Powell's Books, Pastaworks, the Bagdad Theater & Pub, and other hot spots line the main drag of this urban hub.
Stretched across the Rose City's southeast quadrant, below the soaring fir trees of Mt. Tabor Park, SE Hawthorne Boulevard has become a touchstone of Portland culture. Brimming with cafés and boutiques that sprang from boarded-up storefronts in the 1980s, the strip now sports an urban sheen while retaining its homegrown feel. Here are a few highlights. Area code is 503.
- Provision your stroll up Mount Tabor with Tuscan salumi and artisanal cheeses from Pastaworks, the city's epicurean headquarters for 26 years. Rare Spanish olive oils and an obsessive collection of Italian wines also make this market an obligatory stop for the gourmand. 3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-1010, pastaworks.com.
- The most famous bookstore in town has an eastside branch. Powell's Books on Hawthorne is much smaller but just as satisfying as the labyrinthine original. Browse the annex two doors down at Powell's Books for Home & Garden for titles ranging from The Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials to Rustic Fruit Desserts. 3723 and 3747 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 228-4651, powells.com.
- Revisit Hollywood's golden age at the Bagdad Theater & Pub, a colorfully painted and colonnaded movie house built in 1927. Restored by local brewmasters the McMenamin brothers, the Bagdad now serves frothy ales to accompany its $3 second-run flicks. 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-9234, mcmenamins.com.
- Try Apizza Scholls for an early dinner. Its crackly yet chewy pies sell out quickly. 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-1286, apizzascholls.com.
- At Hawthorne Vintage you can drop $500 on a Charles Eames lounge chair or $10 on a set of aluminum candleholders, but wandering the 6,000-square-foot showroom filled with mid-century treasures is free. 4722 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 230-2620.
- The warmly lit bar at 3 Doors Down Cafe & Lounge (just off Hawthorne) offers small, expertly seasoned pasta dishes such as chanterelle mushroom and ricotta ravioli. Or settle in with a steak Diane in the intimate dining room. 1429 SE 37th Ave., 236-6886, 3doorsdowncafe.com.
Photography by Liz Devine/McMenamins
This article was first published in July 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.