This is a story about a second-day in Portland (you can read about our first-day adventures here) where we crossed the Fremont Bridge, explored Mississippi Avenue, and ate the best tacos, and chips, and guac in the whole entire world.
It was an overcast morning, but nice and cool and perfect for a day out and about. The lovely thing about Portland is you can wear your comfiest clothes and throw a hat on over your messy hair and wear socks with your Birkenstocks and you’ll fit right in. I dress like the people in Portland every day, but it was amazing to fit in for a change.
We checked out Mississippi Avenue per recommendation of my Uber driver who had told me it was a perfectly hipster area. Mr. Uber Driver was a pretty neat guy and he seemed like he knew what he was talking about so we knew it was worth a try.
Quite by accident, we stumbled upon this vintage clothing store Animal Traffic where we marveled at the variety of vintage jeans, hand knit hats, and colorful Fjallraven Kankens.
Opened its doors in the Historic Mississippi neighborhood of Portland on Nov. 7, 2009, after a whirlwind, vintage-picking road trip through the American West. The shop was stuffed with classic vintage pieces for men and women, including western shirts and boots, wing tip shoes, skirts and dresses, classic Levi’s jackets and Red Line jeans, and lots and lots of Pendletons. New merchandise from classic American heritage brands like Minnetonka, Wigwam, Duluth, Kelty, and Jansport soon joined the vintage wares, as the theme and vision of Animal Traffic has always been classic Americana style and quality materials and manufacturing at an affordable price.
Even just window shopping makes you hungry so we did what anyone would do under the circumstances. We departed on a Great Search For Tacos.
By the time we found Por Que No? Taqueria, we were ready. We were ready for tacos. For all of the tacos.
Por Que No? Tacos has a fascinating history behind it. As the story goes, the owner, Bryan Steelman, had an unfortunate incident with a boat he was in during an attempted Pacific Ocean crossing. He was left in Mexico where he was inspired by the food and culture to open this place in Portland. Read the rest of the story at Por Que No? | Mythology
The taqueria was a buzz of excitement and activity (tacos are exciting things, what can I say?) and we waited in line, picked fresh Aguas Frescas from the day’s selection, and then ordered housemade chips and guacamole and, of course, tacos.
I couldn’t be bothered to wait for a picture. The taco was calling to me.
Best chips and guac ever.
After lunch, we didn’t need to walk far before we found The Meadow – a delightful shop that sells salt blocks, infused salts, chocolate, flowers, and other lovelies.
The Meadow was founded by Mark Bitterman in 2006 out of a shared love for food, culture, and travel. Before opening his first shop, he’d spent the greater part of two decades traveling throughout Europe. Mark came back to the United States and opened his first shop on the sleepy (soon to be very bustling) little street of N. Mississippi Ave in Portland, Oregon. It is here that he began to explore craft made salts, gourmet chocolates, handmade cocktail bitters, all of which we carry in our shops today.
The entire shop smells like flowers and rich, dark chocolate.
Is there anything more deliciously wonderful?
Posies for sale – (heart)
Early Grey Chocolate? Just go ahead and take my money already.
We had heard a lot of differing opinions on the whole Voodoo vs Blue Star Donut Debate. Since we had already been to Voodoo, we knew it was time to give Blue Star Donuts a try and decide for ourselves which was the superior donut. (Spoiler: Blue Star won)
We selected two donuts to share between us, a Blueberry Bourbon Basil (quite possibly the best donut I’ve ever tasted) and a Buttermilk Old Fashioned.
Keep Calm and Eat Donuts, my friends.
Our final stop on Mississippi Avenue was an herbal shop that we were lured into by the sign “We Sell Kombucha On Tap” that was outside.
Kombucha in hand, we were ready to head back to the car and beeline for a quick coffee break before heading back home.
We found ourselves in Coava Coffee which warmed us up after our long day of meandering through the dampness of an overcast Portland.
We sipped strong, black coffee, and shared some of the chocolate we had purchased at the Meadow and the moment was perfect.
Do you have a favorite local taco place that you love?
Voodoo vs Blue Star – which do you think makes the winning donut?
Have you been to Mississippi Ave?