Top 10 Portland Neighborhoods in 2023
The neighborhoods across Portland have so much to offer – whether you’re visiting from out-of-town or want to buy a home in an area that matches your specific wants and needs. What makes Portland neighborhoods unique is that they each have their own distinct “feel”, shaped by their natural surroundings, local businesses and restaurants, and of course the people who live there. The appeal of some of these neighborhoods is the proximity to nearly everything a resident could want, and often within walking distance, so there’s hardly a need to venture outside the neighborhood for daily necessities. Others are surrounded by natural beauty while also enjoying quick access to downtown. In this article we’ll explore ten desirable Portland neighborhoods based on standard of living, schools and amenities: some that are long-established, and others that are currently growing in popularity.
Located in Southwest Portland, the Sylvan-Highlands neighborhood is a mainly residential, forested haven with streets winding through its hilly terrain. A range of home styles can be found in this neighborhood ranging from classic Bungalows to Cape Cod and NW Contemporary styles along quiet, tree-lined streets and tucked into forested hills. Filled with stately homes with forest views and space for solitude, Sylvan-Highlands has an upscale feel.
Sylvan-Highlands Parks and Attractions
Sylvan-Highlands owes its natural beauty to its setting in the forested hills of Southwest Portland, known as the Tualatin Mountains. At its northeastern border, the trees extend into Forest Park – one of the country’s largest urban forests, drawing hikers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts with its extensive 70-mile network of trails beneath towering trees. Neighboring Forest Park to the south and overlapping the eastern border of Sylvan-Highlands is Washington Park and its Hoyt Arboretum, or “living museum” of Pacific Northwest native trees, with 12 miles of trails to explore. Another part of the extensive Washington Park system found within the neighborhood’s borders is the World Forestry Center, an organization that promotes sustainable forestry, and its Discovery Museum, where you can learn first-hand about forest ecosystems and the future of forestry. Not far from the museum, you can pay a visit the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, which was dedicated in 1987 to honor fallen Oregon soldiers. The 30-mile Wildwood Trail begins nearby, connecting Washington Park with Forest Park to the north via the newly constructed Barbara Walker Crossing in 2019 over West Burnside Street. As a final perk of location, Sylvan-Highlands neighbors the Oregon Zoo, also located in Washington Park.
The Sylvan-Highlands neighborhood is home to some of the top-ranked schools in the Portland Metro area. Here are a few of these schools and their rankings according to greatschools.org:
- Elementary School: Bridlemile Elementary School – 9/10
- Middle School: West Sylvan Middle School – 9/10
- High School: Lincoln High School – 8/10
Sylvan-Highlands Restaurants and Businesses
Pizzicato: Now a well-recognized local pizza chain, this is the very first location opened by owners Marc and Tracy Frankel in 1989. Their original restaurant is a great spot for consistently good pizza with creative toppings including roasted vegetables, handmade sausages and fresh herbs.
Clift House Ceramics and Claystation Studio: Owner Andy Clift creates and sells pottery inspired by nature and printed with his own nature photographs. For those wanting to learn at the pottery wheel, he offers one-on-one instruction in his studio, or you can visit claystation.com for a library of video tutorials.
Effortless Movement Pilates Studio: Master teacher Christine Binnendyk teaches “Classical Style” Pilates to increase strength and improve mobility.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Sylvan-Highlands homes for sale.
The Eastmoreland neighborhood in Southeast Portland is one of the city’s more upscale and traditional neighborhoods, with many grand homes built in the Colonial and Tudor styles in the 1930s and 40s. A drive through Eastmoreland will take you along curved, mature tree-lined roads past stately homes with expansive, well-manicured lawns and flower gardens. As an almost entirely residential neighborhood, it is quiet and secluded, and it is apparent that residents take pride in maintaining its charm.
