Top 10 Hidden Gems of Portland, Oregon

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6) Winks Hardware 

hardware store photo

Photo by Nick Harris1

I know, I know, a hardware store? Well, you’ve probably guessed that I’d tell you that it isn’t just any hardware store, as it isn’t any hardware store. Sheesh. You can find everything here, absolutely everything hardware related. Pair your visit with a stroll through one of the old industrial hearts of the city. 200 SE Stark St.

7) The Red and Black Café

red and black cafe portland photo

Photo by

The Red and Black is Portland’s very own anarcho-syndicalist cooperatively run café that is located in the heart of what I think of as one of Portland’s social justice hubs as located within a block are Saint Francis Church (with an impressive history of helping people in need) and some Multnomah county services. This district is also extremely vegan friendly as not only is the Red and Black totally vegan, but just down the block is an actual vegan strip mall, complete with the always wonderful Sweet Pea Bakery which appeals to vegan and omnivore alike. When at Red and Black avoid the clove saturated chai (Strangely enough, I have not yet met a communist capable of making a good chai, while socialists are consistently awesome) but do order the Black Dragon Noodles. 400 SE 12th Ave.

8) Longfellow’s Bookstore

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books photo

Photo by ** RCB **

This is an old school used bookstore in a city known for its bookstores, including the not so hidden gem that is Powell’s City of Books. Longfellow’s comes complete with a semi surly, yet exceedingly knowledgeable owner who sometimes behaves like the Basil Fawlty of bookshop owners. Treasures abound! 1401 SE Division St.

9) The Float Shoppe

If you are in search of a metaphysically luxurious experience then you ought to head to the Alphabet district of NW Portland and book an appointment in one of the Float Shoppe’s sensory deprivation salt water float tanks. After doing so, take a walk and stop by New Renaissance Metaphysical bookstore.

10) Portland Chinese Classical Garden

portland chinese garden photo

Photo by F. D. Richards

While it may not be so hidden, it is a gem that is surely underused and typically overshadowed by the much better known Japanese Garden. The Chinese Garden, located downtown, is an exquisitely beautiful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. This author spent many hours there working on Chinese homework, sketching, and sipping tea in the Dao of Tea’s “Tower of Cosmic Reflections” tea house while frequently regaled with live classical Chinese music. 239 NW Everett St.

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Submitted by: Ishtar. Ishtar is a writer, editor, and researcher of many topics. His skills have been honed in and out of the University system, where he studied of Philosophy, History, and Economics. You can find more of his work on his blog awakened living.



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