR 97203
the coolest place in St. Johns

Stumptown on SE Blemont
3356 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
The chillest of all Stumptown locations

Cup and Bar
118 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232
An exciting coffee and chocolate bar

Nossa Familia
1319 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97209
A most amazing mocha with whip

Arbor Lodge
1507 N Rosa Parks Way, Portland, OR 97217
Cute place to work in NE

Public Domain

603 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
nice atmosphere in the heart of downtown

Albina Press on SE Hawthorne

5012 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215
Another classic Portland coffee house

2921 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
relaxing ambiance


520 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97204
Small grab-and-go joint in downtown

Society Cafe
203 NW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97209
great coffee shop in the hotel lobby

8235 SE 13th Ave #2, Portland, OR 97202
nice lavender latte in SE 

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