Eastmoreland Parks and Attractions
The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden began as a rhododendron test garden in 1950 and today is a thriving oasis beside Crystal Springs Lake showcasing a large variety of rhododendrons and azaleas along with companion shrubs and trees for visitors to enjoy. The Eastmoreland Golf Course, surrounded by the Rhododendron Gardens and Crystal Springs Lake, is beautiful in its own regard and is also a historic landmark, established over 100 years ago. Rather than being an exclusive club, it is open to the public year-round and hosts the Portland City Championships each year. Berkeley Park is a large city park and greenspace for residents to enjoy, including a playground, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, and even horseshoe pits. Reed College Parkway beautifies the neighborhood with its lush, landscaped median with trees and green foliage running the length of Eastmoreland and ending at Reed College. Just across 99E is Westmoreland Park Nature Playground with a nature-inspired play area featuring logs and rocks for climbing, as well as walking paths along Crystal Springs Creek where visitors can view ducks and other wildlife.
- Elementary School: Duniway Elementary School
- Middle School: Sellwood Middle School – 8/10 on greatschools.org
- High School: Cleveland High School
Eastmoreland Restaurants and Businesses
As an older, and more traditional neighborhood, Eastmoreland has no commercial district, so locals visit nearby neighborhoods for shopping and entertainment. However, residents seem content to enjoy the quiet serenity and beauty of this almost exclusively residential neighborhood in exchange for the convenience of walking access to local businesses.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Eastmoreland homes for sale.
The Concordia neighborhood in Northeast Portland has undergone a transformation in recent years, as more boutique businesses and restaurants move in to the area and homeowners revitalize old homes in the neighborhood with modern updates while preserving their original character. Already a highly walkable and bike-able neighborhood, the options for super-local shopping and dining have multiplied exponentially during Concordia’s resurgence, and its popularity doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon. You will find a unique array of well-maintained Craftsman, four-square and bungalow-style homes along the streets of the neighborhood, many with raised vegetable gardens or lawns full of brightly colored flowers, and often with some backyard hens. It is common to see people on bikes throughout the neighborhood; many are families biking together or parents pulling little ones along in bike trailers. As an incredibly bike-friendly neighborhood, Concordia has earned itself a near-perfect bike score of 96.
Concordia Parks and Attractions
Fernhill Park is Concordia’s largest park with a lot to offer. Its nearly 27 acres include a newly updated and expanded play area and splash pad, dog off-leash area, and a hilltop nature patch: a natural forest garden for visitors to enjoy that also supports native pollinators and wildlife. Alberta Park borders Concordia to the west and is easily accessible to residents, with paths for hiking, a playground, dog off-leash area, sports fields and its own nature patch.
- Elementary & Middle School: Faubion School
- High School: Jefferson High School
Concordia Restaurants and Businesses
Concordia University, a liberal arts college for which the neighborhood was named, was founded in 1905 and held classes until 2020, when it permanently closed its doors. The building was purchased by the University of Oregon with classes planned to start in the fall of 2023.
A section of the Alberta Arts District runs through the Concordia neighborhood, bringing its unique bars and restaurants within walking distance to area residents. It’s home to the Alberta Rose Theatre, a renovated movie house from the 1920s that is now a venue for live music, comedy and vaudeville, complete with a full bar offering drinks and concessions. Concordia residents are also fortunate to have one of the McMenamins properties right in their neighborhood – the iconic McMenamins Kennedy School, which, as the name implies, is a historic school building-turned-entertainment hub featuring a large restaurant, multiple small bars in former classrooms, a movie theater, and an outdoor saltwater soaking pool. As if it wasn’t enough to have the Kennedy School right next door, they also extend free soaking passes to neighborhood residents. There are many more great bars and restaurants in Concordia highlighted in the list below:
- Aladdin’s Cafe: Casual restaurant specializing in Syrian, Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine.
- Concordia Ale House: Sports bar with elevated pub fare and an extensive tap list.
- Dame: Wine-centric restaurant with a chef-curated menu and bottle shop featuring natural wines.
- Wilder: Upscale bar with craft cocktails and an outdoor patio.
