We knew from the Style Gallery that Laura certainly loves pastels and prints. What we didn’t know is that she resides in our next ModClothIRL stop, Portland! After admiring her instagram, we decided she’d be perfect to help us experience this city like a local. This Portland transplant gave us her pointers with a particular emphasis on food (sorry, not sorry). Sit down, get ready to feel compelled to put on your favorite printed dress, and pop on over to Portland!
Portland has been receiving a lot of attention lately — do you view this attention as negative or positive? What is the general sentiment among others in the city?
I would view it as positive. I’m a transplant myself, I moved here from Michigan in 2008, so I think it’s great that other people are getting excited about Portland. I didn’t know much about the city before coming here other than it was where the Decemberists were from and that it was a very artist-friendly place. Lately, I’ve been hearing about Portland themed bars and pop up shops opening up in Tokyo and everyone I know thinks it’s awesome.
Your summers seem to be showered with Food and Drink festivals. Which is your fave and why?
It’s not just summers that are showered in great food and drink festivals! My favorite one is probably Chocolate Fest which happens every January/February at the Oregon Convention Center. Local chocolatiers, bakeries, wineries, and distilleries all vend at Chocolate Fest and there’s lots of free samples!
If you are visiting in the summer, the Oregon’s Brewers Festival and the Fruit Beer Festival are great to check out. Just be prepared to do a lot of standing in line since it can get really busy.
We know that you’re vegan! Walk us through the perfect food day for a visiting vegan.
I would start the day off at either Petunia’s Pies and Pastries or Blue Star Donuts. Petunia’s does an incredible brunch and everything there is vegan and gluten free. Blue Star has been nicknamed the local’s Voodoo Doughnuts. They have a daily selection of gourmet donuts that always sell out so getting there early is best!
For lunch I’d go to Homegrown Smoker’s food cart (HGS) at Mississippi Marketplace. They specialize in vegan southern food. HGS is absolutely my favorite place to eat in Portland. I’m there at least once a week!
Lastly, I’d stop at Portobello Vegan Trattoria or Departure for dinner. They are both a bit fancier, but there’s no need to dress up. Portobello serves incredible Italian meals and is located in SE Portland. They started out doing dinner services in a coffee shop at night and for some time you couldn’t get in without a reservation. It was so popular that they quickly grew and got their own location. Departure specializes in Asian cuisine and is on the top floor of the Nines hotel downtown. I only discovered it as a “vegan restaurant” a couple years ago when I learned that they have entire separate vegan and gluten free menu if you ask for it! Even if you don’t go there to eat, I’d recommend going there for a drink and the view.
There’s also a ton to see just outside the city. Where is your go-to outdoor escape that has to be on our Portland bucket list?
I’m not really an outdoorsy person myself, but even I can appreciate all the beautiful scenery in the Pacific Northwest. The coast is a short drive away and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’d recommend checking out Cannon beach or going a bit farther north and to see Astoria. That being said, if you’re interested in getting in touch with nature, there’s no shortage of that inside of Portland. It’s hard to walk more than a few blocks without running into a park. There are small ones that just take up a city block like Tanner Springs, and bigger ones that make you forget you’re in a city like Laurelhurst and Forest Park.
+ What are your favorite food festivals in your hometown? And don’t forget: ModCloth IRL in Portland will be open July 1-July 15! Stop by and see us at Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., Suite 2115 Portland, OR 97204.