Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Portland Cafe Guide: Northeast


As soon as I started typing up my first post on Portland’s many wonderful cafes, I knew it wouldn’t be my last. It took me over a year to visit all the cafes on that first post, and I knew I had barely scratched the surface. Most of the additional cafes on this list have actually only opened in the time between my last post and now, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. I realize this is still not a complete list of all Portland cafes, so I will have to provide a disclaimer again that these are just the ones I find worth mentioning. Onward…

As a recap: 

I compiled this list based on a few factors: 
1) lattes
2) seating
3) atmosphere
4) decor. 

I am also dividing these posts into 4, because there are almost 90 cafes I am documenting and that’s too much for any one post. To break it down, I am focusing on one quadrant of the city at a time. I used to post them in order of favorites, but my tastes are fickle and new cafes are always popping up, so they are in alphabetical order instead. 


Northeast Portland

The Northeast covers a huge territory from Burnside Street to the Columbia River. Within that space there are several hip neighborhoods such as Alberta, Mississippi, Williams, Fremont, and Killingsworth, all named after their major streets, as well as neighborhoods like St. Johns. But unlike the SE or SW, many of these cafes are also in random areas in the NE, that don't correspond with any particularly trendy area. 

Albina Press on Albina
The original Albina Press location, which roasts its own coffee and has a casual ambiance. 

Arbor Lodge
A small café in North Portland with a chill neighborhood vibe. Kids art on the walls. 

Barista on Alberta
One of my favorite Barista locations but also the busiest. Animal heads on the walls, dark wood and wrap-around booth seating make this a special kind of café. 

Bitter Rose
A spacious cafe affixed to the Multnomah County Library in the Hollywood neighborhood. True to its name, I ordered the Rose Latte and was surprised by how bitter it was! The flavor of rose was overwhelming - life perfume, but the coffee was extremely dark and acidic. Too bad, this was a lovely ambiance and I might give it another chance.

Blend Coffee
Bustling family-friend café in north Portland.  

Bushel and Peck
A sweet little café with a delicious selection of baked goods. Ironically, I never order a latte here - the drip coffee is too good and goes well with the baked treats. 

Case Study on NE Alberta
My favorite of the Case Study branches. Two floors with abundant seating and a very good atmosphere for working

Case Study on Sandy
Another Case Study branch with the usual selection of unique latte and drinks. Crowded with tables every close to each other, it's a better place for hang outs than working. 

Cathedral Coffee in St. Johns
A staple of St. Johns, Cathedral Coffee is popular for its atmosphere of mismatched furniture and bookcases. A  quintessential Portland place. 

Cellar Door
Decent shop and roaster which I tried once passing by. 

Coffeehouse Five 
A sweet cafe up on Killingworth with well-designed seating and good pastries. 

Compass Coffee on Williams
Enormous and tastefully decorated café with ample work space. Skip the pastries and enjoy a latte at the circular bar - a unique feature among Portland cafes. 

A café inside a surf shop with decent drinks and one table overlooking the street. 

Cup and Bar
Popular meeting and work space serving toasts and chocolate. An industrial chic space with a roving collection of modern art. 

The new Either/Or outpost is part café, part bar, part Asian-fusion restaurant. Leather booths and a liquor wall make this place feel more like a speakeasy than a coffee shop. 

Lovely little café with a great work atmosphere. 

Fairlane Coffee in Sellwood
A new place in the Sellwood area with an open floor plan and standard café fair. I particularly enjoy the dark interior.

Great North in St. Johns
Rich, creamy latte. My favorite café in St. Johns. Everyone raves about Cathedral, but I much prefer Great North. 

A spacious and modern addition to Fremont street, unlike any place I’ve been to in Portland. More akin to the cafes of Los Angeles, Guilder has a vibe all its own. My latte was on the bitter side, but was paired well with their Sweet Porridge of jam, nuts, and cardamom. 

This tiny coffee bar (literally just a bar counter and a bench) specializes in pour-over coffee and New Orleans cold brew. Pro Tip: if you are in a hurry, go for the cold brew. I loved how it reminded me of the amazing cold brew I had in the actual city of New Orleans, and besides, I got served faster than the dozen or so other people who waited a long time for their pour overs. 

Very cute and stylish little place in a hidden pocket off Sandy Blvd. People come to take photographs of the decorated wall and to sip coffee out of one-of-a-kind cups. 

Kopi Coffee
Southeast Asian inspired café with drinks using all kinds of flavors, like coconut, pandan, and ginger. Also serving small bites of a most Indonesia or Malaysian origin.  

Locale on Mississippi
This quaint Mississippi café can be hard to secure a table, but if you are lucky enough to snag one, it's a lovely 1920s atmosphere. 

Nova café
A new café in the lobby of an apartment complex with a sleek modern design. Unfortunately the tables are either too low or too high to work, and the music is a bit too peppy and distracting. 

Presso in Kenton

A new edition to the Kenton neighborhood gives Prince a run for it's money. This popular place for Instagram photos has more than meets the eye: try their lavender infused activated-charcoal latte for a unique treat. 

Prince on NE Killingworth
The newest branch of Prince does not disappoint. A sparse white space and sleek interior make it the perfect place to focus on work. 

Prince in Kenton
A small quaint shop in the north Kenton neighborhood, which, despite all my years in Portland, I had never visited until seeking out Prince. I was impressed with the coffee and cozy ambiance of Prince. 

Proud Mary on NE Alberta
Australia cafe Proud Mary makes its Portland debut on NE Alberta. This huge space showcases their roasted beans as well as a full lunch/brunch menu. I absolutely loved the ambiance and exquisite desserts. 

Red E
One of the best places to work from. I love the vibe in this café which is both industrial and artsy. 

Ristretto on Williams
My favorite Ristretto location of all. Spacious, airy, gorgeous location with an open floor plan. The perfect workspace. 

Ristretto on NE Couch
A smaller Ristretto outpost still serves it's purpose well: good seating and great coffee. 

Saint Simon
My favorite Mocha in the city can be found here. A small bar with only a few seat and fewer tables, this place it best to visit on the go - and get the Mocha.

A motorcycle-themed café with expert baristas. This wildly popular joint gets busy fast, but has interesting seating options around the bar counter, and of course, plenty of motorcycle merchandise for sale. 

The Arrow
Matcha lavender latte and great interior with natural lighting in an up-in-coming area not overly saturated with cafes. 

TwentySix Cafe
A European style café – also serving a matcha lavender latte. Spacious outdoor seating and French brasserie style seating indoors. I love the deep red cushioned couches. In the middle of the summer, there was natural light, and just a sly bit of AC. 

Two Stroke Coffee in St. Johns
A second motorcycle-themed café with a body shop and motorcycle goods store.  Fine for a quick stop, but not quite a place for working. 

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