- NEPO 42: Established bar with a relaxed atmosphere named for its location (42nd Ave in NE Portland.).
- Oakshire Beer Hall: Portland taproom of Eugene-based small batch brewery. Also carries wines and ciders from local producers.
- Miss Zumstein Bakery and Coffee Shop: Quaint bakery serving handmade pastries and Extracto coffee.
- YUI: Restaurant serving authentic Thai cuisine, down to sourcing ingredients, along with local and seasonal vegetables.
- Gabbiano’s: Italian eatery serving family-style dishes plus wine, beer and cocktails.
- Expatriate: Darkly lit bar with a worldly, Asian-influenced menu and sophisticated cocktails.
- KISS Coffee: Coffee cart that graduated to a brick-and-mortar shop in 2019 serving breakfast and lunch all day.
- Bless Your Heart Burgers: Burger joint also serving hot dogs with creative sides and toppings.
- Santo Domingo Taqueria: Mexican taqueria featuring regional Oaxacan food made with local ingredients.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Concordia homes for sale.
Laurelhurst is a historic Portland neighborhood developed in the early 1900s as one of the first planned residential developments on the West Coast. Located in Southeast Portland, this mostly residential neighborhood features Arts and Crafts, Foursquare, Spanish Revival and predominantly Bungalow homes built between 1910 and 1925, several of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At its western and southern boundaries, engraved sandstone pillars called the Laurelhurst Gates provide grand entrances into this distinctive neighborhood of mature trees and historic homes. Near the center of the neighborhood, Coe Circle with its golden Joan of Arc statue is a well-recognized landmark and distinguishing feature of this highly desirable Portland neighborhood.
Laurelhurst Parks and Attractions
Laurelhurst Park is one of the most popular and iconic parks of Portland. Spanning nearly 30 acres at the neighborhood’s southern edge, it was designed by a prestigious architectural firm and guided by the nationwide City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s encouraging neighborhoods to be developed around parks. The expansive park features walking paths around central Firwood Lake and the neighboring dog off-leash area, along with an accessible playground, restroom and picnic sites surrounded by a variety of native plants and trees. The grounds also hold tennis, basketball and volleyball courts and a soccer field. Laurelhurst Park was the first city park to be recognized as a historic landmark in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
Nearby, The Laurelhurst Club is a newly renovated rental venue originally built in 1912 and retaining its period charm. The interior features cathedral ceilings with exposed beams, hardwood floors, and a mid-century mezzanine bar. Outside, a stone pathway through a manicured lawn and garden leads to a stage with an ivy backdrop. It is a popular choice for weddings, fundraisers and events, with convenient access to Laurelhurst Park.
Laurelhurst’s neighborhood schools earn high ratings on greatschools.org:
- Elementary and Middle School: Laurelhurst School – 7/10
- High school: Grant High School – 9/10
Laurelhurst Restaurants and Businesses
Sandy Boulevard transverses the northwestern corner of Laurelhurst, providing neighborhood access to a section of its eclectic business district, where you can find everything from karaoke to consignment stores. Here is a sampling of its unique shops and restaurants:
- The Shaku Bar: Newly opened bar (May 2022) with a large outdoor patio offering creative cocktails and a Japanese-influenced food menu.
- Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie: French-inspired cafe with multiple locations serving coffee, baked goods and dishes made with produce from its restaurant-owned farm.
- Piccone’s Corner: Italian-inspired butchery and osteria serving farm-raised meats from the butcher counter or for dining in.
- No Bonz Doggy Daycare: Daycare for dogs offering daytime and overnight boarding with a live webcam for pet owners.
- Chopsticks Karaoke Bar: Late-night Portland karaoke institution with a lighted stage, serving drinks and Chinese food.
- Pulse PDX: Dance club-themed group fitness and strength classes complete with lights and a disco ball.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Laurelhurst homes for sale.
5. Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor in southeast Portland encircles its namesake Mount Tabor Park, which rests on an extinct volcano whose elevation and natural beauty are the defining feature of this neighborhood. It is common to see dog walkers and cyclists on the streets as the neighborhood layout of Mount Tabor naturally encourages residents to enjoy the outdoors, with many routes leading into the park and its beautiful views. The neighborhood is established and welcoming with its older homes and trees situated on and around Mount Tabor. A variety of unique homes can be found here, including Foursquare, Tudor, Bungalow, and Colonial styles.
Mount Tabor Parks and Attractions
Mount Tabor Park is one of the largest parks in southeast Portland and at an altitude of 636 feet, also provides some of the best views of the city. It has three official hiking trails that wind around its three open air reservoirs to the summit of Mount Tabor where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city skyline and West Hills in the distance. The park also features a well-loved off-leash dog park at its base, a playground, outdoor amphitheater, horseshoe pit, and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. Another highlight of the park and neighborhood is the Mount Tabor Community Garden, where neighbors can both volunteer and apply for their own garden plots.
Mount Tabor holds the Portland Campus of Western Seminary, a nearly 100-year old institution in the top 5% of ATS-accredited seminaries in North America. At its beautiful 5-acre campus, students pursue theological education to earn a range of degrees, including a Master of Biblical and Theological Studies and a Doctor of Ministry. Warner Pacific University is also located here, a private Christian liberal arts college operating serving students in Portland since 1940.
Mount Tabor Schools
- Elementary School: Glencoe Elementary School – 8/10 on greatschools.org
- Middle School: Mt Tabor Middle School
- High School: Franklin High School
Mount Tabor Restaurants and Businesses
Mount Tabor is a mostly residential neighborhood, but incorporates part of the Hawthorne business district as well as the shops and restaurants of Stark Street and Division Street, which runs along its southern edge. Portland Nursery, with a long history of serving Portland gardeners, is located right in the neighborhood, supplying neighbors with plants, seeds and tools for all of their gardening needs. In operation since 1907, it is a Portland establishment with two locations and a wide seasonal selection of fruit trees, seedlings, and houseplants. Below are more of the exceptional businesses to explore around the Mount Tabor neighborhood:
- Coquine: Restaurant serving French-influenced cuisine revolving around seasonal produce. At its attached market you can order coffee and pastries and pick up local milk, eggs, meat, produce and home goods.
- Blind Onion: Second location of longtime Portland pizza joint from the Hollywood neighborhood serving pizza with their signature delicious crust.
- Taborspace: Welcoming coffee shop by Favela Coffee located in the bell tower of a century-old church as part of its mission to “cultivate connected community”.
- Rain or Shine Coffee House: Spacious neighborhood gathering spot for coffee and pastries.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Mount Tabor homes for sale.
6. Pearl District
The Pearl District is located in central Portland, and as a revitalized warehouse district with close proximity to downtown, it has a high-end urban feel. In fact, most Portlanders regard “the Pearl” as the upscale and trendy section of Portland. Developed in part by the River District Urban Renewal Plan in the 1990s which sought to redevelop the area for a mix of multi-family housing and commercial use, the neighborhood is full of shopping, dining and entertainment options and residential hi-rise condos and lofts. With easy access to so many amenities, the Pearl District is the most walkable neighborhood in Portland with a walk score of 98. It is also a cyclist’s dream with no need for a car to run daily errands, earning the neighborhood an equally high bike score of 98.
Pearl District Parks and Attractions
The Pearl District’s position along the Willamette River provides access to nature via beautiful river views from waterfront condos and nearby parks and businesses. A section of the Willamette River Greenway Trail also winds along its banks, where cyclists and pedestrians can appreciate the scenery up close.
