Sunday, April 6, 2014

F is for forests and foodies (Portlandia A to Z)


Portland is full of parks (more than 10,000 acres of 279 public parks and other natural areas), and the largest one is Forest Park...5,156 acres of gorgeous forest land and 70 miles of trails. It's one of the largest municipal parks in the country. Our family favorite is Tryon Creek State Park, which is just a short drive from our house.

Last fall at Tryon Creek

With my great friend Nancie, who was visiting with her husband

Portland is for foodies, people with food particularities (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc.), and people who love to eat their food on the go. 

Food connoisseurs. This clip from Portlandia satirizes Portland's extreme foodie culture better than anything can:

Portlanders love to eat local. Even our home-grown, fabulous fast food restaurant, Burgerville, uses locally grown beefWe have amazing restaurants. We have multiple farmer's markets. And we have picky eaters! (And we are #6 on Travel & Leisure's list of America's Best Cities for Foodies!) 

At the market in 2011

Food preferences. In other words, those people who go "without" something. In my husband's case, it's wheat, so he loves all the gluten-free options we have now. He can even get gluten-free fish and chips! More info about the foodies coming up on "H is for health."

Vegetarian and vegan restaurants abound, including the fabulous vegan restaurant Portobello, which I love to frequent even though I'm not vegetarian or vegan. And Bob's Red Mill is located in neighboring Milwaukie, right next to Portland--Bob's carries a whole line of gluten-free baking products and apparently has a great restaurant onsite. 

Farmers' markets. Without any hard date, I would venture to guess that Portland has more farmers' markets in the major metropolitan area than any other American city (more than 50!). In the spring, summer, and fall, you don't have to travel far to find one. Our favorite is the Portland Farmers' Market in the PSU park blocks. I'm looking forward to getting back to the market soon!

Food cart heaven! Budget Travel named Portland #1 as the best city for street food. I have a food cart pod right near my office, and I've sampled most of them and chronicled my visits in "Food Cart Adventures." I try to visit the carts at least once a week. We are so lucky! (And I'll bet no other city has a traveling cupcake food cart!) If you visit Portland (or live here), you must visit the food carts.

Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for tomorrow: Grimm and greenspaces!


  1. i must visit this portlandia... if only it weren't a world away! some day!
    and your posts are making it that much more desirable!
    happy f day!

  2. You're packing lots of posts into each one. The farmers markets sound wonderful to me.