Despite being a largely commercial neighborhood, the design of the Pearl District intentionally included the urban parks and green spaces that residents now enjoy. Jamison Square is perhaps one of its most well-known landmarks, with its focal point an expansive water fountain cascading down stone steps into a tidal pool. In summertime the public plaza is daily filled with families and children splashing in the water. There are several sculptures and art installations along the park’s perimeter commemorating the area’s history. The Fields Park, developed in 2013 and the Pearl’s newest park, is located in the northern section of the neighborhood and contains a dog park and open space for performing arts. It also includes an adventure playground and paved walking path. A block away is Tanner Springs Park with an artistically designed walking trail along its re-created wetlands. Finally in the southern portion of the neighborhood you can find the historic North Park Blocks, six successive blocks (one in southwest Portland) located between NW Park Ave. and NW 8th Ave. that together form a city park. An accessible play area, basketball and bocce courts, paths and public art can be found on each of its blocks.
Pearl District Schools
- Elementary School: Chapman Elementary School
- Middle School: West Sylvan Middle School – 9/10 on greatschools.org
- High School: Lincoln High School – 8/10 on greatschools.org
Pearl District Restaurants and Businesses
The Pearl District is home to Powell’s Books, “the world’s largest independent bookstore”, occupying a full city block and also a famous Portland institution, drawing book lovers from all over the world. Another noteworthy attraction in the Pearl is the historic Armory Building (established in 1891) which is home to the theater productions and community programs of Portland Center Stage. There are a multitude of great shops and restaurants to check out in this dynamic neighborhood. Here is a taste of what you can find:
- Alchemy: Jewelry store featuring high-end custom designs by a team of jewelers.
- dfrntpigeon: An apparel brand supporting at-risk youth through mentorship and paid design work.
- ECHO Natural Beauty: Spa offering holistic facial and massage services and “eco luxe” skin care products.
- Monique’s Boutique: Designer clothing boutique selling eclectic designs at affordable prices.
- Old Town Florist: Floral shop with a diverse array of tropical and locally grown flower arrangements.
- Verdun Fine Chocolates: First U.S. shop opened by Lebanese chocolatier with over 40 years of experience crafting gourmet chocolates.
- 10 Barrel Brewing: Pub location of popular craft brewery from Bend, OR with 20 beers on tap and a rooftop patio.
- Andina: Peruvian restaurant serving dinner and small plates with live Latin music nightly.
- Fuller’s Coffee Shop: Diner operating since with old-school charm serving comfort food including breakfast and milkshakes.
- Life of Riley: Relaxed neighborhood bar with a patio and a basement with pool, shuffleboard and darts.
- Oven and Shaker: Pizzeria and cocktail bar with an authentic Italian wood-burning oven serving Neopolitan pies, Italian street food and cocktails.
- Blackfish Gallery: Art gallery owned and operated by a co-op of artists since 1979, representing 30 artists and also exhibiting work from invited guests.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Pearl District homes for sale.
7. Southwest Hills
Like Sylvan-Highlands, its neighbor to the north, the Southwest Hills neighborhood owes its rolling terrain to the Tualatin Mountains, or “West Hills”. Its desirability as a place to live is due partly to its lush setting and proximity to some of Portland’s most scenic parks. You can enjoy panoramic views of downtown Portland from parts of the neighborhood, and on a clear day it is possible to see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens in the distance. Neighborhood housing consists largely of upscale single-family houses, many of which are historic homes built in the first half of the twentieth century. Apartment complexes and high-rises can also be found in some parts of the neighborhood. Southwest Hills residents enjoy easy access to downtown for dining and shopping while feeling surrounded by nature at home – the best of both worlds. In all, this is a beautiful residential neighborhood with unique ties to Portland’s past.
Southwest Hills Parks and Attractions
Once the home of a city amusement park, Council Crest Park is a popular scenic overlook with the highest elevation found in Portland (1,073 ft.), allowing views of Mount Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams on clear days. From here you can also find trails that lead into Marquam Nature Park in the northeastern part of the neighborhood, known as Portland Heights. The northern section of this sprawling 205-acre park is contained within the neighborhood, allowing residents easy access to its extensive network of trails. Portland Heights Park, with an accessible play area and restroom, basketball and tennis courts and sports fields is also located nearby for neighbors to enjoy. Finally, the northern sections of the neighborhood surround Washington Park, allowing residents convenient access to the Oregon Zoo, Portland Japanese Garden and Hoyt Arboretum.
Southwest Hills Schools
- Elementary School: Bridlemile Elementary School – 9/10 on greatschools.org
- Middle School: Gray Middle School – 7/10 on greatschools.org
- High School: Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School
Southwest Hills Restaurants and Businesses
There are few busineses to be found in this quiet residential community, and the ones that are established here are well-loved by the neighborhood.
- Vista Spring Café: Casual neighborhood restaurant serving Italian-American dishes, featuring homemade pizza dough and milkshakes.
- Opal Blooms: Urban flower farm and design studio selling flower arrangements and hosting flower arranging workshops.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Southwest Hills homes for sale.
8. Sellwood Moreland
The Sellwood Moreland neighborhood is located in southeast Portland along the Willamette River. Some of Portland’s first Victorians, cottages, and Craftsman bungalows can be found here, and the charm of these older homes plus its wealth of grocery shops, restaurants and green spaces gives the neighborhood a welcoming, small town feel. From its quiet residential streets lined with mature trees to its plentiful antique stores and thriving food scene, Sellwood Moreland is a desirable neighborhood to live in and explore.
Sellwood Moreland Parks and Attractions
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge was created in 1988 as Portland’s first wildlife refuge, and its expansive meadows, woodlands, and wetlands serve as habitat to many species of birds and amphibians and help support threatened salmon. Visitors can enjoy wildlife from the park’s paved paths and take advantage of hiking and biking trails. Nearby is Sellwood Riverfront Park, a popular picnic spot with a view of the Willamette River.
Sellwood Moreland is home to Oaks Amusement Park, which has been in operation since 1905 as a destination for fun family entertainment. Its vintage carousel is recorded in the National Register of Historic Places as one of only 200 classic carousels remaining in the world. The park also includes rollercoasters, kiddie rides, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, and go-carts. Visitors can also play mini golf or enjoy the indoor roller skating rink with its historic Wurlitzer pipe organ.
Locals enjoy recreation at Westmoreland Park Nature Playground with natural play features for children, a pond, and multiple sports fields. Crystal Springs Creek runs through the park and is home to many ducks and other native species.
Sellwood Moreland Schools
- Elementary School: Llewellyn Elementary School
- Middle School: Sellwood Middle School – 8/10 on greatschools.org
- High School: Cleveland High School
Sellwood Moreland Restaurants and Businesses
The Sellwood Moreland neigborhood is full of great restaurants and food carts and is known for its wealth of antique stores. We’ve listed many of its great businesses below, but the neighborhood has much more to explore.
- Moreland Theater: Single-screen movie house opened in 1926 retains much of its original character.
- Stars Antique Mall: Original location of antique store now with three locations and representing over 300 antique dealers.
- Killer Burger: Counter-service joint serving burgers with toppings like peanut butter and sriracha, plus local beer.
- Piece of Cake: Long-running cake specialist with vegan and gluten-free options, known for its quirky vibe.
- Sellwood Inn: Laid-back pub and eatery with beer garden, poker machines, darts, and pinball.
- Calabash Authentic: Fresh Calabash, Authentic West African cuisine, made daily.
- Moreland Ale House: Laid-back sports bar with Asian-inspired bites, local craft beers, weekend brunch, and outdoor seating.
- PDX Sliders: Casual eatery for imaginative sliders and sandwiches made with local ingredients, plus craft beers.
- Saburo’s Sushi House: Nigiri sushi and rolls are super-sized at this bustling, no-frills Japanese restaurant.
- Bastion PDX: Seasonal, sustainable plant-focused American cuisine: always gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free cuisine.
- Papa Haydn: European-style desserts meet upscale American sandwiches and salads at this romantic cafe with a patio.
- Reverend’s BBQ: Fried chicken, smoked meats, and beer on tap in a contemporary space with both counter and booth seating.
- Wei Wei – A Taste of Taiwan: Creative Taiwanese noodle soups, baos, desserts, and teas in an intimate space.
- Gino’s: Modern trattoria offering carefully prepared Italian dishes and an extensive wine list in a sleek room.
- The Muddy Rudder: Laid-back pub with a garden patio offering pizza, sandwiches, and salads, plus live music.
- Fairlane Coffee: Specialty coffee shop using ethically sourced coffee beans, also serving tea, savory snacks, and more.
- Jade Bistro and Patisserie: This homey Thai and Vietnamese cafe also sells French-inspired confections like tarts and macarons.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Sellwood Moreland homes for sale.
The Boise neighborhood of north Portland is diverse and entrepreneurial, with many locally owned businesses and unique historic homes contributing to its eclectic and trendy vibe. A mix of home styles can be found here, including older Victorian cottages and Craftsman homes with historic charm. Urban-style lofts are a more recent addition, making living in this coveted neighborhood more accessible. The appeal of so many things to do and see makes this a lively neighborhood full of people on bikes and on foot, earning the neighborhood both high walking and biking scores of 93 and 99, respectively. To further eliminate the need for a car, the neighborhood also has excellent access to public transportation. Due to the huge popularity of its bars, restaurants, and retail shops, Boise is a “destination neighborhood” for visitors, and a great place to live.
Boise Parks and Attractions
Denorval Unthank Park is the neighborhood’s playground, with paved paths, a play area, basketball court, and soccer and baseball fields.
The Cascade Campus of Portland Community College, opened in 1970, is also located in the Boise neighborhood. The campus offers programs in the arts, job training, college transfer and self-improvement courses.
- Elementary School: Boise-Eliot Elementary School
- Middle School: Harriet Tubman Middle School
- High School: Grant High School – 9/10 on greatschools.org
Boise Restaurants and Businesses
Mississippi Avenue, lined with independently owned restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and boutiques – plus a recording studio and a live music hall – is a major hub of the neighborhood. It hosts the Mississippi Street Fair every July with local vendors, activities for kids and live music. Read on for just a sampling of the many great restaurants and businesses that can be found on Mississippi and throughout the Boise neighborhood.
- Prost! Marketplace: Some of the finest food cart fare in Portland located next to one of the best German bars in town.
- Mississippi Studios and Bar Bar: Intimate music venue reported to have the best sound in Portland plus its own bar serving drinks and burgers.
- Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty: Popular restaurant serving pizza with fresh herbs and homemade ice cream.
- Stormbreaker Brewing: Local brewer with a wonderful all-weather outdoor seating area.
- Gravy: One of Portland’s most popular breakfast restaurants, serving comfort food and their signature biscuits and gravy.
- The Fresh Pot: One of the first businessess on Mississippi Avenue and one of the first cafes in North Portland.
- Pistils Nursery: Plant nursery and landscape design store also offering classes on goat raising, chicken keeping, composting, and more.
- Miss Delta: Southern Cajun is what’s on the menu here: hush puppies, fried catfish, and more.
- Eat: an Oyster Bar: Hip venue with classic Cajun dishes and cocktails, and Sunday jazz brunch—New Orleans style.
- XLB: Casual spot serving Chinese soup dumplings and other comfort dishes, plus beer and wine.
- Either/Or: Morning coffee and evening cocktails/happy hour with Chinese-American fare in a funky setting.
- The Rambler: Cozy, inviting neighborhood tavern in a converted bungalow serving cocktails, craft beer, and sandwiches.
- Tartuca—Intimate Italian kitchen serving a seasonal menu of homemade pastas, pizza, share plates, and old world wines with an outdoor patio.
- Stem Wine Bar—Wine bar offering tastings, a wine club, live music and trivia nights.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all Boise homes for sale.
10. St. Johns
St. Johns is a self-contained community that once was actually its own city before merging with the city of Portland in 1915, and its businesses and homes reflect its rich history. In fact, some of the oldest buildings in all of Portland can be found in the St. Johns neighborhood. The homes in this area of north Portland exhibit many different styles, from ranches and cape cods to Victorian homes. With its nostalgic buildings, plentiful local businesses, and natural setting bordered by both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, St. Johns is a desirable neighborhood in an idyllic setting.
St. Johns Parks and Attractions
St. Johns borders scenic Cathedral Park, which is situated directly below the St. Johns bridge and has a stage and plaza, a boat ramp, a dog off-leash area, paved paths, and a nature patch. The St. Johns Jazz Festival is also held here each year.
Forest Park has a trailhead on the west side of the St. Johns Bridge that you can access by walking across the bridge and onto the trail. This area of the park also features the most wildlife, so it may be possible to spot deer and other small animals.
The Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area wildlife sanctuary is held within the St. Johns neighborhood. As a protected wetland scenic area, it attracts all kinds of wildlife, including beaver, river otter, black-tailed deer, osprey, bald eagles, and one of the largest remaining populations of Western painted turtles in Oregon. The Columbia Slough has boat ramps for canoeing and paddle boarding. Public art also adorns the restored trail.
Pier Park is a forest-like park with a play area, a skateboard park, a disc golf course, and an outdoor public pool. Classical music performances are also periodically hosted here. At its far southeast corner is Pier Community Garden’s .98-acre community gardening space.
On Pier Park’s north end is Chimney Park, a 18.39-acre area with a dog off-leash area that acquired its name from the city’s incinerator chimney, previously located on the site and removed in 1990.
St. Johns City Park is located in the center of the neighborhood and is home to a play area and the St. Johns Community Center offering before- and after-school activities for kids, as well as classes and events for all.
The St. Johns Parade has been held in the neighborhood every year for over 50 years. It is a free celebration open to all, complete with homemade floats. And the St. Johns Farmers Market runs every Saturday from May through October.
St. Johns Schools
- Elementary School: James John Elementary School
- Middle School: George Middle School
- High School: Roosevelt High School
St. Johns Restaurants and Businesses
- Rockabilly Cafe: Newer restaurant fashioned as an old-school diner serving American comfort food made with local and organic ingredients.
- Mikasa Sushi & Ramen: Sushi bar offering rolls, nigiri and a selection of ramen bowls.
- Paiku: Bakery selling sweet and savory pies with a brunch menu and to-go picnic dinner packages.
- Big Kahuna Barbecue & Catering: Restaurant serving Hawaiian-style barbequed meats and side dishes.
- Lombard House: Cozy neighborhood bar inside a house welcoming food from the carts outside.
- 3 Tracks Music: Shop specializing in vintage guitars, amps, and acoustic instruments.
- Leisure Public House: Pub with local beers on tap, delicious sandwiches and ping pong and bocce ball.
- Blue Moon Camera and Machine: Photography shop and film developing studio carrying vintage cameras.
- Signal Station Pizza: Pizza eatery inside a historic gas station serving pizza, calzones and subs.
- McMenamin’s St. John’s Theater and Pub: Movie theater showing second-run movies with beer and snacks available for purchase.
- Vinyl Resting Place: Record shop buying and selling unique records including jazz, folk, and blues.
- St. Johns Twin Cinema and Pub: Old movie house with two screens selling pizza, beer, coffee, and snacks.
Check out our dynamic Portland neighborhood map to see all St. Johns homes for sale.
Find the Perfect Home in Your Ideal Neighborhood
If you’re thinking of moving to one of these or any of Portland’s unique and wonderful neighborhoods, our top 1% Portland buyers team would love to talk with you today. We are highly knowledgeable about the Portland real estate market and what each neighborhood of Portland has to offer. Call us at 503-773-0000 or chat with the bot on our site.March 17, 2023